dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote in binky_betsy,

Travel Journal, Day Three

I wonder what sights Lynn will see and refuse to understand today.

It seems to me that she's about to give us her warped, ignorant perspective of Aztec history.

Kate was sick for much of the night. Around 2am, I looked for the Imodium I always carry and she took a good dose. It didn’t work, so she took some more. Later, when the problem continued, she checked the expiry date on the package. It had expired in 1999!!!

Alanna and I went down to the farmácia and bought fresh stuff and Cypro, an antibiotic you can get over the counter, there. It’s what they gave us in Peru and Alanna, through experience, thought it would do the trick.

Kate seemed well enough to take a trip to Monte Albán, one of the well preserved archaeological sights nearby. A great deal of restoration has been done to these ancient buildings and we were fortunate to be there on a clear, quiet morning. A few vendors on the entrance steps sold hats and masks, and guides were eager to show us around. Alanna knew the place well, so we followed her lead. I always find these places to be powerful, somehow; sort of like being in a shrine; a living museum. The magic and the majesty of these ancient cities take my breath away. We climbed one of the temples and marveled at the view. You could see where terraced farming had taken place and where private homes had stood in rows on the hillsides.

(Image: Monte Alban Historical Site)

They say that one of the reasons this civilization collapsed is that Aztec rulers were allowed to have many wives, but the common people were monogamous by decree. So, the kings had hundreds of royal offspring who in turn produced lots of children, all of whom were too royal to work in the fields or build temples or do any of the real work. There is evidence of uprisings where the commoners overthrew the families of the kings, eliminating a lot of their own population. This combined with deforestation, war and illness made life tenuous long before the Spanish arrived. A real lost civilization.
(Image: Allana Starkman and Katie Johnston at Monte Alban)
(Image: Monte Alban)

Kate was not well enough to continue to other sites, so we went back to our B&B and she went to bed. I felt terrible. A mother always hopes these things will happen to THEM and not their children! Fran, Alanna and I went back into town where we explored the artisan’s shops and the chocolatarías.

(Images: Three interior scenes from local chocolataria.)

Chocolate grows in Mexico. I’d always wondered what the pods looked like and we were fortunate to find one of the shops grinding the beans into powder. The pods are about the size of a pear. They are hard, fluted and filled with thumbnail shaped beans. Each bean has a dusty brown coating and when you break one open, the chocolate inside is black and a bit oily. The taste is bitter and strong.. These beans are roasted, ground and then mixed with other ingredients to make all kinds of products. We had chocolate milkshakes- to DIE for and bought stuff to eat to cook and make drinks with.

Back at the ranch, Kate was able to get up and socialize…(having also eaten something to die for) and we went over everything we could think of, trying to guess what Kate had eaten that none of us had. Well…It was MY fault! It was the carrots I bought at the market. I had washed them, but not in treated water, had cut them into sticks and put them on the table to eat raw. Nobody else had eaten the carrots. Case solved and another lesson hammered home. One: wash veggies in treated water and or boil them before they go down!!! Two: check the expiry dates on your meds before you travel. Stuff 10 years out of date won’t work.

I have apologized on my knees for the error. I knew better- I really did!! Nothing like learning from actual experience…and I still wish it had been ME!!

Hasta manana!

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