Saturday, 14 March 2009

14 March 2009

up for the climb into the mountainsthat loomed ahead all green. After this climb we would be on the great central plateau again and ready to roll ahead to Mexico City. In no time at all we soared to an elevation of 5,000 feet among misty passes that overlooked steaming yellow rivers a mile below. It was the great River Moctezuma. The Indians along the road began to grow extremely weird. Don’t you see this is a nation in itself, these people are mountain Indians and shut off from everything else!” cried Neal. They were short and squat, and dark, with bad teeth; they carried immense loads on their backs. Across enormous vegetated ravines we saw patchworks of agriculture on steep slopes. “The bastards walk up and down those slopes and work the crop!” yelled Neal. He drove the car five miles an hour. “Whooee, this I never thought existed!” High on the highest peak, as great a peak as any Rocky Mountain peak, we saw bananas growing. Neal got out of the car to point. We stopped on a ledge where a little thatched hut suspended itself over the precipice of the world. The sun created golden hazes that obscured the Moctezuma now more than a mile below. In the yard in front of the hut, for there was no back to it, only a chasm, a little three year old Indian girl stood with her finger in her mouth watching us with big brown eyes. “She’s probably never seen anybody parked here before in her entire life!” breathed Neal. “Hel-lo little girl…how are You? you like us?” The little girl looked away bashfully and pouted. We began to talk and she again examined us with finger in mouth. “Gee I wish there was something I could give her! Think of it being born and living on this ledge---this ledge representing all you know of life---her father is probably groping down the ravine with a rope and getting his pineapples out of a cave and hacking wood at eighty degree angle with all the bottom below. She’ll never leave here and know anything about the outside world. It’s a nation. They probably have a chief. Off the road, over that bluff, miles back they must be even wilder and stranger because the Pan American hiway partially civilizes this nation on this road. Notice the beads of sweat on her brow” Neal pointed out “It’s not the kind of sweat we have, it’s oily and it’s ALWAYS

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