Posts from the “Travel” Category

Burning Light

Posted on 15 April 2018

I stepped out of our car and the heat dripped off me. I squinted my eyes against the sun. We had arrived in Puerto Escondido. Everything seemed to shimmer. I’m not a beach person. I prefer cold beaches to hot ones. I’m not even a water person. Even so, we drove through and then descended the hills of Oaxaca state from the regional capital to the coast to introduce ourselves to another part of Mexico. Discomfort is worth the knowledge and experience. Puerto Escondido was the most touristy place we’d visited, and I can see why. We walked down the stairs to Playa Carrizalillo as the sun was setting. The bay, the clear blue water, the sand; I had to admit this was a…

A Tree and Water

Posted on 6 March 2018

We parked near the town plaza of Santa María del Tule and approached the square. The greenery of an enormous tree towered ahead of us, utterly overshadowing the church beside it. This tree, El Árbol del Tule, is the world’s widest tree and is, at the very least, over 1,000 years old – and some believe it is much older than that. What no one needs to believe, though, because it’s obvious, is that this tree is majestic. After paying the few pesos’ entry into the square, we circled the trunk. It was impossible to capture the its size in our camera frames. So we walked under the outstretched branches and just did our best. El Árbol del Tule, given its age, has seen…

Rise and Fall

Posted on 22 February 2018

It’s early in the morning but the sun is already sharp above us, the air clear. We’re among the first onto the grounds of Monte Albán that day, which I like, because the grassy plains between the pyramids stretch out empty before me. What I imagine as a once-busy square is now abandoned like the city itself was about a thousand years ago. We scale the pyramids, shoes disturbing tufts of grass that have made a home amid the rocks. We look out at the flattened ridge top before us. How did they do that? We walk around the edge of the city and look out over the valley below. How did they build a city, up here? And why did they leave? What…

Patterns

Posted on 28 January 2018

As you zoom in on a map, from country to region to state to city to neighborhood, somehow more, rather than less, appears. Dimensions and edges and corners reveal themselves, and the expanse of what you’ll never quite grasp makes itself clear yet again. Planning for a trip is an exercise in this realization that there is too much space, too many layers, never enough time: one article leads to another, one destination to another, and then you realize you have a month rather than a few days on your hands. At least. But still, these research endeavors do reveal things, and that is how we came to drive from Mexico City, up over and through Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl National Park, to Puebla. As…

The Sun and the Moon and Here We Are

Posted on 8 January 2018

The one-hour bus ride from Mexico City turned into three but at least buskers kept us company with their music. Traffic sped, slowed, and crawled to an almost stop. One accident ahead was all it took to throw everything off. At one point, Teotihuacán was the largest city in the Western hemisphere, and one of the largest in the world, home to some 100,000 people, perhaps more. Moreover, though we don’t know exactly who built it, we do know that multiple ethnicities lived there. Its grandiosity is all the more staggering when you consider it was constructed roughly 2,000 years ago. Humans have really been very capable for a very long time. What else have we been? Teotihuacán takes time to wander. We walked…