Hola! After falling behind and out of the blogging habit a couple months ago, I am ready to reengage at our new home-for-the-next-7-weeks in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Of course, I missed recording many of our experiences in the time I wasn’t blogging, so my plan is to catch those up as well. By my count I owe 5 more Europe posts and 3 other Mexico posts to catch up to this point in our travels. I also plan to do a by-the-numbers post about our Europe leg and another what-have-we-learned post as well. My goal, stating publically, is to be up-to-date by the time we leave PE on December 27.
Getting to Puerto Escondido
People generally have to fly through Mexico City to get to Puerto Escondido, but since we were already in Oaxaca City for Dia de los Muertos, we decided to try a local airline, Aerotucan. It was a great experience. I booked and paid for the flight online a few months out, so we decided to reconfirm it at their Oaxaca office, where I had my first successful all-in-Spanish conversation with the agent there. Unfortunately, even a week later, that is still my only fully successful Spanish conversation, but I’m working on it!
The flight itself was really cool. Their daily flight is at 7 a.m. (except I guess on Sundays) and we got to the airport way too early because 1) I’m me, and 2) it was easier to find a taxi at 5 a.m. than I thought it would be. Their ticket doesn’t open until 6 a.m. But we were first in line and had a nice conversation with the other early-bird who arrived maybe 20 minutes after us, Ross. He is actually a resident of PE and a Canadian expat. He gave us several good tips about PE and was just generally interesting to talk to.
Because of the increased demand, they flew two planes to PE that morning. Each had 14 seats, including the pilot’s, and they sold the other 13, which meant one lucky passenger got to sit up front with the pilot. Ross had mentioned to us that he’s sat up front in the past, so Chad was determined to get that seat on our flight. And he did! As we approached the plane, he asked the man greeting everyone, who turned out to be the pilot, how many seats there were. As he hoped, the pilot said there were 13 and asked if he wanted to sit up front. Enthusiastic yes! Chad said the pilot was very kind and showed him different controls as we flew. It was a really cool experience for Chad and fun for me to watch him have fun. And the flight itself over the mountains was beautiful. At less than 40 minutes, Aerotucan is definitely the best way to get from Oaxaca to PE.
Our Home Here
Our introduction to PE after the flight was equally wonderful. Because we arrived at 8 a.m., our apartment was not ready yet, but the kind people in the complex offered to store our luggage. So we changed into shorts and walked down to the beach for breakfast. After a delicious and leisurely breakfast listening to the waves, we explored some of the shore and also walked up to our grocery store to get a feel for what would be available. The short answer is everything. The Super Che is everything you’d want in a grocery store and more (kind of like a Super-Walmart). It’s no surprise that Mexico feels way more like the US than Central Europe did.
We’ve now settled into our apartment and been very comfortable our first two nights here. The layout is interesting because the kitchen/living area is an outdoor room. But, we don’t feel the least unsafe, since we’re in a complex with the family who runs the place. There are 4 apartments in our building, which is owned by a couple who are related to the family here. Everyone is really nice, though there is definitely a language barrier. Chad and I are working hard on our Spanish to try to overcome it. While PE is very hot (highs around 90 degrees each day), our rooms stay cool with big ceiling fans. The wifi isn’t great but works well enough – we were worried at first but it has gotten better and we were able to stream a Liverpool match last night.
One nice, but slightly awkward thing is our apartment includes cleaning 3 days a week. We had our first experience of that today and I have to admit, it was really nice. I think frequent cleaning is a little more necessary with all the sand from the beach and the openness of the home (don’t want the trash to attract too many bugs, etc.). Also, none of our accommodations in Mexico have included a washer, which means we send out our laundry. This too is pretty great – in Oaxaca it only cost 50 pesos ($2.50) for a full week of clothes and I expect to pay about the same here. Cleaning and laundry are not things I will miss!
All the Beaches
Of course, the real reason we are here in PE are the beaches and they are amazing. We plan to go to the beach every day and we’re two-for-two so far. The waves are amazing and it is perfect beach weather here. There don’t appear to be places to rent chairs like we found in Turkey and other parts of Mexico, but many beaches are lined with restaurant/bars that you get the use of the loungers with purchase. So far we just leave our towels among the rocks while we frolic in the water and then lay them out directly on the sand to relax as we dry off. There’s not much more I can say about the beaches, so I’ll just leave some photos here (click on the thumbnail for full size).
All in all, PE is already starting to feel like home. We’re looking forward to their November fiestas and the holiday season. Above all we just feel really grateful to be able to spend a couple of months in this beautiful place.