Mexico 40, 27th May 2004

I didn't have a very calm night, and for a surprising reason. I took a late night stroll around he plaza and noticed 3 people sleeping under the arches on the north side, and 3 more just adjacent to my van. They had obviously all (sensibly) decided that near the police station was the best place to be. I've got no problem with that! But my lot talked and talked until about midnight. Then they started again about 4:30. It was impossible to sleep. I upped and moved before dawn was breaking then stopped down the road to sleep again. There was a lot of movement before 6 am, in the dark, people setting up stalls. A lot of people do seem to work really long hours. OK a lot of the time they are just sitting waiting for customers but it is long hours nonetheless.

After waking up the second time I drove very slowly, frequently stopping to admire the view. It was misty, the photos are not too good.

Of course, there were donkeys, again!

I finally arrived at San Martin Huamelulpan and looked at the museum. It is amazing how these ancients deformed themselves. Here is a skull showing 2 holes drilled in. (That must have hurt!)

They would flatten or elongate skulls and reshape teeth, or drill holes and insert jewels in teeth.

This little village of 150 inhabitants has this plaza, not to mention a truck, an official car, and at least 4 privately owned taxis. There are cultivated fields. Whist I am sure they are not rich, they do seem more prosperous here than other regions I have seen. I parked on the side of the plaza, ready to visit the ruins in the morning, and passed the time of day with one of the taxi drivers. I think he was inviting me to dinner at one point but I said no thank you, it is difficult to be sure of what is happening when you don't speak the language.

Here's the ball court.

and here's a terrace. For a not very important city, there's a lot of work went into making that terrace. But then I suppose, think of today's plaza in the village, photo above. That took a lot of work too.

For one platform, mountain top leveling, or pyramid building, (I forget exactly which!) at one of the sites I have seen, one of my guide books estimated it took 10,000 men 10 years to complete.

On the way, as I continued, I passed a little region that could have been an English country estate.

Then I found a monastery (ex convent, they call it)

The left has been renovated, the right is awaiting renovation, the middle is under way.

I stayed in Temoszulapan which had animals on the plaza

and my van, if you look carefully.(It's the white patch towards the left!)

I stopped in Huajuapan de Leon to say hello to the people who helped me when I broke there down a couple of months ago.

Then, further on the way, cacti. Almost as far as the eye can see.

Then suddenly the mostly single stem cacti changed to multi stem then just as suddenly stopped altogether.

Now I reached Tehuacan. I found nowhere to park near the centre so did a little shopping, and planned to visit the main plaza early in the morning before anyone else was there. I moved out of the centre and stopped in off in my favourite type of parking spot, a small town type plaza with church alongside.

Best regards

David Barker

Continue to Mexico 41