Sunday, July 23, 2006

Cerro Gordo to Jalapa

On friday we drove up the old highway from Veracruz to Jalapa (or Xalapa). There was a battle along the way at a place called Cerro Gordo, but I had not been able to find much information about where that was on the internet. Oddly enough as we were driving along there was suddenly a sign ¨Cerro Gordo¨. We stopped for dinner at a restaraunt there called Los Palomas. I had a fish relleno that was good. The salsa was very fresh and tasty, and the place was very pleasant to sit in. It actually started to get a bit chilly as we were there, and I put my fleece on.

We did not look too hard, but in any case we did not see any plaques or monuments commemerating the battle. Possibly that is because the battle went rather poorly for Mexico. After Santa Anna rode away on his horse, much of his army chose the same path. The book that got me interested in the war (linked above) reports that the road to Jalapa was littered with discarded rifles.

Yesterday we visited the local Anthropology museum, reputed to be the second best in Mexico. Many of the objects were interesting, although giant head number five is perhaps not so exciting as giant head number one, even though it also is carved from tons of stone. The flayed man is worth a look, and the unusual ceramic animals were delightful. The main problem may have been that virtually everything on display was brown or grey, which is a bit tiresome.

Also got some laundry done, at a reasonable rate, away from the hotel. Took the opportunity to point out to Gus that we got all of our clothes done for less than one shirt would have cost at the hotel. The minor inconvenience of carrying them a block away was probably worth it.

We had seen some signs for a wrestling event, but did not copy down the right part of the poster, and were thus unable to find it. I thought ¨bosque del recuerdo¨ sounded like a location, but in fact it means ¨funeral home¨and was thus probably part of the come on for the show. It might have been fun to see the cybernetic death cult fight the whatever they weres, but it was not to be.

Lunch yesterday was at a chicken place, we had everything but chicken. The Queso Asado was good, a slab of grilled cheese, with sauteed onions and some green chile. The chile was the closest thing to New Mexico green chile I have had in a while. Jalapa supposedly gave its name to the Jalapeño, but we have not seen any on the menu here. Dinner was enchiladas after a bit of walking around during which we got some fruit and yogurt from a street vendor. The bananas I thought were amazing, the papaya less so.


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