ooo Mexico - I've never really been, but I'd sure like to go
and I DID it. (These are my katrinas. I did not buy many things, but I really liked these.) The region we visited is famous for their Dia de Los Muertos celebrations and katrinas - this is a dog with a futbol americano and a cat with a pulpo.)
I have been to various bordertowns over the years, but I had this chance to visit Pátzcuaro in the State of Michoacan, Mexico (kind of South West - in the mountains) thanks to Jenna and Yoli. While there, we visited Santa Clara de Cobre, Janitzio, Morelia, Uruapan, Quiroga, Tzintzuntzan, and other pueblitos. It was wonderful. One highlight was ziplining over Lago Zirahuen - scary but amazing views. Here is the video of me jumping down the second line.
One of the difficulties we encountered was not, in fact, banditos, but trying to find limones y aguacates. Who would have thought it would be hard to find LIMES and AVOCADOS in Mexico?! Especially since Uruapan is the avocado capital of the world? (And there were avocado plants EVERYWHERE - but our driver, Salvador, said they sell almost exclusively wholesale - so the ones I bought today at the HEB grocery store were probably from there). It was a wonderful trip with a neat bunch of gals who had more stories and life experiences than I could ever aspire to experience.
Anyway, I am now obsessed with starting an avocado plant (I had a 2 ft tall one I grew from seed in Germany) and tending to the lime tree my sister gave me, which is in the front yard. Because I now fear being without limones y aguacates. Kind of a strange PTSD.
In fact, tonight, I ate an avocado de Mexico for dinner and hung the seed by toothpicks in a salsa jar in the window. Then, I went out to check on my lime tree and found the NASTIEST caterpillar EVER. When I tried to scoot it off the lime leaves with a stick, it reared up, stuck out some kind of reddish thingies, and STUNK. Bad. In fact, I came in and googled "caterpillar lime tree stinky" and immediately identified the suspect: the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly. Believe me, they really stink.
Alas, I did not run in Mexico. We locked ourselves into the casitas at night, so I could not sneak out for a run. But, between the walking, climbing la isla Janitzio (tough with altitude), and fighting 7,000+ feet altitude at all times, I was exhausted.
Now, I think I have reverse-altitude sickness -- I am exhausted and could not catch my breath on last night's 5 miler. I hope that resolves before tomorrow's Carrabbas Half Marathon Relay. At least I just have to run about 4 miles. At an elevation of around 700 ft. But now I miss Mexico.