From the Archives: On the Road at Nine and Ten, 1988-89

drawing of van in Mexico

  As I was working on my book about my nomadic hippie childhood, I unearthed a travel journal that covered two trips to Mexico in the late 80s. The odysseys included research for “The People’s Guide to RV Camping in Mexico,” extended stays at Tenacatita, and my first visit to Guatemala. We also drove some Huichol friends on a pilgrimage to their sacred lands in Central Mexico. I’ve chosen a few excerpts for your amusement. You can read the first installment here.  Dec 26, 1988 […]

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Can I Take My Cat on a Mexican Bus or Train?

A large black tom cat

A reader writes: Hola! We are doing a West Coast RV trip with our rambunctious 8-month-old kitten in January. Would he be allowed on the Copper Canyon train if in a carry kennel? Can he ride on first class buses? Churpa replies: I have never tried to take a cat on a Mexican bus (though, to be fair, it sounds like something I might attempt). I hear it’s possible to take a pet on the Primera Plus line, but the […]

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Noticias 5/16/2013

El Volcán – Popocatépetl, a volcano located about 55 kilometers from Mexico City, is erupting, prompting officials to restrict access in the area and to prepare for evacuations. We camped within view of Popo in calmer times on our trip. Extraño – The grandson of Malcolm X, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death in a Mexico City nightclub. Two waiters at the nightclub have been arrested for allegedly assaulting Shabazz and a friend when the two refused to pay a 15,000 peso tab […]

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Saints in the City

Emo kids carry statues of San Judas de Tadeo, or St. Jude

I am sitting on a rock hard bed at the Hotel Isabel, in a high-ceilinged room with pink and grey walls. I first came to the Isabel when I was only 23, and I still put up with the rock hard beds because the hotel is clean and has just the right mix of actual beauty (twenty-foot-high ceilings in this room), crazy Mexican aesthetics (a gorgeous Colonial lobby painted bright orange and bright blue; pastel furniture that’s straight out of […]

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Mexico Keeps the Twinkie Alive?

A pile of twinkies.

Groupo Bimbo tendered a serious offer to purchase liquidated Hostess brands, makers of the Yuppie icon, Twinkie. Bimbo would make an ideal marriage partner for the marque as Mexico has seeming inexhaustible supplies of petroleum crude oil.

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From the Stacks: Mexico in Your Own Car, 1935

An old Mexico travel brochure with ttitle "Mexico in your own Car" and picture of church with agave.

When I moved into the house my sainted parents built in the late 70s, I inherited their vast and dusty collection of Mexico books, magazines, maps, and pamphlets. Some of the collection consists of history and anthropology classics (not to mention an entire shelf devoted to various editions of The People’s Guide to Mexico), but lately I’ve ben leafing through the ephemera: deteriorating maps decorated with señoritas in sombreros, hefty Sanborn’s guides riddled with my Dad’s scrawling notes and dribbled […]

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Letter from a UK Reader–Giving Blood for The People's Guide

Black-and-white photograph of a bohemian looking traveler with a mustache and bandana.

A reader writes: Hi, Just found my very battered copy and a quick google led me here – just wanted to say thanks for The People’s Guide. In 1979 I sold blood in San Francisco to help pay for a copy of your book, but unfortunately I fainted half way through (at the sight of my blood running out of me – in the UK they use opaque tubes!). The good people at the clinic decided I needed the blood […]

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