Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life's A Beach - In Zipolite, Oaxaca Mexico

Learning Spanish


I would love to take this course. I was really disappointed when I discovered the two Spanish DS programs that Nintendo offers had "terrible " reviews. I can get by on my Spanish but I miss so much. Especially the jokes, subtle things when family and friends speaks with one another.

 I would love to improve my Spanish. My daughter actually got mad at me when we first arrived in Mexico and I was speaking Spanish to her. "Stop speaking Spanish to me she shouted!" she was frustrated, but in no time at all, she was playing with the kids and picking up tons of Spanish, and her pronouciation on many words is much better than mine.

They do forget quickly though, 6 months is a long time for a 6 or 7 year old so I think the best way to educate your child and self is total immersion and for 5 or so months helps...some place where you really have to speak it to get by. 

That's easier said than done because we always seem to hangout with English  speakers. A good verb book really helps, and dictionary, but we travelled with neither and did fine most of the time...my Spanish is rusty but I can get by and most Mexican people are so kind and patient, so that really helps.

I have found that taking long bus rides often improved my Spanish as I was forced to communicate and that helped push thru that shyness of speaking a new language, and the fear of  making mistakes and a fool of oneself. It's much easier for kids, so if you have the opportunity to immerse your child in a situation like that, I  believe it will benefit them immensely later in life.

Responsible Travel

Many of these Tips came from Lonely Planet Suggestions and I added to them.

 Go Overland - Ride Buses or local transportation whenever possible, opposed to planes. Buses in Mexico are Excellent. Their service is much better than Canadian Greyhound. Their ticketing service is excellent and Greyhound would do well to adapt it. Also their security. I love taking the buses in Mexico.

Give Right -  I always made an attempt to buy from small stores and spread the wealth around. Lonely Planet recommends you donate to schools, and  clinics and avoid giving hand-outs to children in order not to encourage begging. We used to give the children pretty photos.

Buy Local-Eat in Local Restaurants, buy from local small stores.

Use cold showers - avoid hot showers that use wood heat.

Pick up your litter, and if you pack it in, pack it out!

Be Respectful! Especially of local traditions and customs.
Use appropriate attire when visiting churches and local villages

Ask Questions! Learn the customs and ask how not to make mistakes
the other tourists do.

Other Recommended Website Links are:






The Educational Value of Long Term Travel with Kids


If you've ever considered pulling your kids out of school and travelling for a few months then you should definitely read this article on Matador Abroad by author Karen Banes

You may also find these links helpful as well.





Yay! We Are Here! Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Zipolite is located in Oaxaca Mexico. Known for it's crashing surf and laid-back atmosphere,  it's a great place to mellow out and chill for a bit. It's a very international scene with people from all over the world dropping in for a few days, few week or few months. The locals are lovely people and many people find they always have something to do but don't do very much. Be sure to visit Shambhala for something to eat and check out the view and don't miss the Meditation Loma for sunset.

Accomodations, Shopping, Entertainment in San Cristobal

San Cristobal has gotten a lot pricier since 1990 or even 2000, but it's still very reasonable. We stayed at Le Gite de Sol http://www.legitedelsol.com/  which is a Posada/B&B/Hostel

Since there were 2 of us (and one was child) we stayed in the Hostel dorm  rooms. I believe they keep the main location for quiet couples and you get a room with a bathroom.

At first I wasn't to impressed and it felt a bit like a jail cell, but it had really nice warm blankets, was very clean and we could use the internet. The people working there just accepted us like family and so it made all the difference.  The owners are Quebecois-Mexican and speak French, English & Spanish so that is handy as my Spanish was pretty rusty. We didn't see much of the owners, but the staff in the dorm were excellent!!

The markets are fantastic in San Cristobal. This is wear to buy all those beautiful hand embroidered blouses, dresses and bags. This is the place to buy all the wonderful keepsakes and souvenirs for friends and family. That said, your pack may be a lot fuller and so you may want to make this, one your last destinations.

I budgeted a $100 Cdn for clothes and souvenirs and it went a long way. It was wonderful. Wonderful because you get such great stuff but your actually helping the people that made it. I always made a point of buying from a mother and child.

The Zocalo is a wonderful place to treat yourself to a cappochino and treat. It's great place to people watch and soak up the beautiful atmosphere just listening to the music and relaxing after a great day exploring the markets and shops.

San Cristobal Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

San Cristobal las Casas is a colonial town set in beautiful highland valley surrounded by pine forests. It has cobbled streets, incredible markets and a lovely gazebo in the zocalo, which is where I had my first cappuchino back in 1990. I LOVE San Cristobal! You will experience a rich indigenous culture as there are many Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages nearby.
Check out the Lonely Planet Mexico guide for lots of great info.
Some cool places to check out are Na Bolom http://www.nabolom.org/  I didn't get a chance to take Angel there, but I did visit back in 1990 and was fortunate to meet Gertrude Duby-Blom (Trudy Blom 1901-1993) and was able to explore the home. Trudy was married to Danish Archaeologist Frans Blom (1893-1963).  Trudy Blom studied & documented the lives of the Lacandon people in Eastern Chiapas thru photographs and fought to protect them, while her husband explored and surveyed the Mayan Ruins in Chiapas such as Palenque, Tonina & Chinkuitic. When her husband passed away Trudy started a museum and research center. Nabolom means "Jaguar House" in Tzotzil language.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Agua Azul & Agua Clara

Agua Azul's breathtaking gorgeous turquoise waterfalls will memorize any child, anyone for that matter. This is a great place to see the power of water and teach respect for mother nature. Agua Azul is surrounded by a green lush jungle. There are lots of vendors here now compared to when I first visited in 1990. Please respect the locals, and do not take their photos if they do not want to be.(Something I had to out right tell to a man who just wasn't getting it.) Angel thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water, although it's very cold so take care and be very careful near the falls, people do drown, so swim further down stream where it's safer. Also watch your bags, they say it's better now, but it's good to be aware. We loved and had a wonderful time. I've been there 3x, and it's life changing.

Agua Clara is pretty turquoise blue lake near Agua Azul, it's like going back in time as it's not developed and makes you wonder what Agua Azul was like before all the tourists. I heard that they have stopped taking tours there, I don't know if that's true. We enjoyed the short time we visited. The kids there were trying to sell us sugary treats but we gave them pretty pictures of fairies and mermaids instead.


Misol-ha is a spectacular waterfall located 20 km from Palenque. We took a tour, that included Agua Clara, Agua Azul and Misol-ha. We had a wonderful time. What could be more exciting than to travel to a waterfall and stand beneath it. An experience like this will educate your child in the power of water and it's beauty at the same time, not to mention the gorgeous green vegatation all around it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Palenque, Ancient Mayan Ruins in Mexico

We had a great time in Palenque, but truthfully Angel was more interested in the lizards and the waterfalls than the Ruins. They can be quite dangerous climbing on them with all the pushy tourists. Still we enjoyed them very much but she was very disappointed that we could not climb the main temple, it is not accessible anymore due to too many tourists causing errosion and such. This was a big deal as I had told we would, because I had climbed in 1990 and they were working in it in 2000 so I thought it would be ready...so that put a bit of a sour note on our day.

Nevertheless, it was great fun exploring the jungle atmosphere and it was so hot, humid and lush.

After we climbed a few temples, it was very hot, so we took a refreshing walk thru the cool jungle path to the waterfalls and relaxed on the swinging bridge.

Careful here, some tourists were quite rude and nearly bounced us off. I know that next time we will definitely go in the afternoon, as many tourist buses arrive early in the morning and it's very crowded in certain areas.

We did have alot of fun looking at all the intricate Maya designs on the buildings and I explained about the Maya and how they discovered zero. We talked about how the temples looked before, how colourful they were and all the beautiful clothing the people wore with feathered headresses, we talked about what the  markets would have been like and how lively it would have been.

We talked about astronomy and how advanced the Mayan were in studying the stars and creating calendars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_civilization

We discussed how the ruins were all covered with dirt and how anthropologists dug the temples out and how hard it was because the jungle keeps trying to reclaim it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palenque

We talked about corn and how it was once just grass and thru horticulture it became the corn we know and that because of it there was great wealth and that is how the temples were created. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize

We talked about alot of wonderful things. We could hear the howler monkeys and parrots making all sorts of noises in the jungle.

It really is an incredibly rich valuable educational experience for a child to travel to a place such as Palenque and while she may not remember it the same as I did, I know it impacted her and she will benefit greatly from it later in life.

We didn't see any howler monkeys, but we heard them, this is not our video but I thought I share it.

Courtesy of Gersendeconure's Youtube Channel

El Panchan, Palenque

Located at the base of the Ruins of Palenque is the fascinating El Panchan.  Rich in flora and fauna the have lovely little cabins. We stayed on the quiet side and it was really great. They have a wonderful restaurant and a creek meanders thru the whole place and there are little bridges.
Angel and I had a wonderful time investigating our surroundings looking at bugs and she rescued a little turtle from the road, just as a taxi was about to pass, so that was super special. We saw the most incredible things. El Panchan has a wonderful jungle feeling. Travelling to El Panchan one is rewarded with a wonderful & very educational environment that I wish all children could experience. At night you can hear the howler monkeys, it makes you feel a little nervous but at the same time it's very exciting. You can easily visit the ruins from here.


Merida is a beautiful city and a huge contrast compared to Cancun.
Merida has gorgeous architecture and a lot more obvious poverty, but I loved it. People were kind and friendly and I felt safe here with Angel. We took a horse and carriage ride around the city, it was a great way to see the incredible architecture considering my little one  was tired from long bus rides and airplanes. I made one big mistake by forgetting to check the bedding in Cancun when we left and accidently forgot Angel's dragon. It was a bad start to our journey but I fixed it with a new toy and just this year was able to replace the little dragon.(So word of advice always check for toys when leaving the hotel, hostel or posada!!) So there was a happy ending. I think that it was very important for my child to see the differences between the two cities. It was very educational.


Cancun was great! We spent 3 days there, mainly resting up after the plane. We stocked up on items we needed for the trip, and checked out the beachs. Culture shock was a big factor when it came to food...but luckily we found a hot dog vendor and so that helped. We bought fruit and cereal at the big grocery store as well as plates, cutlery, dramamine, bug cream and other essentials we thought might not be as economical when we left Cancun. We got our bus tix for Merida and prepared for our next big Adventure!

Travel Links



Arrival in Cancun

Welcome to Adventurez in Mexico

In November 2008, a mother and child left on a 5 month journey from Canada to Mexico. Traveling on a very tight budget they intend to stay 5 months. These are their "Adventurez." Focusing on the highlights of their journey and sharing it thru travel tips, photos and videos, Adventurez of Mexico will focus on travel, accomodations, home schooling, money, food,  language, culture as well as many other things. We hope this information will be helpful , inspirational and enlightening for any one considering a similar journey.

Originally posted Sept 15/2008
The Secret!!

If you build it they will come. Hey did you ever see the secret!!
It's all about projecting what you want and thanking the universe for what you have.

My take on it was that if I just told the universe what I wanted and really imagined it and focused on it, would happen. Well that's what this is. It's sort of a vision board. We have been planning this trip darn near 6 + years.

And now we are almost ready.
It's going to be soooooo exciting. We are going to see the most awesome things.

And if all our dreams come true ...this won't be just a trip to Mexico, but to Europe-Paris, Italy and Cook Islands, India, Africa...the whole great big world.

But to start we will travel to Mexico. I'm Angel's mom, Tina, I've been many times and I am so excited to share it all with Angel. So stay tuned, and get comfy because shortly we will be on our way.

If all goes to plan we should be leaving early November 2008. Looking forward to painting again. I did these two in 2000