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Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 109
Traveler Since: 2001

September 28, 2012

I had hoped that GCT would resume the Copper Canyon trip.  But so far I haven't seen any indication that it will happen.  Would anyone else be interested in this trip? 

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 134
Traveler Since: 2005

September 29, 2012

Sea Lion Lady, the Copper Canyon is in an area of Mexico that I had always thought I would visit sooner or later. It would be such a beautiful and interesting region to see.  A lot of Mexico is familiar to me, since I went to University classes in Guadalajara and my family visited back and forth with good friends in Mexico City.  We camped on the beach at Hermosillo when I was a child, I worked in  Methodist mission south of Ensenada during college years, and traveled as a young bride to Yucatan. In the early '70's, you could safely drive in small convoys of friends from California to the Panama Canal!

But the political situation in those northern border states and in many other parts of Mexico is horrendous right now. The danger to American travelers is, of course, evident, but it is also disgusting and disheartening that the Mexican people themselves have to be so terrorized in their own country. Most of them have nothing to do with the drug cartels who are destroying the safety of their region, and their quality of life and economic situations have steadly declined in the last decade because of the relentless greed and the horrible violence of the cartels. So many citizens are not safe in their own homes, schools, streets, and workplaces.

Do not kid yourself that because you are a tourist, and not part of the country itself, that you are immune to this violence. Thousands of assasinations have occurred, and some of those murdered have been from the USA.  As much as I would love to visit the Copper Canyon and to return to my more beloved parts (and people)  of Mexico, I don't see that happening anytime soon. Do I want to go there?  Yes!  Am I likely to be comfortable visiting that area in the near future with Grand Circle, OAT, or any other travel company? No!  I can only pray that safe traveling in Mexico will be possible  again sometime within my lifetime.

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 134
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

September 29, 2012

Many years ago when with the Treasury Dept I worked on narcotics cases along the border...back then we had a few murders and a few hostage situations; however, what it was like back then compared to how it is now  is just like trying to compare one drop of water to an ocean.  Tourist are taken hostage or killed on a daily basis for ransom money(many that you do not hear about in the press)...Back in my time I had a gun but I would not go into Mexico today even with that gun---my gun compared with what the drug cartels have is also like trying to compare that one drop of water  to an ocean!

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 81
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

October 25, 2012

What a tragedy for the country and the people that this senseless violence driven by greed and corruption continues...besides the living in terror for the average citizen of Mexico, their economy is devastated!

I have always wanted to see the many, famous Mayan ruins in Mexico, however, I accept this may not happen due to the drug cartels and the safety concerns for visitors from the US.

Taking a slight detour...regarding another travel dream deferred, I now wonder if Egypt will ever be safe again for travel companies and their customers from western countries? With the political and religious turmoil in Egypt today, I can only imagine another massacre like the one which occured at Queen Hatshepsut's tomb in November 1997 when 60 tourists arriving on a bus there were killed.

I appreciate that companies like GCT/OAT have chosen not to offer tours to Mexico or Egypt at this time. So...much as I might wish to see the Copper Canyon, the Mayan ruins, or the ancient wonders of Egypt...I can only wait and hope for better days for these countries and for those of us who like to visit them.

Author: wattsed

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 134
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Hawaii and Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The zores, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

October 25, 2012

Back in the "old" days, Egypt took tourist safety seriously because it was a hugh economic plus for the country...for examble, when on the Nile River Cruise as we left the dock a police boat came along side and offloaded four officers who proceeded to set up a machine gun on the back of the sun deck...Those four never left their post the two days that we went from Luxor to Karnack and back to Luxor...I doubt you get that type security now days...

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 109
Traveler Since: 2001

October 27, 2012

WALSHCS, have you thought of taking OAT's "Route of the Maya" trip?  It's a wonderful adventure and the Central American Mayan sites (especially Tikal) are at least as good as the Mexican sites. 

Guatemala is a great tourist destination; Antigua and Lake Atitlan are fascinating.  I thought GCT/OAT was considering a tour to Guatemala; alas!, so far nothing has happened. 

For your reading list:  "Hummingbird House" by Patricia Henley.

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 81
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

November 06, 2012

Thank you sealionlady

 For your great suggestions and yes I did look at that trip. I must confess, however, that I found an excellent itinerary for 10 days in Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan featured with Caravan Tours at an amazing price. I booked the trip for January 18, 2013 and I can't wait to see everything you mention. I went to Costa Rica with Caravan and the quality of the hotels, tour director, and sightseeing with ALL meals included was wonderful, so I'm confident that the Guatemala trip will be too.

I will look for the book you mentioned...love to read up on any relevant topics before I travel.

By the way, do you know anyone, including yourself, who did the OAT Japan trip when it was offered previously? I booked it for November 2013 as I've always wanted to go there.

thanks again,

walshcs

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 81
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

November 06, 2012

Hello Wattsed,

Sadly I fear you are correct in your assessment of Egyptian security for tourists in present day. My daughter visited on GCT's trip when she was an employee of the company and she reported armed guards at all major sites whose job was to protect the visitors.

Despite the loss of a major economic engine, the country is focused on its struggles to draft a constitution, tensions between the different groups Coptic Christians, Muslim Brotherhood, secular liberals, etc..and leanings toward becoming an Islamic state.

Appreciated your take on this.

walshcs

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