Crazy days in Mexico

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North America » Mexico » Nuevo Leon » Monterrey
February 21st 2006
Published: May 30th 2006
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The passengers were ushered through immigration in Cancun like VIP´s after we arrived back from Havana. The return flight was fun as I bumped into an Aussie guy from a hostel in Guatemala, and we had an animated debrief of our respective travel experiences in Cuba. From Cancun I organised a bus to the famous Mayan ruins of Palenque where I spent an engrossing morning exploring, taking photos and meditating at this wonderful sight in a peaceful setting. I then pushed on to the quality Backpackers hostel in the gorgeous colonial town of San Cristobal, where I effortlessly slotted back into the backpacker scene. The difference was striking as I had been spending all my time with Cubans of late, but meeting friendly and polite travellers is always one of the great joys of life on the road.

I then caught an overnight bus, dear reader, from San Cristobal to the pacific coast and the famous surfing town of Puerto Escondido which is famed for the Mexican pipeline. The town was a revelation and I had a brilliant week long interlude on my big trip. I quickly fell in with a great group of people at the hilarious Hostal Shalom, and on the second day three Irish lads from my time in Belize arrived to join in the craic. Puerto Escondido as a beach destination is hard to beat; it's super cheap staying at this great hostel with hilarious staff, had amazing food in the restaurants, and for a full week there was sunshine all day every day with mild winds and warm water. The most common refrain I heard from travellers (including myself) was that it was difficult to leave Escondido, and I give the town my highest recommendation of the beach towns I've visited in Latin America.

The staff at the hostel were so chilled and always good for a laugh. They alternated working days, and I asked a colourful Canadian guy one day what he did when he was not working there. For a moment he was stumped before offering ¨Ah, er.... as little as possible¨ ¨Good call¨ I replied ¨Yeah, I don´t really like working!¨ he said matter of fact. And there was the Hungarian guy sprawled out on the mats who was asked what was the happening venue for one evening. ¨Nowhere¨ he replied, that guy was a veritable wealth of information. I saw him another time telling a girl at check in that he didn´t speak spanish, then heard him an hour later conversing with a Mexican co-worker ... in spanish of course. The whole scene at the hostel was crazy!

Despite his denial about nightlife the town was just big enough to guarantee at least one venue was going off each night, probably the one offering free drinks for the ladies. One night we left an upstairs bar when my Irish mate tripped up slightly on the stairs behind me, and emptied a white russian on my side. We go outside and I start chatting to a swedish girl about an after party option. I said something that caught her attention and she swings around suddenly, says ¨Really¨ and promptly spills her cuba libre all over my other side. Great, two in five minutes, that night my shirt was having more drinks than me for a while!

There are so many Aussies in Puerto Escondido, and one day while walking in town I passed two girls from my dorm and said with a smile ¨Aussies¨ One of the girls replied simply with ¨Represent!¨ Another day on the way into town some wombat with an air rifle brazenly took a shot at me from across the street. I was walking along minding my own business when suddenly there was a sharp crack against the wall next to me. I spun around and stared in shock at this sketchy character as he casually reloaded. That was not a good experience, and I think my Mexican amigo displayed pretty poor form that day. Because I spent so long in the excellent surf town of Puerto Escondido I only had one day in Acapulco, yet after I arrived there was no reason to regret my choice. My preference is for a small beach town with a cracking nightlife over a huge and expensive resort city, but I note the beach and the weather are wonderful in Acapulco too. However I had to push on and north is the plan; so I booked on an epic overnight bus trip and arrived at Monterrey in northern Mexico, a booming industrial town and sister city to Houston across the border in Texas. It's a great feeling to be in North America after all these months of travel, and the hits just keep on coming. Mexico is a huge and diverse country with plenty to offer tourists which means, basically all of you should be here now!

Serving is a supreme art, and God is the first servant. God serves men, but he's not a servant of men!" Life is Beautiful, the movie

As I continue my travels, until next time it´s signing off for now


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23rd February 2006

and on and on you go....
well my sweet tommy boy you must be coming close to the end now. i have been reading and dreaming of latin america. you know the palace at Palenque? up about 30 knee high stairs?? i climbed up them on my butt!! i will be meeting up with katie and greg next week before they head off to fiji and then on to oz. take care honey see you on the flip side>
12th January 2009


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