You never know who a friend is, until you get in trouble. Mexico was one of those situations, when someone turns out to be a wonderful friend.
And yes, I did get in trouble again.
I tend to say, there’s no travel without trouble. My friends travelers and I got a few sayings like this. Another one is: you will always find a cardboard, when you most need it. But that’s a different story.
How did I get to Mexico?
Then I had a flight to Mexico City and it wasn’t even my final destination. I was going to Mazunte. I decided to go there, after seeing some pictures and I fell in love with this place.
Beaches in Mazunte spoke to my heart. As I mentioned, writing about Miami, I love water. This is where I charge my energy. I just had to go there.
Flight to Mexico wasn’t bad. Except the fact that I made it to the capital in the evening and my connecting flight to Puerto Escondido was in the early morning, so I still had a lot of time on hand. But also I didn’t want to wander around at night.
After all the heat in Las Vegas, I was welcomed by nice 19 degrees Celsius, bit of rain and a rainbow. Life was good.
The troubles begin
I didn’t admit that to my Mexican friends, but I screwed up. I was supposed to exchange money at the airport. Well… I had no money to exchange and all I could, was to withdraw the money from an ATM.
But the directions I got from a friend were good. I found a right shop at the airport and got myself a Mexican phone number to have data. There was no Wi-Fi at the airport! So I also had trouble with finding the exact address of my hostel. And I needed it for a weird visitor document I had to fill after my flight.
However, I found a good place to stay during night, where I could finally catch some Wi-Fi and watch movies on my laptop, which I had to carry with me all the time. I made it through the night and to Puerto Escondido.
This is where things got more difficult. In Puerto Escondido my data wasn’t really working. All I could do, was to text someone on messenger. At best. But no google maps, no anything.
Well, I needed to catch a bus to Mazunte. Well, nearby Mazunte. I had no idea where. As much as I could, I prepared myself for Mexico. But let’s be honest. It’s impossible. My friends from Mexico speak English. I was not – I repeat – I was NOT prepared to end up in a place, where no one could speak English. Not even at the airport.
Hitting the road
So I knew, more or less, where I’m going. I was looking for a bus. Instead, I was found by one of many, many taxis. And I was stupid enough to believe the driver I’m not gonna pay THAT much.
Well, I still believe he was being and asshole. I wrote down on my phone the amount of money and destination. He said yes. To both. I did consider that he’s still going to ask for more money, when we get there. Maybe twice as much. But definitely not 7 times as much.
I was tired as hell after pulling an all-nighter and wanted to get to my hotel. I could barely stay awake in a taxi. But the moment the taxi driver asked for 7 times more money than I thought, I was wide awake.
An easy catch
The taxi driver might have not been able to speak English, but I believe he could read number. He simply agreed, thinking that he’ll scare me. I’m blond, female and travel alone. Maybe I looked like an easy catch? He couldn’t be more wrong.
Mostly, I was angry at myself for being so naive. Then at the driver for lying to me and pretending that we have a deal. Additionally, I was tired and stressed after long journey. It was a bad time to argue with me. He even asked someone from the street, who speaks English, to translate, as if I didn’t understand.
The taxi driver
I might not speak Spanish, but I did understand. But that was’t our deal. He agreed to what I wrote on my phone, before we hit the road. And maybe they really take this much, but he should have said so.
So we ended up being quite a show for some locals. People were staring at us, and some innocent guy was trying to explain to me, what I already knew. They wanted me to pay more. Well. At that time I couldn’t care less. Usually I avoid fights and arguments, but this time I was angry.
And I think the taxi driver didn’t see that coming. Most likely he was sure I will be angry but still give up. As hell, I was going to give up. I yelled at him, took my backpack and left.
I’m not very proud of that, as I prefer dealing with things peacefully. However, this time it was impossible. I was alone surrounded by strangers with no one on my side. I felt tricked. But I’m pretty sure they’re going to remember me for a long time.
On occasions like this, I realize, I might be bat shit crazy. After all that happened, I would still go for that trip again.
Mazunte: turtle sanctuary
Despite the taxi driver story, I enjoyed Mazunte. It was magical. It was wonderful. Yes. It was like a wonderland. Except I couldn’t understand what people say to me.
Mexican food was spicy as hell, but delicious. Water was pleasantly warm and the waves were magnificent. And also kinda scary. Only once I went swimming. I stood in the water up to my waist. Green flag, people around. I was jumping over the waves.
It was great. Waves were big, but it was so much fun. Until that huge one came out of nowhere. There was no time to escape. Nowhere to escape. It hit me with such a power. I was under the water for a really short time, but it was still quite scary. The moment I got my shit together, was the moment I got out of water. I didn’t want the turtle sanctuary to become also my sanctuary.
For the food especially the pic above was interesting. In Poland, they sell popcorn, cooked corn, ice cream on the beach. In Mexico, it was plates with fried banana with something suspicious on it. But it was awesome.
Attractions of Mazunte
As I’ve already mentioned, Mazunte is a turtle sanctuary. Due to that, most of the attractions are about turtles. Turtle museum, boat trips to see turtles and so on. But why is it a turtle sanctuary? Bear with me, I’ll tell you soon.
Then it’s mostly just beach, food and a view point on the hill. The hill was separating two beaches. So far I only showed you the first one. And more popular. Now, I want to take you further.
To get to the view point, I had to pass some houses, hostels and… Cemetery. I’m only showing you the picture of cemetery, because I find it beautiful. It’s so different from what I know. Some graves were covered in tiles and vivid colors. It ironically vibrant for graves.
Then, there’s 2nd beach on the other side of the hill. The one above is still the same one, you saw til now. Below is the second one. There was almost no people. I suppose it’s no so popular. Therefore also more exotic. No bars and restaurants. Just the beach.
This is also where I found a turtle. It was a big one, so I saw it from a distance. It was upside down, so I rushed to help it. I thought the turtle is struggling to get on its feet. Although it was huge and probably heavy, I was ready to rescue it.
When I got closer, I noticed it was turned over a few times, but it just wouldn’t move. It was dead. According to my friend, Mazunte is a turtle sanctuary. Turtles come there and get out of the water to die. For the reason all attractions all connected to turtles.
I don’t know why, but I still feel sad thinking of the turtle. Maybe because I was so optimistic about helping it? But there was no helping it anymore.
Apparently locals them. So I hope someone took care of this one as well. I couldn’t do anything for him.
Leaving turtle sanctuary
It was time to leave, but the time spent in Mazunte was heavenly. Despite the language trouble and not understanding what I just ordered to eat. Despite the fact that whole village had only to ATMs. It was so great and so exotic. I think so far only Morocco made such a big impression on me as Mexico.
I needed to get all my things and find a truck going to the main road. Then I had to catch the bus to Puerto Escondido and then take the bus to Puebla. From Puebla, it was only two hours by bus to the airport. That was the plan. I had enough time to make it more of a trip and see something on the way back. I also wanted to visit my friends from the Grand Hotel, who live in Puebla. Guess what? I didn’t.
Certainly it’s not much of a surprise that something went wrong. There’s no travel without trouble, right? So I managed to pack my things. As I bought some souvenirs like Mescal – local alcohol made from the same plant as tequila but different method – I had to leave some other things behind. My backpack was getting heavier and heavier.
Leaving the turtle sanctuary behind
I found a truck going to the main road for 10 pesos. It was around 15 minutes drive, but boy, was it long. In the car there was a driver of course and two other people. Then there was more in the truck trailer. And no way to close the trailer. If you lost balance, you could just easily fall out of it!
It was almost full, so I had to stand, holding on to some handrails, in a moving truck, although it wasn’t very fast. It was still kinda crazy, but also amazing. Like real adventure in some Discovery Channel program about travels.
I made it to the main road and didn’t have to wait long, before the bus came. However, soon it started raining. This is when I understood, why it’s cheap. It was so old, that the water was leaking from the roof and windows. Halfway to Puerto Escondido I was already wet and not for the reason I’d like that to happen.
The end of story
Truly, this is not the end. It’s just a beginning. The Mexico part of trouble is coming soon. Hold tight.