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Previously posted in www.planningmexico.com

Mexico is a country of opposites. I have spent the last summers in the middle of the country, in the city of Toluca, about 60 km (close to 40 miles) west of Mexico City. Going a few hours north it is dry land and all you see is brown, sunburned fields. Going a few hours south it is all green with an amazing vegetation.

Nowhere is the opposites of the country and the complexity of the Mexicans so clear as in the state of Tabasco.
Half of Mexico is geographically in the tropic, but Tabasco is the real tropic with rainforest , rivers and fertile soil. Step on a Papaya seed today and next year you have a blooming plant.
There is fruit growing in the wild everywhere, mango, papaya, cacao and all kind of citrus as orange, lime and lemon. Some fruits I have never seen before, like the colorful pitaya.

pitaya

Photo: Dan Freed

With all this fruit you expect healthy fruit based meals, but the tabasquenos love their meat. The only fruit frequently served is platanos. A typical meal is a big piece of meat of any kind, frijoles, platanos, a little potatoes or rice and sometimes a little lettuce maybe with a few slices of tomato.

Tabasco is the home of the chili fruit, you find it growing in the wild, but no one around here eat spicy food. I constantly had to ask for “mas picante.” Miss Z’s sister opened up a can(!) of chili for me. Canned – When you can buy it fresh, dried or anyway you want it on the market every morning, or take a walk and find your own little wild plant to pick.

chilli

Photo: Dan Freed

My base for exploring this green state was Teapa, a small sleepy town where time has stand still for 20 years, moreover it is Miss Z’s hometown.
Teapa used to be the most prominent of the small towns in the area, but it has been in decline too long. The remaining citizen lives on memories from former days without seeing the town is in severe need for improvement.
Or as Miss Z put it;
“If you think going to Mexico is like traveling 20 years back in time, going to Teapa is like traveling 50 years back in time.”
However, I do like these small towns off the beaten track. They are there for Mexicans to live in and not made up for tourists. And they are usually very colorful.

colorful_street

Photo: Dan Freed

Adventures are await in this Eden of Mexico!

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