Monday, December 10, 2018

Mexico and Central America 2000-2001

Weeks 1-3

Pre Travel Article

Houston, Texas to Panama City, Panama.

Starting the next segment of my walk around the world this fall. So far I have walked across the USA (2473 miles), and across Europe, (3077 miles) for a total of 5550 miles. You can read my weekly articles about my walk at my web site, www.walkingman.org.

Just two more months working here at Wahweap Lodge in Glen Canyon National Monument, Arizona. Heading back east to visit family and friends for a couple weeks. Then flying down to Houston. Texas on November 1st to start my walk south through Texas, Mexico, and Central America. Looks like about 3000 miles to Panama City, at 25 miles a day, it should take about4 to 5 months.

I have a palm sized Pocketmail computer (www.pocketmail.com) that I can write and read email on at any pay phone in the world. So I will be glad to hear from anybody that has questions, comments, advice on the route, or addresses of friends I can visit along the way. Every week I will be writing an article about the people I meet, sights I see, and the trouble I get into. You can read it on my web site, or email me and I will send it to you every week. I hope to publish a book some day, but for now I just enjoy sharing my adventures and hearing from people that enjoy them.

I will be pushing a 3 wheel baby stroller(www.runaboutstroller.com) loaded with all my gear in a Rubbermaid plastic foot locker, and a plastic 5 gallon bucket. Tent, sleeping bag, clothes, short wave radio, food, water. computer, flashlight, maps, and tolietries. About 60 to 80 pounds.

Every night just after the sun sets I camp out off the side of the road in the woods or bushes. Everyday I buy food and water, fruits, vegetables, bread, granola, sun tea, yogurt, cookies, and a vitamin pill. Started listening to a Spanish tape this summer. I took Spanish in high school, and also have a Rough Guide to Spanish with me.

A lot of people ask me why I am walking around the world. It is good exercise, fun, cheap way to travel, and you meet a lot of nice people. Everyday lots of people stop to ask me questions, give me travel advice, and sometimes offer me food and drink.

Everyday I get to watch the sun rise and set. One of the most beautiful sights that most people miss because they are working or inside. Every night I get to watch the stars come out, and sometimes I see an awesome display of meteorites from my tent.

Over the next ten years I hope to walk across Australia, South America, Asia, Africa and maybe Antarctica. In the Guiness Book of World Records, 5 people are listed as walking around the world, which they define as at least 15,000 miles and at least 4 continents.

I have been working every summer in a National Park for 23 years now to pay for my travels the rest of the year. Before I started my walk I also bicycled across the USA 5 times, and parts of Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia.

1st Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Houston, Texas, to Refugio, Texas. 11-2-00 to 11-8-00,

175 miles, 25 mpd, 5725 Total World Walk Miles.

On the road again, feels great. Plenty of fresh air, blue skies and beautiful sunsets. Flew into Houston on November 1st, airline lost my luggage. Luckily they found them back in Atlanta where I changed planes. Thought I would have to end my trip before it even started. Had a nice Mexican lunch with 2 ladies that also lost some luggage. Four hours later I picked up my boxes and assembled my baby jogger right in the airport. I had planned on taking the bus to Brownsville and start walking at the Mexican border but decided to start walking in Houston so I could have a two week break-in period. Still needed a little more time to study Spanish, and I wanted to watch the presidential election.

Sat next to nice girl from Poland on the airplane ride to Atlanta. Sylvia had been working at Myrtle Beach for the summer, but was anxious to get back to her home country. On the flight to Houston I sat next to Lou from Clarence, New York whose brother-in-law teaches in Newfane, New York (where I went to school, and also just gave some talks to students about my walk). Already getting quite a few emails from students following my walk. Always glad to hear from anybody.

Made 4 miles the first afternoon before campingclose to the airport. Foggy, misty, and lots of mud on the sidewalkand shoulder from recent flooding. Cool and rainy some days, hot and muggy others. To much sun and cold rain on 3rd day, had sunstroke, just barely made it in to town of El Campo. Police officer stopped to see how I was doing, offered me a ride, but since it was only 1 mile to hotel I pushed on slowly. I had a 103 degree temperature, but afte a shower, aspirin, and wet towel on forehead, I got it down to 98 degrees in about 5 hours. Was wearing shorts and t-shirt, so I switched to running tights and my white cotton sun poncho. Originally I used a bed sheet with a hole cut in the middle for my head. This summer I found a better one at an army surplus store. They use them for winter camouflage, white cotton poncho with green blotches.

People down here in Texas have been real nice so far. Everyday people stop to talk and give me encouragement, advice, food, and drink. Got some excellent warm cookies from a boy when I stopped for a minute in front of his house to adjust something on my stroller. The police stop and see if I am okay every once in a while.

Going through flat plains, with lots of cows, horses, fields of hay, corn, rice, and lots of beautiful flowers on the roadside. Lots of vultures circling in the sky. I check to make sure they are not circling above me once in a while.

Listened to election night coverage on my short wave radio. Pretty tired after a long day, I kept on falling asleep and then waking up to amazing shifts in who they thought was winning.

Met Pam from England who was biking around the world, hope to get some email from her on her route up through Mexico and Central America. Just started taking my malaria pills, one a week forthe whole trip. I also had to get a lot of vaccinations for various diseases prevalent down south. Also have various pills and creams in my first aid kit.

Found a plastic Puff the Magic Dragon to use as a hood ornament for my stroller. I often sing Zippity Do Dah and the Puff song while I walk. If anybody knows all the words to Puff, email me them, as I have been having trouble remembering them all.

Well, till next week, I am walking south on route 77. Headed for Brownsville, Texas and Mexico. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or from my web site at www.walkingman.org .

Do not click on reply, that will go to my yahoo address.

Chapter 37:


2nd week

Walking Around the World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Refugio, Texas to Brownsville, Texas. 11-9-00 to 11-15-00,

189 miles, 27 mpd, 5934 Total World Walk miles.

The walking just keeps getting better everyday as my body gets used to 25 miles a day. Had some problems with red ant bites and sunburn on my feet when I tried my Teva Circuit walking sandals without socks. Udderly Smooth brand bag balm applied every morning on my feet usually clears up any problems fast. I start out with my Hi-Tec boots in the morning, then switch at noon to my Tevas, they are a little cooler for my feet.

Cooler and cloudy, with almost no rain this week. Nice full moon to greet me in the evening and Venus low in the southwest sky is the first star out. Should get a nice display of Leoneid meteor showers on Thursday and Friday night. Found a few dead Monarch butterflies on the roadside. They migrate thousands of miles down to Mexico to spend winter in the mountains near Mexico City. Amazing how far you can go with determination and persistence. Sometimes I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Then I realize the only way to find out is to go for it and give my best try. If I do not make it all the way, I can always come back and try again. No shame in failure, only in not trying again and again until you succeed.

As I get closer to the border I see a lot of border patrol trucks. I was woken at 3 am one night by 2 Mexicans asking distance to the next town, 30 miles was my reply. One long stretch between towns was 60 miles, but I was able to fill up my water bottles and get a cup of coffee at a border patrol station.

Had to camp in a patch of sand spurs, or stickers as they call them here in Texas. Little round seed pods with 8 to 15 very sharp thorns. They stick to everything and are painful to pull out. Luckily they are still green and flexible, when they dry out and get hard they cause a lot of flat tires. Seeing lots of road kill turtles and one live one. Two roadkill javelinas (wild pig) and one live one. Lots of hawks and vultures soaring above me. Makes me wish I could fly with them. I used to hang glide with hawks and eagles up at Silverton and Telluride, Colorado.

Interviewed by Bianaca Balogh from local ABC TV station near Harlingen, Texas. Already got 4 e-mails from people that saw me on TV, and a lot of people have been waving and honking at me this morning. Bianaca said she would let me know if ABC decides to pick it up for the national broadcast.

Also interviewed by Joaquin Pena, from a Matomoros TV station. Email question from Cassandra asks me advice for somebody that wants to do what I am doing. My advice is to walk or bike everyday, watch less TV, and read more. Any library will be able to recommend books about Marco Polo, Slocum, Melville, Dana, Hesse, Jenkins, and eventually Gary Hause when I get my web site published as a book. One kind lady stopped with a takeout lunch from a local Mexican cafe for me. Tow truck driver Joe del Castillo treated me to a cold Nestea and offered me a reflective vest. I already have lots of reflectors on my stroller, and I always stop once it gets dark. Heading into Mexico Thursday November 16th. Not sure how my pocketmail computer will work with local phones. So be patient as my email replies will depend on phone quality and quantity. I might have to go back to snail mail, will let you know soon.

Well till next week, I am headed south for Matomoros and San Ferando on route 180. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my web site at www.walkingman.org.

Do not click on reply to this email as that will go to my yahoo address. Feel free to forward my articles or print them out and post them at work, school, local library or newspaper. Vaya con dios. Gary walkingman Hause

Chapter 38:


3rd Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Brownsville, Texas to near Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. 11-16-00 to11-22-00,

176 miles, 25 mpd, 6010 Total World Walk miles.

Through border control and almost onto the bridge when 4 teenagers start running right at me, they jumped up over the fence and ran into the bushes on the American side. For a moment I thought they were going to jump me. A few butterflys in my stomach when I cross into a new country. Never know what to expect or how the locals will react to me walking. After a day or so of being able to communicate and buy things I have gained my confidence back.

Just a small canal under the bridge, the main channel of the Rio Grande is dry. Most rivers in the southwest are like that, only flowing with water when it rains, or from snowmelt from the mountains. Hundreds of used trucks and cars waiting to be let into Mexico. Lots of Mexicans come to the USA to buy used autos and take them south to sell.

Matomoros was kind of noisy and dirty, so after changing my dollars to pesos at the bank and buying some food and water, I kept walking as far from town as I could get before dark. Much quieter and peaceful out in the country. Camped off the side of the road in some mesquite trees.

First flat tire at the second border patrol checkpoint. Put in a new tube in about 10 minutes. Tried the payphone, got through to MCI, but because it was a digital cellphone it would not transmit my pocketmail computer. Will have to wait for landline phone at next big city.

A couple ranchers from Brownsville stopped to give me a bag of tangerines and tell me they saw me on TV at home. A girl from Reynosa also stopped to give me oranges from her ranch. Had cup of coffee and cookies on front porch of mexican couple that called me over to talk. Dial Duncan stopped to see if I wanted a ride, and offered me a stay at his Hotel in Jimenez. Stopped at the Hotel Mariposa 3 days later for an excellent dinner of saute steak with onions, beans, corn, cheese, salad. Had a very enjoyable hot shower, warm bed, laundry and a big breakfast in the morning. Was also able to add grease to my wheel hubs in their workshop. Very beautiful hotel/hunting lodge, with many trophy heads, photos, and beautiful colorful mexican pottery plates and masks.

Came into San Fernando on Mexican Revolution day, able to watch parade of marching bands, dancing girls, actors, and more. Had my hair and beard cut while I watched the parade pass. Also met profesor Auturo Mendoza-Morales from Columbia. The payphone in town was a landline so I was able to recieve and transmit email with my pocketmail computer. It might take anywhere from 3 to 7 days for my email replys, depending on my finding landline payphones, see a lot of digital cellphone payphones in the rural areas that I can not use.

Starting to climb a little higher into some foothills as I get closer to the mountain just west of Victoria. Still lots of corn fields, and pasture for cattle. Seeing more cactus, mostly nopal paddle, agave, joshua tree, and also mesquite trees. Passed a work crew cutting thorn bushes with machetes on the road side.

Email question from Marieta asks if I see many other birds besides hawks and vultures. I see lots of canadian geese, 2 rosete spoonbills, kingfisher, ducks, herons, 6 ostiches, mass flocking birds like starlings, crows and ravens. I guess I just relate to hawks and vultures most because like me they wander and observe all they see.

Road pretty good with wide shoulder for all the way except for half day with no shoulder. Forced off road by trucker going 70mph, one foot drop off pavement overturned my stroller, but no damage. Well till next week, I am headed south for Tampico, email me if you have etc, Adios

Weeks 4-6

4th week
Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Ciudad Victoria, Mexico to Tampico. 11-23-00 to 11-29-00,

175 miles, 25mpd, 6185 total World Walk miles.

Learning more Spanish every day. Have my Rough Guide to Spanish handy where I can consult it for new words. Able to make myself understood for simple requests like, quanto kilometers mini-super/depositorio. How far to small store. Ordering cafe con leche/coffee with milk, huevos/eggs, frijoles/beans, and tortillas for breakfast. Usually can find small cafes, one room huts with plastic coke chairs and tables along the way. I have to use no comprede often, but it seems to being coming a lot easier now that I am using it everyday, as opposed to listening to tapes. Maybe I will be close to fluent by the time I reach Panama in about 3 months.

Going through some rolling hills now, with 10,000 foot mountains to the west of me near Cuidad Victoria. Took the old local road southeast to Tampico, seems like most of the traffic took the new road, so it's a lot quieter and peaceful now.

Stopped at a cafe with new wooden and wicker rocking chairs on the front porch. Refugio Torres cooked up a big breakfast for me, and would not accept payment. After I complemented him on his Waynes World baseball hat, he gave me a hat from the Sanchez ranch in Texas, where he had worked. He had a workroom/bedroom next to the cafe where he makes his chairs. About 500 pesos, or $50 USA, real beautiful sturdy chairs. Told him I might come back with a car some time and buy some.

Called over by some cowboys at there camp. They had some tents, fireplace, tables, chairs, and were building some brush huts. They shared there lunch of tacos with me. Everybody in Mexico seems to be real nice and often give me food and water. Although their standard of living may be lower than ours, they seem to be quite generous and happy. Camped one night in a field just inside a open gate, back a bit among the bushes. Guy in a pickup spotted me and came over to chat, said it was okay to camp, and warned me about big snakes. They are cold blooded and usually go underground at night, only have seen one brown and yellow striped snake so far. One night I camped between a electric tower and a cow pasture. About 2 hours later a big dump truck started backing in to park for the night. The guy saw me though and got out to check on how much room he had before he would hit me. Parked about 5 feet from my tent, was hoping he set his parking brake.

Lots of 3 wheeled bicycle peddlers here in Mexico. They can carry lots of cargo, and often are set up with awnings, and gas burners to cook and sell food. Lot of people come up and ask me, que vende/what are you selling.

Seems to be getting hotter as I go further south. Cools of at night, and I leave my rainfly off my tent, so I can see the stars. I am a light sleeper, so when it starts raining I jump up and put on the rainfly. Seeing mangos, bananas, cotton, and still lots of corn. Lots of fruit flies whenever I stop to take a break. Talked to about 15 students one morning outside the local school. They seemed quite interested, so I showed them my map and route to Panama. I have some business cards with a beautiful picture of the earth and my website and email address that I give to people that are interested in my walk.

The road is usually pretty good, with a wide shoulder to walk on. Once in a while it narrows down, with no shoulder. I walk the very edge and keep a close eye forward and back with rear view mirror. Most people give me a foot or two, some truckers seem to think they own the road, and honk like they think I should not be there. I believe in sharing the road, everybody can use the road.

Well till next week, I am headed south for Tuxpan, Mexico. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my website at www.walkingman.org. Do not click on reply, as that goes to my yahoo address. Feel free to forward my articles, print them out and post them at work, school, local library or newspaper. Vaya con dios.

Chapter 40:


5th Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Tampico, Mexico to Poza Rica. 11-30-00 to 12-6-00,

151 miles, 21.6 mpd, 6336 Total World Walk miles.

The Walkingman turns into the Runningman for a 200 yard sprint. Stopped for comidas/food at small open fronted mini-super. Parked my stroller 10 feet from store and went in to grab a few things. When I went to cashier, she pointed out that a kid had taken my fanny bag from top of stroller. I looked outside and he was 50 feet away, I yelled hey, and he took off running across road and down a dirt lane. Kept pace with him, but lost him around a corner. Asked two guys at end of lane, but they had not seen anyone. Walked back 50 feet and found pack lying in the middle of the lane with everything in it. Computer, camera, passport, spanish book, and misc.

Boy I was really lucky to get everything back. Usually I take my fanny pack in with me, but I forgot this time. I > figure that either he had a guilty conscience or his parents caught him > coming in house with stolen goods and heard me running by yelling policia. So they made him threw it back where I would find it. Will be a lot more careful in the future, would have been offline for at least a month, plus get a new passport. A lot of people said they would be praying for me, so I guess I have a guardian angel watching out for me. Had just made a copy of my passport and Mexican tourist card that morning. I keep my 2 credit cards and most of my cash rolled up in a bandana and tied around my neck or ankle. I keep a little cash and a few business cards in a wallet in my shirt pocket. So hopefully if somebody robs me they will not get everything.

Going through rolling hills now, just slightly inland. Mostly orange groves, corn, bananas, and some beehives. Lots of small stands selling oranges, bananas, and honey. Already had lots of fruit with me, but one stand gave me a bag of tangerines. Eating lots of hot tortillas at breakfast, they just keep bringing them until you tell them no mas. Reminds me of pancake eating contests at Camp Kenan, Barker, N.Y. with the Old Grey Goose. I think my best was 12, Goose would eat 20 or 30 maybe. Next time anybody sees him ask if he can remember his best record, and email me his response. Stopping at roadside stands for hot corn on the cob, spread with mayo, crumbled cheese, and chili powder. They have them boiling in metal tub over wood fire, very good and only 5 pesos/ 50cents US.

Three days of rain, not real cold, but still have to wear wool sweater and wool pants to keep warm. Nylon coveralls are a little too warm, and they do not breathe like wool. Picked up a mild cold for the last 3 days, only mild sore throat so far, no other symptoms. Taking it easy for a couple days, only walking 15 to 20 miles, stayed in hotel in Alamo. Nice hot shower and warm bed. Watched reruns of Seinfeld and Baywatch on english language station with spanish subtitles.

In Tampico I had to take a 20 foot ferry boat across the river. They had my stroller perched in the bow, with me bracing it. Life jackets for everybody, only 100 yards across.

At one crossroads I went straight and stopped at a gas station. Man came up to me on bicycle and told me I should take the right turn to go to Poza Rica and Vera Cruz. Not sure how he knew where I was going, but when I checked my map he was right. I rely on my compass a lot to make sure I am going the right way.

Well till next week, I am headed south on 180 for El Tajin and Vera Cruz. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my website at www.walkingman.org Do not click on reply, as that goes to my yahoo address. Feel free to forward this to friends, or print out and post at work, school, or wherever. Adios

Chapter 41:


6th Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Poza Rica, Mexico to Cardel, 12-7-00 to 12-13-00,

154 miles, 22 mpd, 6490 Total World Walk miles .

Feeling better now, sore throat and runny nose slowed me down for about 5 days. Just a mild cold with no other symptoms. My body felt okay, so I kept on walking 15 to 20 miles a day. Taking a lot of shade breaks, as it is getting hotter and muggy, maybe 75 to 80, but still cooling off at night.

Was going through rolling hills, but now right on the coast. Beaches, palm trees, surfers, coconut stands. They chop off the top and stick a straw in to suck out the juice with, then break it in half for you to eat the white meat. Delicious and refreshing for only 5 pesos/50 cents US. Waded into the Gulf of Mexico up to my knees, nice warm water. Hope to find a beach with fresh water showers so I can go swimming.

Stopped at the El Tajin ruins just south of Poza Rica. Beautiful stone and earth pyramids built over 1000 years ago. The tallest one is 60 feet high, and I climbed up a couple. An ancient ball game originated here and spread though out Central America and up into the Southwest USA.

Met a Japanese cyclist going around the world. Jungi from chiba, passed me one evening and then i stopped to talk to him the next morning when I saw his tent set up just off the road. Jungi started in Alaska, east to Toronto, south to NY, Florida, Texas, and now south for Panama.

Stopped for some shade at a banana grove when a guy walked up and started playing his harmonica. Kelly from Wichita was waiting for his discharge papers from a merchant marine ship he had been working on. Did not have my harmonica on me, and still have not got the hang of playing it yet.

Nice full moon out now, and the fireflies are out every night outside my tent blinking away. Been looking for the new Space Station, hear it is the second brightest object in the night sky now. Anybody that knows its path, and where to look for it let me know.

Seeing lots of cattle, horses, sheep, goats,, and burros staked out in the roadside to eat grass. The burros sometimes start hee hawing really loud when I walk by. I think of Dave Kunst walking around the world with his mule. He was the first person to walk around the world according to Guiness Book of World Records. At About.com, on the walking around the world page, they have links to web sites about people walking, mine and Daves are there among others.

I feel like the pied piper sometimes. Going through towns I attract a lot of kids. They like my Puff the Magic Dragon, and green centipede plastic toys that I have as hood ornaments on my stroller. They always have lots of questions about what I am doing.

Email question from Curtis my nephew, asks if I have enough food with me. I usually have about 2 days worth of food with me. I buy fruit, yogurt, cookies, and have a big breakfast of eggs, beans, and tortilla, in a cafe every morning. Email question from the students at Niko Brummer school in Beaufort West, South Africa, asks if I am married, no. How much money do I spend a day, about 50 to 100 pesos/ $5 to $10 US a day. Do I ever get so tired that I wish I never started, no, if I get tired I take a break, and I always get a good nights sleep. I will keep walking as long as I am healthy and enjoying myself.

Well till next week, I am headed south for Acayucan, where I head over to the west coast on route 185. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my web site at www.walkingman.org . Do not click on reply, as that goes to my yahoo address. Feel free to forward this to friends, or print out and post at school, work or wherever. Adios.

Weeks 7-10

7th Week
Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Vera Cruz, Mexico to Acayucan. 12-14-00 to 12-20-00

169 miles, 24mpd, 6659 total World Walk miles.

Walked through the big port city of Vera Cruz on the 14th. Lots of traffic, dusty, noisy, and got dark when I was only halfway through. Checked into a cheap hotel, only 75 pesos/$8 US. Nice hot shower and warm bed. Interviewed by local TV station just a couple miles south of city. The next day a local beekeeper stopped to give me a jar or his miel/honey, said he saw me on TV. So for the last week I have been using that in my sun tea instead of azucar/sugar.

They have real nice panaderias/bakeries here. Always stop whenever I see one for a couple pastries. I usually have the ones with chocolate, cream, or fruit filling. About 2 pesos/25 cents US each.

Willy Ludwig from Oakland, California stopped to talk. He married a local girl and has a farm near San Andres Tuxtla. I asked him about the live fence posts here, he says it is the molata tree. You can cut the branches and plant them as fence posts and they will grow roots and branches. It has a red and green peeling bark like a cherry tree. He told me that killer bees (africanized hybrids) raided his hives for honey and killed 2 dogs, 8 chickens and a lamb. His father in law lost a horse.

Stopped to watch a soccer game at a small village as the sun was setting. Every town has a soccer field, and I often camp there, as it seems to be common property that any one can use. Last time I played soccer was at Starpoint with the teachers against the JV, after I gave a talk to the elementary kids. I got pretty sore, so I just watched this time, and played some Frisbee with some local kids.

Up and down lots of steep hills as I go through the Lake Catemacos area. Foggy, misty, with a slight drizzle as I walked through the lakefront area with all the tourist stands and tour boats. Lots of sugar cane fields, corn, pasture for cattle, and banana trees.

See pictures on TV of the volcano Popocatepetl smoking near Mexico city. I am 200 miles east, so no ash or smoke visible yet. They had to evacuate many surrounding villages.

Got some info on the Space Station from Bob and Micki in California. There are a couple web sites where you can enter your location and time and get a track. It will be another week before I can see it.

Had coffee at one cafe with the owner and her kids having lunch. As I explained my walk she tried to get me to take her 5 kids with me. They seemed to have a lot of energy, but were not sure they could do 25 miles a day.

Well till next week, I am headed south for the west coast and the Pacific Ocean on route 185. If you have any questions or comments on my walk, email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my website at www.walkingman.org , do not click on reply as that goes to my yahoo address. Feel free to forward this to friends, or print out and post at school, work, or wherever. Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo/ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Adios.

Chapter 43:


8th Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2000.

Acayucan to Zantepec, Mexico. 12-21-00 to 12-27-00

178 miles, 25.4 mpd, 6837 Total World Walk miles.

Over the continental divide and on the west coast now. Thought I would have to climb a 1600 foot pass as one guy told me, but it was downhill the whole way, except for one short one mile uphill stretch. I guess that over the last 4 days I have been climbing onto a central plateau. Hot, dry, windy, desert now, with longer distances between towns. Still finding enough places to buy food and water, keeping about 2 gallons of water, and two days of food with me. Wearing my white cotton sun poncho and switched to a straw hat with bandana underneath to protect me from the sun. Keeps me cool enough to keep on walking through 80 or 90 degree heat, would not want to walk through here in summer though.

One hot day I spotted a nice river with lots of people swimming. Down a dirt road and under bridge for a nice cool soak in a clean mountain fed river. The Herandez family from Zanatepec invited me to join their picnic and have tacos with fish, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and watermelon for desert. They asked a lot of questions about my walk, and I took some pictures of the whole family, 20 people. Just what I needed on a hot day was to cool off in a cold river and meet some nice people.

The east coast was a lot wetter. One afternoon I got caught in a torrential downpour, switched to wool pants and sweater, which kept me warm, but totally soaked. Set up tent in vacant lot at corner of dirt road just off main highway. Rain was just pouring off my tent as I set it as quickly as possible. My feet started stinging and I looked down to see lots of ants crawling on my socks and biting away. Brushed off most of them and hung all my soaked clothes on stroller. Climbed into tent trying to take as little water as possible in with me. Dried off with bandana, and killed the last couple ants. Just stopped raining as I got settled down for the night. Thought I had picked a good spot, but a bunch of teenagers gathered at the corner shining a flashlight at my tent and talking about me. They finally left after a half hour, one kid came up and shook the tent, maybe to see what it was. I said hola, and looked out, but could not really come out as all my clothes were hanging up to dry or packed in 5 gallon plastic bucket. Took me all of next day to dry out wool clothes, hanging them on the stroller.

Bought and installed three new tires. The original tires had about 3500 miles on them, and were getting a little thin. Found some nice heavy duty Made In Mexico tires for only 26 pesos/$3 US each.

The winter solstice has passed and the days should be getting 2 to 3 minutes longer. I have been walking far enough south each day to keep up with the sun, so days have been about the same so far. Still passing police or army checkpoints 2 or 3 times a week. They always ask questions and sometimes look inside at my gear. Always polite and curious, no mean or corrupt police yet.

Well till next week, I am headed southeast for the Guatemala border on route 190 and 200, along the west side of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. If you have any questions or comments email me at walkingman@ pocketmail.com or check out my website at www.walkingman.org , do not click on reply, as that goes to my yahoo address. Adios.

Chapter 44:


9th Week

Walking Around The World by Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2001.

Zanatepec, Mexico to Huixtla. 12-28-00 to 01-03-01

182 miles, 26 mpd, 7019 Total World Walk miles.

1547 miles so far, about 1500 more to Panama Canal. Estimate early March if no serious problems. The journey and having fun is the important part though, not the destination. If I do not make it this year I will try again. Mild case of diahrea on wensday, picked up some Lomitril at Farmicia in Huixtla, 30 pesos-$3.25 US for 24 pills. Taking it easy for a couple days, see how I feel, no hurry. Sitting in the shade by a cool mountain stream writing weekly article.

Days are getting longer, so I already have an extra half hour of daylight for walking in the last 2 weeks. Days are also getting hotter, having to stop for shade breaks, and cool river soaks. Must be 80 or 90 degrees out, still cool at night though. With the mountains to the east, I pass lots of cool streams. There are always local kids swimming, and familys having picnics. Sometimes a guy selling watermelons. Truck with cantelopes went by, and kids in back nudged a couple off, missed by about 2 feet. Cool, sweet, juicy, hard to beat, buying one every day.

One stream I soaked in had tiny gold flakes, probably fools gold, but took sample, and will show friend that pan for gold. Wrote down the location in secret code(10-12-bbd) for future reference.

Email question from Scott, any problems with police. No, they are always nice and curious. Sometimes take pictures, and one donated 50 pesos for my walk. Never solicit donations, but some people seem to enjoy helping me on my walk. Maybe they think I am homeless and to poor to afford bicycle, car, or buses.

One night I set up my tent across from bus stop, at entrance to small village. Just after I had set up tent and stretched out on sleeping bag, a local official shined his light on me and wanted me to come with him. Not sure if I was in trouble, but it sounded more like he thought this was a dangerous place to camp, and would be safer in his backyard. Set up tent with about 10 people watching, roosters crowing, dogs barking, pigs grunting. Woke up at 5:30, broke camp, and started walking by 6, nobody around to talk to. Hope I am not in trouble, will check post office for Mexican FBI most wanted list.

Talked to an English teacher in Zanatepec, he let me use his phone to download email, since he said the local payphone was out of order. Wanted me to talk to his class, but they were all out for he holidays. Lots of bicycle taxis in the towns down here, the auto taxis mostly just go between towns. They have the 3 wheel kind with pedaler in back, or the 2 wheel trailer you can attach behind a mountain bike. A local guy in Zanatepec makes the trailer kind, while the 3 wheelers are made in Mexico City.

Had a nice stay at Rancho Bonito with the Lopez family. They were just returning from swimming and pulling into driveway, when they saw me and asked to talk. It was just getting dark, so I asked them if I could set up my tent in there yard. They invited me in for coffee and bread, and I watched a little bit of Rob Roy in Spanish. Fresh squeezed glass of OJ before I took off in the morning went down nice.

Well till next week, I am headed southeast for Guatamala, either on the high road or low road. Still looking at map for 2 choices for travel through Guatamala. If you have any questions or comments email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out my website at www.walkingman.org .

10th Week
Walking Around The World. By Gary Walkingman Hause. copyright 2001.

Huixtla, Mexico to Santa Lucia Cotamalguapa, Guatemala

155 miles, 22 mpd, 7174 Total World Walk miles.

Across the bridge and into Guatemala on the 6th of January. Shallow river with lots of swimmers and women washing clothes. Couple guys wading across pulling people on a inner tube and wood ferryboat. Banks closed on Saturday, so I changed my pesos with a cambio guy at the border. Seemed to be the right amount, but hard to figure in the heat of the day. Nice new road with shade trees after I get out of busy border town of Tecum Unum. Going through hilly country with coffee bushes, rubber trees being tapped, sugar cane, corn, and bananas. Seems to be a little bit cooler, still taking 3 or 4 river soaks per day to cool off.

Email question from Guillermo from Guatemala City asks if I need any help. I needed advice on which road to take, and he got right back to me advising the low road, CA-2. More traveled, safer, and a little cooler than Mexico.

Eating about 10 bananas, and 10 oranges a day now. But they are mini sized, tangerine about ping pong ball sized, and finger sized bananas. A little bit sweeter and tangy.

Feeling better now, only 2 days of diahrea. Drinking only bottled water, but eating in cafes, and lots of local fruit. Slowed down a little for 3 days, but did not really feel sick. It came on about 1 hour after I ate a cantelope, so I guess I got a bad one.

Talked to a couple of Mormon Missionaries from Utah and Arizona. Always nice to talk to some Americans that know a little about the area so I can ask them a few questions.

Had my white 5 gallon bucket stolen while I slept. Right outside my tent about 3 feet from my head, so who ever did was very quiet. Had my stroller locked with bicycle chain and nothing else missing. Lost camera, pocketmail computer, clothes, Spanish dictionary. Only shirt, shorts, and socks inside tent with me. Lucky I had those inside with me, would have been funny with no clothes. Lucky that they did not take everything and knock me on the head with rock. Only material possessions that I can replace. Called police, but no one spoke English, and I did not think they would be able to help much anyway. Talked to a few homeless street kids nearby and offered reward for return. Thought they might have been involved or knew who was. Hung around for a hour, but decided to walk on, not much chance of getting the stuff back.

Walked for about half a day more, but did not feel like continuing at this time. Save the rest of Central America for the future. Caught a bus to Guatemala City, 3 hours versus 3 or 4 days walking. First 2 buses slowed down than went past when they saw my bin and stroller. Third bus stopped for about 15 seconds to boost up bin and stroller on top rack, I jumped inside while helper stayed on top tying down gear.

Staying in Pension Lux for a couple days till I fly back to USA. 25 Q,s -$3.50 US per night. Will visit family and friends in Newfane, NY area for about 2 weeks. Any Teachers or other groups that want me to give a short talk about my walk email me. Plan on driving out west to work at Brian Head Ski Resort where I have a cabin I built. Then work the summer at Lake Powell, Arizona and plan next years walk. Either continue across Central America, or Greece and Turkey next winter.

Hope you all enjoyed my articles. I had a great time walking this winter. Met a lot of nice people and saw some great sights. Had a few bad experiences, but you have to take the bad with the good. Thanks to everybody that emailed me, always glad to hear from anybody. Thanks to my brother Dave for all his help with spellchecking, forwarding, research, and support.

Well till next fall, any questions or comments on my walk email me by clicking on reply to my yahoo address. Will not be able to check my pocketmail till I get a new computer. For anybody that missed any of the last 10 weeks let me know as I will foward them to you. Will also try to get my web guy to post those articles as soon as possible on my web site(www.walkingman.org).

It is amazing what you can accomplish with persistence. About 1700 miles in 70 days for this walk. Total of 7174 miles in 291 days so far around the world. Another 20,000 to 25,000 miles to go in the next ten years hopefully. Adios.

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