Mexico 57, 12th July 2004

After sending emails I opened the can of Czech beer that Lucie and Lukas had given me, that they had carried with them in their back packs from the Czech Republic. Mmmmm! Delicious!

It turned out the dirt road was only about 2 miles long and was the bypass
to the town. If I had stayed in the town centre and taken a left out of the
plaza I would have been on paved roads all the way. The scenery improved.

I've got loads more photos like this. It's great when you are driving through it, but after 2 or 3 the pictures all look the same.

I reached the Pacific Ocean again.

I turned inland a short distance, checked email, and continued to a small town where there was an army post next to a small closed up looking plaza. (Neither of the two shops on the plaza was open, the police office looked permanently shut) Can I park here I asked a soldier. Not just there he said - I was right in front of his sandbagged lookout post - on the plaza is OK. We'll watch out he indicated, tapping his eye and pointing.

I was early, so I walked around the plaza, I sat on the plaza, then I cooked dinner. All the while a small cat or kitten was yowling, moving from under my van to a car the other side of the road, then back. I made dinner then sat on the steps by the back of the van, talked, sort of, to some locals and tried to make friends with the meowling cat. It was as thin as you can imagine almost like a pencil on long thin legs and scruffy as could be. I picked it up, it weighed nothing.

Finally I went to bed, and slept badly. Partly as a result of sitting outside in the low country where I discovered later I had been bitten to death and I itched all night, partly due to the now unaccustomed heat, and partly due to the yowling cat, now under my van all the time because the other car had now gone, and it was raining. The cat didn't stop yowling and didn't go. First problem I solved sensibly, with Sting Eze. For anyone travelling to biting insect areas do not travel without some form of insect bite reliever. For me Sting Eze works brilliantly.

Second problem I solved stupidly. Do not do what I did. I fed the cat in the morning. I had some steaks I'd bought but found tough. After a whole steak, cut up in small pieces, the cat stopped yowling and didn't go. It now looked like a pencil with a big bulge in the middle. I noticed it had lost most of it's whiskers a while back, they were all cut off evenly, and now they were growing again, and it had scrapes on one ear. Because it had been around the square so long and was so thin and scruffy I presumed it was living wild. I hope it was, because I took pity on it and brought it with me. Like I said, stupid.

So now I am travelling with small cat which has hardly ever stopped purring or sleeping since I picked it up, often doing both at the same time, I'll have to find a home for it eventually but meanwhile I can put a bit of weight on it.

Later in the morning it started raining again so I stopped driving. No sense in driving in the rain, nothing to see. I made friends with the cat, looked at my guide books, checked some stuff on the computer then looked at a beach. The sand here is black.

I continued to Cuyutlan where I checked out the salt museum and the turtle museum. They were collecting coconuts from the coconut grove behind the museum, wow, I haven't seen that before. No ropes, no safety, just climbing.

I tried it myself later, no way have I got the strength to do that!

The book said it was OK to park an RV at the turtle museum but they said not, but no problem to park on the beach, so I parked on the beach.

The cat won't go out of the van unless I go out, it follows me around, and when I go back in the van, he does too. (It's a he. I've looked!)

I couldn't swim there in the morning, huge breakers, so I moved back to the beach by the town. Lots of people,

lots of them. Here there was a shallow part, OK to wade out into the sea but not really deep enough to swim before another breaker knocked you back. I had fun for half an hour and gave up, picking up a shower on the way out. Hot showers for 10 pesos they said. No hot water but in this heat it didn't really matter.

Manzanillo was not really exciting. I thought I might stay in the not exciting trailer park but seemed it was shut so I asked if I could park in the Pemex petrol station. Yes, no problem.

Best regards

David Barker

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