Archive | October, 2016

Misantla . The place of Deer

31 Oct

We arrived in Misantla late in the day. Alejandro had some friends in town. who owned restaurants so after booking in at the hotel. we went to his friends resturant amd had dinner

 i had a prawn cocktail followed by battered fish. After the nice dinner went back to the hotel. i woke up early in the morning with excruciating stomach pains. i drank lots of water fpr the next few hours

 it was only then that i remembered the travellers advice the gov gives out to avoid raw seafood in third world countries. the water helped alot.

The previous night Alejandro had organised to meet with s local historian. Miguel .  We met Arturo Alejandros friend and we went to his fathers resturant we talked to Miguel for a few hours we had some more food fried bananas plus scrambled eggs and tortillas . 

I didnt really want to eat but felt peer pressure to do so.

After we went to Arturos house .  There we met his wife and family . he had a mandarin tree in the back yard. he offered us some and while i said no i was given one anyway I could feel my body starting to react to the amount of sugar that id eaten . the his wife Maria bought out this beutiful jelly.which i just couldn’t rrsist. i probably could have turned down a second helping but by then the addictive nature of sugar had set in so i had a second helping .  by the time that we wete leaving I could really feel the effects .  so i asked to go back to thr hotel for a siesta which turned into sleeping all night I woke at 7 inthe morning it one of the first timrs that my alarm has woken me up but i was geeling better .  

Before that wr had heafed out to a site called Paxil.

It was a post classic site about 1200ad til the conquest.

This we had planned to look at several hills in the area. Firstly Espadilla. which Larry poulsen proposes as hill shim. 

We drove around this hill and took many photos .  

Then we headed to a hill that was supposed to be called omitpetl .  but we couldnt find any local knowledge of the name. 

They mainly called it beauno vista . beutiful view and it was fr the end of the road we could see all the way to the ocean

 Arturo said that were we were at eas called the door because one hill finished and another started . Then we decided to walk to yhe top of the hill. i had been having computer problems so was inable to charge my phone so i didnt get any pics of or climb up thehill i estimate thst it took  about 2 hours to the  top and back again .  

I could see that this might be a favourable place to be cumorah there was a stream  just before the top. 

There were large boulders everywhere which could act as good ambush positions .  

Also Arturo said that the current population of the are was 100k one major city misantla plus a couple of towns and many smal community’s abt 600 people in size. so it quite able to support the numbers laid out in the Book of Mormon . 

At the night time it was a local festival and celebration  remembering those who had died in thr prior year. They have a compition for the kids who can dress up as a dead person the most prettiest .  They also have a Miss Misantla .  

But they were waving lit tobacco the smoke got too mich and i went to thr hotel them went to sleep.ready to  head off to Xalapa in the morning . 


28 Oct

Early the next morning we left El Mante for Naranjo. its quite a common name for places it means orange. i suppose that some one ate an orange there and decided to name the town that. the other common name for towns is based on maise. cin or sin or xin. same as oranges but corn hill plays a large part in creation mythologies around here so they could just be trying. to encourage fertility. so there crops could grow well. 

As we headed off we stopped a final time and took some pictures of Cerro Bernal . 

ALong the way to naranjo we stopped at Panico it hss been proposed as the janding site for the Jaredites barges. we walked along a peir and took pictures. 

There was a marked change in topography between Cerro Bernal and the area near Naranjo .  the larger region is called seirra de las Otonotepec . 

Larry Paulsen has suggested this area based on a Google earth search .  bit there hss never before been boots on the ground so to speek. That was our goal today to investigate the area much as possible .  

There were yhree towns that form a rough triangle each about an hour apart .  Naranjo Tepitcintla and. another town i now cant remember .  originally we had planned to go clockwise around the towns but we changed our mind and went anti clockwise instead .  

There was a horse shoe shsped bowl in the valley that was of particular interest 

 we found a road that would take us close to it but all the Rancheros we met as we travelled down the road were unfriendly so Alejandro didnt feel right about continuing . we trust his instincts so we turned back. 

FOr the sake of trying to spead up the narritive I will compress a couple of days together. 

WE were going to stay in Tepitcintla but thr yown was too small and there were no hotels.  due to Alejandros pasy associatation with Tixpan we decided to stay there.  

More abt it next time. 

Alejandros stories.  

28 Oct

He has told Warren and I lots of interesting stories about himself and Mexico.  

This blog post will be a work in progress it will be updated each time Alejandro tells us more stories. 

We are in Tuxpan. Alejandro has a sad but interesting tale to tell about his best friend who dissappeared in the bermuda triangle 

Alejandro and his friend Adolofi were in the merchant marines together. Adolfo was first mate on the ship that went missing. He was not supposed to be on the ship he was ment to be on vacation but another officer got sick. So he was to do one more trip to Bremen and back. Adolfo had only recently met a girl in Tuxpan. 

Over the prior 6 months Alejandro had cover for Adolfo when in Tuxpan and Adolfo had covered there shift for Alejandro when in Bremen. 

There wete 27 people on the ship when it left the City of Tuxpan.  It arrived safely in Bremen it disappeared on the way back.the estimated time of was 3 March 1987 .2 ships dissappeared that day. A hurrocane hit the area were the ships were sailing through.At 1310 a nearby ship sent out mayday but hot no response from the Tuxpan . 

The ship seemef to have survived . 

But it never arrived back in City of Tuxpan. No trace of the ship or crew were ever found.  

A statue was later errected in Tuxpan in honor of the crew.

Cerro Bernal

27 Oct

I really read to reread the previous days blogs so i can remember were I’m up to and not forget anything important. I’ll try to that in future.

In the morning we set off the examine our first Cumorah candidate. Cerro Bernal we  planned to circumnavigate the hill if we could taking photos from every angle.

The candiadate was proposed by Jerry Ainsworth many years ago. Jerry has written alot  about the hill and why he thinks its Cumorah. even though I think its an unlikely candidate we are trying to be unbiased and look at each possible candidate to get as much information as possible.

by the end of the day we had stopped 13 times to take photos I was given the task of using the GPS to record each time we stopped. we didn’t get to completely circumnavigate the hill but we got pretty close.

We have been doing so much traveling and seeing that I’m starting to forget. I really need to catch this blog up to the  day that i’m on instead of being two days behind.

no my mind is blank so I’ll leave it there .

but we returned to the hotel and stayed another night. setting off again inn the morning for another day of travelling

we I remember i’ll update this post by adding some of the pics that we took near the hill.

If you want any details please comment I may to able to remember more if prompted.

The Road to El Mante

26 Oct

Alejandro was set to meet us with the hire car at 10am. so at 9:3  I headed down to the main office to hand in my key. I also thought that i might get the chance to meet up with Warren. Waiting in the office is another man. I waited about a minute before asking if him if he was Warren Aston. He said that he was.

I told him that i was going on the trip with Alejandro with him. I had before assumed that he’d been told that i was coming down. but nope was a total surprise to him.

So I introduced myself telling him how i ended up in Mexico.

then we waited for Alejandro to turn up.due the place being hard to find it took Alejandro a while to find us. But when he did we loaded our bags into the car and headed off.

The day was to be our longest driving day . abt a 9 hr drive to El Mante.. There is this mountain chain that parallels the coast.

So it was hour after hour of the same thing. It seems that there are a series of connecting plains and valleys.

We stopped for lunch at resturante Santiago. Its a pretty popular place. its unique as the people who cook your food are out in the open . On this trip Im sticking to pretty plain fare as I dont want to end up sending most of my time on the toilet..SO i had a simple chicken noodle soup and some tortillas.

Alejandro is a great guy he regales us with many different experiences that he has been through.

If I understand it right he was in Mexico city when lots of UFOs descended on the city. thousands of people saw them. he has also had other experiences seeing UFOs.which he told us about as well. I don’t think it is my right to tell his stories over the internet so I will just leave it at that out of respect.

Warren also shared about many of the adventures that he had been on.

Finally just after dark we arrived at El Mante. Alejandro had the hotels address but it turned out not to be a viable option so we headed to somewhere else instead. but we did find another nice place were we stayed for the next two days .

We were all really tired from the long drive so we separated to our rooms and went to sleep.

Viva La Mexico

26 Oct

I woke up early in the morning i had a shower and some buns for breakfast . At abt 7 I went back to the kitchen I was starting to get anxious as i couldn’t see any signs that Kirk was awake. But shortly after seven he appeared and we headed to the airport. we talked about many things on the way there. He gave me pens and some extra cash to give to Alejandro.

After saying goodbye to Kirk I went and  go some snacks and a drink from the vending machine.when I got to customs they made me throw out my snacks and drink . They also threw away my toothpaste because it was 10gs over the limit.

not impressed with the customs people at SLC Airport. so got some more snacks in the boarding area then waited for my flight.

Got to mexico abt 3 in the afternoon.  found out that my plane landed at terminal 2 and my Hotel was near terminal 1. It would have taken me an hour to walk between the two terminals so i caught a taxi.

Took several pics on the drive to the other side of the airport. I was nervous to be in a non English speaking country. It took me a while to work out were the hotel was.There was also a major freeway out the front an no obvious way to get across it. found that there were occasionally  overhead crossings  there was one to a fancy hotel that was next to mine.  It is a small Hotel that looks like most of the people who normally use it are Mexican truckers.
hospedale Aeroporto , So I unpacked did some washing ad hoped that it would be dry by the morning.
Then went out for an evening walk I saw a Mcdonalds and went and ordered some dinner. it was only then that I realized my bank card was back at the hotel.I didn’t want to have to cross over the road and then back again to get to the hotel But I couldn’t work it out so back tracked and crossed at the fancy hotel.
When I got back I didn’t know whether i could be bothered going back out again. but i decided to anyway with my bank card this time. So this time I followed the road in the opposite direction  Found that there was a closer way way to cross the freeway so i walked down to Mcdonalds got my stuff and came back again.

Going to sleep that night I was really Nervous I would Meet  Warren in the morning. This was supposed to be his trip and I’d kinda gatecrashed it. but I felt that I really needed to be here for some reason that only the Lord Knows. A million thoughts racing through my head would he be annoyed with me ,would he hate me, ect, ect.
Warren is a bit of a personal hero of mine. He is an Aussie whos been able to make a big contribution to Book of Mormon studies while still being on the other side of the world Ive always thought that if he can do it so can I in a small if limited way.It was his talk to my ward back in the mid 80’s that got me interested in Book of Mormon archaeology. Its always nervous when it comes to meeting a personal hero because they are never what you have built them up in your mind to be.


Salt Lake

25 Oct

I arrived in Salt Lake early in the morning. but it was only after id’d arrived that I realized that Id used most of my phone battery reading on the plane . So didn’t get many photos of Salt Lake City.

SO i called Kirk when I arrived. I talked to his wife Shannon. we organised for her to pick me up at 12. so I could have a few hours walking around Salt lake.

My main reason for wanting to come Salt lake was that I want to set in motion a possible future research project.

There was a free shuttle bus to salt lake temple. but I had just missed it. so I played some Pokemon go then went to the toilet the I went to the shuttle bus it was only when I saw the bus coming that I realized that I’d left my walking stick in the bathroom so i went back there hoping that I would be able to get back to the bus in time. . My walking stick was gone from the toilet but I saw a cleaner and asked if he knew were my walking stick might be. He found out where it was and was able to quickly take me to it. So by then I had 5 mins to get back to the bus . I tried my hardest but couldn’t get back there in time.

As I was looking around I saw a train come in. so  I hopped on the train and caught it to Temple Square. I headed immediately to the Church history museum. I went through and saw the current display. I found the artifact that I had come to see but was dismayed to find that the artifact had had its base replaced.cause the base was essential to my future research project . with out it there would not be much that I could do.

So I went through the rest of the museum. The only other artifact that stood out was the Joseph Smith death mask. it was eerie to look at the face of the prophet.  It gave me shivers it was like he was looking into my soul. it was very  nerve racking . made me wonder what he would think if he was judging my soul  would he find it acceptable.

So after I had completed the tour of the museum I went .and talked to the sister missionary  at the front counter. I told her that I would like to know more about the artifact. telling her i had a project in mind if i could get access to the artifact. She called the museums curator I asked him about the new floor on the artifact . he explained that the old floor was so degraded that it needed to be protected. they had protected it.

I outlined the research project that I wanted to conduct. He was interested in the project he found it fascinating. He would do all he could to facilitate me being able to carry out my research project.. He gave me his business card so I could email him the outline of my project.I left the museum happy that I might be able to carry out my project.

I then walked around temple Square looking at all the things that i had only previously seen on TV. I went to go into the tabernacle but it was locked there was some musical practice going on. So I continued my walk around  Temple Square. There was a wedding out the front of the temple taking photos I ducked behind them.

I was looking for the entrance to the temple but couldn’t work out which door was the entrance. I sat on a bench and meditated and prayed for a bit. Then got up and continued walking. I went back too the church history museum as I remembered seeing a plug there I needed to charge my phone so I could call sister Maglby. I didn’t know her name at this time. .

Asked the sister missionary at the front desk if i could use the power point. She agreed. So I plugged my phone in. I called Sister Magelby and  we organised for her to pick me up out the front of the Museum. I had a look at the pioneer cottage while I waited.
On the Drive to the Maglbys  Shannon I now  knew her name pointed out several prominent places about Salt lake. I my phone had been charged I would have been   taking dozens of Photos. so annoyed at my self that. In case you cant tell.

we broke the ice talked about each others families. her mom owned a cabin up at mount timpanogus so we went for a drive up the canyon. then on the way back we drove past the mount timpanogus temple which is not that far from the magelbys house,. when I go back I’ll go to that temple would like to walk there.

I arrived at the house . Shannon made me a sandwich ham cheese and mustard. which my sensitive stomach regretted later. she showed me to my room. . Kirk came home we went down to his office and talked for a bit we skyped ALejandro. just to make sure that everything was ok that he was able to fit me into the schedule.
I went  to lie down for a bit . I woke up 4 hrs later. I went and had some dinner then went back to sleep. I needed to be at the Airport by 8 in the morning so set an alarm,

That was a long one I hope that you enjoyed it though,

Sleeping rough in LA. 

24 Oct

The last flight ti Salt lake city left LA at 8 pm . My plane got in at 7.4o. Pm. So not a chance of catching it. Due to having to go through customs and such. 

The next flight to Salt Lake  City left at 6am. 

So I had an 8 hr layover.i hadnt thought to book a hotel .and when i looked i realised they were all too expensive for the limited funds that I had. 

So I was resigned to sleeping at the Airport for the night. I walked around and found an area were several other people were doing the same thing.

Later i tealised that it was the only public powerpoint. I was afriad i might not be able to charge my phone but there it was provided to me. So I plugged my phone in an let it charge and went to sleep for abt 2.5 hrs. Then the night cleaning  crew came round and sleeping go harder. 

I would drift off and then there banging and clanging would wake me up again. So my sleep was fitfull from that time on. At abt 4am the others started to get there stiff togethe and leave. 

I forgot to mention that a nice man from Delta airlines came at some point inthe night and gave us all airplane blankets and pillows to use. My laptop bag makes a good enough pillow but it was nice to have something more. 

After the last round of earing airplane food with my sensitivr stomach i hadn’t eaten anything since. 

So i bought some diet coke. When looking for something else i saw something you’d nebrr see in Oz maple bacon flavored chips. I was expecting then to be horrible but they were too bad

So i got on the plabe and headed to Salt lake city. 

As it was a smaller plane i could see out the window this time. So i got a nice picture.  

I read my scriptturws and did some rrseach on the fligjt. Which meant that my phone was nearly flat by the time i got to salt lake. Which i wish it hadnt been cause there were so many photos i would have liked to have taken. But I’ll tell you dear readers about that another day.

Setting out on a New Adventure. 

23 Oct

Well this happened rather fast. On  the 14th . I skyped my boss kirk to clarify some of what i was writing for book of mormon central. At the end of the call he mentioned that fellow Aussie Warren Ashton was heading down to Mexico to look at hill Cumorah candidates.  I remember at the time thinking that it was probably months away. 

Iater that night i got the overwhelming feeling from the spirit that i should go on the trip. I sent a message back to Kirk that i felt i should go. He said that if i wanted to go he could make it happen.  He the outlined that warren was leaving the next week end. 

But i really felt that i should go. So used my remaining savings and started looking for flights to salt lake city. 

It was 150 dollars cheaper to fly through china than to fly direct to the us. 

So i figured I’d do it that way it just adds to the adventure right.  

I feel that i must have been ment to go because everthing kust fell in place so quickly. 

Fiona had mostly finished dismantling the hydroponics farm. Jodi would be able to look after the kids if needs be. 

Fiona and i left early on the 20th. We were thinking of leaving on the 19th but fiona got back late from her latest trip to the hydroponics farm . So was too tired that night. It ment getting up at 4 in the morning. 

The drive was eventful but I won’t go into that on a public blog. 

A 9 hour flight to Gongshou China. With my sensitivr stomach i was tossing up even beforw i got on the plane weter to eat. But when they bought the food around it smelled so nice that i ate the food. But i regretted it later.  Followed by a 4 hour layover.  I lay down on the carpet and slept for 2 hours.  

Will tell the rest at another time

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