Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The desert, like the ocean, hypnotizes, tames, calms down. In the sun of the winter midday, the silhouettes of the cactuses resemble people, I guess that during the summer with the high temperatures a disoriented visitor would shout to these immobile giants in search of directions to get out of this lunar desert.
It is said that some enter the desert but never come back. The spiders, snakes, scorpions and so on are scary companions on those occasions.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Puerto Peñasco es un pueblo que tiene el honor (si es que acaso lo es) de tener el mayor índice de desarrollo urbanístico del mundo en estos momentos. Esto en otras palabras significa que se están construyendo auténticos monstruos en primera línea de playa para los gringos que vienen a pasar gran parte de sus vacaciones a este lado de la frontera.
Otros honores que distinguen al lugar son el hecho de su cercanía al Pinacate y el Desierto del Gran Altar (donde la NASA entrenaba a sus astronautas) y ser el lugar donde se alojó Gael García Bernal durante el rodaje de Babel, rodaje que se llevó a cabo en parajes cercanos.
A parte de estos hechos aislados, Puerto Peñasco es un sitio de los que se puede obviar; si no fuera porque aquí vive Sara, mi amiga.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Sara and I hadn't spent too much time together for some years. We've been friends for fourteen plus years. We met at University. At first, Sara hated me, at least, that's what she confessed me when she finally gave in and became my friend. I grow on people little by little. I know that now.
After the comforting cup of coffee we resumed our journey and went through the breathtaking Oak Creek Canyon where we first saw snow and continued north to Flagstaff. We arrived at the Grand Canyon at 14:00 pm after paying a 25 US$ entrance fee (that allows you to enter the National Park during one week).
The Grand Canyon is a stunning place although there was too much snow for the outfits we were wearing. We weren't prepared at all for that weather (-10 degrees Celsius at night). After spending the afternoon there, we left the park.
On the way back, Sara gave in and let me drive her automatic car. It was my first time to drive such a car and I must confess: I didn't like it. Not only did it lack a clutch but it also had the speedometre in Kilometres (the road signs are in miles), making the journey absolutely tense as I was trying to work out what on earth 55 miles per hour was in kilometres as well as looking for a non-existing clutch to change a non-existing gear. At the same time, Sara would shout at me ¨Slow down, slow down!¨ every time we went past a police patrol. Once, she even said to me if they stop us, you do not speak English. I could not understand what the reasoning was behind that statement, anyway nobody stopped us. Luckily.
Friday, January 11, 2008
"I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."
Mexico is a contradiction in terms just like many other countries. Considering its GDP Mexico is the 14th World Economy, although until 2005 it had been the 9th one, however, welfare distribution is so unequal in the country that there are towns with Human Development Indexes similar to those in Germany and some others with HDI close to Burundi's; furthermore, Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, lives in Mexico and at the same time, in Mexico there is the poorest town in Latin America.
So that's where I went. I did not know it at the time, of course. I made up my mind about this trip just a few days before New Year's Eve and it was thought and done. On January the 11th I was at Barajas airport with my tiny backpack and my passport. This was the first time I was crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The first time I was going to America. For those who haven't flown to the USA, I'll tell you: You need have an address, if not, they won't let you in the country. My little hippie way of traveling doesn't fit with the USA immigration law in force, so this was the cause of my first discussion with a ground hostess at Madrid's airport. I don't have an address, I don't know where I'll stay while in the USA, I'll figure it out when I get there *if I ever do get there*.... Well these are the type of statements which are not necessary, just say "Holiday Inn"; it'll be a much quicker check-in . That's what I did when I finally gave in.
I flew to Phoenix, Arizona's capital city. Phoenix is one typical USA city: there are no people on the streets, only cars. So this is why. This is where all that fuss about Iraq came from. This is why, you invaded a country. To provide really cheap petrol for all these fat North Americans, so they'll never have to walk anywhere else.
Sara, my friend, was waiting for me at the airport and so did Arita, a Mexican friend of hers who's been living in Phoenix for seven years, and Aglae, Arita's sister who works with Sara in Mexico. It was a fine welcome.
We went, by car, to get something to eat but it was difficult because it was already ten in the evening. When we finally did find a place to eat I discovered why since I got into the country I had been finding boxes close to the cash desks. To put the waiters' tips into them, tips which are compulsory in the USA. (Traveling is learning, isn't it?) Obviously, I had failed to comply with the non-written law on tips in the USA.
Crossing so many time zones wears one out, so after eating we finally found ourselves a cheap motel and went to sleep. Motels in the USA have two peculiarities: they all have a Holy Bible beside your bed (just for you to read in case of being a little bit lost I guess...) and they all have coffee machines, so you can help yourself any time.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
On my list of places to visit, there were two special ones: Mexico and Japan. They are special for me because I have friends living there right now.
I have made my first wish come true. I will be traveling to Mexico next week and therefore I will be able to silence my traveling bug for a while; I hope just long enough to keep me going until the Spring...