Jul 9, 2007

Day 4: El Paso - Juarez, Mexico

Today was exhausting but I did alot of sight seeing.

El Paso is predominantly hispanic. It's odd to be the minority. Everywhere you look, the hispanic language is used in print and speaking.

It also seems to be a distribution center. Eighteen wheelers everywhere. I suppose they bring products from Mexico as well as being a hub for product dicstribution from the west to east.

Socorro Missions

In the morning I visited Socoro Missions. There are three missions/churches from the early 1X00's nestled in sleepy towns with run down adobe homes. The condition of the homes were pretty delapidated compared to US standards, but I suppose for those who live there, they do not notice. I saw a group of them playing football in a nearby field. Happy people.

The missions themselves were beautiful and simple. I was able to walk into one, empty... It has been years since I have stepped into a church, and to be able to walk in a sanctuary of one with no one in it reminded me of the times I used to be a janitor working alone sometimes in the am to clean it before the hustle bustle of church goers. I got some pretty rad pictures of the sanctuary. Apparently the hispanics worship Lady of Guadalupe? essentially a Mother Mary figure. I was excited. I have an affinity for religious images.

I tried going to the top of a Mount Rey, but the gravel road leading to it was too dangerous for my Suzuki. There is a cross monument sitting on top a high mountain that over looks the majority of El Paso.

C-Juarez Mexico

I mustered some bravery to cross the border on foot. Most of the travelers were hispanic to my surprise.

Going over the border, there is the Rio Grande. There are anti-American grafitti. Well I don't know if its totally anti-American, but images like Che Guevara, and one that said "Weapons of mass destruction" with some soldiers, tanks, but probably most importantly barbed wire which I assume that keeps immigrants from crossing.

I drove by much of the border. Its amazing how shitty, for the lack of a better word, the other side looks. Dirty shanty towns with dirt/gravel litter right near the border.

I was able to walk into the commerce section of Juarez. Apparently Mexicans have really bad eyes, health, and also have a penchant for tattoos cause there were at least 5 of each service/product shops within the mile I ventured in.

Im being sarcastic. I suppose its probably cheaper for legal mexicans trusting enough to go over the border to get themselves hooked up.

I found some goods for a decent price. The vendors are desparate and very freindly for any kind of business. I did not haggle. I guess I wanted to be the big catch of the day for them. It seems to be hard to live over there...

**** On my way back, they check IDs. I think the guy was pulling my leg, cause he looked at me suspiciously and said, anyone can get a drivers license. You are a tourist? I showed him my souvenirs, and after a couple more probing questions he let me by. Im glad I had cleaned up and shaved. I was going to not shave or clean up the whole trip. Otherwise he might have not so easily thought I was US. Some mexican vendor asked me if I was Mexican. Apparently with some sun, I look like one.

Guadalupe Mountain National Park

Pretty cool mountains. It feels odd to be surrounded by mountains. They were beautiful. If I can ever find a place to upload my pictures, they will speak for themselves.

Carlsbad Caverns.

Nice caves. The 300,000 bats coming out at dawn was not as impressive as I had imagined. Having seen so many movies with bats or flying things, the quiet bats, although many in numbers, was a total let down.

Im off to bed, and Flagstaff tomorrow. After a 6am-12midnight day, Im glad I wont be doing anything more but driving tomorrow.


Oh yeah, got a haircut right? I speak no spanish, they barber spoke no english. She handed me a book of hairstyles, and I pointed to one. That was the extent of the dialogue except, she said "Spikey?" and I said "Spikey."



Anonymous said...

Dude...if you cut through Southern AZ go to Bisbee and check out the trailer park motel...http://www.theshadydell.com/, make sure to visit the giant cacti of Saguaro National Park, and then head over to see the most awesomest airplane graveyard in Davis Monthan Airforce Base (Tuscon, AZ). Google map it and do a satellite view to see all the planes in nice rows!

Also, watch out for the current fires! Blazing through UT and nine other western states currently!!! Tom Tom no show fire.

If in NM/AZ/UT area...the area NW of Flagstaff, AZ...you have to see Monument Valley!


Anonymous said...

Awww, the Brisbee park does look really cute!!!

I'm so glad that you are able to do something like this. I like reading your posts, too, because you write very well. Kind of like a calm narrative of those beautiful places!

Thanks for helping us be less nervous about our upcoming venture. :D

Can't wait to read more,
Ty's Sidekick.