Chapter 9 Excerpt: Palenque, Chiapas

We got the rental car and headed off, agreeing to hit the museum when we returned to Mexico City. Ray glowed with eagerness to show me his favorite ruins and old friends. Mexico City was much more crowded than I had anticipated—traffic jams, smog, cars honking, people crossing in front of traffic. The countryside was a welcome relief. A Mexican cowboy galloped by on a beautiful chocolate horse following a heard of cattle.                 

“You are going to love Moses,” he said as he reached for my hand. “And his wife is really amazing. She just got back from India, where she was studying yoga with a master.”                             

That sounds cool,” I said as I stared out the window. I took in all the beauty of the jungle and the small villages.                   

The hours flew by as the scenery and conversation flowed. We decided not to stop along the way and save any sidetracks for the return trip. As we arrived at our lodge, Ray remarked at how the property had changed. “Moses added new cabins and landscaping,” he said, surprised, as we entered the forested area.                    

“This is really remote,” I commented.                    

“That’s the point. Just you and me.”
  
Oh, shit,  I thought, what did I get myself into? We found Moses and he greeted us with a smile. 
 
“Ray, how are you, my friend? It’s been so long.” He shook Ray’s hand while giving him a loose hug.     
 
Moses, this is Cali.”      
  
“Hi,” I said with a smile as we shook hands.      
  
Moses was an older, distinguished Mexican man in his late sixties. He had an authentic warm smile that made me smile in return.       
  
“Come, come, you must see the changes we’ve made.” We walked past several newly constructed villas hidden in the jungle to the central courtyard. It was simple and natural, loosely landscaped with tropical plants and large palm trees among wooden benches and a stone walkway. Several young hippie-dressed Americans and Europeans were hanging out in the garden.  This is an interesting place, I thought.         
     
“Come, come, let me show you your room.” He showed us our villa and told us to meet him at the restaurant after we settled in.
  
 The room followed the same theme of naturally fitting into the environment. It was basic but had all the amenities, with the exception of the shower being outside.”This could be interesting,” I said to Ray. “We even get to shower with nature.”
 
He patted my ass, threw me on the bed, and gave me a warm, sexy kiss. “I thought you were a nature girl. You Jane, me Tarzan.” 
 
I laughed, then gently pushed him off me. “Come, come,” I said mocking Moses. “Let’s check out the rest of the property.” I pulled him toward the door.  

We met back up with Moses at the Restaurante Vegetariano. Ray wasn’t kidding; it was a purely vegetarian restaurant with a gypsy-type ambiance, half library with books everywhere and tables uniquely decorated with Mayan motifs scattered about.       

“My wife cooks the food herself,” said Moses.
  
 “I would love to meet your wife,” I said, looking around the room for her.    
  
“She is in the tree house. Let’s go find her.” We walked through the garden and past several stand-alone villas to the tree house. It looked like something from Alice In Wonderland. The outside was painted bright blue, green, pink and purple, all ebbing and flowing into each other. Four narrow floors were stacked upon each other, with the top floor being a combination sundeck and garden. A giant mushroom-shaped Tiki topped the center of the sundeck. No wonder hippies hang out here, I thought. It was like walking into a fantasy scene developed by Lewis Carroll. The tree house was surrounded by ginger plants, papaya, mango, and coconut trees.
  
 We proceeded into the house. To my surprise, it was Moses and his wife, Ana’s, home.  
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