December 28, Palenque, Chiapas.
In Villa Hermosa I saw the Olmec heads from La Venta; the original ruin site is 120km west of Villa Hermosa. The the original ruins were very close to a site where oil was discovered and apparently some of the site was destroyed by the oil company, then some artist from the 50ís paid to have all the heads and artifacts moved to the city center park in Villa Hermosa. It's a good location and a decent park for the ruins with a mediocre zoo included. I saw some of the original site as well but didnít explore too far because the little shit thug kids in the parking lot. They were asking for money to watch my motorcycle and made strong implications that something could happen to it if they didnít watch it. I acted like I didnít understand and went to the front desk of the park to ask if I could put my moto by the front door because the kids said itís dangerous and something could happen to it in the parking lot. They let me put it right at the front door (itís not a busy park because all the good stuff was moved to Villa Hermosa) but I still didnít want to leave the motorcycle very long and I wanted to get to Villa Hermosa before dark so I made a very quick trip of it. The 'kids in the parking lot' scheme is something I'll be seeing lots more of but most places are ready to provide a safe place to park, so far.
Today I saw Palenque, the most amazing site of ruins Iíve ever seen. Huge buildings and pyramids with the jungle surrounding them, very dramatic. The pictures were well worth the trip. As usual Iím behind and have to catch up on many other ruin sites before Palenque makes the WWW, or my little piece of it anyway.
Eco-stoned-Euro-trash are hanging out in the somewhat boring little zocolo here; tapping their drums and spinning sticks and balls on the end of a string and simple attempts at juggling and dropping stuff; generally performing acts of little to no talent, just like someone who learns nunchucks for 10 minutes and thinks theyíre putting on a great show. The town of Palenque basically exists to take tourists money when they visit the ruins which are five miles south of here. I always see these eco-folks at the more prevalent ruin sites, like here, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, etc.
There are more che-heads around as well [people wearing Che-Guevara shirts, hats or other Che garb] and the further south I go the more Iíll see; the poorer the people the more likely they are to embrace anything called ďChangeĒ, ďRevolutionĒ or ďI hate rich peopleĒ. Itís also why Obrador [the leftist loser in the recent pres. election] posters and stickers have been plastered on many more cars and buildings and phone poles since I left Puebla. I saw some Obrador stuff in Veracruz, a little more in Tabasco, and even more here in Chiapas; all progressively poorer states leading to proportionately greater number of Obrador signs. Heíll stop appearing when I leave Mexico but Che will continue on throughout the Americas. He's my security advisor; the more of him I see the more I need to make sure that my things are secure. Iím pretty sure I could devise a mathematical equation, creating a trend line that would accurately predict the degree of likelihood of things being stolen, or people being robbed, or both, by the number of Che-head sightings in and around the zocolo of the city. In Mexico the equation could also use Obrador posters as a predictor of the same.
Tomorrow I leave for Campeche, should be a fairly long trip.