Sunday 10 December 2006

Mexico cruising

 After leaving San Diego for the start of an amazing cruise we ended up in Cabo San Lucas as our first stop in Mexico. This place is informally known as the end of the world as its the end of the tip that comes off Mexico. Here the air is dry as is the land, but the ocean is clear and wonderful. We kayaked around the end of lands end, and then parked the kayaks on lovers beach and went snorkeling. Here I saw my very first stone fish (the worlds most poisonous fish). Did a bit of boudlering as the rocks/cliffs are perfect for it before kayaking back and doing a quick shop. Then back on board.

The next stop was onto Ixtapa/Puerto Vallata. Here we did a city tour and learned a bit about the history of the place. Wasn't a big fan of the constant congestion and feeling crowded all the time. Was quite gutted that we missed the big flower festival by a day, but the churches that we saw still had a lot of the remains left out for display. The most important building in town had the remainders of the flower day. The reason it is the most important is that it is believed to be blessed above that of a normal church. As during a major earthquake in the towns history, the whole place was flattened apart from the church. Which then provided shelter for the people as they rebuilt their homes.  

For the life of me, I cannot remember what the name of the town we visited next was called but here we visited a coconut farm and a mud brick factory. The coconut plantation was very interesting. Learnt about the cultivation of coconuts and that a 1/4 of the worlds coconut needs are meet by Mexico.  Had a drunk from the local produce and enjoyed the unique taste of coconut juice for the first time in years (since leaving Indonesia). 

After finishing up at the plantation we headed to a nearby local village that had a mud brick fabrication place that was out the back of someones home. The home made kiln and just the amount of effort involved was impressive!They hand mix the clay soil with the right additives, such as straw, to keep the bricks together. They then leave them to harden and dry in the sun for 2 weeks. The final part of creating these mud bricks is to heat/set them in the specially designed kiln. They are then sold locally to build houses with. 

Next stop along the way was Hartulco, which is in Southern Mexico and fantastic. Andrew and I did some river rafting here and saw  a lot of the different vegetation. It was quite different to northern mexico which is much more barren and dry. The river was a refreshing treat and the area was not as crowded as previous places we had been to when we were in town.

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