Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca
This appears to be my trip for technology issues if ever there was one. When we left off, I was having issues with the camera, the biggest blob of dust ever. The camera´s dust cleaner was no match for it. The last morning in Mexico City arrived and we were to have a morning walk around the city´s colonial center to see the sights. This started before the place to take my camera opened so the guide said he´d take me down there after.
The tour was fun. I can´t say I had enough time to learn a lot about Mexico city, but the cathedral was beautiful and the murals of Mexico´s history painted in the 1940s in the palace were quite impressive.
After that was over, we popped up to deal with my camera. So thankful the guide came with me as it would have been a big challenge on my own. He stopped in the camera shop again and the same lady who had helped me the day before was there. The place she said to take it was actually upstairs in the same building. The address meant nothing to me, but it was all part of the same outfit and supposedly one of the best in Mexico City. Upstairs, no English at all, but I doubt they get a ton of tourists in trying to fix their cameras after all. This is where the guide, Armando, was incredibly helpful. They looked over my camera and came back with yes they could clean it before the day was over, so forms filled out, camera left behind and part of the group went off to see the Anthropological Museum. I might have chosen the city bus tour or something else but I really had limited time since I needed to get back to my camera around 5pm.
The anthropological museum was awesome. It was an incredibly overwhelming amount to see in two hours. In fact, I didn´t see it all. I was on overload long before that. Some great artifacts from places I´ve been and places I may never see in person. Well worth a visit if you enjoy history at all.
Got my camera back in the late afternoon. It´s ironic that none of my photos of Mexico City are with it. They are all from the point and shoot camera I carry with me so I can have a pocket cam if I want. It will be interesting to see the results in the end. The camera seems to work like new now, though, so pretty happy with their work. Would recommend them if someone I knew needed them!
Next morning, bright and early start for Puebla, which was just an an overnight stop. We had a quick orientation of the city, ate and then wandered on our own. I thought Puebla was incredibly beautiful. Great colors, awesome buildings, and nice people. I really hated that we only had the one evening there, not nearly enough.
It was also in Oaxaca that I had to find a pharmacy. That part was not hard, it was the dealing with the language barrier that was not so much fun. The problem was my eyes had gotten super irritated from the pollution. The last city to have that effect on me was Cairo. My eyes were red and burning even a day after leaving. Luckily they had someone in the back who spoke enough English to gather what I needed. Unlike pharmacies back home, everything is behind the counter, so no wandering the aisles to find on one´s own. I´m happy to report, though, after a dose in the afternoon and one that night, my eyes were happy again. I fear that this shows I couldn´t stay in Mexico City long. Yikes!
The following morning another early morning departure and sad farewell to Puebla. Maybe I´ll make it back some day, but on to the next stop on the tour, Oaxaca! This would be the city in which our group would welcome the new year. We had lunch and a wander and I think a lot of people took the chance to tidy up a bit (I for one had showered the night before so that I could sleep a bit later).
Dinner was next on the agenda for a small part of the group. I had a Tlalluda (not positive about the spelling). I had seen one from a street vendor near the anthropological museum and wanted to try it. I´m not sure how to describe it other than using a tortilla like a pizza with refried beans, veggies and cheese as toppings. Toss on a little meat for mine and it was yummy! In fact, I had another for lunch today. This one for some reason came folded like a calzone.
Most of the group saw in 2011 in a loud night club near the hotel. I spent some time there but I have never been someone who enjoys an environment so loud I can´t hear others speak. Plus, I´m sorry, I don´t understand coming thousands of miles to spend New Years like I could back home. Luckily there were some like minds and about the time the clock struck twelve, we were in the main square where the locals were. There was no kind of organized fireworks show but half the locals had fireworks and firecrackers. Tons of booms and pops and a flashes! The really funny and at the same time dangerous part were that many of the fireworks that weren´t meant to go into the night sky came flying into the crowd. As none hit me, I can say the event was awesome and very memorable! Probably for much the same reason that people bunjee jump and skydive, that thrill of possible injury. Still, we all eventually decided we´d had enough thrills and left the locals to party late into the night. Off to bed, I´m so predictible in that regard.
I slept super late ltoday, close to 11:30am. Today was a free day and between the other early mornings and the fact we have an overnight bus leaving at 9am tonight, I wanted to get my beauty rest. I was still up before my room mate, but given he got in well after I did, no surprise there.
Aside from lunch and a brief convo with some others from the group who I found having breakfast nearby, I´ve just wandered with the camera. It´s a beautiful day with fluffy white clouds and a striking blue sky hanging over these great colored buildings. I´m hoping for a few winners from the batch. As we don´t meet back up until 8pm, I´ll probably wander a bit more before the day is out. I just wanted to take the chance to sit down at a computer and catch my blog up.
And here arrives the other fun from my trip. Two nights ago, my netbook, which is practically new, said goodnight. I still have no real clue what its issue is but can´t resolve it I´m sure until I´m home. It clicked off and just won´t power up. When you hit the power button, the battery light which otherwise shows a 100% charge, just glows orange for a second and shuts off. I´ve tried it with and without the battery plugged into AC power, nada. I´m guessing battery or the part of the board that handles power somehow fried. Seriously displeased but not a lot I can do.
It´s not just that the computer simplified my life in not needing to hunt for internet (most of the hotels seem to have WiFi), but it was also my second copy of all my photos. Now I´m down to just keeping the one copy on my hard drive I carry. I don´t have nearly enough memory cards to make it through a whole trip without offloading them along the way onto my hard drive.
After all the technology woes and a general weariness already, believe it or not, I´m considering cutting this trip shorter if I can wrangle a ticket home earlier. Then I can take care of my technology before something else dies on me… knock wood… and maybe either road trip a little or arrange something else. I dunno, we´ll see. I´ve made no decisions yet.
Anyway, welcome everyone to 2011!