TLC: The Good // The Bad // The Ugly Vol 3
The Oaxaca coast provided swell for our last week of surfing in Mexico. The cherry on top was that our favorite camping spot of the trip, Playa San Diego, was empty and we got to enjoy multiple days of private surfing. Playa SD isn’t on a map and it has zero accommodations outside of a communal palapa. But, the water is crystal clear, the sea turtles catch waves with you, and it weirdly has cell service, allowing us to escape without being completely off the grid. As a beginner, this spot was idyllic for me (outside of the fact it looked like paradise). I could push up and go for harder/bigger waves without worrying about being in other surfers way. By the end of the week, I was sitting on the outside and going for some of the set waves with Nick. We have every intention of planning a friend trip back to San Diego someday. Aside from the two local banditos who have lived there for 20+ years and welcomed us in (bandito law: give them mezcal and you have a friend for life), it’s a truly abandoned spot and we loved it.
After 3 weeks of surfing 3x a day, we took a siesta and enjoyed a hotel, AC, hot showers, GAME OF THRONES! and a pool in Hautulco. This area of Oaxaca is like the eco-friendly, non-wrist band version of Cancun and we really enjoyed the snorkeling in the area. Also, Nick kicked off his book work for scuba diving! It’s time to show him how amazing being under the water can be too!
We got our trailer title (thank you Tom!) and were finally able to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border. Aside from one ridiculous request from Mexico for a printed receipt from our original entry (we had digital copies since it was a digital transaction), the crossing was seamless and easy - even without our license plate for the trailer.
Nick y yo fuiemos a la escuela de español por una semana en Guatemala. Read: Nick and I went to Spanish school for a week in Guatemala. At the same time, we lived with a local family. I’m placing this in the good category because it was REALLY REALLY good for us to do it, we both saw step changes in our comprehension and ability to speak the language. Also, we loved our adopted family and really enjoyed our time at every meal with them. However, I considered placing it in the bad category because it was hard. Really hard. Neither of us has been in school for a long time and our ability to stay focused for 3 hours at a time with a private tutor was difficult. Doing homework for 1-2 hours a day was hard. What happened to our attention span?
Our two final days on Lake Atitlan were spent at Casa del Mundo. This hotel came highly recommended by multiple friends and we now understand why. It’s only accessible by boat, it’s very tranquil, the food was spectacular, and they have a private wood fire heated jacuzzi experience right on the edge of the lake that is magical at night. Upon our arrival we learned a friend of mine from work had gifted us the jacuzzi experience with a bottle of wine to boot (he was there 2 weeks earlier and had it arranged). I’m not sure how I collected the worlds best friends, but I have no intention of letting them go. If you ever go to Lake Atitlan, stay at this hotel.
Did you know Mexico refers to the Volkswagen Beetle as “the people’s car”? Did you know that Mexico had the last Volkswagen plant to produce the slug bug and production lasted until 2003? Did you know that Mexico City retired the last of its Volkswagen Beetle taxis in 2012, only 4 years ago? Yeah. We didn’t either. A cautionary word of advice: never ever ever ever start the slug bug game with your partner while traveling through Mexico. Your shoulder will appreciate it.
We are currently sitting on the patio of a hotel in Guatemala City while our car sits at the Toyota dealership. Unfortunately, the right front drive bearing started to make a noise and we have to get it replaced. This is a bit more of a proactive step, but car work is never fun. We want to get back to the beach!
Holy moly 8.0 earthquakes! This only makes the ugly list because we are sad about the death and land devastation in an area of Mexico we love so much, the actual event was almost a non-event. It was 10pm at night and we were both just starting to fall asleep when we felt the trailer start to shake. We hang our trash on the back of our trailer door and sometimes dogs try to get into it and give us a little shake in the process. So, we assumed that is what was happening. Nick made his signature high pitch hissing noise to scare said dog away, the shaking doesn’t stop. He shouts and yells a couple of times, the shaking doesn’t stop. He unzips one of the tent windows to get a visual on this damn dog, the shaking doesn’t stop and in fact intensifies quite a bit. “Nick, I don’t think it’s a dog, I think it’s an earthquake.” We chuckle, Nick’s blood pressure drops back down to normal, and we go back to sleep. It wasn’t until our phones from concerned family started going off and waking us back up that we realized it was a much bigger deal and we needed to let everyone know we were ok. It was quite the talk of the town the next day and we were thankful we had left the epicenter of the quake 2 days earlier.
I don’t even want to talk about this ugly. The bikes. I’m sure most of you saw Nick’s post, but Nick’s back wheel was somehow severely damaged and is now unrideable. We think someone tried to steal them while they were secured to the parked trailer (not on top of the car) in a parking lot and the force of the trailer came down on it, but the long story short is THE BIKE SAGA CONTINUES. The silver lining: we are going back to SF in 2 weeks and he can replace it. Bikes, grrrrr!