Adventure, Bicycling, Mexico, Photographs, The Great Adventure, Travel

Photo Friday: The Shrine in the Marsh

Better late than never for more photos, right? I have two for you this week. The first one is a small roadside shrine near the Tabasco/Campeche border:

Photo by André

Photo by André

I’ve seen a lot of roadside shrines—probably one per kilometer on average—but literally none that look like this, before or since. It’s just so perfectly a folk shrine made of local materials and handcrafted elements. Inside the shrine, Jesus on the crucifix is dressed in hand sewn white garments tied with a purple ribbon in place of a belt. There’s also a shelf for votives and a number of fresh flowers indicating it’s been recently tended. Notably, Jesus is black. I cannot tell if that’s a racial choice or simply reflects the choice of a dark wood, or both. This shrine is surrounded by coastal marsh on all sides. There are occasional ranches with houses on solid land, but the cattle spend a lot of their time wading through shallow water. A few days later I reached the town of Sabancuy, protected from the Gulf by a barrier island. The only way to reach it is across five bridges. Here’s the view from beside the last bridge at sunset:

Photo by André

Photo by André

And yes, you can see both the moon and the evening star there. (Or possibly the International Space Station. I don’t really know my stars so good.)

Meanwhile, I just reached Mérida today which means the Mexico ride is so close to over! I’ll spend a few days here working, then a few more days on the final segment to my destination of Valladolid, Yucatán. I realize I have a lot of road logs to post (many of them are already written) and I’m going to try to catch them up to me around the time I reach Valladolid.


8 thoughts on “Photo Friday: The Shrine in the Marsh

  1. Really great photos. Thanks for sharing. The adventurer in me is really jealous of your journey. Just out of curiosity, where did you start on bicycle and how many km have you traveled?

    • I started at the source of the Mississippi River, followed the whole river down, spent some time in New Orleans, then west to Texas, crossed the border at Laredo, and have now crossed almost all of Mexico. I think I’m over 3500 miles now which is something like 5.500 km?

      No need to be jealous. I always encourage people to envision and work toward an adventure of their own. For me it took a few years of planning and saving so I could transition to a freelance career (had some rough months in there) and now I work on the road. Other people do it by saving up first and living off their savings for 3 to 6 months and then go back to work.

      Let me know if there’s any way I can help. Going on a journey is, in my opinion, a great way to find your sense of direction in life.

      • That’s awesome!

        Jealous is the wrong word. I set out on my own journey last year and spent spent 9 and a half months traveling from Nicaragua to the southern tip of South America, all by bus, hitch hiking, and boat where necessary.

        I’m ‘jealous’ of your journey because it’s one of an uncountable number of journeys that I’d love to experience and because I truly miss Latin America (came back home in October). Sadly, there isn’t enough time to try every journey, but I’d definitely like to make time for a solo biking adventure like yours.

        I completely agree that freeing yourself, even temporarily, to go on a meaningful journey is an amazing way to gain clarity in life. It helped me and I’m hoping to keep on journeying. In 2 weeks, my girlfriend and I will head to India.

        We’ve been finding various ways to support ourselves through freelance type stuff and her small art business. I’d love to hear more about what you do freelancing in and any tips you have for establishing a consistent freelancing business. It’s something I’d like to get better at to help maintain my current lifestyle. Thanks for any input :)

        Que tengas buena suerte y que te vaya bien!

        • Gracias!! A usted tambien :)

          I’m a freelance writer so I create web copy and blog posts as needed. No real advice other than the usual: prospect, prospect, prospect and do great work. I started off being paid US $4/article. Nowadays I make enough to support my travels (if I travel frugally) in about 20 hours a week. I’m pretty happy with that and the next step is to build up my career as an author so more of my income comes from my creative and intellectual work.

          “I’m ‘jealous’ of your journey because it’s one of an uncountable number of journeys that I’d love to experience and because I truly miss Latin America (came back home in October). Sadly, there isn’t enough time to try every journey…”

          This I totally understand.


          “I’d definitely like to make time for a solo biking adventure like yours.”

          You’re welcome to join me next time I’m back on the road. I’ll be spending a long time at Valladolid, Mexico once I reach there in a few days, but starting late 2015 or next New Years I should get back on the bike to head through Central America. Would love to have a fellow adventurer (your gf welcome too) and it’d be interesting to see how Nicaragua and the other countries look different to you when you’re biking.

          Just ideas. It’s long ways off. Congrats on the India trip…. where is home for you, anyway?

          • I love that you invited me on your next journey because that’s exactly the attitude I’d have towards someone joining me. In fact, we had a friend join us for several months during our time in Latin America.

            I’ll definitely consider your offer. I’ve got a busy year coming up: 4-5 months in India/Nepal/SE Asia, then several weddings in the summer, and then figuring out where we will live. After that, we are turning our focus back to growing and stabilizing our income streams.

            Anyways, I’ll stay in touch. Right now, we are based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I grew up. But we spent a number of years in Washington, DC and almost a year in Wilmington, NC.

            Can I ask you where you had success finding freelancing jobs early in your journey, ones that developed your connections and grew into better opportunities?

            • My Dad’s from Pittsburgh! I love that city.

              I had very little early success. I was making so little money that I was ready to give up until a more experienced friend told me to keep prospecting. I would literally jut google “internet marketing company” and contact one after another asking if they needed a writer. I would say it takes 40-100 emails to get 1 job lead. But then I did good work for those companies and soon they’d bring me back for more and more. Now I have a stable of clients whom I work with regularly. I’m sure it’s different for different types of freelancers, but as a writer it was just that process of relentless prospecting.

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