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Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle is feeling grateful in Hayfield.
Hayfield
Journey's end, for the time being, is Hayfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. Earlier this month I flew from Chiapas, Mexico, then self-quarantined for two weeks. Since I've been free, I've caught up with friends and family, reacquainted myself with old haunts around Hayfield and Glossop. Next week I will start a new job, a new chapter in my adventure, working as a technical writer for a bespoke joinery business. I'll tell more about the decision to return soon, but just wanted to check in and let everyone know where I am.

Next summer I hope to be back on the bike, tour guiding for a European cycling holiday company. In the longer term, I still want to travel by bicycle through South America and Africa, once the situation is more settled with coronavirus and its collateral effects. My best guess is that's probably two years or more away. Let's see. In the meantime, I'm excited to be back in my old community, and more grateful than ever to be among old friends.

More tales to follow from the last year in Mexico. And then there's the possibility of that book I always threatened to write... But right now, the sun's out and the open spaces are calling to me, so I'm off for a run on the local hills. My local hills 馃檪
Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle is in Municipio de San Crist贸bal de las Casas.
Hideout in Mexico
Municipio de San Crist贸bal de las Casas
A quick tour of where I've been holed up for the last two months during the Coronavirus pandemic, my 'second home from home' in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. I feel lucky to have found this place. I hope everyone is well and coping during these straitened times. Much love from Mexico!
Self-Propelling Particle
Hideout in Mexico
A tour of the ranchito community in San Crist贸bal de las Casas, Mexico, where I've been holed up for the last two months, and where I plan to spend the rest ...
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Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle is at El Arcotete Parque Ecoturistico.
Photos from Self-Propelling Particle's post
El Arcotete Parque Ecoturistico
Another hike in my local hills, another cave system, this one with a river flowing through it. It's the fourth time I've been to this spot, El Arcotete, but the first time I had my camera. Also included are a few photos of some of the amazing flowering bromeliads that decorate the broadleaf trees on the higher slopes. They are 'air plants', or epiphytes, that get their nutrients from the rain and from debris accumulating around them.
Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle is with Dan Calverley at Grutas del Drag贸n, San Crist贸bal de las Casas.
I found this incredible cave on one of my runs in the woods.
Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle
The story of the hiatus and reboot of my trip, when the wheels fell off my plans last summer. Good times in the UK, tough times back in Mexico.
Self-Propelling Particle
Self-Propelling Particle is thinking about friends and family in San Crist贸bal de las Casas, Chiapas.
Photos from Self-Propelling Particle's post
San Crist贸bal de las Casas, Chiapas
I've tried to stay away from news and current affairs during my travels, in fact since the year before my travels. It's better for my balance of mind! But there's no ignoring the C19 pandemic. Here in Chiapas right now you wouldn't know anything is amiss. That won't last of course, very likely it is already here, just not recognised.

I've already been holed up here writing for five weeks. My plan was to leave San Cristobal two days ago. But instead I've spent the last couple of days catching up on the current world health situation, and considering what to do. I've changed my mind at least five times in the last 48 hours, from making a dash for the border with Guatemala, or the border with Belize, or even Cuba. And then the penny finally dropped: C19 is coming no matter where I am. So I'd better be ready to hole up and wait it out same as everyone else.

Yesterday I decided that continuing to travel right now, even though I could and even though I'm itching to get going, would be irresponsible. I accepted I would have to stay put, who knows how long. This morning Guatemala closed its border to everyone and has closed down public places, confirming that I made the right choice.

I consider myself lucky: San Crist贸bal is up at 2100m with a very pleasant climate, cool and sunny, surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains. I have a room in a camping-RV park 2km from the city centre. For Mexico, it's a quiet and healthy place. In the evenings I sit reading by the fire while the dog snoozes beside me. It's kinda solitary now the overland van travellers are thinning out. But if I had to pick a safe bolt hole to weather the storm, this ticks all the boxes.

I'm reading about the various national responses to the pandemic and my heart goes out to those in the worst affected countries. My own country, UK, looks set to be in for a very rough ride in the next months. The UK government is outdoing itself for sheer callousness and fuckwittery. Mexico's response has been less than encouraging so far. The main holiday period - a month of celebrations - is about to begin. As far as I'm aware no official sanctions have been placed on circulation and gatherings yet. But at least they're not pretending they have magical resistance to the virus.

Wherever you are, please take care of each other and do the right thing - the government will not do it for you.

I'm including a link to a brief article and simulation of the effects of different levels of social distancing - the only effective mitigation once the virus is in the population: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR2BSfvxpnBOPii1GhYmgkQm4KON2BPGH8IsSV-gulnLVu5165w1jz-dGgM