Along with our search for the perfect volcano there came a search for the perfect surf beach. Monterrico is on the map for beach towns in Guatemala, but we diverted slightly and made our way to a lesser known, and hopefully lesser /gringo/ populated beach called Sipacate.
Sometimes things just work out when your travelling, and I think Margot brought along some good luck in those curly locks of hers. We found an unfinished hotel with dodgy bathrooms, a teeny kitty and a pool for 40 quetzales a day per person (a little over $5). We were set.
Kids need discipline
The black volcanic sand of Sipacate
Watching the sunset was a daily ritual
The beach was approximately 30 steps away and Margot, Mark and Bec had the surf virtually to themselves every morning. I always end up having the same conversation with fellow travellers about how great a place used to be. Small towns often become overrun with hostels, tour guides and overpriced souvenirs. One of the beauties of van traveling is being able to avoid these places. Big cities and tourist destinations are not Oscar’s forte, so we often end up in towns literally not on the map. Some stress comes along with not having a shower, toilet paper or running water but the tiny produce stands, the well acted out Spanglish conversations and animal visitors well outweigh the bad.
Fun times with Margot
Mark and Bec, you truly do seem to make a home for yourselves wherever you are in the world and I can’t wait to visit you in your next home, wherever it may be.
Here’s to yet another adventure with you guys
If you haven’t been to Mexico in a while then some of the seemingly ridiculous yet endearingly quotidian occurrences may at first seem unfamiliar: a king sized mattress resting precariously atop a cherry-red VW Beetle; a pretend yet pristine tea party for four young girls in the midst of a dusty and smoky street; a goat on a string on a roof; your yoga teacher showing up for class on a golf cart with a bottle of tequila in one hand, and a ukelele in the other; a curly haired and care free child whipping past you butt-naked on his little wooden bike; or two dogs going at it beside your sunset happy-hour location.
One of the more familiar events for us this Christmas was a reunion with two old friends. The moustachioed man and the rusty-haired lady rolled into the Sayulita campground as casually as they rolled out of Edmonton some seven months ago. Despite more freckles, curls, and stories, it didn’t take long before things began to feel a lot like old times.
Peggy and Bec busily prepared delicious camp stove concoctions that involved old ingredients, new spices and make-shift techniques, all the while maintaining classic kitchen banter and the comforting clink of ice in a wine glass. Mark and his fellow “Bigote” Jeff had a lot of catching up to do as they scoured the dusty shops for a decent, smoky drop and compared history notes in a laid back fashion. Bec spoke highly of the joys of retirement as Ken listened intently, wiggling the sand from between his toes and noticing that other, more seasoned, snowbirds had their poodle-esque friends alongside them.
And so old friends and new came together in a shady trailer park where it didn’t matter if you were young or old, passing through or staying forever, so long as you could keep up in a game of cards, not be intimidated by the incoming yet gentle swell, and have a cold drink in your hand as soon as the heat of the day grew tired and a tinge of purple and red began to spread over the bay. In the words of Ken, “It’s pretty hard to have a bad day in Mexico” and I feel that we accomplished just that.
The road is long for these two travellers, but we managed to help them put down a few miles, and they helped remind us that home has little to do with a place or a time in one’s life, as much as it does a feeling.
Buen viaje, y hasta luego amigos. Disfruta Mexico.
Mazatlan is part tacky tourist town and part bustling Mexican hub. Camping in cities tends to be expensive for us, so we only stayed for the night. This still gave us plenty of time to explore. Our RV park was located in the Zona Dorada, roughly translated it means, lame resort area.
The old town in Mazatlan is where it’s at. It almost feels like a totally different world from the hotel zone. We wandered aimlessly down cobblestone streets, through markets and the town square. Of course, snacking along the way.
Gorditas are quickly becoming one of my favourite foods. They are like delicious little Mexican pizza pockets.
From Mazatlan we headed into the mountains and dropped Julia in Tepic. It was then time to get to Sayulita, where we had planned to meet friends for Christmas. You figure out pretty quickly if you can travel with someone, and with Julia it was a breeze. We’ve also found since getting to Mexico that we’ve started running into the same people repeatedly. Hopefully, we’ll run into Julia again soon.