13th March 2004 Mexico 7

In the afternoon I just carried on down the road, took a photo of a village en route,

The monastery at Yahuitlan,

then turned off on a little used track for the night

and lo and behold. Whilst I was admiring the sunset 4 people walked past, presumably parents and two 20ish daughters, all dressed for the town, high heels etc. We exchanged pleasantries. In the morning, 7.30, I was about to move off when a young man walked past, again dressed for town. I gave him a lift to the next town.

(I suppose I had better mention that only the daughters were wearing high heels, and that while I no doubt make lots of errors I can actually tell the difference between strings of sausages and garlands of chili peppers. Duh!)

I drove straight by Oaxica, too much traffic and I'm coming back through the town, but by a different route. I want to get to the Yucatan without too much delay, before it gets it's hottest. I did stop and look at Yagul, ruins of a settlement, the remaining bits built around 750 AD

After that was Mittla (The place of the dead) which was thought to be a ceremonial centre. Some superb friezes

Which were in a line on top of 3 doorways. I found a more impressive set of friezes by another courtyard

Hard to tell but they were all made from tiles

They had some super tourist stalls

I watched a man ask a price, he was told 110 pesos (10 pesos=$1) he bid 100 pesos and seemed well satisfied to agree a bargain at that price. So did the stallholder. I am about the world's worst bargainer but I'll bet he could have got it for about 30 pesos! (I did today manage to buy 3 small avocados for 5 pesos, originally offered as only 2 for 5 pesos)

I stopped late at a not perfect place for the night, saw a super sunset, jumped out and took a photo.

Then I realised the flash had come in automatically. So I turned off the flash, put the camera on a tripod, set for delayed exposure so I would not wobble the camera with the extended exposure, and took the perfect picture.

Goodnight and best regards

David Barker

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