the Yucatan & Casa Hamaca
Carnival (Marte Gras) in Valladolid 
Amazing how, this morning and yesterday morning, quiet it is in Valladolid. On second thought, maybe not so amazing. It's quiet because people are still sleeping after last night's party in the main square. My helper and I had to stay up late to greet a family since their flight was delayed five hours. They showed up at Casa Hamaca at about 2:30AM and the Cuban Night dance and music fiesta in the main square was still going strong. All of Saturday afternoon and well into the night, various dance troups came to Parque San Juan to strut their stuff. Kids as young as four or five and grandmothers as old as I am... all in wild costumes and dancing 'till they were ready to drop. It seems that everyone in the neighborhood who was not dancing or helping the dancers change costumes gathered in the park to watch the dancers and drink some beer. The beer sales were done by the equivalent of the PTA. I think that the current quiet-time is the quiet before the storm... there is still time to party tonight and tomorrow before the 40 days of Lent that will begin on Wed. And then no parties until??? Next Friday? ... Flag Day. Fiestas and holidays in Mexico are not just shopping-at-the-mall occasions; there are excuses for a real party! Either in the streets, at the fair grounds or in someone's home.

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New flags I must purchase. 
Not only are our guests well-traveled, they come from a very wide range of countries. Whenever a guest arrives at Casa Hamaca from a new country, I add their flag to my "to buy" list. The flags are then displayed, on a permanent basis, overlooking the the breakfast table in the main dining area. Recent guests have been from from new countries and I have some new flags to buy:
Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Russia, Brazil, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg and Morocco.
Because of the international mix of visitors, breakfast conversations are often extremely interesting. And the breakfast are darn good as well!

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Hey, Mom! What's for dinner? 
I wish I had photos but I don't. So you will just have to use your imagination. Jenny, Carlos and I were driving on some country back roads early this afternoon. When we passed a bicycle, I noticed the rider was holding a small piece of tree branch on which was a hornets nest. I asked Carlos what use the nest would be to the man. For the paper? As a fire starter? What?
Carlos smiled and said "buen comida" or "good eating". The volleyball-sized nest would provide enough wasp larva to feed about six people after the larva had been removed and toasted on a comal (a type of frying pan). Eaten with green chiles and handmade tortillas... a real feast. Even Jenny who doesn't eat a lot of things, seemed to almost licking her lips. They called it "ek"...which sounded to me the same as the Ek in Ek Balam. Mayan is a tonal language somewhat like Chinese. So what sounds to me all the same...ek... means, with different tones, "black" or "shining star" or "toasted wasp larva". It is only a certain kind of wasp that is eaten this way. So I told them, I would like to try it when the opportunity presents itself.

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Report from the Jungle 
Have returned from the jungle with interesting findings. I need 3 folks with $10K each (plus my $10K). We can purchase this property & have almost $20K in working capital. First year return estimated at a minimum of 9.42%. We will be working with a permaculture concept of sustainable agriculture, harvesting a moderate amount of a variety of crops as varied as roofing palms & orchids. If you are interested in reading the report, let me know and I will email it to you. My direct email is

I took a few photos but did not bother to post them because it just looks like jungle...
no outstanding trees, rock formations, etc. The only "thing" on the property is the old well.
It is a dug well and about 20 meters deep.

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Off to the Jungle... again. 
Tomorrow's plan (if the rain is not too hard): off to the jungle to look at a piece of property of about 87 hectareas (200 acres). It's all monte alto (high forest) that hasn't been touched for over 40 years so there should be some big trees on the property. No electricity but there is a natural well. And because it is a natural well, it could led to a domed underground cenote. There are also at least two reyolladas (terminal phase of a cenote... usually a dry cone-shaped depression, sometimes over 100 meters across or +110 yards or a little longer than an American football field). Reyolladas are interesting because most of their area is below ground level; they're filled with good, fertile soil, often have old-growth trees, often have unusual trees/plants because of their protected situation and sometimes have interesting wildlife as well. Plus the apex of the cone (is that the correct geometric term?) is usually less that 10 meters from water and is a good spot to dig another well. I am taking my GPS and my digital camera as well as my machete and ropes and going with the owner's son and two friends of mine, one of whom is a cave diver to help access the well potential. Who knows what the day will bring?

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