Prepping and Packing

The big trip looms!  I’m obsessed!   Will a suitcase 22” x 15” do me for 5 weeks?

1 pair of trainers seem to take up most of the suitcase

Good day to you all! ( In the unlikely event you are reading my blog. )

In case you haven’t read my “about me” I’m 71 and determined to keep the pathways of my brain open by forcing myself out of my comfort zone and doing things only a lunatic of 50 would do.

Last year- transport to the river

Part 1:

San José de los Laureles, Tlayacapan, Morelos

I stay in great luxury with my sister and brother-in-law outside this remote village.  By the end of a week I can usually pronounce at least the first two syllables of our shopping village, Tlayacapan.  Margarita comes in every day, dedicated to making our lives ridiculously comfortable.  She is the last of the maids in her family, having a lawyer, teacher and factory supervisor for children.

Gorgeous San José house

Photo by Adam Wiseman

Concerns:  getting there!  The bus station is a jumble of chaos, a pile of people, and a cacophony of announcements.  I will wheel around in a state of confusion trying to find the bus to Tlayacapan.

Part 2:

Out with the old, in with the new

A road trip with my 15 year old great nephew Mitch.  He’s taking his GCSE this year and gets a half term break and actually wants to come.

Mitch in Scotland this year

Photo by Adam Wiseman

Me: Mitchy, you don’t want to travel with me … do you?? Do you??

Him: Yes, I like old people, kids my age are a pain!

I don’t wipe the smile off my face for a week.  On this subject, I have serious trouble finding travel buddies.  Not only because I’m tricky but I don’t think this thing of going out of comfort  zones has allure for many of my friends.  It was beyond my wildest dreams to get such a great companion.  (nobody ever seems to come twice… be warned Mitch!)

So part 2 I scoop Mitch off the plane at 4 a.m. and we fly to the Yucatán later in the day.  We will head for the cenotes (natural reservoir of underground water), archaeological sites and who knows what else?  Beaches and eating, wrestling and markets… 5 days.  Sounds easy!   Sounds fun!

Cenote

Concerns: he plays chess, I don’t.  I play backgammon, he doesn’t.  He hates word games, I love them.

Part 3:

Solo Adventure

I fly to Managua Nicaragua.  I’m heading for Rio San Juan in the south and need to finish the trip I started last year. This includes visiting the Rama who are one of Nicaragua's three main indigenous groups living on the Caribbean coast.   I'm not sure where my Rama guide is taking me but I get to spend a night in their community.  This is one of the villages where they live.

           Rama community

After a year to reflect about swimming in the river I have decided I was fool hardy.  I have been reading about bull sharks that inhabit the waters and other creepy things, one of which came home with me lodged in my arm and caused me a lot of annoying time in the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.  The guide swears that the alligators never swim in the tributaries but I say, “How do they know not to turn left or right?”  Reminder to myself: However hot I am DO NOT SWIM!

Oh! And do sloths bite?

Concerns:  I have a horrible feeling that my face in repose is bad tempered.  So when I’m dying of loneliness on day nine, I’ll still be scowling at people.

Talk to me please!

Part 4:

Family!

Cambridge, Boston, the home of three of my precious grand-children, my son and my daughter-in-law.

Concerns:  Arriving in flip flops and T shirt in minus 20 degrees centigrade.

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