Saturday, November 28, 2009

Music from the Zocolo

Indigenous people of Mexico performing in the town square. video

Beautiful day in Oaxaca



Oaxaca has provided yet another lovely day of adventure. Plus! we ran into our Czech friends, Adam and Vernika, from San Blas. Jessi wrote before that she had a feeling we would see them again, and sure enough as we enjoyed a savory marcado sandwich they walked up right behind us. Then we walked around the town and then had a feast at the market, which was a crazy experience. Gail Kerns would have approved of the wide display of beef primed for the grill. Everyone is yelling at you to eat at their place and putting plates of veggies in your face which you then take to a meat person who grills you up a bunch of meat and then the tortilla lady comes over and gives you some tortillas. We never really knew what was happening but the food was delicious and the chance to be a part of the action was even better.

Oaxaca and Monte Alban






We have finished, for the time being, our time on the coast and headed into the mountains. The drive from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca is only about 158 miles but it took us 7 1/2 hours because of the severe elevation gain and switchback city with the roads. Although it was a long drive it was beautiful and not nearly as nerve racking as driving along the coast because the road was in much better condition. Oaxaca is a beautiful historic city set at about 6,500 feet which has been a central hub for many of the indigenous tribes in this area of mexico. We were able to visit one of the largest archeological sites in the area called Monte Alban. It was quite an experience to see ruins that had been there for up to 2,500 years. The sure don't build them like they used to. Jessi and I have come to love this city because of the diversity of food and a really good price. It is funny because all the best food we have eaten has cost the least amount of money. About 20 pesos for a good carne asada taco, which translates to $1.85. They grill the meat right in front of you, throw it on a plate with some beans, give you ten tortillas with a bunch of spicy condiments and you go to town.
We love the food so much we have adopted that style of cooking and enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner of black beans with onion, jalapeño, cilantro, traditional Oaxacan cheese, and of course hot sauce. We leave Oaxaca tomorrow for San Cristobol but have a feeling that we could spend a lot of time here in the future.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Puerto Escondido












Puerto Escondido is a beautiful town. We stayed about a mile and a half south of the main beach in a cute artsy hostel. It was hammock filled and right by the beach so it was perfect. This as some of you know will be our last beach town for a while, especially on the Pacific side.

Our days here consisted of running the beach every morning, having some beers at night and in between lazing around the beach. This was a really relaxing stop before we headed to Oaxaca for Turkey day. We were also supposed to surf here because it is some of the best surfing in the world but I guess it wasn't meant to be because it was super flat.

We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. We will be thinking of you all. XOXO!!!

Adam and Veronica


I forgot to talk about these two in the last posting. So here's the story. Adam and Veronica are the first people we met on this trip and they are from the Czech Republic. We met them in San Blas and they left one day before us. We got their email and figured we would probably never see them again. Lo and behold driving down a street in Zihuatenejo, while we were trying to find a place to stay, guess who we see walking down the street. Yup, Adam and Veronica. I think we both were so happy to see each other in a different place in Mexico. They ended up riding in the van with us all the way to Puerto Escondido lying down in the back. They were also there for the happenings in Acapulco. We stayed next to them in our tent in Puerto Escondido and ate dinner together every night. For some reason I feel that this won't be our last time meeting up with these two.

So of course, we made them take a pic with us in front of our van.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Acapulco





So, I bet you are all wondering how great Acapulco is. Well........................It's not that awesome. Maybe my memory is a bit tainted because we had to pay off a cop to get out of the supposedly illegal U-turn Jesse made. To be clear, it was perfectly legal.

Okay so we stayed in a really cute hotel with a sweet woman named Julia working the front desk. We went to see the Cladavistas. These are the cliff divers of Acapulco. It was about a twenty minute show and they only dove once a piece but it was also only 35 pesos. Definitely worth it. Then we decided to sample some of the local fare. There were two food stands at the end of our alley and we tried both. The first place we got two things, a burrito (it is really 3 tacos) and some tostadas. Soooooooo delicious. Since we hadn't had enough we went to the other lady and got the quesadillas and this was delicious too. Julia watched all of this go down and told us we were going to get fat if we stayed here too long. This would be true because all of those things i mentioned were fried in oil. One of the pictures is of me on the balcony pionting to these two stands.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zihuatanejo


We are in Zihuatanejo right now, it's beautiful. We are staying at a hostel. It's cheap but not that cheap. Anyway, we are looking forward to exploring the area a bit before heading to Puerto Escondido in a few days.

Playa Azul











We camped here last night under another Palapa at a restaurant. It cost 50 pesos. That's super cheap. The pics are of the sunset and a pickup beach soccer match. Fun Fun!

La Ticla












Hey there beginner surfer....... if you want to get your ass kicked at surfing please come here. That should be the ad for this town. Anyway, La Ticla is a sleepy little surf town for more intermediate surfers. This didn't stop us from loving it anyway. We camped for 100 pesos a night, which is about 8 something in USD. Our days here consisted of running in the morning and and having a little surf in the late morning and evenings, and in between was spending a lot of time reading in our hammocks. Oh how much I love our hammocks! Thanks Kelli H!! You should come meet us and sit in the hammock too. We met some great people in La Ticla and some very great surfers. On our way home we are for sure going to stop here again. It's beautiful, not buggy and kind of discovered without really being discovered.

We also ate with our new Canadian friends one night. They took us to a restaurant up the hill from the beach where they only serve the special. The special is usually shrimp but since it was the owners birthday they served lobster. The lobster only cost 100 pesos a piece! And it was a full lobster. Oh my Gosh, this was the best lobster I have ever eaten in my life and it cost less than 9 dollars. Needless to say, we were all in heaven!

So lastly, I'm not sure if this is going to be a thing for us but in San Blas I got a shload of misquote bites just before we left. Right as we were going to leave La Ticla, I unfortunately got stung in the head by a wasp! It ambushed me right out of nowhere and stung me at least 4 times. My forehead is swollen a bit and I think my eye is too. I totally cried too. I'm a huge baby.

The van got stuck


Low and behold our go anywhere 4-wheel-drive van got stuck. Drove it up on some sand and buried it. Probably had something to do with the four wheel drive being broken and me being not so smart about driving up on the sand. Needless to say I was pretty pissed because my leisure time of hammock swinging was cut into. But we got it out for the night, camped, and woke to a beautiful sunrise (the pic in the previous post). The next morning we got stuck again and had to get pulled out by two friendly Mexicans. Viva la Mexico

Sayulita and Tenacatita pictures



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sayulita and Tenacatita

Oh my, Sayulita. I can't say anything that would tell how amazing this place is. It is a small beach town and kinda hectic with beautiful scenery, epic surfing, lots of Americans but still a very Mexican area. Jesse and I stayed at Playa Camarones, which was supposed to be the crappier of the two camp grounds but we definitely thought it was the nicer of the two. We plopped our tent under a palapa, hung our hammock and called this place home for two days. I feel as though that won't be our last time in Sayulita. The sunsets here weren't as epic because it faces more toward the north, but the surfing at sunset made up for it. We are on a great routine now of getting up and running the beach, taking a swim, going for coffee, then hitting the beach again for some surfing. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Sayulita.

We have only been gone a day and I want to go back for two weeks.

The pictures are coming. Internet sucks down here. We love you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pics












I forgot to put these on here from San Blas. Jesse and I really enjoyed our time there. We rented these bikes for 40 pesos. That's about $2.50 USD. And we had a lot of fun riding them all over the town. Everyone there rides bikes and it's so fun!

Chacalla














Jesse and I wanted to inquire about camping so we pulled into a restaurant in this small beach town, Chacalla, to ask. They said that there was no camping but they could move a few table sin their restaurant so we could camp. The only fee for camping is that we had to buy food in the morning. Then they moved some tables so we could pull our car under the roof instead. These people were so nice and we had such a great time hanging by the beach here. In the morning after we were done eating they said we could stay there again on our way back. I love people like this!!

And another plus, Pedro recommended a great liquid for all of my mosquitoe bites that would help them to heal more quickly. And it is totally working! I finally, after two terrible nights, got a full nights rest last night. Muchos Gracias, Pedro!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Pacific Coast






So that last post was joke. Our van didn't burn down, as a matter of fact it is running like a top, accept for some weird noise coming from the rear end but I figure if we ignore it long enough it will go away. Anyway, we had a great time in Guaymas and San Carlos and met some really great people. We played poker and drank with the boys our age who live in front of Marcia and Paul's. The next day they took us to the Piedras Pinturas, where we snorkeled. WE saw some beautiful fish and other sea creatures.

We left last Sunday for a marathon driving day to Mazatlan. We drove all day and stayed at a great place that was right next to the Pacific. It's refreshing to see the ocean. The place we stayed was a bit expensive at $20 a night so we left Monday and drove four more hours south to San Blas. We ended up at Stoner's Surf Camp which is only $6 a night. That's more our speed and we were allowed to use their kitchen for cooking and dishes. We decided to have a surf lesson from Jose Manuel Cono who is a pro-surfer. There are pictures of him on the wall surfing 20 ft. waves. He is an excellent instructor. I saw this because Jesse and I went out later in the day and caught at least 3 waves a piece. We love surfing!!!! We are also very glad we did this type of Honeymoon. It's been very relaxing and active and fun!

We are sad but we have to leave San Blas today because I have been attacked by twelve thousand mosquitoes and five thousand no-see-ems. Further south the bugs aren't as bad.

The pictures I have uploaded are us on the beach in Mazatlan. The others are from San Blas of our campsite and the place we were staying.

Today we are headed to Chicalla.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bit of bad luck

Our van was stolen and burnt to the ground. We will keep you all posted with what we are going to do

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gringo?? Cervesas Belluga (whale beers), Por Favor!!






So………………We finally made it to our first destination of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. This is a pretty huge feat because we have been traveling for so long I thought we were never going to make it. As far as our experience of crossing the border and getting here I will start from the beginning. We left Brian Sloyan’s house at 5:30 a.m. and headed straight South to Nogales, AZ. We were a little nervous and really didn’t know what to expect but as we approached and spoke with the border patrol it was very easy and made us a little more relaxed. We had to go 21 km further south to get our tourist card and our car permit. As we approached the “Declare”, “Nothing to Declare,” we had no idea what to do. I tried to speak a little broken Spanish to a lady and she just gave me a look like I may be a little mental. Anyway, she sent a young man over and he asked what was in the car and I said, “ropa y mantas.” This means clothes and blankets. Yup, that’s all I could pull out of my Spanish vocab so he said, “pull over I need to search your car.” It took about two seconds and he was done. Getting the tourist card and car permit was super easy but took about an hour and it was at a place ten miles further down the road. So four hours later on a windy, hilly road with lots of speeding Mexican drivers (by far the worst drivers EVER!), we arrived at Marcia and Paul’s. They live in a sweet bungalow on the Sea of Cortez. A few things we needed to know here: Mexicans are really friendly. It is not dangerous is Mexico (unless you are hanging around the drug trade business). The plumbing is bad so don’t flush the toilet paper, put it in the wastebasket. And if you accidentally do put it in the toilet you have to find a creative way to fish it out. So far we have seen Guaymas, which is more “old” Mexico and San Carlos, which is where all the gringos live, “new” Mexico. Yup, everyone calls Americans gringos and it is perfectly fine and normal. All of the people we have met so far are really nice, welcoming and we feel very safe. Even if we were wandering around at midnight we would still feel very safe. The only thing we are uneasy about is the drivers on the road.

We have been waking up every morning and immediately going to the beach for a barefoot jog and a swim after that. The water is so pretty and warm here. Jesse stepped on a crab yesterday and today I kicked a fish. But that won’t stop either of us from doing these things every morning. We love it, and best of all we are getting tan! Jesse painted an old boat tonight so we can take it out Thursday and snorkel. I’m excited for this.

The picture of the mountain with the sunset is name Tetakowie. This translates to goat titties. When Paul told us this we died laughing. I'm still very immature at 26 years old. They also took us to a little fishing village called, La Manga, where we ate the best fresh clams ever. So there you have it. Fresh clams and Goat titties. Yay, Mexico HA!

Tuscon