Answers in Mexico In the Jan. 6 Letters Ralph Lazo wrote regarding a Dec. 9 article on the Barranca del Cobre in Mexico and stated that he will be leading a group through the area this spring. My daughter, son-in-law and I were in a group led by Lazo last spring. It was interesting and fun: the train trip, the city of Chihuahua, the lumber town of Creel, the picturesque lodge we stayed in at Cusarrare, the overnight stop at Divisadero, all the sightseeing, shopping for baskets and other items made by the Tarahumara Indians.
On this journey with Lazo you will be doubly rewarded. He gave us information on everything and answered an endless stream of questions. He wanted to insure that we all had a great experience. CHARLOTTE SHAMLIN Redondo Beach
Room Service Re Peter Greenberg's article on room service Jan. 6: One incident my husband and I will never forget happened to us at the White Hart, a lovely and venerable hotel in Exeter, England, in 1982.
We had not rung for a morning wake-up or coffee, and were enjoying a bit of pre-breakfast wake-up activity of our own when, after a sharp, quick rap the door to our room was immediately flung open, and in walked a proper British waiter with a silver tea service.
Without a second's hesitation at our "not quite-quite" demeanor, he calmly walked up, set the tray down right next to the bed on the night stand, turned smartly, and left, closing the door with a flourish reminiscent of the Royal Palace Guards.
Dumbfounded at first, we collapsed into laughter, wondering just what-all this gray-haired gentleman had compiled in his backlog of stories during the course of his service. LINDA and BOB UMSTEAD Huntington Beach
Cruising the Nile Several weeks ago you published a critical letter about a Nile River cruise aboard the King Tut. I have just returned from that same cruise and agree only in part with those comments. True, the food is not joy; meats were tough and food tasteless, although breakfast was OK, and the soups tasty. Plenty of fresh fruit was available, too. The personnel were friendly and accommodating, the tours well-planned, and the guides knowledgeable and almost understandable. This is not a luxury liner but it provides acceptable amenities such as entertainment and dancing (disco) in addition to the tours.
If you travel on the King Tut, try to get accommodations on the third deck or higher, and a starboard location. JOHN A. HORROCKS Van Nuys
Mexico Color We agreed with everything Beverly Beyer and Ed Rabey said in the Mexico City article Jan. 6. We do wish, since they made such a complete assessment of Hotel Reforma, that they would have included the Boutique Mirabelle in the hotel. The proprietress, Mrs. Frances Nash, is an American. She is more informative than any travel guide. She also has lovely, distinctive Mexican dresses. If she cannot fit you she will order it made to your size. If you ever need to know anything about clothes, food, entertainment, or if you need help, ask Mrs. Nash. She is a most delightful woman. JOHN and PEG CHAMBERS Glendale
One Strike, One Run Last spring a reader wrote in praise of the Hotel Tarrane on Boulevard St. Germain in Paris. Because of the letter and the hotel's location, we made reservations for six. Upon arrival in late June there was a smile, a shrug, and "Oh, what am I to do?" and reservations for five--no single. A miserable cubbyhole was found for a few francs and the runaround continued. It was during the European soccer championships so there were no vacancies and we could not move.
For three days we were smiled at and lied to. Finally, my wife camped in the lobby, despite the owner's protests that no one had checked out. The problem was solved when two guests who had checked out that morning returned for a forgotten item. My wife, who speaks French, asked them.
The Hotel Tarrane may be pleasant in the off-season, but we were subsequently (on two occasions) afforded more honest treatment and less expensive accommodations just around the corner at the Hotel Crystal on St. Benoit, where we will henceforth take our small groups of student Eurail travelers. GENE M. WRIGHT Las Vegas
On Camera Theft . . . Wanted to make one comment which, while it may be one person's view, seems valid to me. On Jan. 6 professional photographer Carl Purcell offered some good ideas about protecting cameras from theft. But both he and, a while ago that fine columnist Judith Morgan, recommended putting a camera around one's neck, and the pro also suggested putting a foot through the strap of a camera bag if put down.
I think both are risky. These motorbike thieves, in Italy at least, are often indifferent to the safety of the person they rob as they speed by. Better to lose a camera than have one's neck broken or feet pulled out from under one, with resultant serious injuries. The camera is probably safer in a kangaroo pouch with a waistband, which is much harder for someone to yank at in the usual manner. JOAN INGALLS San Francisco