We just got back from two weeks in Mexico, and it was quite a trip. I already talked about how much of a culture shock it was, but today I’ll share more photos and details of the trip.
Puerto Escondido is on the southwest coast of Mexico. It’s a fairly new city, and it attracts Mexicans as well as loads of foreign tourists. A lot of people come from all over the world for the surfing, and it wasn’t uncommon to meet people from France, Australia, other parts of Mexico, and the US.
We stayed a tiny bit off the beaten path at an amazing little house we found on AirBnb. We had a private pool, and I brought lots of pool toys to float around in.
Beyond hanging out in our pool, we spent a lot of time outside and at local restaurants.
While I took one surfing lesson and then quit, George kept up his lessons and got good at standing up and catching waves. At his last lesson, someone’s board hit him after they collided and he ended up with a black eye. Yikes.
The natural scenery was really beautiful, and the beaches went on for miles. One afternoon we spent the afternoon at a calmer beach and I got to drink straight from a coconut. Now I can cross that one off my travel bucket list!
On our last full day in Mexico, we had planned to do a lot of walking around so I could capture some photographs of what the area was really like. I was too timid and overwhelmed to get many pictures earlier on. Unfortunately, it poured the entire day.
While digging our car out of the muddy driveway wasn’t exactly enjoyable, it was certainly memorable. George and I threw down rocks, moved mud, and pushed our tiny sedan up the mudslide road, all while wearing our bathing suits. The neighbors must have thought we were nuts. We also took our sandals off to walk to breakfast and later dinner that same day. I’ll never forget how different (and amusing!) it was to trek through muddy roads in search of food with George by my side.
I like to think that travel opens up your mind to new experiences. Some parts of life in Mexico were very similar to how they are in the US, while others were totally different. By the end of our vacation, I grew accustomed to certain things, like throwing all toilet paper in the trash (not the toilet!), while other things, like cockroaches in our bathroom, still put me on edge.
- Almost all of the restaurants were open air in Puerto Escondido. You seat yourself instead of waiting for a hostess. We also felt that most restaurants provided a ridiculous number of accouterments at meal times. We’d get salt, pepper, salsa, mayonnaise, chipotle sauce, marinated peppers and onions, bread, butter, and sometimes more. They would bring everything out after you ordered, and take it away as they cleared the plates– what a lot of work!
- You’re not supposed to drink the water in Mexico, and it seemed like even locals followed that rule. Instead, people would use those 5-gallon jugs filled with clean water, like the office water cooler. To get new water, we would just leave an empty jug outside of our house with $20 pesos on it (about $1.50 US). Someone would come by and replace the jug with a sealed bottle, usually within an hour or two. Returning back to the US provided me with a privilege realization when I was washing out my recyclable container with clean drinking water.
- There were lots of wild dogs in the area we visited, along with many family pets as well. Our first encounter with the dogs freaked George out as a dog circled our moving car, barking loudly. Every evening we could hear a cacophony of dogs barking. Even though many of the loose dogs had collars, they would just be out wandering all day and night.
- Even though Puerto Escondido is relatively well established, it was extremely difficult to find reliable information online. I did a bit research in advance about restaurants to visit and places to go. I was lucky if the eateries had Facebook pages, nevermind full websites. Many of the spots that were well reviewed ended up being closed or impossible to find. Google, or any other mapping service, couldn’t locate most restaurants, perhaps because often there weren’t street numbers. I’m used to having information readily available online about location, hours, menus, and other details. This just wasn’t the case in Mexico.
I’m very happy to be back and settling into my old routine, but the wanderer in me is already planning our next adventure. Any suggestions?