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November 19th, 2009
November 19th, 2009

Veracruz, Xalapa and Barra

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Snow in Mexico while travelling from Veracruz to Mexico City
Snow in Mexico while travelling from Veracruz to Mexico City
After a few days in Puerto Escondido, haven of surfers and multi-national expats, we flew across the country to Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Rich in history, this bustling port city is home to a massive fort, San Juan de Ulua, at the entrance to the harbour.  It is from here Spanish galleons sailed for Spain loaded with silver and gold and, consequently, pirates repeatedly attacked the city in search of riches.  Hot and humid most of the year, Veracruz in the winter can cool down with the onset of the northers (nortes) which kick up the sea and blow sand across roads and into houses.

Our daughter, Rachel, her husband Roy and their two children Roycito, four, and Valentina, eighteen months, live just south of the city so not only was this a family reunion but a chance to travel together.  The first weekend we travelled to Xalapa, the highland capital of Veracruz state, visiting a coffee plantation en route and celebrating Roy´s birthday at an excellent café topped off with sambuca and cigars.

Early the next week we travelled to the San Andreas valley, home of some of the top cigar manufacturers in Mexico, and dined at the home of Jorge Ortiz, owner of Santa Clara cigars and an international traveler.  Jorge and his young wife Liviere are good friends of Roy and Rachel so we were treated very hospitably and found we shared much in common, including our fondness for the Imperial Hotel in New Delhi!

After ten days we took our departure by bus, staying overnight in Mexico City and then on to Barra de Navidad by plane and taxi the next day.

Barra (on the Pacific Coast of Mexico) and its sister village, Melaque, share the same beach but are about 3 miles apart.  Laid back, sunny and hot these two dusty towns have become a winter refuge for many Canadians who lap up the cheap rentals ($500/month), inexpensive waterfront cafés and golden sands.  Many drive down in motorhomes and trailers and take up residence under palm tress and in trailer parks.  The population of homeless dogs seems to rival that of Puerto Escondido.

After 3 nights at a clean, quiet hotel in Barra we moved into a beach hotel in Melaque with a small kitchen and a view of the bay in which we anchored with the Swift in ´94.

We dined on sea bass last night:  two fresh fish that cost less than a dollar a piece.


More Images

Roy´s surprise birthday cake during Xalapa trip with Roycito and Valentina observing!
Roy´s surprise birthday cake during Xalapa trip with Roycito and Valentina observing!
Martyn and the three Musketeers (Roy, Natcho and Arturo)
Martyn and the three Musketeers (Roy, Natcho and Arturo)
Rachel picking coffee
Rachel picking coffee
Rachel and Valentina enjoying Martyn´s impromtu piano playing
Rachel and Valentina enjoying Martyn´s impromtu piano playing
Roycito riding a pony in Xalapa
Roycito riding a pony in Xalapa
Marg looking out from our balcony in Melaque
Marg looking out from our balcony in Melaque

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