Mexico, One Noisy Country

43aae-chihuahuabarkingI’m currently trying to sleep in the back of my 1973 VW bus but all I can do is listen to the chorus of dogs barking up a storm as if Hannibal himself were at the gates to the city. Where do all these dogs come from? I decided to hop on my bike and ride up to the store for some tylenol, a simple 2 Km roll up the hill and around the bend. I didn’t get 3 blocks before I was chased by a pack of 3 dogs, the little cocker spaniel leading the charge with two big mutts in full tow. Their barking cued the towns canines into yet another chorus of howls and yelps and left me panting for breath at the doors of the local Oxxo, a Mexican version of 7-11.

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Tikal, Flores and El Remate

IMG_0100Located in the Peten jungle of Northern Guatemala are the impressive and expansive Mayan ruins of Tikal. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage site, it was one of the largest Mayan cities in the pre-Columbian Mayan realm and the site was used as a rebel base in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Apart from ruins you will also have the opportunity to see plenty of jungle wildlife at Tikal including Howler Monkeys, Coatimundi and Scarlet Macaws. The Tikal ruins are a worthwhile side trip if you only have a day and even better if you can spare a few.

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San Ignacio: An Overlooked Gem

IMG_0021If there’s a town in Central America that I really enjoy returning to it’s San Ignacio in the Cayo district of Belize. It’s a little rough around the edges in a charming sort of way. The climate is refreshing and not too stiflingly hot like the coast. There are ruins nearby and while none of them might compare to Tikal (3 hours away) or Chichenitza, they’re still worth a visit. The town is in close proximity to plenty of jungle walks, it’s bordered by two rivers and there is enough bird life to keep an ornithologist busy for weeks. My favorite characteristic of San Ignacio is the people. It’s the kind of place where everyone says good morning and the children are well behaved.

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Baja California: Guerrero Negro to Todos Santos

23As previously pointed out in part one of this trip, Guerrero Negro is the halfway point on the trip to the southern tip of Baja California. It’s a quiet littleĀ  one road town with a population of around 15,000. We stopped in for a quick bite to eat but Guerrero Negro was not our final destination for the day, Ojo de Liebre or Scammons Lagoon was.

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Baja California: From Tijuana to Guerro Negro

16I don’t know what it is but there are certain places I get excited about when I’m traveling in my VW bus. Places like the state of California and San Fransisco come to mind because of their ties with the hippies and surfers. Baja California also makes its way onto that list probably because the name itself contains California but it’s also one of those classic sojourns that you want to do in a Volkswagen. Colin, a friend of mine from Vancouver, had some time off so he agreed to meet me in San Diego and the two of us were going to drive the 1500 km’s to the tip of Baja and back again.

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Send a postcard!

13340951091468187350Tropical Postcard.svg.hiWhen you’re on the road one of things that you’re going to have to do is keep in touch with family back home. Your friends will want to know where you are and your family will want to know that you’re safe. It’s one thing to setup a travel blog or send out mass emails to people but it’s quite another to kick it old school and send a postcard.

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San Cristobal de las Casas

IMG_0043A days bus ride from Mexico City and you’ll find yourself in the refreshingly cool highlands of Chiapas, one of my favorite Mexican destinations and a place that I will return to time and time again. My two favorite destinations, highlighted in this article, are San Cristobal de las Casas and the Mayan ruins at Palenque. read more…

San Blas on the Pacific Coast

sanblas02San Blas, located a few hours south of Mazatlan or a few hours north of Puerto Vallarta, is a quiet, seaside fishing community with affordable accommodation, a quiet zocalo and a beach with waves large enough to surf. The atmosphere is very friendly with locals smiling and waving or just walking up and sitting next to you on a park bench. I would have to say that I received more smiles in San Blas than any of the other towns and cities that I had visited. read more…

Creel and the Copper Canyon

IMG_0055A couple of hours west of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico is the Copper Canyon or, Barrance del Cobre, as it is known in Spanish. This canyon rivals Ameria’s Grand Canyon in that it is 3 times the size and deeper than the Grand Canyon. The canyon is also home to the Tarahumara indians, the name deriving from “rahumara” or foot runners. read more…

Northern Mexico: Chihuahua

IMG_0033Northern Mexico, with the exception of overnight drunken binges into Tijuana by underage college students, is often overlooked in favour of the beaches and jungles of southern Mexico. For the somewhat adventurous traveler there is still plenty to see and do, especially if your interests include hiking and history. The city of Chihuahua offers plenty to see and do if you have a couple of days. read more…