Karma is a Bitch


So, I’m finally issuing my driver’s license in Spain, there will be a dedicated post for this soon. In the meantime, it turns out I did my theory exam this morning and results should be published on the Traffic Department’s website like, now. However it seems my karma isn’t done with me yet (I drove a scooter in India with no license for a year and I guess I’m paying my dues), because  the site is only displaying year of birth up to 2006 and I’m a bit older than that. So I can’t check my results.

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And yes, I’m desperate to find out. I forced refreshed the page, updated and checked different browsers. I also called three different offices for the driving school but it seems it’s really a tech bug because everyone would be calling in to ask.

Shoot me in the nuts… in the meantime I’m off to a relaxing weekend retreat near Madrid. Arrivederci!

Ernesto


Tepoztlán


Las weekend I traveled to Mexico City to visit my best friend and he suggested to visit Tepoztlán, small town nearby in the beautiful state of Cuernavaca  where, by the way, I hadn’t been before. The town itself is as small as 14k inhabitants, although there are other towns nearby that are connected in many ways making the greater region somewhat about 41k.

The town is magical and charming, great weather and offers a great variety of street markets, food, souvenirs, etc. It also has the particularity that you can grab a beer or a “michelada” and walk around as long as you don’t cause trouble of course. Hostels are widely available and I strong recommend to visit for a couple of days at least, especially on weekends.

Due to the size and location of the town, I can say many of the most deep rooted traditions in Mexico an easily be found here in all its shapes and forms. We had the luck of being there for December 12th when Mexico celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe.

As we arrived we quickly noticed the devotion…

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Cranberry juice is said to be spectacular in the region…2015-12-12 16.46.13

 

I’m not a great fan of chilly and hot sauces so I went for the ligher drink I could find in the menu, which is beer with pineapple…

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Clamato on the go for Tagino…

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Lifestyle is of course more laid back, locals enjoy themselves and the beautiful view of people walking around peacefully…

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All types of food can be found around, of course maybe with a little twist like sauced beer, so I can’t immagine what you could find in a Central Mexico pizzeria…

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Beautiful antique architecture dated from the 15th century seen in this church/convent…

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Did I mentioned the point of the tour was to attend a Mezcal tasting? This is a great initiative of a collective called Somos Mezcal which are producers and distributors with the objective of spearing the word about the culture and tradition of this ancestral Mexican beverage. You can find more about them in their site and don’t hesitate to contact them for samples.

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Street food…

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A corner that called my attention…

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A parenthesis here to say these are the BEST tacos in town and probably in many miles around…

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I’ll leave this to spanish speaking audience that understand double sense🙂

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This is the backyard of the hotel we stayed at, beautiful, charming and relaxing…

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Another important parenthesis… grasshoppers. When in Rome, do what Romans do…

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After a few beers it’ time to take some funny pics…

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For the second day we had breakfast at this place, I’d say it’s delicious and I won’t even come close to how good the food really was…

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Central Mexico is also characterized for the wide variety of natural (and sometimes homemade) juices. This is “Agua de Horchata” which is made out of rice, almonds and seeds. I wonder why having all these we are one of the highers per capita consumers of Coca-Cola

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This is big stuff, we ended up in a small kiosk inside the local market on a Sunday which specializes in “Pre-Hispanic Food”. Gotta say I’ve never heard of it, so excuse my ignorance, but yet it’s one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever had. I couldn’t even tell what it was, but it was mainly vegetarian food with a bit of “mole”, which is a Mexican sauce made out mainly of chocolate and chillies, with a diverse variety of other spices and ingredients depending on the region you travel in Mexico.


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Our pick…

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The place… you’ll thank me the day you visit this place for lunch🙂

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More colors from the town’s central market…

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Another famous part of the town is a pyramid in the top of the mountain, however as we were a bit hangover’d tired we decided not to go all the way, so we hanged around the start of the trip where you can of course find more street food before you climb…

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More tacos…

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As we left the town on Sunday afternoon we had this beautiful sky to close a very nice, relaxing and even exotic weekend in Central Mexico…

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Of course if you need any advice fro travelling around i can put you in contact with the right people and places for yo to have a great time.

Happy travelling!

 

Ernesto

 


Café Coffee


Chai means tea in several languages. Its origin appears to be mandarin although that’s irrelevant for the point I want to make:

To say or order a Tea Chai, as I just realized people in Monterrey do, is redundant.

#sundaythoughts


Oktoberfest


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Sicily West Coast Roadtrip


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Downtown Palermo

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Teatro Politeama

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Cassata, tipical Sicilian dessert made out of ricotta

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Trapani

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San Vito Lo Capo

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San Vito Lo Capo

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Favignana Island

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Boat trip around Favignana

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Levanzo

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Levanzo

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Sicilian style pizza

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Modica

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Pizzeria La Contea


Infrastructure & Innovation


Today’s image is about a very particular telephone pole:

To build, just stick a bamboo on the ground:

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And voilà:

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That’s called innovation!


Security Checks in India


As per historic terrorists events in India  security has increased over the years. Measures have brought though , if figures are real, positive results.

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However for an average western it could still be a bit shocking to see security checks in normal day to day activities, like when you go…

To the supermarket

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Entrance at D-Mart, local supermarket in Mumbai

 

To office

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Entrance to an office complex in Powai

 

To the shopping mall

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R-City Mall

 

For a coffee…

Starbucks Mumbai

Starbucks around the corner of Taj Hotel and Gateway of India

The absurdity is the the lightness of the controls as many times they are more adornments and a headache more than real checks.

I could think of a million ways of passing through with an elephant without being noticed, but…

Security first!

 


Weekend get away in Alibag


With a population of around 20M people, Mumbai is the largest agglomeration in India and one of the Top Ten most populous city in the world. Traffic, noise, chaos and pollution are enough to justify a get away weekend for Mumbaikars.

This weekend was the turn for Alibag, which is 90km away from Mumbai. Distances in India though are not correlated to time or viceversa, so it can take you up to four hours to drive this distance (one way) depending on traffic, roads and other events like cars breaking in the middle of the way. It’s critical in India to make sure your weekend is relaxing enough to drive you through patiently on the way back home. Here’s me trying…

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Around the corned of Mango Beach House where we stayed

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Half constructed (or destructed) house

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The car broke, so our driver had to borrow some battery cables from an abandoned truck nearby the hotel

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Children waiting for the bus

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Road

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Woman carrying stuff

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Oxen chilling out on a Sunday morning

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A fishermen beach we came across with on the way from Kihim to Alibaug

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Sunday traffic

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Guys hanging out safely

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Alibag Beach

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Cow posing for a photo

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It’s common in India that women get into water dressing saree and men wearing pants and shirts

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Enjoying the view

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Coconuts

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Refreshments

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Mysterious man

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Local handcrafts

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Monkeys getting disturbed by people taking pics at them

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Fire extinguishers, a very common scene in India. Although I’m not quite sure about their effectiveness in case of real fire

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Very nice view of a dam, although the scene around is not so clean and quiet as this postcard

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Idem

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People getting refreshed on the other side of the dam

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Bicycles

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A common scene in India, garbage cans are mostly an adornment


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