Posts Tagged ‘Xalapa’

In February 2008, we made a trip to Xico near Xalapa to see the waterfall used as a backdrop in the film “Romancing the Stone.” While the waterfall was impressive, we also found a second waterfall nearby to also be interesting. Anyone visiting the area should check out both of them. Our traveling campanion, Marie, wrote a nice article about our day trip on her blog which you can read at —


I also made a video of our day trip and posted it on YOUTUBE which can be seen at —

Stephen, Genuine-Tourist, reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA


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Santa Anna’s main home seems to have been just outside of Xalapa and is a wonderful place to visit when in the area.  Unfortunately, the chapel was closed for restoration work when we visited last February, but the main house and the grounds were lovely.  Now we were told the house was fairly sparsely furnished when Santa Anna was in residence, probably because he “partied” everything away and “gambled” heavily (all with other people’s money), but the view from the house was marvelous.  However, I thought you readers might be interested in the view of the BACK of the house.

Lencero -- Santa Anna's Millpond

Lencero -- Santa Anna

 Now, I know this post is filed under “One photo/video,” but I thought I would substitute a photo for “the video” and show you the unique post of his original front gate which you can see here.

Front Gate Post of Lencero

Front Gate Post of Lencero

 For more delightful information about Santa Anna AND his connection to Illinois, USA, go to the following links —



Stephen — http://www.Genuine-Tourist.com— reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA



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Sones de Veracruz — Part 2

We mentioned that we saw the musical group, the “Sones de Veracruz,” perform twice while in Xalapa this past Spring.  The second time was at a private home where they were putting on a performance for a tour group from New Mexico, USA.  The group was a “Gastronomic Adventure” tour by Daniel Hoyer.  He is a “culinary writer” about foods in Mexico (and the world) and can be accessed through —

http://www.welleatenpath.com   It was a delightful evening, and we got some nice video because we were in a private residence with nice lighting.

Why don’t you take a peek into the house with me and catch a few pieces of their fine performance.

And here is another look.

We enjoyed the evening immensely and, of course, bought their CD entitled, “Viva Veracruz.” 

The Group Sones de Veracruz

The Group Sones de Veracruz

David Rubio Glavan, an artist of Jarocho music and center is the above photo, can be contacted at — davidrubio33@hotmail.com.   


Thanks for checking in on this blog,

Stephen, Genuine-Tourist.com, reporting from Baraboo, USA,




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Sones de Veracruz — Part 1

While visiting Xalapa for several weeks this past Spring, we had an opportunity to be entertained on two occasions by a musical group known as the “Sones de Veracruz” who appears to be lead by David Rubio Galvan (davidrubio33@hotmail.com).  The group seems to have a “gig” every Friday (or Saturday?) night at La Consa Beatrice Restaurante, just a few blocks from the zocálo in Xalapa.  Here are some photos of Rubio and some of his fellow musicians.

Rubio (center) with Group Members

Rubio (center) with Group Members

Quite a Player of the Spoons

Quite a Player of the Spoons

See them perform in a video just a click away — click here

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way . . .  to Tlaxcala, Xalapa, and Veracruz  😉  .”

Yes, we are returning to Tlaxcala and Veracruz between January 22nd and April 30th.  We plan to start by getting a brief two day tour of Mexico City by our esteemed guide, Robert Cox, the Mexico-Mystic,  —




Then we will travel to Tlaxcala for several weeks/months stay.  At some point, we will visit the beaches north of Veracruz and travel through Xalapa one or two times on route, I figure. 

We had planned to be in Tlaxcala this October and November (right now ;-(   However, air plane tickets were toooo high, so we stayed home and spent the alleged money on a new roof for our house and some carpet for our basement.  Since then, the price of plane tickets have dropped, so we booked flights on Northwest Airlines via Detroit to Mexico City. 

Now, we booked on Northwest at some peril to ourselves because one of my relatives is a former striking mechanic with Northwest Airlines and all family members are supposed to avoid flying with them.  We are not only supposed to refrain from flying with Northwest, out of respect for his lost job, but also because he doesn’t think the planes will stay in the air with only 300 mechanics instead of the usual 3,000!.

Oh well, I guess the pocketbook always gets one’s vote, and they were the cheapest.  And, yesterday, gas went below $3.00 a gallon in southern Wisconsin, although it is still higher in our town than other places.

I am trying to decide whether to bring my computer with me on the trip.  When I bring it, I am able to post on blogs directly “from the field,” but it is a heavy load, and I hear now about some possible problems at the border with laptops.  Last time my individual total luggage weighed almost 100 lbs ;-(    This time I would like to keep it under 50 lbs total, BUT my packed laptop alone is almost 20 labs ;-(

If you haven’t notice, I have posted a LOT of video about southern Mexico on YouTube.  You can see it (and even ME) by going to — 


So, even In the “best of times and the worst of times” we plan to follow our “addiction” cravings and return to Mexico this winter.  We did purchase round trip tickets so we can get back to USA even if the economy further melts down, but then I don’t think I would mind being stranded in Mexico either 😉

Stephen, Genuine-Tourist, reporting from Baraboo, WI, USA

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We have been walking the streets of Xalapa for six weeks and enjoying the beauty of its people.  Yes, beautiful people and things can be found in Xalapa and often within an arms lengths in what sometimes seems a very crowded community.  I suppose our biggest adjustment was getting use to the narrow sidewalks crowded with people and the even more crowded streets with cars.  It took two weeks of walking twice a day before we didn’t get lost even with a map, compass, and street signs.  You see, Xalapa is a very complex city, at least in its “historic centro.”  Yesterday, we had lunch about noon at La Fanda restaurant.  The  “blue plate special” included several items and was very good, especially the price of less than $5.00 (USD) each.  From the balcony of the restaurant, we had the following few of the main street leading from our residence up to the central plaza.

From the balcony, we saw people just beginning their afternoon shopping and young people returning from morning school.  Also, we noticed the local bicycle club (person in the orange shirt) working on a project for the blind.  We spotted Raul on the sidewalk across from us following a person with a guide dog and filming the challenge of being disabled and walking in Xalapa.  Raul appeared invloved in a service project to help people who are blind to live more independently.  AND, even though we are just “Genuine Tourists” in Xalapa, we spotted our landlord, Roy, networking with folks on the street on his way home.  Just drag your cursor slowing across the following thumbnails to read their descriptions.

Woman Serious About ShoppingStudents ReturningCouple Returning From School

Person Blind and GPS MonitorOur Landlord Networking

Interestingly, this very night, several tandem bicycles were delivered to the local bicycle club so that blind people will be able to experience bike riding with a sighted person.

Tandem Bikes For The Blind

And, here they are unpacked . . .

 Unpacked Tandem Bikes

The beauty of Xalapa’s people is not seen in their outward appearance but rather in their honorable conduct, some already noted in the preceding service project for people with the disability of blindness.  However, we also found beauty in their honesty when we overpaid many of them in the market place and were returned our funds even in their poverty.  We have experienced beauty in their kindness when they have interrupted their own daily routine to help us find a street or shop, sometimes going many blocks out of their way.  Perhaps, their greatest work, however, has been and is their children.  Today, we found one such moment when we observed very young school children celebrating an early “Festival of Spring.”  Here are two videos of the event, followed by a few photos.

Princesses Waiting For CrownsSpring Festival QueenSpring Festival Smallest

We have almost completed our “Visit” of Xalapa for this year.  Soon,  we will travel to Huatulco, then Oaxaca, and then finish our first winter in Mexico with a visit of several weeks in the small Mexican state of Tlaxcala.  We will miss this place and hope you will too.  Next week, posts regarding our time in Huatulco will be available at —


Stephen, also posting at — http://www.Genuine-Tourist.com

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Scenes from Coetzala

I was fortunate to be with Steve and Pat on the day when Roy brought them to Coetzala. I was a slacker and didn’t take nearly as many photos as Steve, the Genuine Tourist, but here are a few.


This is the same suspension bridge as the one Steve posted. I’m on the opposite side of the river from the town, where the road dead ends. This bridge is the one and only way into this community.


From the village side of the river, a view of the road’s end, where all vehicular traffic gets left behind.


I’m normally rather shy about taking photos of people. I’m always afraid of offending. But I enjoy Steve’s people pictures so much, hanging around him encouraged me to try to get over that a little.


Even though they are isolated, the people of Coetzala do have electricity and running water in their homes. Here you can see the electric lines and a tinaco.


A shed or possibly a barn, built the old fashioned way.


Roy started chatting with this woman and found out she is preparing to make a salad from this spiny cactus.


It is apparently a traditional salad that is eaten during Lent. I saw a number of this type of cactus plant growing in people’s yards.


The tireless Genuine Tourist, hard at work, performing community outreach.


The hills were alive, not so much with the sound of music but rather the braying of burros.


No worries! Not dead, Perrito is snoozing on the street where there is never any traffic. In the background, the salad cactus.


Everything that comes into Coetzala comes over that one suspension bridge on the back of man or beast: every sack of cement, every cinderblock, everything. I did see some road apples on the bridge, so burros apparently traverse the span as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. (For those of you who didn’t grow up with horses, “road apples” are. . . burro byproducts.) This man is cheerfully carrying a sack of cement to a construction site.


The people of Coetzala were very nice and seemed curious about us. They didn’t seem to mind that we were being typical tourists and taking pictures of everything. I get a return wave from a friendly resident.


Pat and I had a personal chaperone while we were walking through Coetzala.


A friendly family allowed me to take their picture.


It may be small, but there’s one bar/restaurant in town, right next to the suspension bridge.


Scratched into the concrete on the village side at the base of the suspension cable anchor, the commemorative bridge reconstruction plaque.


Coetzala’s “Golden Gate” Bridge.

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