in places, vagabonding

A year in Mexico, Part 2

My Wandering around in Mexico

I think part of the joy of a year spent in Mexico was also going to some places. I particularly wanted to visit places I had not been before.

I decided my last months I would find a few places I wished to visit and just go. This is a record of the places.


Wandering Merida

I have been in Merida twice and enjoyed both times but the love affair is about the going here. A lot of walks in local neighborhoods, to coffee shops and restaurants, downtown to the central district. I figure that of all the places wandering, Merida has treated me the best. Merida is one of the cities where there is simply more. More around the block. More to the people. More to the food. More to the joy of just living here. I lived in two different districts and found joy and fun in both. The best way perhaps is to take a look at the photo galleries and you can see my day to day adventures. If you want both the photo albums you are in luck. Here is the first one and here’s the last which is still being added to on my remaining daily adventures in Merida.

La Paz Mexico

From June 6 to 10th, I headed to La Paz Mexico for a week. La Paz is in Baja and I had never been there. So I did some research to see what other people said were things and then I either avoided them or did them. Several things mentioned that I took from Wikipedia around the culture and history but I also searched on Google Maps for restaurants, breakfast, coffee, and beer. The stuff that came out basically showed me restaurants and coffee shops in different directions from my Airbnb, different ways to reach the Malecon and see the city, and the downtown and central districts. Then I just divided things into days of walking and either changed everything or did something different each day. Most days I walked about 5 miles and then would stop and get cheap food and take to the room.

My days in La Paz were spent walking from my Airbnb in a few different directions to see different parts of the city I found on Google Maps or from wikipedia or just wandering around. I managed to find wonderful breakfast places every day no matter what direction I went. My Airbnb was located about a mile from the Malecon and less from the historic and business districts..

La Paz
La Paz

The next day I walked a different direction down to the beginning of the Malecon and by the boat docks. I came to the Malecon and decided I should have a few beers by the ocean so I found a nice small bar with outdoor tables. This is a common thing along this beachwalk. There are lots of small pubs and cafes from which to order cold beer and food.

I also walked to the historic district to see the older section of town and then find the shops and smaller malls and mercados that La Paz is known for.

Historic District La Paz
Historic District La Paz

Another favorite was the central district with older buildings and a lot of charm. This street was really cool with the wonderful buildings, shops, the barber. If you are looking for the Malecon it is just right past this district. Easy to get around La Paz on foot.

Downtown La Paz
Downtown La Paz

What were some of the best things? If you come here I hope you like breakfast. Like some Chilaquiles!

Chilaquiles in La Paz
Chilaquiles in La Paz

There are some mighty good breakfast spots. Just pick one on google maps. The people. Wonderful people here. Everyone’s friendly and open whether with English or not but a lot of people speak English. Don’t let language deter you. Just go to Mexico. Finally the walking. I had a great time doing my daily walks. I just went in arbitrary directions and streets. Fun times. I think La Paz would have been a wonderful city to live in for awhile.

My gallery of all photos is here.

Yucatan Tour

The Yucatan tour took us across the Yucatan area for 5 days to see a variety of archeological sites and visit wonderful beaches and smaller cities across the Yucatan.

I found the tour on Yucatan Magazine. I had decided I wanted to find some things that would take me through the end of my time in Mexico in a big way. This tour and its itinerary seemed like the best way to see a variety of the state and also take in a number of archeological sites. The other thing is staying at upscale hotels along beaches and just doing that lifestyle for a week. It costs some money but life costs some money too. We visited a few places and some beautiful archeological sites along the way. I’ll just focus on the highlights here.

Archeological sites

We visited three archeological sites but the mosquitoes were so bad at the last one we all left. The sites are just beautiful and not visited (perhaps because of those flying critters). It was easy to climb around on the ruins but for some reason just like at other sites, the stairs are meant as challenges I think.

Bacalar

My favorite spot of the tour and I love the photos from there. It was so peaceful and serene each day to just see the lagoon, find the peace and solitude of the moments. We also went into the Magical Village of Bacalar which is very nice and kind of touristy with shops and restaurants and an old fort. Our dinner at a restaurant overlooking the lagoon was very nice.

Bacalar and its Lagoon
Bacalar and its Lagoon

The downtown part of Bacalar is cool too and lives up to its Magic Town description. The views are of an old fort, small shoppes and restaurants along a central plaza area. Very cool. Always within reach though is the beautiful lagoon of so many colors. You can see why this place just captured me so well.

Bacalar Beauty
Bacalar Beauty

Puerto Aventuras

Probably my least favorite place. Just a gated community with everything one needs besides some real Mexico. Restaurants, gift shops, walking trails, boat docks, residences for the big timers. I really did not get a lot out of it besides a nice room and a few walks and expensive food. Breakfast in the mornings was pretty nice but I just spent time in the room. I think at this point I had reached a sum total with the other guests on the tour. I became I guess anti-social. Not that I ever am social but I found them rather noxious and irritating and I’m sure they found me the same way. I have never done good with a group of the same people in a continuous day by day thing. These people were all expats living in Merida except for one woman from Australia. I have this overall impression of expats the world over. I don’t like them.

Puerto Aventuras
Puerto Aventuras

I’m just being honest here and assessing what I found to be the worst part of the tour. The human part.

My photo gallery for the tour is here.

Finale. (no such thing!)

What is beautiful is so subjective. You think natural world. I think a wall with flowers of red and blue creeping over a wall with intricate patterns. Perhaps for you is something you work so hard on. Post processing and editing. I don’t wish to edit and post process. What I wish is just the ease. An iPhone 12 Pro does that. I capture my beautiful places simply going. Perhaps a walk. Or a Uber ride. A trip to a mall.

So everything wraps up on 6 September 2022. I know because I booked the flight to leave. I’ve had a great time in Mexico. Got to see a few places, meet people that were kind and authentic and funny. When September rolls around this story will have been told but the words will remain forever to be written. This is the thing about how I go and never truly arrive. Each place seems to live on in photographs and writing and people.

There’s not a point where I can really say “finale” to Mexico. I have a lot of feelings about being here that won’t just fade away into some sunset and I realized it on the tour watching the sunset over the beautiful lagoon at Bacalar. Just like before watching the sunset over West Lake in Hanoi. Now it is Mexico which has so much to offer but I realized I cannot just sit still. I have to be going. Feeling the slow movement of no finales. No ends. But always moments to come.

What happens in September is I go to Southeast Asia to live. Hello Cambodia!


Thanks for reading both parts of this year! I had a lot of fun compiling the photos and words to go along with them and also to figure out my thoughts and feelings as I get closer to leaving.

The first part of the story is here.