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Published: December 19th 2016
Hello again, now from Mexico!
I survived the last week of finishing the thesis. Make it short, it did not work out as planned. It was chaotic, stressful and way too much time waiting for the final corrections, not able to do anything. Everyone else who has written a thesis probably knows the situation when the deadline is coming closer and the professor wants to change everything a day before. Anyway, at 12 pm I sent it to Germany. It was just in time, that Julia could print it and hand it in. It is done! Thank you Julia for saving me and this project in the last minute.
Santa Teresa – wild and free.
At the 16th
of November I met Eva, Peter and Bettina in Santa Teresa. On the bus I talked to Lina, a Swedish girl who stayed with us for a few days and told us about a horse riding tour along the beach. I finally got my thesis picture at the beach aaaand Eva and I went on that horse riding tour. Napoleon and Don Julio were our perfect partners, a little bit crazy and motivated to run along the beach,
through the jungle and into the sunset. The other day we got a good deal with Adrian, the tour guide. We cleaned his house and got two horses to go on our own. Unfortunately, we got two different horses – one with no energy and the other one with enough for two. 3 year old Shakira loved to run – straight to the few obstacles along the beach, wooden piles, trees and finally some rocks. They forgot to install the breaks and the steering wheel in this lovely lady. I wanted to go right, she left, I ended up in the sand, she in the forest. Luckily nothing more serious happened, but I was knocked out for the rest of the day. Adrian and I (Eva) were looking for Shakira and had an adventure, a 3 h ATV ride along the beach and through the jungle. Finally we found her and she was fine.
Goodbye San José
Saturday night was my last Casa Mundo party with all the people I met in the last nine month. Thank you all for coming. Thank you for making the time in Costa Rica to an unforgettable experience. It would
not have been the same without a single one of you. At the end it’s the people who give a place its heart and soul and make Costa Rica to the land of Pura Vida.
Until the 24th
Eva and I had hiking plans which were all cancelled because of Otto, the first hurricane in Costa Rica for 174 years. I had to leave my room at Casa Mundo two weeks before departure time, but thanks to Tim, we still had a roof in these rainy days. After a sad last Fitos session on Wednesday, we went to the airport on Thursday – flight cancelled, changed to midnight the other day. This time, Laura was our saving angel and we could stay at her house. San José was hardly hit by the hurricane but still, 10 min before the new departure, the flight was cancelled again and changed to anytime the next day. A night at the airport, 15 h and 150 announcements of “more than 10 000 $ and 100 ml of liquids are not allowed in the plane” later, when took off to Mexico. A beautiful flight was enough excuse for Volaris and Otto.
is an amazing country, I had a great time exploring the beautiful nature, living with the people and experiencing the Pura Vida way of life. It’s a great way of living. Costa Rica might have changed me a little. Yoga became the centre of my daily life, not just the sport but the idea behind it. The importance of sustainability was growing during this time, too. The people I lived with heard it very often – guys you don’t need a plastic bag for your can of beer. A plastic bag for a box of milk, a straw, take away boxes.. (to mention a few examples), all these things do not fit into the stunning nature of this country. It makes me sad to see how unaware a lot of people are. For myself, I try to avoid it as much as possible and I will not be quiet anymore when restaurants serve their coffee in take away cups even if you’re sitting at the table or when people do not turn of their car while waiting for someone, 10 min. This world is way too precious to treat it that careless. I am not telling this to criticize Costa
Rica but it opened my eyes. I accept the challenge of doing what I can.
Now the adventure begins - exploring Mexico.
Mexico – Guadalajara
We got picked up by two German friends of Eva, who introduced us to delicious Mexican Tacos. Eva and I spent the first night in hammocks under the Mexican stars (Roof Backpackers) – Guadalajara is way colder than we expected. The next day we explored Guadalajaras markets, centre and nightlife with some guys (Mitch, Justin and Ali) from the hostel and found ourselves in paradise eating payable cheese (in comparison to CR). We visited Tlaquepaque and Tequila - two colourful places - tried new food, enjoyed the true tequila and saw agave growing.
The Coast - Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita
Next stop was Puerto Vallarta. 5 h for 25 USD in a luxury bus was not was our backpackers budged expected but that’s the cheapest way of transportation here. After Cancún, it is the second largest holiday destination in Mexico and not the little village we were looking for (Sometimes research might help..). But we still found a little, empty beach and joined a
tour to the Isla Marineta. The small surfer village Sayulita was more the way we like it. Rainy weather and a good tip made us search the secret beach. Instead of a relaxing beach walk we crossed rocks and jungle, got an ATV ride and passed miles and miles of lonely beaches until we found the cave, leading to the secret beach. Conny and Casa Amistad made us really feel at home in Sayulita.
After two nights we moved on to San Blas. On the way we changed our mind to skip San Blas as we saw the pouring rain and spent the day on the bus, all the way to Los Mochis. Disregarding all the tips we decided to quit Baja California Sur, too as the ferry takes a very long time and is not the cheapest. Our destination was still “Barranca del Cobre”. We had to wait a day to take the economy class train, which leaves just three times a week (students cannot afford the daily primary class). So we visited Topolobampo, 20km west of Los Mochis because in Los Mochis was not that much to see.
Our travel guide recommended Cerro de San Carlos,
a little island hill to climb on. We found someone to take us there with his boat. Fast we realized that this is not a common walk and the recommended jackets were for a protection of the vegetation. It was an amazing view high up there but we still had to turn around at 2/3 when the vegetation got too dense to continue. Guss, the guy with the boat, called every 30 min to make sure we’re fine. On the way back we saw the dolphins of the bay, playing around the boat.
Barranca de Cobre
Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Mexico. We saw it on a photo and knew that we could not miss this journey with the train. 9 h with an old steam train along cactus, lakes and rivers all the way to Creel. It was already stunning but the view at a lookout “El Divisadero” made us speechless. Three canyons come together at this point where the canyon is 1500 m deep.
We made the small town Creel to our base for a few days. It gets really cold at night and gave us a
little bit of Christmas feeling. Wednesday we went on a horseback tour with Luis. 8 h ride along the cliffs of the canyon and down to the bottom for a bath in hot springs. This time we were prepared and asked for “normal” horses which was a good idea regarding the ride on the edge of the canyon. It was an unforgettable experience. Day two we spent in bed due to a bad stomach. Day three we went hiking to crazy stone formations like mushrooms, frogs and penises and a lake. Right now we are on the long journey South, 24 h on the bus to Guanajuato. Mexico is a lot bigger than we could have ever imagined and the landscape is changing constantly! More about Mexico, our experiences and impressions in the next blog.
Saludos, Antonia and Eva
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