Leaving the US behind us, we headed overland from San Diego, US to Tijuana, MX, through what was meant to be one of the busiest land border crossings in the world… We arrived at the border crossing with about 3 other people, and that was it, no one else around. We accidentally walked into Mexico with no stamps, no checks, no nothing… Luckily we realised and headed back to immigration and got the relevant stamps/ paperwork. Busiest border crossing in the world?!? They obviously heard I was traveling with a yeti and decided not to cross the border that day.
Tijuana looked like a bit of a hole so we caught the bus to Ensenada, a port town about 3 hours South of the crossing… Not a lot to say about Ensenada, just a port town!!
From here we caught a 20 hour bus South down the Baja California Peninsula to La Paz. Felt like we arrived in a tacky seaside resort, similar to those found on the coast in Spain. Michael and I decided after months of camping and rough living we were going to chill out at the beach for a few days. So we beached it in La Paz, then caught the bus to Cabo San Lucas and beached it there. Cabo was everything I imaged it would be, touristy, built up with hundreds of resorts plastered along the coast. I have to admit there were nice beaches, but there wasn’t really much to do in Cabo except beach it, shop, eat or drink… So we decided to take up the challenge and get absolutely smashed in the cheesiest bars ad clubs we could find. Much of this night is a blur and whatever stories Michael might tell you from that night, they’re all lies!!!
Waking up with a killer hang over, spew on my bed, and suddenly realising we had a bus to catch in 30 minutes – if we missed this bus then we would miss our ferry to the mainland. To be honest I’d rather forget the horrible journey to the ferry port, so I won’t include it here, all that really matters is that we made it 🙂
The ferry to Mazatlan (mainland Mexico) was really enjoyable, we saw lots of sea life, beautiful sunset/sunrise, I got to practice my Spanish, and we even had meals included.
Mazatlan was nice, a resorty town on the Pacific coast. It was however extremely hot and humid which made it near impossible to do anything during the day. We also were staying at one of the oldest, run down buildings in the area, the Belmar Hotel, built in 1920s, the mayor was shot there in 1940s, they also released snakes into the building to clear out the rats living there… And since then it has just been left to rot. But it was cheap and we are currently unemployed, homeless nomads, so we cant be too picky.
After spending a few days in Mazatlan we decided it was time to head away from the coast and experience the ‘real’ Mexico, so we caught the bus to Zacatecas, one of the many historic cities in Mexico which has been declared a UNESCO site. I really liked Zacatecas, old buildings, not that many gringos, no one spoke English, and best of all we ‘accidentally’ gate crashed a Mexican wedding… If you are ever in Mexico and see a band, a donkey and a load of people dancing around the streets, chances are it’s part of a wedding celebration. What you must do is follow it!!! Unknowing to us we followed the crowd, next thing we know we are introduced to the newly weds, given a shot glass, some limes and salt, and fed copious amounts of tequila for the rest of the night. They even fed us at the end of it (vegetarian food included). Awesome night, awesome people, awesome experience, and probably one of the Mexican highlights so far.
The next morning, another hang over, another bus, another UNESCO town… Guanajuato. Beautiful, but extremely touristy!! And there was a VW contest on so the streets were full of WV’s which made the place stink a bit too much of car fumes – considering the main reason we went was because a random guy told us about the underground public bus transport system, and that the town was completely pedestrian friendly, this was the last thing we were expecting. Still it was a lovely town, beautiful buildings and some lovely churches.
The morning we left Guanajuato was Michael’s birthday, and I didn’t feel too great, the street food I’d been eating, along with the huge amount of chilies and spicy food had obviously caught up with me, and the result was not pretty!!! I tried to ignore it and make the most of the day as I booked us into a 4 star boutique spa hotel with massages for Michael’s birthday present, this was in the next UNESCO site, Queretaro. Personally, considering the circumstances I think I did quite well, and the day was good. The next day we were supposed to couchsurf but I was still sick, so we checked into a hostel instead and I pretty much just slept. Queretaro seemed pretty, similar to the other couple of cities though, and I was sick, so the bed became my priority.
The next day I felt good, which was great because we had a couchsurfer lined up in our next destination, Mexico city!! Unfortunately by the time we arrived at the Couchsurfers house, Michael started to feel sick. We attempted to catch the metro into the historic district but Michael only made it 2 stations, and we had to head back. The following day, with Michael feeling a little better we decided to take it easy and walk around the historic district, checked out the Templo Mayor museum, and then, one of our favorite pastimes, we slept under a tree for a couple of hours.
Mexico city is huge!!! The public transport system is great and super cheap, which makes getting around super easy – LA needs to learn something about public transport from their North American brother Mexico City!! One thing I’ve also noticed with the officers here, they all like to tell me I’m going the wrong way, my rebellious side is strongly objecting to constantly being told which way to walk.
Michael was feeling better the following day so we headed to Teotihuacan (some ancient pyramids that predated the Aztec period). The pyramids were beautiful, though a bit too touristy, and the day was great until we attempted to climb the temple of the sun, the biggest one there, and suddenly I realised I didn’t feel as great as I thought I did, and I had to make a quick dash to the baño. Climbing temples when you have the shits is not all that fun, but I did it anyway, and the views from the top were worth it 🙂
Our last day in Mexico City, and potentially our last full day in Mexico, and I’m still not feeling 100%. Not wanting to waste the day we headed to Xochimilco (apparently the Venice of Mexico)… Maybe it was because I was sick, but I thought it was a bit overpriced, a bit dirty, a bit cheesy and a bit overrated… Still we did the tourist thing and took a romantic boat trip down the river, which included floating mariachi bands, floating marimba players, floating food vendors and plant sellers (?) and admittedly it was quite enjoyable.
We headed back to our couchsurfers, picked up our bag said goodbye and made the horrific metro trip to the TAPO bus terminal (note to self, never ride metro trains at rush hour while sick with bags). So now we are just waiting for our bus to San Cristobol de las casas, where we will hopefully cross the border into Guatemala 🙂
… and so the next adventure begins!!!
Below are a few photos from Mexico; Teotihuacan pyramids, Xochimilco, Guanajuato, our creepy hostel in Mazatlan and the sunset from the ferry