"Mexico" Mexico Travelogue by rkearns
Mexico Travel Guide: 21,502 reviews and 51,503 photos
i have been in mexico for about a week and have two to go.
nicole and i arrived in puerto vallarta and right away, found a place
to exchange our dollars and let us sleep for the night. it was so
funny getting used to the peso. $10 = 100 pesos, so when we went to
pay for the room, we gave the woman at the counter 40 pesos (still
thinking in dollars) and she looked at us, looked at the money, and
didnīt know what to say. we were basically trying to get the room for
$4. we laughed pretty hard at that one.
anyway, puerto vallarta is a pretty big city and when you fly in, you
see huge mountains, dense with jungle, and a coastline filled with
we stayed at the smaller, more local end of town, without the
pollution of the resorts, swimming pools and expensive gringo bars.
we got some beer and watched the sunset on the water from the beach,
played some pool and slept through a wonderful thunderstorm. (it has
rained every day we have been here, but it comes with a powerful
applause and leaves in no time). we went to breakfast the next
morning and i ordered something i had never heard of (chiliquiles)
just to be surprised. i ended up having tortilla chips with hot sauce
for breakfast. as you can imagine, i was pretty hungry for some fruit
when i left. we only spent one night as we wanted to move to a more
low key beach.
from puerto vallarta, we took a windy but beautiful busride down the
west coast mainland and through the dense jungle walls to melaque, a
small beach town with a few palapa (thatched roof) restaurants. we
walked around town until we found our accommodations for a few nights,
a bungalow (more like a studio apt.) just a five minute walk from
town. it was nice to have a fridge to store beer. we had a balcony
and watched the storm, and spent a lot of time getting tan on the
beach the rest of the day. an iguana made an appearance within 5 or
ten feet of our balcony and we watched him lay on the ledge, taking in
the sun. we were also greeted by a bug/animal that was as big as my
thumb, not including the wings. we screamed like little girls and
ended up mace-ing and bug spraying it until he didnīt have a chance to
walk anymore. we ate the biggest, freshest oysters on the beach-- 50
cents each! mmmm drizzled with lime and salt and hot sauce....itīs a
beautiful thing. the people working the restaurant say that since
oysters are an aphrodisiac and the owner is so old, he has to eat 24
to get a pistole (erection)...we all laughed.
we walked along the beach to this abandoned shack/restaurant on a
cliff. it was amazing. it had views of all the town and shoreline.
it was a rundown bar, accessible via a windy staircase, and had
treetrunks and palm fronds for walls. melaque has been one of our
after melaque, we took another busride down the coast to manzanillo,
one of the oldest port towns in mexico, pop 130,000. what a dirty
city! by the way, mexico is the dirtiest country i have ever
traveled. twenty minutes after a shower, i feel as if i havenīt
showered for a week! the tackiness of my skin and the dirty in the
air, combined with having to cratch my mosquito bites, makes my
fingernails dirty and my clothes sticky. mexico is not for the
squeamish or priss. itīs dirty, smelly and cheap.....but we can use
them for their beaches; those that are not polluted. the people here
are incredibly helpful and we have had many encounters with men :)
wanting to show us around. i had one scary moment when an old man in
a restaurant grabbed my wrist so i wouldnīt leave. i pulled away, and
he followed me out as if he were to stop me from leaving. he was
drunk , but we were not, so nicole and i scrammed, a little shaken.
we explored manzanilloīs boardwalk, watching all the cargo boats come
and go. we only stayed for one day. there was no swimming and we
wanted to be on a beach.
another busride later, with someone playing the guitar and
panflute, we arrive in playa nexpa (pronounced nespa). we are in
paradise!! we stayed in a makeshift tool shed the first night because
it was cheap. we got about three hours of sleep due to the bugs and
crabs (!) in our palapa. yes, there were sneaky little crabs with
their big buggy eyeballs, scurrying across our floor. we kept the
light on so that we wouldnīt step on them in the middle of the night.
we were awakened in the morning by roosters outside our door. we
decided to spend ten extra dollars and we hooked ourselves up with the
sweetest bungalow right on the beach! there are wild horses on the
beach here (we took photos of them mating) and there are lots of
surfers......mostly mexican and brazilian.
the surf here is insane and we have befriended many of the locals.
last night, we were invited to a beach bonfire and they gave us
tequila with pineapple juice...the real deal. i was the only chick
playing soccer with our brazilian and mexican friends (and a few
kids). i played goalie and i rocked. iīm so sore today! hahaha!!!
man, our place is great. we have a few hammocks outside, beneath the
palm roof. itīs like 90 degrees, and people just come over and hang
out and chill with us. we have a.c. and are very comfortable at night
with just lizards in our room.
we hitched a ride from a couple friends yesterday and found a road
that supposedly led to a waterfall where we could swim. we got to the
end of the road and didnīt see anything, so we asked the local family,
and their two boys told us to follow them. we walked about fifteen
minutes up this really dangerous jungle wall (seriously dangerous) and
found ourselves at a fresh waterfall with a pool for swimming! the
kids just played with us and we swam around. the water was perfect;
cool and deep. the rocks were slippery with algae and everything was
wild with ivy draped over tree limbs like crystals on a chandelier.
on the way back down, we saw papaya and mango trees everywhere! our
friends byron and tim, who spoke great spanish, gave the boys a tip
and they gave us a bunch of mangos! the father of the family told us
we could visit anytime and that we are his friends. the hospitality
is just like no other place i have been (besides brazil of course) and
families are important. (you know the legal age to marry here is 12?)
we had so much fun just taking off for that adventure, not knowing
where we were going or how we were going to find it.....so worth it!
we are planning our trip to zihuatanejo and then down to puerto
escondido, an epic surf spot where there will be competitions.
surfers from all over the world travel there (itīs like their mecca)
and women flock from all over the world to meet surfers. it should be
really chill and lively at the same time. nicole is an open,
adventurous traveler with insurmountable patience and tolerance of my
moodiness. i couldnīt have asked for a better companion for this
mexico is ripe, hospitable, available, raw,
dangerous, spoiled by pollution and obtrusive gringo buildings, and
totally worth visiting once. where there is beauty here, there is
also a pile of plastic waste that has been dumped by someone local. a
friend here told us that his new catch phrase for mexico is Ļnever
trust a fart in mexicoĻ. i have to agree.
we celebrated our last night in playa nexpa by getting drunk with some gypsies and locals. big surprise right...so there were about 6 or 7 of us. one of our friends knows my next door neighbor, which is odd....our other friend was featured in a novela -soap opera- as a rescuer in the ocean. he was able to buy a new surfboard for 5 days of work. we have nicknamed him mowgli because of the way he shimmied up a palm tree like a monkey and cut down about 5 coconuts for us. ---------he was truly the mancub of the evening, the local young surfer who lived in a brick hut with only three walls and a couple blankets and bottled water....such a simple and attractive existence------ then, the dutch couple we met filled those coconuts with rum. it became a wonderful tropical sensation they call Ļcoco locoĻ. coconut water and any liquor would be considered coco loco. after we devoured the inside of the fruit, they cut down some more and this time, we added tequila. my GOD did i pay for that the next day, but it was sooooo worth it. we met some really enlightened cats who had been traveling for a long time and befriended like-minded people like us. they were true nomads, not the kind that wear the rebel suit and hang out in the upper haight in san francisco.
we took a bus down to zihuatanejo. our stay was brief, two days, but we stayed in a beautiful apt. with a view of the hills and the colorful houses perched upon it. unfortunately, the beaches were very polluted. the one we landed at was one of the 16 dirtiest in all of mexico , based on an environmental survey. they donīt show you the trash on the shores in the guidebooks. we went down to where the fishermen were taking in their morning catch, and we negotiated a twenty dollar boat ride for as long as we wanted, out in the bay. we were in paradise again. we ordered beer and food and spent all day skipping around the ixtapa-zihua bay until sunset. we even caught a fish, but released it out of fear of getting sick from the polluted water.
after zihua, we took an overnight bus through acapulco and down to puerto escondido, where we are staying until tomorrow. puerto escondido, my friends, will make you fall in love with the ocean. iīm not even a surfer but the waves are so beautiful and clear, each one so unique, that i just canīt stop looking at them. i will never tire of looking at the ocean here. the waves are about 15 to 20 feet high and break in both directions. there are always surfers and body boarders out, but the lifeguard calls them in when a storm hits. today, we saw some body boarders being towed out into the water for some big waves. it started to downpour and the remainder of the people in the water were towed in by a jetskiier. the attitude here is very chill, and where we have stayed, there have been many groups of surfers and ocean lovers. itīs a one-street-attraction town. the rest of the city is pretty much like any other town with banks, restaurants, gas stations, construction and skinny wandering dogs with swollen nipples and saggy balls...haha. there are so many starving dogs and cats here. they just follow you around and wait for food and sit next to your table at the open air restaurants, hoping for a handout.
yesterday, we went for a boat ride and saw sea turtles mating in the ocean. it was spectacular. there are no exclamation points on this keyboard, otherwise i would use them....the males have hooks on their front legs so they can hold onto the femaleīs shell. so this is the one month of the year they mate ,and they do it in the water for 6 to 8 hrs then in a month, will lay their eggs on the beach. those eggs are protected by the turtle lover people, whatever theyīre called... we also saw dolphins, manta ray, and sea snakes. that was fun, and we didnīt even have to pay because we were supposed to fish and they screwed up the booking.
tomorrow, we will fly back to puerto vallarta and spend time visiting the beaches just north of there. it should be fun in the sun again. my tan is bronze and beautiful, although i will probably die of skin cancer one day. my language and body language skills are improving, and i am even learning how to get what i want by using a smile and some eye contact. who knew....
After flying into Puerto Vallarta, we got a place and took the first bus to a beach about an hour north called Puntal Mita. It was a total disappointment, so I wonīt talk about it much. We layed on the small rocky beach, full of kids and vendors, for about an hour, and took the bus back to Puerto. The real fun began when we did some free TEQUILA TASTING! Nicole bought some good tequila too...the thing is, tequila is considered good when itīs 100% agave, the plant from which it is extracted. So, when you buy El Jimador or Don Juan or Don Julio or whatever, it has been saturated with water by about 50-70%! The difference can really be tasted if you sip it. There is also no hangover from good tequila.
We celebrated Nicoleīs last night at a rad Cuban restaurant that had graffiti covering every pillar, wall, lampshade, table and napkin holder. There was live Cuban music and they served the best Mojitos and fried plantains. We walked the boardwalk, saw 4 acrobats swinging around a flagpole upside down, and watched the sunset. I took Nicole to the airport the next day and have been alone ever since. I went south about 45 minutes and this is a brief synopsis of what I experienced when I first arrived in Boca de Tomatlan, the mouth of the river that flows into the ocean:
Arriving in Boca via local bus, I walk down the main path of stone and shacks on either side, each having vendors selling goods that a passerby may need. Knowing there arenīt any accommodations listed in my handy Lonely Planet book, Iīm thinking about where to stay. Thereīs a market, and I ask the woman inside how I can find a cheap room. I emphasize it must be cheap. She leads me to a house, goes up the stairs to retrieve keys. I follow her past a pen with two small dogs and a rooster. She leads me down a cold, dark corridor and opens the latch on the second door on the right. I go inside and itīs a jail cell, all cement floor and walls, with a twin bed and a shower over the toilet. Tweety bird will be the fresh sheets. It is only $15 but itīs a lot considering its condition. It is also the only accommodation in Boca.
I pay for the room and go out into this small town for a couple drinks, and immediately meet Fide, a crusty old local who drinks tequila from dawn to dusk. Heīs crazy. He speaks 7 languages and has 5 kids from 4-38 years old, all from different women. His father was a drug Nazi in the army and his mother, 83, keeps inviting him to live with her in Mexico City. He offers me a couple swigs of his tequila and continues to try to get me drunk. I ask him how he knows so many languages and he says "me so horny". Ha ha! After he asks if I have had work done on my breasts, I decide itīs time to move along. I eat a plate of nachos (about the only thing my poor body can handle at this point in my trip) at an upstairs, open air restaurant.
It started to pour, beginning with a blast of wind that blew over umbrellas and leaves across the corrugated roofs of the shacks. The water on the river Tomatlan was ripping and flowing like when wind hits tall grass. The fisherman were walking their motorboats through shallow water, I assume, to a safer spot. The kids below the restaurant were splashing barefoot in the running water that formed on the dirt roads. People moved their cars and a man carried two bails of hay into his boat to be used on a house under construction. When the rain finally subsides enough to walk, I go back to my cell.
I am here in this cell and I want my mommy and daddy, or better yet, someone to come home to make love to. I miss civilization. I want something other than a cement floor and walls. I will make the most of this and I remind myself that this is what itīs all about...experience, gratitude, most of all, gratitude.
P.S. The top sheet on my bed might be a table runner.
From Boca, I went to a part of Mexico, only accessible by boat. I arrived in Yelapa and found a place to stay, only $20 per night, and a comfy, open air, second floor studio, equipped with mosquito netting and my own bathroom. Those little crabs are slippery ***ers. He made his way all the way upstairs into my bathroom! Scared the life out of me when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night...he skittered along the table where I kept my toothbrush! I spent two nights and three days. I mostly layed on the beach and tried to make the most out of the rest of my trip...the thing is, since Nicole has been gone, I have been getting hit on like crazy, because I am traveling alone. Everyone seems to think I need a Mexican boyfriend and I keep getting invited to dance and have drinks with people....believe me, not the type of person I would feel safe going out with....I am not complaining, just saying I am ready to be able to sit alone and not be bothered.
That being said, I am SOOOOOOOO looking forward to coming home. I miss my cat. I miss clean water, fresh, drinkable water. Toilet paper, my clean bed and sheets, English, fruit and veggies, a new standard of clean......my own shower with a washrag, new soap that doesnīt have someoneīs pubes on it...seriously, I was shown two dirty rooms. One was in Playa Nexpa. We walk in, and the beds are not made, there are about 15 empty beer cans and bottles and cans on the table, and in the toilet, there is diarreah!!!! GROSS! All in all, I have had an enlightening experience and my memories cannot really be put into words. This is just the liner note.
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