Day 7–Puerto Chiapas

These were the greeters at our next stop, Puerto Chiapas.

They were quite good and the sound resonated off of the hull of our ship, which is sitting directly behind them. 

Our first shore tour was a bird-watching boat ride through a mangrove swamp about 10 miles from the port.  There were 7 boats, it turned out this was one of the most popular of the shore excursions at this site.  We wound through this narrow channel watching for birds.  I though this bird was a prop because he stood soooo still as we paddled by.  I say paddled because the water was too shallow in this area at low tide for the boats to use their motors.

I believe this is a snowy egret.  And this little guy…

a Pygmy Kingfisher.  These photos are why I upgraded my camera.  No way to get shots like these with the old HP.  It cycled way too slow. 

We got back to the ship and had plenty of time to run into the nearby city of Tapachula.  It was a small industrial port city with reasonably good facilities and lots of things to look at in the downtown area.  The traffic was horrendous and people were crowed everywhere.  I think It might have been a market day.

This second shot shows an herbal remedy/apothecary shop.  There were herbs here to cure anything; headaches, worms, sexual problems, flu, canker sores, balding, mosquito bites, cancer, you name it.  The signs were a bit comical, it looked like there wasn’t any disease beyond immediate cure.  As it turned out, I should have shopped up an herb for Montezuma’s revenge.  I got careless at the central square area and bought a can of Coke.  What I neglected to do was thoroughly wash off the top of the can before I opened it.  The can was kept cold by ice that was not purified.  I had this little "memento" for the remainder of the cruise.  Grrrrrr.   That and the hot weather sapped my strength and made every day a struggle to see the sites.  But as the photos will attest, I never gave up.

This is Mexico’s welfare system at work.  The little old lady is obviously crippled and has made a point to show off her scarred legs, gnarled hands, and bloated feet in hope of people like me dropping some money into the bowl.  I gave enough to feed her for a several days.  I hope that money didn’t go into some liquid oral pain meds (booze).  The stains on the cement were tobacco, she and the other guy (son?) both had a good chaw.

We met a man from Arizona while walking around the downtown area.  He had moved down, married, and opened up a bridal boutique near the central square.  The first thing he did when he saw me was run up and ask "Do you speak English?"  I kind of laughed, but it brought home how little the people from the cruise ships will walk away from the place where the buses drop them off.  We chatted for a few minutes and I got the distinct impression that he was some sort of a missionary from the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons.  He was carrying religious literature with him, but he never brought the subject up.  I think he was glad to be speaking English for a change and didn’t want to chance running me off.  We were welcomed back for a visit, but I think it is unlikely we will ever return to Tapachula.  It’s a long ways away.

The downtown area was hot and humid and I was glad to get back to the ship.

All of these port locations are visible on Google Earth. 

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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