Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 8

This morning I woke up to watch the Regatta slowly sliding into its berth in Puerto Chiapas, way down south in Mexico.  The closest town is Tapachula, and it's very near Guatemala. There is a tropical feel here, lots of greenery, banana plantations, mangos, and corn fields. The Maya apparently believe human beings were originally made of cornmeal. On the dock we had costumed marimba players and dancers to entertain us before catching a bus into town.

The bus and our tour guide Morelia took us to Izapa to view the ruins of a Maya plaza, complete with ball court and pyramids and carved slabs of rock, hard to decipher. Then we wandered around downtown Tapachula, crowded, hot and colorful...and poor. In the market place, all sorts of baked goods were for sale with the Mexican women fanning the trays to keep off flies, dozens of stalls selling identical junk, shoes, cheap clothing, children's day packs. Well, Tapachula is a real place, not a tourist trap.

Our tour guide was a friendly young woman who was doing her first tour since May. It turns out cruise ships don't often enter this port. On the way into town, we passed a stadium, and Morelia said that there are never any games in the stadium. We passed an auditorium, and Morelia said there are never any concerts there, and then we passed the Museum of Archeology, which is closed, and which will soon be relocated to Mexico City.  So it looks like Tapachula is having a run of bad luck.

Back on the ship, we passed a lazy (as usual) time in the dining hall, our cabin, the gym. I went up to the Horizons lounge to listen to the string quartet, and to the library to read my latest book, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. We'll meet Aunt Blanche and Uncle Sol later for dinner. It will be hard to top last night's dinner, when, in honor of Blanche and Sol's anniversary, one of the waiters asked them to hold hands while he sang a beautiful and tender love song.  That was really sweet. The ship leaves port very soon, probably in a few minutes, on our way to Costa Rica.

Here are some pictures from the day in Tapachula.

Welcome Ashore

Tree of Life at a planetarium because the museum is closing

Stained Glass -- it's art -- in banana democracy city hall

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