On the day we left for Mexico, it was snowing here in Oregon. When we landed in Puerto Escodido, it was about 90 degrees F.
Once we got to Zipolite, we walked naked on the beach just about every day. I’m told Zipolite is the only public nude beach in Mexico. The scenery was great and the sun shining on us was fabulous. I got a little too much sun on one day but I’m not complaining. I wish we could go back there tomorrow.
Here are some of my suggestions about what to take with you if you go to a small town in Mexico:
1. sunscreen and aloe. You can buy sunscreen when you get there; just look for La Farmacia. But you can’t take the bottle back with you on the airplane if it’s over 2.5 oz. I brought a 2.5 oz bottle of 30 SPF and a 2.5 oz bottle of aloe vera lotion. For the first week I was very cautious, only went out in the sun a little bit at a time. Then one day we borrowed an umbrella and stayed on the beach for a couple hours in the shade. Well, I guess the shade wasn’t enough because I got burned. Use the sunscreen even if you think you’re in the shade. I realize now that one mistake I made is that I’d always heard that the time of day when you’re most likely to get burned is noon to 3 pm. That’s the danger zone. But that’s in the summer time when you’re on daylight saving time! If you’re on standard time, it’s 11 am to 2 pm. So here I was sitting under an umbrella at 12:15, thinking we better wrap it up because I don’t want to be in the danger zone, not realizing that I’d already been in the zone for more than an hour. I used up the whole bottle of aloe.
2. A blanket and a sheet. I heard horror stories about dirty hotel rooms with creepy crawly critters in the beds so I brought a sheet with us but everywhere we stayed the beds looked quite clean. Still, I’m glad I brought the sheet because we used it for so many other purposes. It gave us something to sit on at the beach. We used it to take naps on the plane and at the airport. I wish we’d also brought a blanket because the mattresses we hard and we could have used a blanket for a mattress pad. Also it would have made it easier to nap in the airport, lying on the carpeted floor. Next time I’ll bring a comforter squeezed into a stuff sack.
3. laptop. We brought cell phones for email access but I decided against bringing the laptop because I was afraid it would stand out and make us look like targets for being robbed. That turned out to be not true at all. I saw laptops everywhere. Having a laptop is no big deal in Mexico. Lots and lots of places have wifi but you may have to buy something before they’ll give you the password. Every hotel we stayed at had wifi but often it only worked in the lobby. Doing email on a cell phone was tiresome. Next time I’ll bring a laptop.
4. peanut butter. One lesson I learned in the scouts is be ready for the very real possibility that your meal plans with go badly. I took a jar of my favorite peanut butter, just in case. I’m very glad that I did. We ended up snacking from that jar a few times.
I still can’t get over how cheap everything was. I think the most expensive meal we ate was 120 pesos, which is less than 10 dollars. We would go to a restaurant, order just one meal, and split it. Usually it would be 60 or 80 pesos, about 5 dollars. The cheapest I remember was a tortilla with beans, chicken, and cheese, for 15 pesos, just over 1 dollar. The hotels we stayed at ranged from 210 pesos per night up to 600, which would be about 15 dollars to 45 dollars. So, basically, everything was about half what you’d expect to pay in the US. We averaged 35 dollars per night for the hotel and 20 dollars per day for food and everything else.
One of the best things about our trip was getting to meet people from all over the world who were vacationing there. We met people from Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, and lots more. Some people spoke some English, nearly everyone spoke at least a little Spanish. Lots of people spoke a little French. We managed to communicate. That was half the fun of the trip, just getting thrown into the deep end and finding other swimmers there (metaphorically speaking).
Speaking of swimmers, the surf at Zipolite is rather rough. They say it’s dangerous for swimming, but I saw people in the water every day. Still, we enjoyed just being on the beach. I’ve said before, it’s interesting how having sun on 100% of your body feels about twice as good as just having sun on 90% of your body. I also had a great time on my bicycle, although my spouse was not as thrilled about it as I was. The hills were a lot steeper than we expected. I just wish we could have combined the bicycles and the nude beach together. We tried riding our bikes on the beach but the tires sank into the sand. Ah well, you can’t have everything. Where would you put it?