Ensenada, Baja California   June 19, 2016   Pat's hip surgery in May went well; he is feeling much better and is working on strengthening his muscles.  We have been working on our boat to get it ready to sail south in the fall.  On June 19, we left our boat in Ensenada and drove our car (a Toyota Prius) to our home in Merida, Mexico, about 2600 miles!   Sushi is with us, and she is a great traveler. 

Our overnight stops included Gila Bend, AZ, El Paso, TX, Del Rio, TX and Laredo, TX where we crossed the border.  We had to get our car import permit prior to crossing which took us a few hours due to the long line.  It's harder to find pet friendly hotels in Mexico, but we managed to find some.  Our first stop in Mexico was Matehuala, at Las Palmas Midway Inn, a 50's style hotel, nothing fancy but clean and convenient.  We spent two nights at Mineral de Pozos, a small, old mining town in the mountains.  Some artists and expats have moved here, and there are some good restaurants and hotels.  We stayed at El Secreto B&B; it was charming and the breakfast was terrific.

 

 

 

Our next overnight stop was Orizaba, followed by one night in Villahermosa Tabasco and finally, Merida!  It was a long trip (9 days), but it all went smoothly and we were glad we took our time.  We are enjoying our home; there's a few things to get fixed and work in the garden.  After that, it's all about relaxing and swimming in our pool.   Sushi is enjoying our garden and swims (unwillingly) one lap every day with us.

After 5 1/2 weeks at our home, we began our drive back to Ensenada.  On our way, we plan to spend 2 weeks in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. We had never visited that part of Mexico, so we were excited.  Because of the long drive, we stopped one night in Palenque.   In San Cristobal, we rented a house on the outskirts of the downtown, which was easier with our dog.  We enjoyed our stay in the highlands; the elevation is 7200 ft. so it was cool during the day and cold at night.  Most homes do not have central heating; luckily, we had a fireplace to keep us warm.  We enjoyed exploring the town, with its food and artisan markets (textiles and amber are a speciality), beautiful churches and museums.  The principal ethnicity is Tzozil and Tzeltal, indigenous Mayan cultures.

We visited the orchid gardens; they had a very large collection of local orchids.

There are some great places to hike nearby the town; we enjoyed it with Sushi.

We visited the nearby town of Zincantan, settled in the 1400's by the Aztecs.  We were in search of some textiles, and we were pleasantly surprised to find it was a fiesta day, the Patron Saint's day.  Many people were dressed in traditional dress and attended church and other social activities.  How lucky we were to see this colorful gathering of people.

We visited the home of a textile weaver and bought a few textiles.

A woman was selling black sheep wool, which is used to make traditional clothing.

Zapatistas, a leftist political group, still operate in Chiapas.  They controlled some of the toll booths in the area, which was discounted.

We drove to Fortin de las Flores in Veracruz and stayed two nights.  We continued our trip with a one week stay in San Miguel de Allende.  It's one of our special places to visit; it was nice to relax and enjoy the city, entertainment and great restaurants.

We enjoyed cocktails, tapas and the view at the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel.

It's always hard to leave San Miguel, but all good things must come to an end.  We arrived back on our boat in Ensenada on Aug. 26. 

In September, Pat visited his family in New York, and I visited my mom and sister in San Francisco.  I also met my son, Armand, and his friend Danielle in Guerneville where we enjoyed some wine tasting.

The boat is just about ready, and we will sell our car next week to a dealership.  Although it is still hurricane season through October, we are waiting for good weather to go south, down the Baja coast.  We're tired of being in a marina, and we look forward to our next adventure.

 

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