a novice traveller this was an extremely daring
move. Especially as he would be travelling alone.
Ian knew nobody in Mexico. Although he’d travelled
the year before for the first time in Australia,
he’d had the advantage of knowing people there.
This would his first real trip in a foreign land
Yet as Ian was to find out, there is no such thing
as being alone on the backpacker trail. The meeting
of two Canadian girls soon threw him into the backpacker
scene, and by the time he finally crossed the border
into Mexico, was part of a small group of people
all with similar intentions.
first two weeks of the journey were spent in California,
which actually used to belong to Mexico before war
with the US ended in Mexico ceding all of its north-western
territories to the US. Upon entry into Mexico Ian
soon found himself in exactly the land he had imagined:
dusty pueblos, men in cowboy hats, barefoot Indian
women and much more. But that wasn't all. Over the
next four months Ian was to really discover the
diversity of this land: the mountainous interior,
the deserts of the north, the tropical lowlands
of the south and the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan.
He met a variety of people from backpackers from
all walks of life to local Mexican people, many
of whom humbled him with their extreme kindness
and generosity despite their poverty-stricken lives.
He soon discovered that Mexican food was a force
to be reckoned with, a force that on two such occasions
won pants down, so to speak.
hitching a lift through the Baja desert with an
eccentric old American named Leroy, chugging through
the mountains on a train straight out of the Wild
West, being fed and entertained on buses by local
people, or travelling five weeks through the Yucatan
Peninsula in a van with a couple from California,
Ian discovers the wonders of travelling in this
diverse country of rich culture and wonderful people.
The book shows how it is possible to travel anywhere
and always find a place to stay. It shows how easy
it is to get about in foreign countries and how
sometimes it can be much more fun to do it yourself
rather than arrange a package tour. It shows the
hardships of budget travelling, but the rewards
that it can reap. It shows how diverse the country
is and how it is not as dangerous as people might
imagine. And it shows that this country is just
how Ian had envisioned it, and much, much more.
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