Sunday, November 03, 2013

steve -- sometimes in mexico

That is how fellow blogger Sparks describes Mexpatriate.

I chuckled in my best Homer Simpson tautological voice when I first saw it.  "It's funny because it's true."

I have not calculated the days I have spent in and away from Melaque since I moved here in early 2009.  But I am certain there have been more away game days than home court days.  Even though, I am just as certain I have spent most of my time inside the boundaries of Mexico in those five years.

I thought about that on Friday while I was out shooting life and death photographs.  And nothing shows the tenacity of life as much as the jungle on our surroundings hills.  Take a look at the green in the photograph at the top of this post.

Four years ago,when I was looking at renting a house in west Melaque that would have put me in the drug kingpin category (a moving experience), I noticed a rock outcrop at the top of the hill.  At the time, I thought there was a cross up there.  My supposition was that it must somehow play a role in the annual Easter passion.

If there was a cross there, it is now gone.  But there is a pole with celebratory banners on it -- and there is another flag.  Maybe that is what I saw earlier.

For the past years, I have tried to discover the path to the rocks.  If there is one, it has a subtle trail head.  I have walked and driven around what should be the obvious candidates.  Maybe I need to start looking at dark horses.

As I stood there looking at the jungle-covered hill, I heard that little voice -- you know, the one that makes me content to sit and look at the sea whenever I feel the urge to exercise -- saying: "Who are you kidding, Jim Fixx?  Do you think you are really going to climb that hill?"

For some reason, that same voice was bizarrely quiet during my most recent quest for adventure.  I am flying to Britain next August for a cruise to northern Spain and France.  But I arrive in London 11 days before the cruise.  (There is a good reason.  And I will tell you about it in a future post.)

What to do in Britain for 11 days?  The question should not engender a swelling of violins.  I am lucky to have such a choice.  But after 30 years of living and visiting there, I have seen most of the country.

Then I ran across something I have never done.  I could take an unguided, unposted coast-to-coast hike in northern England.  132 miles.  In 8 or 9 days.

If you are now rolling your eyes, you have a better sense of who I am than I did when I first read about the hike.  My reaction?  I can do that.

So said the man who overheats walking the three miles from his house to Barra de Navidad.  On a flat path.  This path crosses a mountain range.  Mind you, a small mountain range.  But a mountain range, nonetheless.

Because denial did not set in, practicality took its place.  I decided if I started training now by walking several miles each day through our local hills, I might, just might, be able to do it.

This is one reason I write a blog.  To write down my ideas and see how they fare in black and white.  So far, it is not building up much speed on the runway.

Maybe I should find my inner Alexander Mackenzie by searching for the secret passage to the rock on the top of the hill here in Melaque.  Then I can start talking about traversing Britain.

At least, Sparks, I can do that in Mexico.

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