Full day two in Queretaro started early. I was booked on a full day tour to the limestone caves (not exactly my thing), some ruins in the bush that are over 2,000 years old (at least I think that he what he said) and then to a vineyard. Now the tour was in spanish I expected all day to be lost. When I arrived at the meeting place I meet Ellen, a lovely US woman and then a couple, a woman originally from Mexico City, Latica and her husband, Andy, from England. There was also a family from Mexico City. so as it turned out we all talked all day. And when the guide was speaking spanish and occassionally I would lose the sense of what he was saying, they would help me out. The problem is I know lots of action verbs but I don´t know things like the word for staircase.
The ruins had information in three languages so at one stage I skipped the bit with the guide and wandered off. Unfortunately I missed the bit in spanish where the guide said there are two types of poisonous snakes that live in the ruins or trees. Fortunately I didn´t meet any but I was photographing a tree and had my foot about three inches from the home of a snake well known to the guides!
It turns out the guide spoke a bit of English so we chatted away and offered to show me the snake.... hmmm no thanks. I explained we don´t have snakes in NZ. It is fascinating, where I stay Shelley who is just fabulous, has had a kiwi stay before but most people haven´t meet any kiwis and although they know where NZ is, are amazed I have come all this way to Mexico. Although I am not in a foreign tourist region (which is GREAT!!!!) It is improving my spanish out of sight because I simply have to speak spanish. Today I made a whole kitchen in a cafe laugh when I misprounced the word ´for knife´in spanish. They were trying to work out where I came from. I wasn´t american....at least I made someone laugh today.
Now where was I, yes, the ruins were great. They aren´t big, they aren´t amazing but I just loved the whole setting. The mountains are amazing, getting out in the bus, the little town just before the ruins.... it was a great day to spend the day and the people on the trip were very interesting. Andy is a developmental economist and works mainly in Africa, his wife is a macro economist for a UK bank so she shared her views on the economic crisis, Ellen is a mediator and has done some very interesting stuff. I´m meeting Ellen for dinner tonight.
The limestone caves were beautiful. I was worried I would find it claustrophobic but I went in thinking I was going to see something beautiful and it was stunning. It wasn´t possible to take a good photo of the main cave area, but it was very large and beautiful.
Now my travel plans have changed. I´m going to Moreila, it is listed on the MFAT website and somewhere with some problems because someone throw a grenade into a crowd in September this year (yes, I´ll avoid large gatherings just in case), but it is also the base for taking trips to the Monarch butterfly sanctuary. I never knew this but all the monarch butterflies from US and Canada fly down to a specific area in Mexico every year. It is about an hour out of Moreila. So there will be millions, upon Millions of monarchs. People say it is amazing. And there is also a mountain with my name on it to trek if possible. So I will go to Moreila tomorrow by bus (about 4 hours) and then stay the night, and head to a very small town near the butterflies if possible for two nights and then back to Mexico City from Moreila on a long bus day. But I am hoping the Monarch butterflies and mountains will be amazing. So far I am just loving everything, the food, the people, the places, the activities. Yep, me and Mexico are getting along just fine. Again, I am wishing that I hadn´t booked a trip but then I get on the trips and meet great friends.
Take care family and friends...