Thinking about what to do over the weekend I got in touch with an old friend of mine. He tells me he has a 32 year old collector’s bike in his garage. It’s a funny old bike but with a barely touched 500cc engine. He obviously knew what my response would be. It’s been raining nearly everyday since I’ve been back. Luckily for us it was a clear November day so we took the bikes up north into the mountains, to the roads I can ride with my eyes closed. But why would I close them with breathtaking views like these. I forgot how beautiful these mountains are and riding these curves again is truly surreal. I took the photo on the way back almost in Vancouver with a few wider spots with viewpoints to stop and stretch. Perfect time too with the sunset.
Unlike the title of that rock song this view couldn’t be anywhere else but Vancouver. After several years in Europe and some other places I’m back to British Columbia, the place I know better than any other in the world. I’ve left and come back here many times over the years, this being my longest time away, and it does feel a little weird coming home. Though maybe it’s just the jet lag 😉 There is however always a little nervousness about it, sort of like seeing an old friend. How long will I stay for? I’m not yet sure. For now it’s family, friends and familiar peaks while I decide on my next step. This scene gives me a nostalgic feeling, so I thought it appropriate to post an HDR retroish version of the photo too 🙂
On a side note I’ve been having some technical difficulties with the website. Over the next few weeks I’ll be moving my host and will possibly try some new things. So if the website is down or looks like a 3 year old built it, don’t panic. It’s just me trying to fix things up.
This is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Apparently there is a church with the same name in India. This one is not quite on the same continent in Hecelchakán, Campeche. Chakan means rest in thhe Mayan language. Though I can’t say that’s exactly what we did, the town did have a calm, stress free vibe about it.
I took these on 2 different occasions, first the black and white version and then the colour version early in the morning. I couldn’t quite decide which one I like more so I’m gonna post both.
After a long month we’ve finally left Campeche. The next stop was supposed to be the state of Oaxaca with a pit stop in Merida, Yucatan. Until 24 hours ago I thought this would be my last night on the Yucatan peninsula. But plans have changed quickly and instead of boarding a plane to Oaxaca we’ve moved to Yucatan. The plan for now is to work here for about a month.
I’m currently in the biggest city in the region, in Merida, as we plan things for next week. It’s a big change from small villages in Campeche where I’ve spent most of last month. It’s quite amazing how a groups of people can live so close to each other but have such different lifestyles. It’s only been a day and my impression of Merida is still forming. So far it makes me feel like the parts of the city I’ve seen are stuck in the past. Hence, the analog/vintage look of the photos.
I haven’t had much time to wander around and get lost in the city but hopefully the coming days will change that.
All the best to you reader, wherever you are.
I’ve caught these farmers just outside of “Blanca Flor” with a couple of post work brewskis next to this old beetle. I snapped this photo and then moved a bit closer for another shot. By then one of the farmers had noticed me and lets say the shot that followed isn’t exactly G rated 🙂
My experience in Mexico might be a little uncommon as I spend a fair share of my time in places where a large part lives off social programs or doesn’t own a proper toilet. I’m sure the things I learn aren’t true to all of Mexico, however, from my experience in Campeche getting alcohol in certain parts isn’t very straightforward. First there is an issue of getting a licence. A lot of businesses in small towns don’t even bother getting one. And then in the state of Campeche, there is also a fairly strict time limit that goes along with the license (apparently similar laws apply in other states). What’s slightly surprising (I don’t mean any disrespect) is that most places I’ve come across actually follow this law. But as usual, one finds a way with time.
With no signs or any sort of official directions Blanca Flor proved to be an absolute pain to find. As much as google is useful in bigger cities it’s completely useless in a lot of other parts of the world. Getting directions in Campeche has been an “experience”. People either don’t want to admit they don’t know the way and send you nobody knows where or they try to replicate a series of twists and turns with their arms. Not very effective if your arm doesn’t bend in 6 different places. “Stop by the bush after the curve” on a road full of bushes and curves isn’t very helpful either. But after countless of u-turns and dozen of “turn here, turn there”s we’ve pinpointed the location by the foolproof method of trial error. As a result we didn’t manage to get what we had wanted in the village and a man did show me his crutch. But it was a place to see anyways. What’s the point of an adventure if everything goes as planned.
All the best to you reader, and when you take your shower today remember that there is a family in northern campeche without a clean place to poo. But they do have satellite TV.
It’s been a while since my last post. Not for the lack of photos but rather time and limited access to internet. These days I’m travelling for work around southern Mexico. Culturally it has so far been a great experience. On a professional front things have been less than great for various reasons I won’t bore you with. But as it is often the case during such travels the key is an open mind and patience.
This photo is from a small rural village of San Antonio Yaxché in Campeche. It’s primarily inhabited by the descendants of Maya. Nearly everyone speaks spanish but the primary language of communication still remains maya. If I’m correct yaxché refers to a certain tree in the mayan language. We were supposed to run an experiment in a local school. Sadly for us (and the kids who usually attend the class) the room had an aluminium roof filled with holes. So, of course, during our experiment the rain came down like it’s the end of the world. Besides the people and the material getting wet, it was impossible to shout over the noise from the rain drops hitting the aluminium roof. Unfortunately, we had the cancel the sessions.
Here’s a photo of one of the few streets in the village. I haven’t seen it rain this hard for quite a while. The rain “laguna” on the photo went quite deep in certain parts, but some people didn’t seem bothered at all.
San Antonio Yaxché is an ex Hacienda. You can still find some ruins around the village, one of them is this arc that stands at the entrance to the village.
As my previous post indicates I’ve quite enjoyed my time in Hong Kong. And that often for me has to do with expectations. I always imagined it to be an overcrowded urban center. So it was quite a pleasant surprise when I got to places like this. Needless to say I stayed for longer than I planned for 🙂
I’ve realized that over the years I’ve become a little less trigger happy for several reasons. I know there are lot of photographers/bloggers whose advice is to keep pushing the shutter button. I can’t say I share the same opinion for various reasons, one of which is probably because I’m terrible at sorting hundreds of my photos afterwards. Still though, occasionally I find myself in a place, like Hong Kong, where I just keep taking photo after photo after photo.
I’ve arrived to the city fairly late and without an accommodation planned for that night and much change in my pocket I made my way to the Chungking Mansions, where I knew I could get an ok bed for the night. It’s by far not the most glamorous place in the world. There is a book based on Chungking Mansions called Ghetto at the Center of the World, which is an indication of what kind of a place it is (though I wouldn’t quite call it a ghetto). I’ve never actually read the book, however it’s on my to read list so feel free to drop me a line about the book if you’ve read it. Anyways, these photos are random shots from my night stroll on my first night in Hong Kong.