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A Latin Affair: Watch as I attempt 10 countries in 4 months

YOUNG children being carried in their mother's arms - no prams or wraps in sight.

Shop keepers using brooms with pieces of cloth to mop their floors.

Drivers and buses playing "fill every possible gap" games on the virtual car parks that are Mexican city roads.

And pedestrians negotiating said traffic in what seems an impossible art form to a foreigner.

Yep, the countdown clock on my smart phone finally said zero and I am now back in the land of Spanish speakers.

I am embarking on my second Latin affair - 13 weeks gallivanting around Central America.

And a couple more checking out New York and L.A. at the end.

This time I wanted to cement my Spanish lessons so this adventure starts with three weeks at Cemanahuac - a school in Cuernavaca breaking down the language to people like me.

Combined with a homestay in a stunning, yet humblingly homely, Mexican casa, my understanding of the spoken word has improved out of sight in just one week.

That said, there is a long way to go on that front - believe me!

Ever since I studied the Incas and Aztecs in Year 7 - at Traralgon High School in Victoria - during an 'Ancient Civilisations' class, I longed to explore the land of hidden gold, puzzling etched lines and super old cities shrouded in mystery.

My last Latin affair involved three months in South America in 2011 learning about the Inca, Chimu and Moche civilisations.

With, you know, the odd drink, dance and nature adventure thrown in.

You might find some links to that blog below.

But now it's time to delve into the Aztecs, Mayans and other Mesoamerican cultures.

Not to mention mezcal, tequila, chilies and mole poblano (savoury chocolate sauces).

Throw in ants, agave worms and grasshoppers for good measure.

I've always had grand dreams of backpacking around the continent for a year but having a mortgage and a job to which you are dedicated make it hard to part ways for extended periods.

So 10 countries in four months it is.

And I'm hoping you'll follow me along the way - maybe give me the odd tip if you've travelled the increasingly well-worn path before.

After my homestay in Cuernavaca, I'll be travelling east through some of Mexico's most adored landscapes punctuated with ruins and jaw-droppingly beautiful colonial architecture.

I'll tick off Chicken Pizza (or as the locals prefer ... Chichen Itza) which will be my sixth new wonder of the world. Just the Taj Mahal to go.

Before you cross me off as a travel wanker, I swear it's by accident that I've ticked so many off my list. I only learned I had five under my belt while in Petra, in Jordan, last year.

Then I will be arriving just in time to see the Cuban time warp with vintage cars and colonial architecture  - before these negotiations with America bring the socialist nation into the future and it becomes just another Caribbean island. 

Next is beach time on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico - unfortunately my timing clashes with American spring break. Pray for my sanity.

Then it's down to Panama - via some incredible places in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Did someone say sloths?

You probably hate me already but, truly, I'd love for you to come with me on this journey. 

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some trivia to contemplate.

Have you ever seen a bald Mexican?

No existe.

Hasta luego.

Topics:  a latin affair editors picks rae wilson travel


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