South of Laguna Verde

Mexico's sole nuclear power station, operating since 1989, is on Laguna Verde, about 80km north of Veracruz port on Hwy 180. Government plans for more reactors have been scrapped in the face of public protest. Current reports by Greenpeace (for updates see www.greenpeace.org) and a highly critical 2005 investigation by WANO (the World Association of Nuclear Operators) have highlighted numerous safety concerns, i.e. there's no solid evacuation plan for the local communities.

EcoGui'as La Mancha (g 296-100-11-63; www.ecotur ismolamancha.com; La Mancha-Acotpan; campsites/cabanas MS50/120) is a progressive association of locals who have developed a homespun, grass-roots environment education center. With their facilities a kilometer from the beach, they offer interpretive walks, birding excursions, apiary tours, horseback riding and kayak tours where you can see mangroves and wildlife. Accommodations are rustic, but it's a great off-the-beaten-path choice that supports the local community. From the La Mancha east-bound turnoff on Hwy 180, it's a kilometer down the road. Bring repellent.

Villa Rica, a small fishing village 69km north of Veracruz, is the probable site of the first Spanish settlement in Mexico. You can explore traces of a fort and a church on the Cerro de la Cantera or bask on a lovely beach.

Nearby are the Totonac tombs of Quiahuiztlan (® 8:30am-5pm;admissionM$27).You'd want to be buried here too. This pre-Hispanic cemetery is situated on verdant foothill with a sweeping vista of the coast and is guarded by a towering rocky outcrop, locally known as Cerro los Metates. The site has two pyramids, more than 70 tombs (each resembling a small temple) and some carved monuments. It's a gorgeous, 25-minute walk to the part that overlooks the ocean. Plus, you can experience this sacred Totonac site in solitude and nature, as opposed to other touristed ruins. If you want to arrive by a Hwy 180 bus, have the driver drop you at Quiahuiztlan. From there it's a pretty three-kilometer walk uphill.

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Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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