Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

South from Los Mochis along the coast, sick in Guadalajara, via Morelia to Mexico City.

Flag Mexico Red hot Mexican Chili Peppers.

Friday, June 03 2011

6 years, 10 months, 12 days

Mexico City, Mexico

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 21,224km

Trekking 747km

Ferry 2,778km

Train 6,815km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 159,441km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > north-america > mexico > 20110603-mexico-city

Mexican on-the-road diary.

Map, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacan, Mexico State.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Still licking the wounds of our Copper Canyon trip, we drop of some photos at Lydia's, then leave Los Mochis.

Me in Los Mochis.
In Los Mochis.

21/May Culiacan.

Culiacan, a cultura de la calle festival with the good the bad and the ugly.

Culiacan Cathedral.
Culiacan Cathedral.
Culiacan cultura de la calle. The good the bad and the ugly.
Culiacan cultura de la calle.

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22/May Mazatlan.

Cathedral Mazatlan, run down street.
Cathedral, Mazatlan.

Pleasant Mazatlan has a nice sunset beach, away from the tourist mile one finds the Pacifico brewery, in the cosy centro histórico architecture reminds of the Mexican Empire under Maximilian. When hopping from bar to bar I wonder what it would be to buy one of the blue houses here, put a bar serving excellent drinks in its first floor, more a world music lounge with VJ light show on the walls to generate the ambiance after sunset. I keep dreaming for about 17 Pacificos and 2 tequilas.

Building for sale in Mazatlan. Good for a first floor bar.
Building for sale, Mazatlan
First floor in central historic Mazatlan.
A bar on first floor would be great in here.

Wrapped wet Pacifico.
Wrapped wet Pacifico.
Christina Madonna pose.
Madonna pose.
Mazatlan beach sunset.
Mazatlan sunset.
A good time in Mazatlan
Drinking in Mazatlan.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers. Chilies/Chiles/Chillies whatever the spelling...

Mexican spice.
Mexican spice.

Sinaloa, the stripe of plains which we drive down, from the ocean to the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental Ranges is a prominent agricultural producer, anything can be found from tomatoes, beans, corn to wheat, potatoes, sugarcane, melons, and – chilies.

The red chilies come straight from the bush onto the coco-nut fired grill, the 5-6 hours roasting takes most of the liquid but also the bitter taste, an additional 6-7 days drying in the sun follows suite. It all goes into the fine Mexican hot sauces that go with almost any dish, fruit salad included.

Chili pepper bush, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Red hot Mexican Chili Pepper Bush.
Man emptying fresh red chilies/chillis from a sac on the grill for drying. Sinaloa, Mexico.
Loading chili/chilli oven.
Spreading the chilies out on the roast for drying. Mexico.
Spreading out the chilis.
Red hot chilies/chillis on the roast.
Red hot chilies.
Dried red chilies/chillis on plastic in sun for drying.
Sun drying red hot chili peppers.
Chili peppers after the harvest are being spread out on the grill for drying.
Drying chili peppers.

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23/May San Blas, Nayarit.

South we go from Sinaloa into Nayarit, the tropics take over, birds become more colorful, iguanas cross the path, steamy the air, some days are all cloudy, the first rains a few weeks away still.

Taking small roads we sweat it from village to village, San Blas has a violent ocean, Guayabitos in a bay is much calmer, finally we get to San Francisco in Nayarit, naked feet burn on hot sand, drinking cold beer seems the only solution, - and put the AC on, just for a few minutes, then sweat again.

San Blas mision,
San Blas mision, Nayarit Mexico.
C. and short skirt, San Blas, Nayarit. No-parking sign.
Short skirt.
Tacos, San Blas.
Tacos, San Blas.

Street corner, San Blas. Taco stand opening for evening.
Street corner, San Blas.
Taco Stand, San Blas.
Taco Stand, San Blas.
C. and my old FujiFilm S3.
My old S3.

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25/May Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

Our Lady of Guadalupe' church. Puerto Vallarta.
Our Lady of Guadalupe' church.
Church tower of Puerto Vallarta, Our Lady of Guadalupe' church.
Lady of Guadalupe.

Still the pelicans follow, Jalisco.
Still the pelicans
Sunset, birds, island near Puerto Vallarta.
Sunset, birds, island.

Late afternoon we ride out of Puerto Vallarta for further south, as an idea a tiny road over the mountains to Manzanilo, destiny spills us back when we discover what we have in fuel would not be enough; after so many years on the road I know when to listen. After a night where I feel the energy fading already we leave so early, early morning for Guadalajara over the mountains, past raicilla distilleries and agave plantations. The road is long, hot, arduous and beautiful.

Raicilla distillery, Jalisko. Fire in oven.
Raicilla distillery.
Agave for Raicilla, western Jalisco.
Agave for Raicilla.

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26/May Guadalajara.

Totally exhausted after 10 hours driving we cruise Guadalajara's city center for 3 hours, find a hotel, a beer and I sleep in knowing I am sick. I wake at midnight and a tennis ball is stuck in my throat, swallowing tiny quantities of water has become as painful as spitting out green, thick, large clods. I stumble down to get salt from the van, gurgling salt water is the only remedy I can think of, the only remedy avail. I sleep, gurgle, spit, keep gurgling, sip some hot lemon tea, some spicy chicken stock and vegetables for almost 48 hours.

On 3rd eve here we walk round a bit, after 2 hours I am just glad to be back at the hotel, when I fall asleep there is thunderbolt and lightening outside, but still no rain. Morning comes, first morning where swallowing is possible, weak still we dare a second walk and some Pacificos, 4th night, 4th morning, the same hotel, the ball has been spit out and with some tristeza we leave.

Colorful street corner, Guadalajara.
Colorful street, Guadalajara.
Autopartes de Occidente, Guadalajara. Wall where plaster comes off.
Autopartes de Occidente.
Empty bottles in cases stacked on top of each other, street Guadalajara.
Empty bottles.
The street Guadalajara, old begging woman.
Old begging woman.
Vintage car in street Guadalajara.
Vinatge car.
Girls enter garage, Guadalajara.
Girls enter garage.
Cathedral, Guadalacara, silhuette of towers and cupola against setting sun.
Cathedral.
Evening street Guadalajara.
Evening, street.

There is something colorful and something run-down, something provincial and something metropolitan to Guadalajara, the tens biggest city in Latin America ideally deserves another, second visit. A mariachi festival is held in September, maybe I can be back for that.

After a walk round Tlaquepaque we turn to Lake Chapala, still and hazy. No-stress, a beef stew and Corona, the feet high we watch the birds go by.

Brick church on Lake Chapala.
Brick church.
Lake Chapala, tree on red rock, lake in a haze.
Lake Chapala.
Car window smashed by some kid.
Smashed by some kid.
Venta de Cerveza aqui.
Cerveza aqui.

Village on Lake Chapala.
Cleaning up in village.

Along the evening lake on country roads we pass small lost rural communities with stunning late views on the hazy flat below. We reach Jamay for night and after much back and forward end in the wrong spot and I know it, we both sense it; some kids on bicycles smashes the rear window, I see the jubilating brats ride off, roar out proud of their deed; just brats but today's brats are likely those involved in the drug trade tomorrow.

Next day on the way the 4th trash yard where we ask has our used rear side screen, we get it fixed in Zapoco, already in Michoacan. Zapoco has an idyllic clear lake, the source is right underneath, there is a shop next to it which has Venta de Cerveza aqui painted outside, I love Mexico!

Zapoco is at an elevation of 2,000m, Guadalajara was around 1,500, since we left the coast and drove up the Sierra Madre Mountains we have kept on the top, on the plateau, the heat is bearable, dry compared to the tropical coastal plains.

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1/June Morelia.

Morelia, the best so-far, is a delight in architecture, historic buildings that house art schools and conservatories, classical oboe or violoncello music reaches the ear as we cross the students' compounds and colonnade shaded university court yards. The atmosphere is right in Morelia, maybe another place to send my boys to university, after all Mexico is expected by some to be the 5th largest economy on earth by 2050, you want to go where the music plays.

Morelia, a man with hat walks by a colorful house facade.
Morelia, man.
Cathedral Morelia, Michoacan.
Cathedral Morelia.
Towers of Morelia cathedral.
Towers of cathedral.

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2/June Mexico City.

Cathedral Mexico City.
Mexico City.
Cathedral Mexcio City.
Cathedral Mexcio City.

Mexico City smile.
Mexico City smile.

We spend an evening and a few hours of sleep in Toluca, my inner system wakes me at 3 in the morning as it is best to get up early on such days. Toluca is already at an altitude of over 2,600m, in Europe this would be considered high Alpine. At night we drive out and climb a 3 lane highway that reaches an elevation of almost 3,200m just 20km before Mexico City, a 20 million people metropolis. Yes, if you want to enter a megacity swiftly you come by night; and we drop down into the Valley of Mexico, ride the serpentines chased by the trucks who know their way which I don't, a speedy descent all the way to the grand tree lined boulevards of Ciudad de México, at 2,300m. At 5 still all is completely dark when we face a deserted center with market, Metropolitan Cathedral, all dimly lit, spooky, lots blue and red lights of police cars on every corner. After some cruising we find a place and sleep.

Well that was a bit of a rushed run on the capital, sometimes it's like this. We see Mexico's national icon Our Lady of Guadalupe, walk the City Center from the Cathedral to the Palace of Fine Arts, have some drinks in Zona Rosa or is it La Condesa, we know nothing yet and have more drinks and fly out on June 5th, Christina to Eugene, I to Miami.

Hasta la vista. We'll be back soon.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > north-america > mexico > 20110603-mexico-city

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