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Published: June 10th 2005
We returned to Antigua - and had a shower (cold) - in order to make the connection for an early flight back to Mexico. After a few bed bug bites we were up at 3.30am to get to the shuttle bus to Guatemala City Airport. We had a lay over of about 5 hours in Mexico City Airport before our flight to the northern city of Chihuahua. When we told the taxi driver where we wanted to stay he was not too keen on taking us there - as it turned out it was a bit below our expectations, but it was the cheaper option..... We had forgotten how hot Mexico was after the coolness of the Guatemalan Highlands - back to being sweaty bettys.
After an EDAF team meeting it was decided that a slightly higher standard of accommodation was required for at least the following night. As the train left Chihuahua very early and the fact that the bus journey mirrors the train route to begin with, we took a bus to the town of Creel. Surprised the local 'meet and greet' service off the bus (dudes who take you to your hotel for a couple of pesos)
by opting for one of the nicer hotels in town over the Casa Margarita - the travellers choice. The hotel was so nice it even had a bar!!! Took advantage of this and had a couple of margaritas and introduced both Gill and the barman to the wonders of Mudslides (thanks for the recipe, Ewan).
The train is notoriously late - so we were not surprised to be boarding 45 minutes later than scheduled. Amazingly this has been the only method of transportation in Mexico we have used that has not run to time. The train journey is spectular, the route runs right through a vast series of canyons, each one different from the previous and the train tracks drop all the way from the canyon rim to the floor. (Mike - we now understand why you like trains so much!!!) Before we ended our journey in El Fuerte, we watched an amazingly beautiful sunset over cactus covered Mexican desert - WOW!! Tourist info in Creel had recommended staying in El Fuerte rather than riding the train all the way to Los Mochis, as it is a considerably prettier colonial town. The following day we pushed to the port
town of Topolobampo - that was a mistake - we got to the ferry terminal at 3 in the afternoon and the ferry left at 11pm. Thinking that we could fill an afternoon, we tried to find a left luggage office - but there isn't any - Gill got her blagging head on again and persuaded a chap to hide our bags behind the desk, and we wandered back up into the town. Don't bother - there is nothing there, nowhere was open to even get something to eat, there are no stores, nothing to see and the town itself is unattractive. The local people had obviously never seen a blonde before - we couldn't get back to the terminal quick enough....
The ferry eventually left the port about an hour and a half late - as it was an overnight crossing and we tried to sleep on the reclining chairs under the bedspreads that we had bought in Antigua, I knew they would come in handy. In the morning when we reached La Paz we both realised that the blankets were not colourfast as promised, as each of us was now colour coded - Gill - red -
Sara - blue.
La Paz was the most developed town that we had stayed in in Mexico. There is a couple of Marinas and a nice beach. We couldn't quite afford the beach view, but opted not to stay in the 'best of the budget options' (thanks Lonely Planet) - there might have been a murder there or perhaps a dirty protest!!! After a walk in the beautiful evening sunshine, we sought refuge in a lovely beach front hotel to have a light refreshment... only to be disturbed by two Americans and a Canadian, who were delivering a power boat to somewhere further down the coast. The opening line of 'do you girls speak english? can we have some of your guacamole?' was perhaps one of the most interesting we have heard so far!! To prove they weren't lying we took a wander down to the marina to see it - I know what I'm going to spend my first $1m on.....
Had the most fantastic bus journey in the world - a huge bus with hardly any seats (or passengers), complimentary refreshments, movie - Bend it like Beckham in spanish - again, bus hostess - who pointed
the toilets and the saftey features of the bus and recling seats... in no time we were in San Jose del Cabo - wish we had had this bus on the overnight in Guatemala!!!
Cabo is a very american resort town - all the menus are in spanish and english and there are a number of large all inclusive hotels on the water front. It is lovely, you can get free tequila here and learn how to drink it properly and appreciate it in the same way the locals do. But we are ready to head on to new adventures. Really looking forward to staying with Daly family friends, Arthur and Darlene in Ventura - I hope they like tequila....
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