I love Mexico.
Upon arriving in Mexico some 4 months ago I really had no idea what we would be about to experience.
The only references I had were from movies like Desperado & Nacho Libre, and I think I had seen The Mexican.
The history? Ha, I had no idea. I remember learning something about a fair chunk of the USA once being owned by Mexico. And maybe Aztecs & Mayans had something to do with Mexico too.
The food? Ha, yep nachos, burritos and Corona beer.
The music? Ha, mariachi of course.
The geography? Ha, desert. But I at least knew it was the country south of the USA, somewhere. Cancun?
The people? Ha, dudes with big mustaches sporting sombreros sitting around playing guitar.
Mexico pretty much has it all.
When we crossed the border from San Ysidro into Tijuana I was slightly apprehensive after all the warning we’d had from people on the US side. Apparently we were going to either be killed or robbed by the narco folks within minutes. But after entering Mexico the only thing that looked like it was going to kill us was the heat. One day it reached 47C or so and you can see in the 3rd episode of Planet Kapow that we were wasted. We managed to spend a night camping under the stars with some friends we’d made in Ensenada, we swam at some beautiful beaches, and ate some tasty tasty food. Tacos pescados to be exact. Yummo!
There was a lot to see in Baja California but due to the heat it was just too damn hard to make the effort. I’ll come back to Baja one day, once I have learnt to surf, and will spend some months cruising the coastline in search of the perfect taco pescado, and of course the perfect wave.
A month or so in we attempted to reach a farm out in Yepachi, Chihuahua, to work on a farm for a few weeks. We were going to learn about Organic farming and hopefully pickup some Spanish. Instead we spent 24 hours or so lost out in the Chihuahuan’ wilderness getting chased by bulls, drinking water off the sides of mountains, and spooning during the cold night. We ended up walking 40km or so eventually deciding that we would postpone the farming idea until sometime later.
But it all worked out beautifully.
After the farm fail we got on the first bus we could to the city of Chihuahua where our love affair with Mexico started to fire. We befriended some students who took us out for drinks and tried to teach us how to dance in their kitchen until 4am.
And Mexico only got better.
We found ourselves in beautiful Unesco heritage listed cities in the order of Durango-Zacatecas-Guanajuato, each one somehow out-awesomeing the last one, had coffees and beers around many beautiful city plazas, tried to learn spanish at a Spanish language school, found even more ways to eat cheese and tortillas (my favourite ended up being the quesadillas we had at a street eat in Puerto Vallarta), we road horses up the mountains around Real de Catorce, we climbed volcanoes that had grown out of some poor man’s farm around 50 years ago, we stood awe struck taking in the vastness of one of the biggest canyons in the world Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), we experienced the spectacle & might that is Luche Libre wrestling in Mexico City, we walked with The Dead during the dia del muerte festival (Day of the Dead), we scaled ancient pyramids and tried to fathom the design & engineering of ancient ruined cities, we froze our asses off and drank delicious hot chocolate up in the mountains of Oaxaca, we got dumped by the heavy world renowned surf of Puerto Escondido and hungout at beautiful seaside villages like Zipolite & Mazunte, and we continued to dig deeper into the history of country with more revolutions than a rotary engine.
And after the whole 4 months or so we never saw one burrito or plate of nachos, and never had any direct run-ins with any of the narcos.
But probably the thing I have enjoyed the most about Mexico has been the hospitality and overall kindness of the people.
No matter where in Mexico we were people would be patient enough to decipher our slowly progressing attempts at the Spanish language, and with a sense of humour, would help us out.