Travel to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico – Amateur Traveler Episode 163 Transcript

categories: mexico travel

the yucatan peninsulaThis is a transcript of an episode of the Amateur Traveler focusing on traveling to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

Chris: I’d like to welcome back to the show Zora O’Neill, who has come to talk to us about the Yucatan, in Mexico. Zora, welcome back to the show.

Zora: Thanks so much, happy to be here.

Chris: I say welcome back to the show because Zora talked to us before about New Mexico, and has just written, or just published, I guess is true – you probably wrote some time ago – ‘The Rough Guide to the Yucatan’.

Zora: Yes. There’s a time lapse in travel guide writing – this was actually the second edition of ‘The Rough Guide to the Yucatan’ that just came out, so, I’m co-author on it, actually, with John Fisher, and he and I worked on the first edition about three years ago, and had a chance to really spruce it up again this time around.

Chris: Now, as a travel writer, when you are doing something like this, are you writing a guide because you get the opportunity to, and then, therefore, you go and learn the location, or was this a location you were already in love with?

Zora: Well, it’s funny. It’s been so long, I’ve been working on the Yucatan – I’ve been visiting the Yucatan for travel guide work for about five years, so it’s sort of hard to remember when I wasn’t familiar with the place. My original assignment from ‘Rough Guides’ was to update the Yucatan chapter of their Mexico book, and, at that point, I didn’t really know all that much about the place. I’d fantasized about taking a big car trip around the Yucatan and I had some contacts there, and they said “That’s great! Go!”, So that first trip was really a crash course, but now I’ve been going down there at least once a year, sometimes two and three times a year, ever since then.

Chris: Now, with Mexico driving, combining the words ‘car trip’ and ‘crash course’ sounds a little scary to me.

Zora: No, not at all, it’s actually really funny. I still remember when I left for my first trip. I had booked six weeks and I was going alone. I was a little bit scared, and, once I was down there, I really had to laugh. You hear so many, sort of, horror stories about Mexico, and driving especially, and terrible conditions of the roads, and bandits and policemen who try and give you tickets for nothing, and I encountered absolutely none of that, and, actually, the roads in the Yucatan are all stellar, there are no bandits as far as I have ever encountered, or even heard of, and the policemen are exceedingly polite, and it’s actually been great. And no crashes, so none at all.

Chris: Well, a while back, and this has been a little while since they’ve changed, I understood that, especially in Mexico City area, that people, when driving at night, found that they could see better if they left their lights off. They could see the lights of the other guy. Of course, that doesn’t translate very well to large groups of people! I haven’t seen that recently, so I think they’ve…

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

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