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We're Not There Yet

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Living in Fast-Forward (Day 100) – Huatulco to Juchitan, Mexico | We're Not There Yet

We got up early this morning and left the idiotic, embarrassing tourist trap that is Crucecita, in the Bays of Huatulco.  Stowed our bikes under a bus and sat back and relaxed while the combustion engine did all of the hard work for us.  Actually, as nice as it was to sit back while we got dragged down the road, it was barely pleasant.  The bus was brutally hot (air conditioning wasn’t working) and I was very, very carsick within minutes, since a big bus doesn’t handle the sinuous road nearly as well (or as slowly) as bicycles.  Still, it was a relief to not have to do the riding ourselves, since it would’ve been a nasty ride.  The road in this part of the country passes nowhere within sight of the coast (so no view and no wind) and we passed one town in the whole four hour ride.  Considering how we rely on settlements for all of our meals, breaks, and drinks, it would’ve been a nasty ride for sure. Happy that we skipped it.

Just arrived in Juchitan, which is a funny little town where we’ll spend the day, before catching a midnight bus down the rest of the coast.  Juchitan sits on the isthmus of Mexico, where Mexico reaches its narrowest point between the two oceans.  Istmeños, as the locals are called, have a very distinct culture.  For one thing, there is a longstanding tradition of gay men and cross-dressers who are totally out and accepted here (in an otherwise pretty Catholic country).  The other distinguishing characteristic about this town is that it has festivals that pretty much occupy the calendar.  At least that’s what our guidebook says.  When we got in today we asked, skeptically, if there are any parties going on today, and we were told that today is taxi day.  Yes, today is the day of celebration of taxis.  And sure enough, all of the taxis in town are decked out with flowers, balloons and more.

Taxi Day: Free beer for all taxi drivers!…. Wait, that doesn’t seem right.

Tomorrow is some other, strange festival, but sadly I can’t remember which it is.

The zocalo in Juchitan

Anyhow, we’ve been walking around town today, and it’s a sweet little town with a vibrant little town square (with gazebo, as always) and a nice little market, including a big flower market.  Incidentally, we finally discovered how the locals have managed to produce such a wide variety of different colors of flowers.

Awesome flower market! Look at all the colors!

Oh.

So after taking an overnight bus tonight, we’ll get to the Mexican border tomorrow where we’ll catch up on sleep and get ready for Guatemala.  I guess that this is as good a point as any to reflect on our time in Mexico, and if I can sum up the experience it’s that I have really, deeply enjoyed getting to know the people and the country.  The Mexicans that we’ve met have been, almost without exception, genuinely friendly people.  I’ve liked visiting the towns which, due to their common layout (central square, market, etc.) are very comprehensible and easy to navigate.  I’ve also really come to like the feel of Mexican towns.  The love of bright colors on white plaster, wide (but quiet) streets, and the very public and communal aspect of life around here (everyone congregates in the central square).  I’ve grown so used to men ambling around with cowboy hats on, women walking around with ribbons tied through their braids, and being able to buy delicious street food that I will surely miss the country when we move on to Guatemala.  That said, we’re both very excited to head into Central America, where we also expect that things will be quite a bit cheaper.

Aw, we’re gonna miss you, too!

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