Posts Tagged ‘music’

Pyramids and town fair

1st May 2011 by Helen
climbing the pyramid of the sun

climbing the pyramid of the sun

Yesterday we were looking for the pyramids we knew to be in the area just NE of Mexico City.  We got sidetracked by the setting up of a town fair in Tecamac and camped in a nearby Pemex garage (another night with earplugs for Paul of course, me I just slept).

Anyway, today we found and explored the pyramids at Teotihuacan.   Paul in particular marvelled at the engineering feat in creating such a perfect layout of the pyramids so that the celestial sky was represented on earth and everything was level.

musical acrobatic display seen in several places around Mexico

musical acrobatic display seen in several places around Mexico

It wasn’t until we visited the Anthropological museum in Mexico city a few days later that we really began to get a grip on the culture and history of the site.  There are hundreds of artefacts on display there.  The culture seemed more advanced that we might have expected and the site itself is enormous. 

We did not fully understand the significance of all the tourist souvenirs being hawked by the hundreds of hawkers at the site – the obsidian heads, funeral masks, as well as various items of jewellery.  However these also made more sense once we had been to the museum.

brightly dressed dancers at Tecamac town fair

brightly dressed dancers at Tecamac town fair

Afterwards we returned to the town of Tecamac.  This appears to be quite a small town yet the extent of the fair is amazing.  We watched a troop of young musicians play some eight or more pieces of music, all with choreography, lasting at least half an hour.  There were some very energetic dancers, in traditional Indian costumes, who again danced for what was absolutely ages without flagging.

Tomorrow we are due to meet up with Jaime and travel into Mexico City.  So for tonight we returned to the Pemex garage on the way into the city.

Campsite – Pemex garage on Highway 57

Distance travelled – 117 km

Face to face with a Cheetah

5th March 2011 by Helen

2011 03 05 (15) - Land Rover Marin - Landy set upWhat a fantastic day we’ve had today.  We’d arranged to take Landy along to the Land Rover Dealership at Corta Madera, between the campsite where we’ve been staying and San Francisco itself.  Doughnuts for elevenses and a buffet lunch helped keep us going as we talked to the many people who came through the doors during the day.  Paul had put together a video comprising footage and stills taken mainly from our Central Asian leg, which played in the background to the accompanying sounds of Mongolian Throat Music.  This is generally an acquired taste in music but somehow the beat and rhythm gets under your skin and is actually quite addictive.

The kids (and some moms and dads) enjoyed taking advantage of peeking into our bedroom (tent).   A few took our ‘ten tips for overlanding’ leaflets.  A few others wanted a peek under the bonnet when they read our sign about how we fixed the damage caused by the accident with the horse in Siberia (fan shroud made of baked bean cans and gaffer tape).  We demonstrated our hand operated water filtration system on some water doctored with some mud and grass from the campsite – and with a cheer for the parents who let their kids drink the (perfectly safe) filtered water.

2011 03 05 (7) - Land Rover Marin - Tango posing on tableWe took our turn to wander around the showroom and have a look at Tango the cheetah who had been brought in as the other half of the attraction for this Land Rover family day out.  This amazing big cat lounged on the table and periodically stretched as he was supervised by his handlers, completely oblivious of the flashing of camera lights and gaggle of people staring at him.  And this cheetah charmed us all with some very loud purring.  We learned how the cheetah is a shy animal more inclined to run away than attack, but is often lumped together with the more aggressive members of the big cat family and shot, leading to its numbers becoming dangerously low.  Tango is helping promote the development of a new cheetah sanctuary in Kenya, which we hope to visit when we reach that country.

By the end of the day we were exhausted and all talked out but happy.

Seattle to Florida by Jeep

24th November 2010 by Helen

After a few days in Seattle, and with the Jeep repaired, there was nothing more we could do to help oil the wheels of Landy’s passage through port and customs and so we set off again, this time heading straight to Pepsi-Cola (aka Pensacola).

We drove through about nine states (lost count half way), on the quickest route the computer program and Carl could come up with and made it in five days, thanks to some long days’ driving and short nights sleeping.

Despite having had the transmission fixed in Seattle the Jeep saga was not quite over as the tyres (tires) reached their illegal limit and we had to stop off and get them replaced in order to keep going (to summarise, that’s new windscreen, heater fixed and oil change in Anchorage, transmission fixed in Seattle, and new set of boots somewhere around Sioux Falls).

We drive across the Rocky mountains.  Amazing scenery.  More snow covered Christmas trees everywhere.  Temperatures well into the freezing zone day and night.  Coming down from the mountains we cross the central plains of America.  The weather is getting warmer, the ground is flatter.  Then finally we reach the southern edges – Alabama and Florida.  The average temperature has continued to rise.  The average is now averaging a balmy 26 degrees Centigrade.

We have crossed three time zones.  The average temperature has changed from minus 13 degrees Centigrade to plus 26 degrees Centigrade.  Still equipped only with our Siberian and Alaskan clothing (the rest is still locked in Landy), acclimatisation was not an option.

We have passed some familiar sounding names, such as those that littered the Country Music sounds I grew up with as a child: Jackson, Nashville, Oklahoma, and Talahassee.  We’ve driven past Birmingham, Deadwood, Whitewood, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, French Town, Butte (but not of jokes), Gold Creek, Beaver Trail Hill, among so many other names that intrigue and entrance us.  We weren’t too sorry to drive straight past Gracelands, but we are sorry not to have a chance to stop at the Alabama Battleship Park, maybe another time.  We’ve seen some wonderful scenery.  We feel we are now in a position to comment with some authority on the US Interstate ‘rest area’ provision.  And we’ve had some quality time chatting in between trying to continue to deal with the bureaucracy of Landy’s progress through customs and some of the other internet based communications we’ve needed to get on with.

Since setting off from Anchorage some two weeks ago we travelled a gnat’s whisker short of 6,000 miles.  To put that in perspective, it’s the same road distance as driving from Land’s End to John O Groats, back to Land’s End, back to John O Groats, back to Lands End, back to John O Groats, back to Land’s End, back to John O Groats and back Land’s End again (or eight times the length of the UK).

Finally we arrived in Pepsi-Cola.  Jenni & Mike’s dogs bounded out to greet the car, if a little confused that Jenni and Mike were both in the house.  Jenni & Mike were more than relieved to see their Jeep at last and immediately went out to get some shopping for their dinner for 10 they had planned for Thanksgiving tomorrow.