A Travellerspoint blog

Puerto Escondido

perdida y escondida en Puerto Escondido

sunny 25 °C

Here I am at BEACH HOTEL INES on Playa Zicatela, all travelled-out and not wanting to do anything other than lie on the beach (or the bed beneath a jet fan). It's not particularly hot here, but the humidity is killing me. My body has puffed up like a puffer fish, although the heat has taken away my appetite.

After about 6 weeks of travelling solo I'm all solo-travelled-out... and I'm tired of moving. I'm just going to hang around here for about a week until I decide where to go next. Or perhaps I should take the advice of my eldest bro who said that when he and his girlfriend (now wife) were in Costa Rica and were getting sick of travelling they just booked themselves into a Best Western and watched Costa Rican PRICE IS RIGHT for a few days and then they felt better!

Posted by knowmad 10:18 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Puerto Escondido

Mata rápido y sigue matando

sunny 27 °C

I like a quick death. And that is exactly what I am giving the mosquitoes here in Puerto Escondido. I used up my entire mini-can of Raid insect killer this morning which has lasted me a whole 5 weeks. But here in Puerto Escondido, a mini-can is not sufficient to kill those blood sucking little buggers. So I had to go down to the local abarrotes to pick up another can. But on the way down I popped into the local pharmacy to get some hair removal cream (I knew I should have got that bikini wax done in México City!) and overheard a conversation the pharmacist was having with a customer. He was describing his symptoms: pain at the back of the eyes, body aches and fever. The pharmacist, without blinking an eye, told the poor chap he may have dengue fever (of which, the pharmacist later told me, there are currently 4 different strains of the virus in the region). The pharmacist went on to tell the poor chap that in order to ascertain exactly what was wrong with him he would need a full consultation with her husband - the local doctor - but that in the meantime he might like to take some pseudoephredine instead, because he might just have an ear infection or sinusitis and she thought that pseudoephredine would do the trick. (Thank god for Dr John Scally of the Travel Clinic in Essendon who kitted me out with a portable pharmacy before I left Australia!)

Well, you all know I do love a good drama and I haven't had enough of that lately, so my imagination went into overdrive (again!). The pharmacist sent the poor chap away with a couple of pills and said that if he didn't feel better tomorrow that he should go and visit her husband for further investigation.

So, I picked up my depilatory cream and headed straight down to the local abarrotes to get my killing machine & terminate those dengue fever carrying mosquitoes. This time I bought a big 490ml can of Raid Max. What attracted me to this can was that it states: "mata rápido y sigue matando" (the exact translation in English is "kills quickly and continues killing" but I think, from a marketing perspective, it would be better read as "fast knockdown & continual knockouts!"). So I returned to my hotel room and got to work knocking out those darned pesky mosquitoes. It was quite amazing to see their dead bodies sprinkled over the white tiled floors. And I even managed to kill a spider and a couple of ants. How those darned creatures get in here I have no idea. There is fly-wire on all the windows, but they must have a secret entrance somewhere. And this was no time to be worrying about good and bad karma: I could die from dengue fever with lots of good karma. Or I could live without dengue fever with lots of bad karma. I choose life.

Anyhow, a few minutes after performing my auto-fumigation ritual my nostrils started to go a little numb... as did my tongue. Then I started to imagine that perhaps I was also killing myself as well as those horrible bichos. Could a person die from the toxins in "mata rápido y sigue matando"? I started to drink lots of water and sat outside for a while, wondering how I would explain to the pharmacist that in my panic to rid my hotel room from dengue fever carrying mosquitoes, I had actually poisoned myself with the stuff I was using to kill them. And would she just send me away with a single pill containing pseudoephedrine and tell me to return in the morning if I weren't feeling any better? Does Mondial Travel Insurance have a health emergency hotline? Does México have a Poisons Information Centre? Argh! So I just took a multi-vitamin instead and hope that I will regain some feeling again in my nostrils and tongue. In the meantime I will Google search accidental insecticide poisoning.

Posted by knowmad 04:29 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Sleepless in Guadalajara


About 2am this morning a family of 11 campesinos arrived at Hostal de Maria looking for a place to stay.


What was not fine was the fact that they all stormed into my dorm (I was the only one in the room for 6 people), fussed around trying to find a light switch to check out the room... all the while laughing, talking and crying out to each other about whether or not to stay in the hostel. Great. I'm woken up at 2am by a gaggle of women and their male relatives when I need to get up at 6am to get the bus to Colima, south of Guadalajara.

So, I kinda figured that maybe they might notice a body in a bed and be a little more respectful and considerate. Oh no, until 3.30am they continued their intrafamily discussions by which time I was so wide awake that I had no chance in hell of ever falling asleep again. So I got up out of bed and went to chat with Manuel on the front desk who tells me he is going to be shot the next day for letting them stay there because the male campesinos all have the most obnoxious body odour, not to mention the toxic stench of their feet, and this will mean all the dorms will need to be disinfected to get rid of the smell and la dueña is going to be really angry.

So about 4am I go back to bed and sort of start to settle when all of a sudden an orchestra of trumpets erupts into a cacophony of sound: the women in my dorm (the men were transferred elsewhere) are the most horrendous snorers! I let this go on for about half an hour when I could stand it no more (they snore worse than Pater... and imagine 5 of them!) and so I make as much noise as possible to wake them all up (passive aggressive revenge) as I try to find my CD walkman which I hope (together with my Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones) will block out the raucous sound emanating from my room mates nostrils! I'm successful (in finding the walkman and waking them all up) and return to bed where for the next three hours I listen to Maná's new CD, "Amar es Combatir", over and over and over again...

Then at about 7.30am there is movement at the station and the women start to get out of bed and have the nerve to ask me did I sleep well. I almost had an apoplectic fit.

However, I have learnt a valuable lesson: the O'Neil family motto of putting others first before one's self, being considerate and careful not to offend others does not function well in México.

The next time I am in the same situation I will be just as vocal as the Mexicans and tell the lot of them to shut up and let me get some shut eye! I have learnt some really amazingly useful palabrotas recently which I think I could employ to get my message across quite effectively.

So this morning at breakfast the most popular topic of conversation amongst the regular residents here - Sophia (France), Minhi (Korea), Ivan & David (Mexico) - was "did you smell them?!

Posted by knowmad 13:45 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)


sunny 25 °C

Arrived here on the evening of 26 September from Chihuahua (flew down for MX$1300). Staying at Hostal de Maria on Nueva Galicia 924 (entre Calle Colón y General Rio Seco) in Barrio de las 9 Esquinas. Nice hostel. Poor ventilation in my dorm, but will manage to live with it. MX$150 per night. Free internet access. Located in Centro Historico.

Posted by knowmad 08:38 Archived in Mexico Tagged lodging Comments (0)

Chihuahua: Accommodation

sunny 28 °C

Just a brief note to give some advice about accommodation in Chihuahua.

On Calle 22a & Mendez, opposite Chepe (the ferrocarril station that takes you on La Barranca del Cobre/Copper Canyon train ride to Creel & beyond to Los Mochis) is an excellent hostel called Casa Chihuahua. It's four months old and managed by a Mexican-French couple - Loly & Philippe) and their two gorgeous children who are multilingual! (French, Spanish & English and Loly also speaks Italian). It is quiet, extremely clean and the beds are very comfortable.

Cost is MX$120.00 (120 Mexican pesos) a night in a shared dorm or MX$240 in a twin room. Showers and toilets are of a high standard. Towels and bedding provided.

There is a large Maytag washer & dryer and you can do your laundry there for $MX50.00. Breakfast is also available for $MX20.00. However, Philippe & Loly have many recommendations for breakfast, lunch & dinner. There is a fantastic little place called "O'Camps" which do great tacos de carne asada.

Loly & Philippe have an extremely wide range of information on things to do and see in Chihuahua and can provide recommendations for accommodation elsewhere in México.

The hostel is within walking distance of el centro historico but on a hot day you may want to take a bus - although I have yet to do this, preferring to walk around town.

Oddly enough this place doesn't get a mention in any of the travel guides (Lonely Planet etc.) - although it is the best hostel in the region!

I give this hostel 5 stars!

Posted by knowmad 09:35 Archived in Mexico Tagged lodging Comments (0)

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