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In and around the market, Merida

I spent a fair chunk of my time in one of the markets in Merida. I love wandering around these sort of places, get away from the sights into the hustle and bustle of daily life. The market was fairly big so I kept getting lost many times over. It wasn’t quite like the markets in many parts of China for example, but you could still find tons of things, from gambling sites to jewelry to thousands of knockoffs and more.

I feel like by now I have a good sense of when’s a good time to have my camera out in sight and when to keep it hidden. Sometimes though when I get interested in a certain way I just forget about the camera in my backpack. Here are photos from the few moments I did have it out.

MarketMerida

MarketMerida3

MarketMerida4

Gambling seemed to be in demand in many markets around the Yucatan peninsula. Merida being a bigger city had more machines than usual. The guy outside kept eagerly looking at me across the street. I felt it was alright to take my cam out and snap the scene. He didn’t seem to mind.

MarketMerida2

MarketMerida5

MarketMerida6

Another breakfast view

It was already dark when we had to look for a place to sleep. After a long day, without giving it much thought we picked whatever spot felt close enough to being ok. It didn’t promise to be anything special, even seemed dull but little did we know this vista was just around the corner. My friend and I were up early enough to catch the sunrise and witness the numerous colour changes around these hills. I don’t usually have breakfast, but with a view like this I can always make an exception and stay a bit longer 🙂

Anotherbreakfastview

As we were finishing up our breakfast local fishermen passed by to start the working day.

Anotherbreakfastview2

I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas 🙂 I hope you get to share it with the loved ones.

Umm….your fly is open

This is in Kashgar,  one of my most favourite places I’ve been to. It’s a place of incredible contrasts, it’s technically part of China but culturally and geographically it is closer to Baghdad than it is to Beijing. It is where new China is slowly creeping in to the very old Uyghur parts. It’s been a while since my visit and I wonder how many of the old mud houses have been replaced by the architecture. It was a completely foreign place to me but yet very familiar in a very odd sense.

I like the photo of this man with his dirty clothes and a helmet put comfortably aside as a passenger. I chuckled a bit too when I noticed his fly was open. At first I wasn’t sure if the man was wearing a smile or a frown. Probably neither and just squinting from the wind.

I’ve uploaded a small album of several other photos from Kashgar. Click here!

Umm....your fly is open

Hammocks and the beach

I’ve finally spent a few hours going through the Mexican photos from over the summer. Given the experiences I’m surprised I haven’t filled my SD cards 100 times over, but I still captured some interesting memories. This probably being the most relaxing. At the time we’ve been working in small communities on the Yucatan Peninsula and with a weekend off my colleague and I decided to take a last minute trip to Tulum in Quintana Roo.

The first photo is from the cabin we stayed during the 1st night. The latter photo is after hours of driving dirt roads in the national park just south of Tulum, which has, no doubt, been a weekend highlight for me. At the end of the park on the coast side is a dead end with a small village of Punta Allen, living off the coast. It’s been a little tiring getting to the village but has been totally worth it.

Along the road to the village there are a bunch of small openings cleared out by machetes. We took a few out of curiosity until we found one that lead to the isolated beach, on the second photo. I set up my orange hammock, got my book out, we put on our swimming attire and played a game where we own a private beach. While the cabin is sure sweet I think I prefer stumbling across a gem like this. Clearly we weren’t the only ‘smart’ ones as there were some ropes laying around left by previous visitors from over the years. What would you prefer?

Hammocks and the beach1

 

Hammocks and the beach2

 

Vancouver Fall

I’m trying out a new look for the website. There is still a fair bit of work to do, as not much is yet available besides the photo blog. Hopefully that’ll change in the coming days. For now here’s a photo from the English Bay in Vancouver. Fall here is sure colorful. So colorful in fact that the yellows are coming out a little different than on the actual picture file. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Vancouver Fall

Saturday ride

Thinking about what to do over the weekend I got in touch with an old friend of mine. He tells me he has a 32 year old collector’s bike in his garage. It’s a funny old bike but with a barely touched 500cc engine. He obviously knew what my response would be. It’s been raining nearly everyday since I’ve been back. Luckily for us it was a clear November day so we took the bikes up north into the mountains, to the roads I can ride with my eyes closed. But why would I close them with breathtaking views like these. I forgot how beautiful these mountains are and riding these curves again is truly surreal. I took the photo on the way back almost in Vancouver with a few wider spots with viewpoints to stop and stretch. Perfect time too with the sunset.

Saturdayride

This could be anywhere in the world

Unlike the title of that rock song this view couldn’t be anywhere else but Vancouver. After several years in Europe and some other places I’m back to British Columbia, the place I know better than any other in the world. I’ve left and come back here many times over the years, this being my longest time away, and it does feel a little weird coming home. Though maybe it’s just the jet lag 😉 There is however always a little nervousness about it, sort of like seeing an old friend. How long will I stay for? I’m not yet sure. For now it’s family, friends and familiar peaks while I decide on my next step. This scene gives me a nostalgic feeling, so I thought it appropriate to post an HDR retroish version of the photo too 🙂

On a side note I’ve been having some technical difficulties with the website. Over the next few weeks I’ll be moving my host and will possibly try some new things. So if the website is down or looks like a 3 year old built it, don’t panic. It’s just me trying to fix things up.

This could be anywhere in the world

This could be anywhere in the world2

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

This is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Apparently there is a church with the same name in India. This one is not quite on the same continent in Hecelchakán, Campeche. Chakan means rest in thhe Mayan language. Though I can’t say that’s exactly what we did, the town did have a calm, stress free vibe about it.

I took these on 2 different occasions, first the black and white version and then the colour version early in the morning. I couldn’t quite decide which one I like more so I’m gonna post both.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Church of St. Francis of Assisi2

Streets of Merida

After a long month we’ve finally left Campeche. The next stop was supposed to be the state of Oaxaca with a pit stop in Merida, Yucatan. Until 24 hours ago I thought this would be my last night on the Yucatan peninsula. But plans have changed quickly and instead of boarding a plane to Oaxaca we’ve moved to Yucatan. The plan for now is to work here for about a month.

I’m currently in the biggest city in the region, in Merida, as we plan things for next week. It’s a big change from small villages in Campeche where I’ve spent most of last month. It’s quite amazing how a groups of people can live so close to each other but have such different lifestyles. It’s only been a day and my impression of Merida is still forming. So far it makes me feel like the parts of the city I’ve seen are stuck in the past. Hence, the analog/vintage look of the photos.

I haven’t had much time to wander around and get lost in the city but hopefully the coming days will change that.
All the best to  you reader, wherever you are.

StreetsofMerda

StreetsofMerda2

Post work drink

I’ve caught these farmers just outside of “Blanca Flor” with a couple of post work brewskis next to this old beetle. I snapped this photo and then moved a bit closer for another shot. By then one of the farmers had noticed me and lets say the shot that followed isn’t exactly G rated 🙂

My experience in Mexico might be a little uncommon as I spend a fair share of my time in places where a large part lives off social programs or doesn’t own a proper toilet. I’m sure the things I learn aren’t true to all of Mexico, however, from my experience in Campeche getting alcohol in certain parts isn’t very straightforward. First there is an issue of getting a licence. A lot of businesses in small towns don’t even bother getting one. And then in the state of Campeche, there is also a fairly strict time limit that goes along with the license (apparently similar laws apply in other states). What’s slightly surprising (I don’t mean any disrespect) is that most places I’ve come across actually follow this law. But as usual, one finds a way with time.

With no signs or any sort of official directions Blanca Flor proved to be an absolute pain to find. As much as google is useful in bigger cities it’s completely useless in a lot of other parts of the world. Getting directions in Campeche has been an “experience”. People either don’t want to admit they don’t know the way and send you nobody knows where or they try to replicate a series of twists and turns with their arms. Not very effective if your arm doesn’t bend in 6 different places. “Stop by the bush after the curve” on a road full of bushes and curves isn’t very helpful either. But after countless of u-turns and dozen of “turn here, turn there”s we’ve pinpointed the location by the foolproof method of trial error. As a result we didn’t manage to get what we had wanted in the village and a man did show me his crutch. But it was a place to see anyways. What’s the point of an adventure if everything goes as planned.

All the best to you reader, and when you take your shower today remember that there is a family in northern campeche without a clean place to poo. But they do have satellite TV.

Post work drink

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