Oct 22, 2005

Catemaco beep beep

When I first arrived in Catemaco I bitched about he noise of the fire crackers.
So, they exploded a few users of those toys, and tried to put a stop to that.

Then it became popular to run small vehicles around Catemaco and announce whatever was going on in town. That became limited by the price of gasoline.

NOW - there is a generation of beep-beep cabrones passing along on their motorbikes pushing to sell tortillas.

There are umpteen street merchants in Catemaco, most have their distinctive call, perhaps not sweet to my ears, but nothing like these idiots and their horn honkings to sell tortillas.
Perhaps it´s time to explode a few bearers of tortillas. What an awful thought.

Oct 2, 2005

Catemaco Hills and Coast

I took a wonderful drive a short while ago, from Catemaco to Perla de San Martin. From there, I headed towards Ruiz Cortines, and broke off on the spur towards El Diamante. I had traveled the direct route from Perla to Diamante previously and spent most of my time opening cattle gates.
This route is absolutely wonderful for someone in a high clearance vehicle preferably with 4X4.
The views are amazing on the road to Perla, with the gulf and laguna Sontecomapan glittering above the greens of the many cow pastures.

Heading from Perla towards Ruiz, the clouds start nibbling on the very bad road composed of volcanic pebbles and sundry rocks barely permitting views of the magnificent vistas of an enshrouded Volcano San Martin, patches of remnant rain forest and glorious exhibits of flowers.
The turnoff to Diamante from Ruiz leads into a pure channel of green, towering jungle foliage, moist with the almost ever present high altitude fog, butterflies larger than my side mirror and plants that I spent a fortune to buy from local nurseries.

Unfortunately that channel peters out into the usual treeless Tuxtlas landscape on the way to La Nueva Victoria.

Inherently the landscape still remains beautiful with gorgeous vistas of the gulf, the flanks of Volcano San Martin, the innocent looks of hundreds of calves, and assorted dried out rocky arroyos.

With the growing season advantages of Los Tuxtlas, this would have been a paradise for sustainable forestry, instead it´s a "gentleman´s" playground of absentee landlord's fiefs and hunting grounds.

At La Nueva Victoria (forget about the turnoff to Montepio, it´s not transversable), the choice was to head back via El Tropico or Montepio.
Montepio it was, with a quick stop at Arroyo de Lisa and Costa de Oro to check on some beach front property my partner owns.

The road is great - (notwithstanding the potholes from previous experiences on the El Tropico to La Nueva Victoria connection or the asinine contributions of "topes" by the inhabitans of Dos de Abril and Revolucion).

I like Costa de Oro and its sister ejido of Arroyo de Lisa. But my days of "hippy" style vagabonding are gone. If these communities want to get a share of both Mexican and international tourist dollars, they have to clean up their attitude, landscape, and directions, and don´t even mention the word ecoturismo to me!
Meanwhile, if you are a bum, like I used to be, you´ll be perfectly happy there.

The Montepio/Dos de Abril bridge has been bridged! I didn´t believe my eyes, but the functional idea was to run a span of concrete above the old haphazard crossing, apparently using the same old foundations. Cross over this one quick.

The Montepio / Catemaco road is taking shape. The part that technically is of the Tuxtlas Biosphere nucleus, near the biological station, is being paved in rocks, worse than the usual suspension busters of usual Catemaco roads, but still better than what existed before. From The La Barra entrance to Catemaco it´s a free ride, except for those 7 damn topes in Sontecomapan.