Veracruz to Jalcomulco

Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
Trip End Feb 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel La Villa

Flag of Mexico  , Veracruz-Llave,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

I didn't sleep too well, considering we went to bed at 3:30 a.m. pumped full of beer. Our original plan for the day was to explore the ruins of Zempoala. I got up about 8:30 a.m. and showered. Dawn and Rena called our room to see what we were going to do for the day. We made plans to meet them in the lobby at 9:30 a.m.

We met in the lobby of our hotel. We asked the girl at reception about getting a bus to Zempoala. She never heard of it and wasn't too sure where the bus station was. Its best to do your own thorough planning if you don't speak much Spanish. She said there was a ticket counter down the street in the pharmacy. So we went there. The girl at this counter spoke no English and didn't have any information on Zempoala.

Since we couldn't find out how to get to Zempoala we decided to go to the aquarium since we heard it was very nice. We stopped at a local ATM so Rena could get pesos and we met Marlo and Emily back at the hotel so we could go to the aquarium together.

We decided to get breakfast first. We went to the Gran Café de La Parroquia since I had been there before, knew where it was and it was on our way to the aquarium. While we waited for our food we saw a woman in native costume performing a local dance accompanied by several musicians. I had an omelette w/ queso and a Diet Coke just to be kind to my stomach. The Gran Café de La Parroquia had wi-fi so I was able to check my email while we were there.

After breakfast we walked along the malecon to the aquarium, along the way we saw a large statue of two fishermen catching a woman in their net so we stopped to take a picture of that. All along the malecon bleachers were set up for the Carnaval parade that was going to happen the following weekend. There was also a triathlon taking place near the beach, we saw the bike portion of the race.

Finally we got to the aquarium. It is called Acuario de Veracruz, its housed in a large building with several shops and restaurants. It cost 90 pesos to enter only the aquarium, there was some sort of package deal with a museum and a short movie that you could do as well. The information in the aquarium is posted in spanish but the names of the fish are in english and spanish. Its a really nice aquarium with many different species and its very large. We had fun looking at the displays, especially the jellyfish, dolphins and the manatees who were engaged in some risque behavior at the time.

We left the aquarium and made our way back to Hotel Veracruz where Anna and the Esprit staff were meeting us at 3:00 p.m. We loaded our luggage and ourselves into the van and made the drive to the Veracruz airport to pick up Sally and Mary Frances. The airport has wi-fi but you have to be a member to access it, not really sure what that means but I wasn't able to get online. Once we picked up the girls we headed out for Jalcomulco. The drive took about an hour and a half. I saw more poverty in Mexico this time around but times are tough everywhere right now.

We arrived in Jalcomulco at 6 p.m. to a light drizzle. We were taken to Hotel La Villa, which was right off the zócalo and showed our rooms. The hotel is very nice with a pool, lounge chairs, a bar, wi-fi access and best of all rooms with private bathrooms. We also had a very loud birthday party happening in the middle of the street next to the hotel.

At 6:30 p.m. we had our first happy hour of the trip. We had margaritas and then we were served our dinner of enchiladas roja y verde with chayote and mixed vegetables and a tomato and cucumber salad with vinaigrette. While we ate Anna explained how the trip would be run and what would could expect. We had chocolate and coffee ice cream w/ a chocolate cookie for dessert. After dinner we all talked for awhile and we got the game plan for the morning before returning to the hotel for the night.

Back at the hotel I checked my email and journaled before going to bed. I had forgotten my ear plugs at home but found a great App for my iPod Touch called NatureSpace. I highly recommend it if you are a light sleeper or you are in a noisy Mexican village. The app has ambient sounds like the ocean, a river, rain storm etc to help block out noise and help you fall asleep faster. I was grateful for it because the birthday party went on until 2 a.m. and shortly thereafter the roosters began to crow and the donkeys woke up. It can get very loud in Jalcomulco!

Things Learned on Day 2:

1. If you want information or directions its best to do your own planning before getting to Mexico if you don't speak much Spanish. Few people speak English and will be able to help you.

2. Aquarium info :

3. The Veracruz Airport has wi-fi access but you must be a member to access it?

4. Hotel La Villa had great wi-fi access.

5. The NatureSpace app for iPod Touch is great for falling asleep in loud areas.

6. Jalcomulco map:
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