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Hound Dog

Oct 21, 2009, 4:16 PM

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Benermerito de Las Americas

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If you wish to arrive here and then proceed on to your ultimate goal then you must concede that this is not the end of the earth but it also ain´t Downtown Moline so get it in your head that once you embark upon this road trip you have made a commitment of sorts because it also is not a mule ride through Waziristan with a Taliban fundamentalist on your butt nor for that matter, is it a hayride with a bunch of fundamentalist Southern Baptist Hayseeds singing Kumbaya and you can do this on your own without answering to anyone unless of course the Zapatistas stop you along the way and demand tribute which you should pay without begrudging the event if you value your existence but here is what you do:

Importantly: Fill you gas tank whether in Comitan or La Trinitaria or Palenque or thereabouts. There are remote gas stations along the way on this lengthy journey and you can always buy gas from a local in the middle of nowhere if it comes to that but try to avoid that option.

The Route: Drive between Comitan and Palenque or vice versa along the Mexico/Guatemala border on that fine highway strategically hugging that border for both an enjoyable and adventurous journey of a lifetime traversing extraordinary jungles and mountainous terrain and when it´s over, if you are still with us on this planet, you will have enjoyed yourself immensely and have seen beautiful lakes and rivers and indescribably beautiful rugged forestlands and disgracefully clear-cut and exploited wastelands and isolated towns and maybe some local folks who may or may not be pleased to see you and army checkpoints and Zapatista community fund raising roadblocks and banana and coffee orchards and you´ll never be the same. En route, if you so elect, you can visit such places as Bonampac and Yaxchilan and deep forest ecotourism reserves and Lacandon villages and, on either end the extraordinary Lagos de Montebello National Park with its pristine, multi-colored crystal clear lakes or the ruins at Palenque the discovery of which was the beginning of the European realization that their´s was not the only civilization in the Western Hemisphere grounded in great and enduring architectural accomplishment.

I´ll take some of you on this journey when I recover.



smokesilver

Oct 21, 2009, 6:59 PM

Post #2 of 8 (2720 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Benermerito de Las Americas

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With pictures?...I hope.


Hound Dog

Oct 22, 2009, 7:27 AM

Post #3 of 8 (2679 views)

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Re: [smokesilver] Benermerito de Las Americas

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With pictures?...I hope.


You know, Smokesilver, I must acquire that skill. I noticed the other day that a posting I made on this forum about beautiful Lake Bacalar was greatly enhanced by photographs posted by another participant in response to my message and, despite all my attempts to paint a word picture of that astoundingly gorgeous lake, those photographs added immeasureably to the final message.

My sister-in-law and her husband from Paris joined us on the described journey and took many great pictures of this splendid countryside between La Trinitaria and Palenque along the Guatemala border as well as the return to San Crtistóbal via the Palenque-Ocosingo-Toniná- San Cristóbal highway so maybe I can still acquire some new skills as my others, in the words of the self-appointed president-emeritus of my fan club informed me via vitriolic private messages, are becoming "tiresome".

I promise to try.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 22, 2009, 7:30 AM)


raferguson


Oct 22, 2009, 9:12 PM

Post #4 of 8 (2635 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Benermerito de Las Americas

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A photo is worth 1000 words..........

You may need a young person to teach you these computer tricks, that is the way it is.

I often enjoy your musings, so don't give up. I still think that you could write good articles if you put your mind to it.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Hound Dog

Oct 23, 2009, 8:07 AM

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Re: [raferguson] Benermerito de Las Americas

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Thanks for your kind words Richard.

Thirty years or so ago when we were living in the rural town of Geyserville, California we hired this local reprobate to chop some wood for us and, if you will remember, in those days in Northern California´s Sonoma County we were going through the, for lack of a better phrase, "effete revolution" that proceeded along until it died an untimely death shortly thereafter as its adherents matured more or less of lost interest and everybody we knew in those days was at least partially crazed and this guy agreed to take on this arduous task of chopping up all that firewood until we started negotiating with him as to his expected compensation at which time he came unglued and told us that, under no circumstances would he agree to a compensation amount tied to specific performance because once a compensation amount had been agreed upon he was contractually and, in his mind, morally obligated to actually perform the tasks assigned him to fruition and (remember this is Northern California circa 1975 or so where almost everybody was nuts) he was concerned that at any time during his labors he might simply decide that that assignment was unsuitable for him and wish to walk away from it which he could do without compunction were he not obligated to complete the task under his notion of an oral contractual obligation so we hired him to chop the wood with no agreed recompense and he happily chopped the wood accepting our later proferred fair compensation for his having performed the task and that was that.

Dawg spent some 30 plus years writing formal bank commercial loan proposals or regulatory reports under stressful deadlines. I can´t do deadlines anymore so I guess in some ways I have become that wood chopper. That´s why I have yet to agree to any articles but when we return to Chiapas I expect to be inspired by as yet unforeseeable events so thanks for the encouragement.

Bob


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 23, 2009, 8:18 AM)


Hound Dog

Oct 23, 2009, 3:43 PM

Post #6 of 8 (2577 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Benermerito de Las Americas

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Incidentally, as best Bubba remembers, there are maybe two PEMEX Staions between La Trinitaria and somewhere close to Palenque and that is a distance of about 900 kilometers. One station is at remote Benermerito de Las Americas and we suspect it is there because that is the place the narcotraficantes land their private planes and proceed into the interior of Mexico.

I have told this story before but I really like it so here goes again. Between Bonampac and Palenque there is an intersection and the day we drove by there there was an army checkpoint and then a few yards away a PEMEX Station and then a Zapatista roadblock demanding donations for their cause and all of these places were within easy view of each other and all I can say is, "Viva Zapata!"


Hound Dog

Oct 24, 2009, 10:11 PM

Post #7 of 8 (2538 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Benermerito de Las Americas

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I forgot to mention that, if you drive from Comitan to Palenque over the route through Benermerito de Las Americas along the Guatemala border, the perfect place to spend the night is the Las Guacamayas Ecolodge about half way through your journey and staying there gives you time to head for Yaxchilan the next day and, perhaps Bonampac if you time your journey well. The lodge is adajacent to the Lacantun River defining the border of the Reserva de La Biosfera Montes Azules and the Zona Marques de Comillas. This is a place that will both thrill and depress you as on one side you will observe pristine jungle while on the other side you will observe the results of clear-cutting and massive deforestation which is not only sad to observe but causes terrible erosion and destruction of fertile topsoil as well as danger to inhabitants. What has happened there is criminal but there is nothing you can do about it except rigorously keeping your gaze to your left and pretending not to notice what your fellow human travelers on this planet will do for a buck.

Since I brought up that subject, allow me to state that when I was in Uganda at Murchison Falls National Park in 1969, the park had a huge elephant population and when Idi Amin took over shortly thereafter, almost all of the elephants were killed in subsequent years for sport as well as for their tusks. Thay also killed off or deported most of the East Indians living there in those days. In the case of the elephants, only the dung beetles went hungry but when they kicked out the Indians, Dawg went hungry since they prepared the best food in Africa in those days. Damn!


Hound Dog

Oct 25, 2009, 6:44 AM

Post #8 of 8 (2520 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Benermerito de Las Americas

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I failed to mention in my post about driving from Comitan to Palenque through Benermerito de Las Americas that a wonderful place to spend your first night before driving to the area of the Las Guacamayas ecolodge or whereever you may elect to stay on night two, is the Parador Santa Maria at the village of Santa Maria between La Trinitaria and the Lagos de Montebello National Park which is an old hacienda and Spanish art museum I have mentioned before but I wanted to put this wonderful hotel, museum and good restaurant in perspective for the drive I am suggesting. You can stay in Comitan which has some very nice hotels or drive an hour farther southeast and stay at the Parador Santa Maria. We love this rural hacienda/hotel and its restaurant and if you stay there then the next morning you are close to Lagos de Montebello and the interesting Maya ruins at Chinkultic. Keep in mind, however, that this hotel is not cheap and you can expect to pay about $1,500 Pesos a night for a room. If that´s a bit dear for you there are cabins near one of the Montebello Lakes that are more rustic and a lot cheaper.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 25, 2009, 9:26 AM)
 
 
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