We arrived from our flight from Huatulco to Mexico City a tad late but as we have at least 3 hours before we board the big bird non-stop to Vancouver, we have a little time to sit and reflect on our trip.
We have visited Mexico many times and feel very comfortable traveling around the country. Having a wee bit of Espanola seems to help as we hope that the local people we met appreciate the effort. Talking to one of the guests in our hotel, he had a list of complaints he said he shared with the management including that all the staff should speak better English! Sadly, he was a Canadian. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if someone from Mexico staying at the Empress in Victoria complained to the hotel that not enough staff spoke passable Spanish?
Our stay in Mexico was divided into two segments and they couldn’t have been more different if we had been in two different countries.
San Miguel was an incredible experience. The town is spectacularly beautiful with its rich colonial heritage and incredible buildings. It was a real pleasure to trek up and down the coblestone calles and avenenidas, plus we got a bit of a workout as we traveled around old town . The art and crafts we encountered in San Miguel were not only vivid and striking but of high quality. It’s understandable why artists from all over congregated in the area and they significantly added to the town’s richness.
It was however, all the people, both locals and gringos, we met in San Miguel that significantly added to our experience. Some of the more memorable were; the retired lawyer from Seattle who was a guide at the botanical garden, another unique character was the ex-lawyer from San Francisco who was also a rock musician who sometimes subbed in the Grateful Dead and was one of the guides on the House/Garden tour, the Hacienda owner from South Carolina who renovated a massive old dwelling and ended up becoming the Patron and major employer of the small town where the high end B & B was located, the driver from the airport in Leon, the staff at the library, the old woman who sold us tomatoes around the corner from where we stayed.
They physical attractiveness of the Pacific coast in Huatulco with its many bays and beautiful beaches was out of the ordinary. The warm sunny weather is not only kind but even helpful to a couple of gringos with achy joints and aging bodies. It was also a real surprise to discover that the majority of the out-of- country tourists we ran into were from Canada. Why there were not more Americans in Huatulco may have to do with the number of direct charter flight/packages coming out of the great white north.
The botanical garden and the archaeological site in Huatulco were pretty unique and special; it was a surprise tho to see that there not more people visiting them. This may be partially due to the number of high end all-inclusive resorts that act like small black holes for their visitors who don’t venture outside the gates to see what else there is going on.
While we can only speak about our all inclusive, the number of people who were over weight and seemed to mostly hang out around the pool was surprisingly high. We realize that this should come as no revelation as all inclusives tend to attract a more sedate kind of holiday seeker who is not particularly interested in finding more adventurous kinds of activities. However, after saying all of that, it was still kind of sad to leave what had become our warm corner of the world to head back to clouds and rain.
The true test of a winter holiday or vacation spot is; would you ever consider this place as somewhere you would be interested in retiring in or at least spending the entire winter?