We’ve never been accused of driving the most direct route to get somewhere, so why would this be any different?
Overland travel is all about staying in the roughest, most unforgiving environments. Ignoring personal comfort. Shunning the trappings of a tourism. Seeking out discomfort and… no! Wait! Screw it. Today it is all about luxury.
The air was thick with humidity, it was like breathing tepid soup. The roads glistened with moisture in the last of the fading light that was filtering between the rolling banks thunderclouds.
A short drone flight from the outskirts of Nazca, Peru.
This is the one. This is the post where we finally extract ourselves from the seemingly inescapable vortex of Santa María del Tule. Don’t get too excited. We only drove a few kilometres down the road.
It’s no secret that we’ve been pretty slack with the blog posts of late. We’ve been busy, busy with many projects and of course, most of all—adventuring.
Before we left on this trip, we had a habit at home of walking up steep hills.
Starry skies over Baja
When your brakes fail, it might as well be on a winding mountain pass with sheer drop offs and hairpin bends. Even better if it is a pass that climbs from near to sea level up to almost 3000m, before dropping back down to below 1500m. (That’s pushing 10,000′ before returning to less than 5000′ for those of you who have not gleefully embraced the metric system.)
While we were dilly-dallying about in Santa María del Tule we found plenty of opportunities to head into the ‘big smoke’, Oaxaca’s state capital—Oaxaca. Sometimes on our own for errands, sometimes with friends, but nearly always with a camera.
Calvin laughed. “Everyone says they are just stopping by for a day or two, but then they stay for several weeks.” “Well, we’d like to stay for three weeks, so does that mean you’ll never get rid of us?” No truer words have been spoken.
Oaxaca state is the home of many talented artisans. We were luckily enough to visit the weaving studio of two of these artisans. Rosario and Ernesto have mastered the art of weaving with wool. Since we were lucky enough to see all of this first hand. We thought we’d dedicate a blog post to sharing their process so that everyone back home can get a glimpse into the process of some talented Oaxacan artisans.
El Espinazo del Diablo (the Devil’s Backbone—a mountain pass along Mexico’s highway 40) is an infamously sinuous mountain road that joins the towns of Mazatlán, Sinaloa and Durango, Durango. The road has a bit of a reputation for punishing travellers with terrifying accident-inducing winding turns. Luckily travellers are also rewarded with spectacular views as the road runs along a mountain ridge, high in the Sierra Madre mountains. This seemed like exactly the kind of thing we should investigate further.
There we were in San Ignacio, Belize, on the border with Guatemala. “You know, I’m really looking forward to going to Guatemala…”
After a somewhat snap decision to leave Belize, we found ourselves back in Mexico sooner than we had planned.
Sunset over the town of Guanajuato
After our time in Durango, we were craving a little outdoor time, some peace and quiet to enjoy the clear skies and solitude. Luckily, in Mexico, you are never far from a national park of some sort. The Sierra De Órganos National Park was a short drive south of Durango in the state of Zacatecas.
We left with a Map. Well, OK, that isn’t entirely true. We left with a scrap of paper with the names of a couple of towns we would need to drive through written on it.
Sometimes we find ourselves standing in places which really remind us what an amazing journey we are on. In these moments we stop, we take a deep breath, we look at each other and agree that we are truly fortunate to be here. That the decision to quit our jobs, sell our stuff and move into a 4Runner with a roof top tent was the best decision we have ever made.
Our holiday from our trip hadn’t gone exactly to plan. But here we were, back in Mexico and ready to give the Yucatan another go. It might just be a mosquito infested swamp, but we knew there were still some hidden gems out there for us to discover. Including a grand monument to one of the most dramatic events in the history of our planet.
After a late night arrival on the Mexican mainland, we were slow to get started on the first day of the New Year. It took a quiet New Year’s Day in Los Mochis before we were ready to start thinking about the next stage in our journey.
“Things won’t get any worse than here, other parts of Cuba will be much more enjoyable.” “Don’t say that, you’ll jinx it”
Not a lot can be said to enhance the awesomeness of a surrealist sculpture garden in the jungle. So we’ll just launch straight into some photos.