I’ve been in Midigama for the last 6 days and it’s been very slow paced. Life here consists of waking up when you feel the sunlight in your room and the outside noises slowly start to hum. I usually have breakfast at a small little family run place called Cafe Pleasure. They do delicious ginger tea and tasty coconut rotis with dhal. They also do fruit salad with yoghurt although I’m quite certain the yoghurt is actually creme caramel – I’m definitely not complaining.
The surf has been average and quite crowded over the last few days. It’s okay though as I’m still finding little places to explore and enjoying just watching the days go by – people watching and observing.
I am staying at a little place across from the beach called Dolce Vita. It is run by a husband and wife who are so helpful and kind. Today I have woken up feeling like I have the flu and right away she has prepared me an ayurvedic tea.
I spent yesterday afternoon wandering through the back streets of Weligama – a small fishing town not far from Midigama. I could walk the streets for hours, just meandering down back streets and watching people go about their lives. There are Muslim jewellers, fabric sellers, fishmongers and everything in between. The people love to smile and on every corner there is something interesting happening. Sometimes it’s a dusty corner with a door ajar; light seeping in on an old man’s face while he squats and goes about his business. Other times it’s kids laughing and playing on the streets. The Sri Lankan people are very interested and love to stop for a chat.
I am here for another 4 days then I’m heading inland to the hills..
I arrived in Colombo late last night from Kuala Lumpur. Colombo is one of the easiest airports to get through. Customs didn’t really even exist and I walked straight on through.. actually not even sure if I got an entry stamp. I stayed at a cute little airbnb place last night, with the lovely lady waiting up to greet me. It’s always a little dicey arriving to a new city at night.. when the driver makes a turn down a strange and dark looking alley you can only hope they have your best interests in mind. Although the alley was dark and dodgy it did lead me to the right place and everything was fine. Due to the time difference, I was up early with the chirping birds and the neighbour coughing up a lung. Buela (my host) made me fresh coffee, had a bit of a chat, and sent me on my way, reminding my driver to stop so I could get some breakfast.
I arrived at the train station at around 10.15am and just made the 10.30am train. It was a rush to get a seat but I managed to get one next to the sweetest Sri Lankan family. They offered me food, let me hold their baby, and play peek a boo with their son. The little one was pretty impressed with my eyes and tried numerous times to gently take them out. With no language we managed to communicate through lots of smiles and laughs. When I got off the train they blew me kisses and waved goodbye. Bless them.
After a short tuk tuk ride I was in Unawatuna, and finally after pretty much starving for the night, I had my first Sri Lankan meal. It was delicious – dahl, spinach curry, papadums and sweet potatoes, topped off with a desicated coconut, tomato, onion and chilli sambol. I then trekked up through a mini jungle to a little hidden away beach stopping on the way back for a fresh coconut. I am now getting eaten alive by mosquitos listening to the distant honks of tuk tuk horns.
Looking forward to exploring more of this bright and colourful country.
Wow what a place Mexico City is. It’s huge, full of people and bustling. Taking the metro at peak time is absolutely crazy. Everyone Is squeezed and packed into each carriage and when the train stops people spill out while more push their way in just before the doors close. I had to wait for three trains to come past until I could safely make it on. Once on, there is a lot of people watching to be done. Mainly this consists of watching woman pile on the make up with one hand while skilfully keeping balance with the other. One lady managed to do a face full of make up- including silver dusted eyes with blue shimmer (very 80’s) blush and mascara in about 5 minutes flat. She then pulled out of her Mary poppins bag an array of fancy jewellery that made her look fit for a meeting with the queen. I was quite impressed. Next is the hop on hop off sellers who have a range of gadgets for sale. Forgot to brush your teeth this morning? Don’t worry they have it covered- mini toothpaste and brush $1. Need to tidy up your cuticles, learn English or feeling like something sweet? You can find it all on the metro for solo (only) 10 pesos!!! My favourite is when a seller gets on with a backpack full of speakers, music blaring trying to sell the latest pirate mix cd. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone- including older people, that the music is PUMPING.
Next I have to mention the food. Obviously tacos are very popular in Mexico but there is more than one type. My favourite are the Tacos de pastor. To make them pork is marinated on a kebab like spit then thingly sliced onto fresh tortillas, covered with coriander, onion, pineapple and then squeezed with lime. They are absolutely delicious. For something sweet after, you can find a place that will make you fresh crepes with nutella and Strawberries. YUM!
For my last four days in Mexico I stayed in Condesa. A really nice neighbourhood, with leafy green parks, art galleries and boutique stores. I stayed with a lovely Mexican couple through airbnb in their beautiful apartment which was awesome. On my second last night I went and watched the Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling). I had such a fun night watching the heavily staged masked wrestling luchas battle it out. There was even an Australian wrestler named thunder!
But after 3 months of traveling, it’s time to say Adios Mexico- I will miss you…
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©
Oaxaca City is a beautiful happening city filled with colour, tradition and great food. I spent my days exploring around the cobblestone streets stopping in at cute little cafes or street vedors for tasty tacos or hot chai and carrot cake. Walking through the Benito Juarez markets is an adventure. You can find fresh fruit and vegies, meats, sweets, mescal and and a huge range of local handicrafts. When your legs get tired sit down for chocolate caliente (hot chocolate) with sweet bread. The chocolate is made with cacao, cinnamon and sugar, then mixed with either water or milk to make a delicious drink that you dunk your sweet bread into. At night the streets are filled with people young and old eating ice creams, chatting to friends or just people watching. On my last night in Oaxaca, a friend and I had a delicious dinner on the rooftop of a building with a beautiful view of the city. When I got back to the hostel I fell asleep to the angelic voice of a Mexican man singing and playing guitar in a little restaurant downstairs. I will miss Oaxaca- its cobblestone streets, the delicious food, the bright colours and rich culture.
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©
After five weeks in Tapachula I am now able to make my way around the streets without worrying too much about getting lost or not being able to find my way home. I have grown to love Tapachula and the friendly people who live here who are always ready to greet you with a smile.
Mornings are my favourite time of day in Tapachula. The air is a bit cooler and the streets are peaceful with a clear view of the volcano in the distance. I’ve been starting my days with a huge bowl of oats, topped with bannana, cinnamon and yoghurt. The fruit and veg here is plentiful and cheap.
Tapachula has impressed me with its food options and its general style and character. Here you can find delicious quesadillas filled with zuchini, chicken, beef or mushrooms. The tortas (rolls) are packed with lettuce, sausage, bacon and topped with all the condiments your heart desires. Orange juice and choco milk can be found on just about every corner and if you are craving something sweet, a stop at one of the cupcake shops for a jam filled strawberry cupcake is bound to satisfy.
Next I want to tell you all about the Mexican people. Even in the scorching heat the Mexicans have a way of smelling like they have just jumped out of the shower, with their fresh smell lingering for a few blocks after they have passed. They can pull off jeans and long sleeved shirts without even breaking a sweat. The woman cruise the dusty, uneven streets in sky high heels with grace. I am hoping by the time I leave Mexico, I will have learnt a thing or two on the art of being CRISPY no matter the circumstances.
Trips to the beach are the highlight of my week. We wake up early jump in the van, get the music crankin and head to the beach. Everyone is happy and peaceful as we drive out of the city waiting to see what the waves will bring. When we arrive at the beach, we grab our boards and walk to ‘the spot’, we paddle out and I smile as I feel so lucky to be surfing with only a handful of people. Here in Tapachula the kids don’t complain about the surf, they just get out there no matter the conditions charging any wave that comes their way.
My stay here is nearly coming to an end. I have two weeks left in Tapachula, then onto Oaxaca to chase the waves.
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©
I’ve had quite a few adventures since I last wrote and have had a chance to explore Tapachula a little more. The other day Anna ( one of the other Volunteers) and I took a walk into ‘el centro’ for cupcakes and fresh juice. The juices here are delicous and you can find any combination of flavours your heart desires. You can have guava, pinapple, strawberries, lime, coconut or a ‘liquado’ which is a tasty smoothie filled with fruits and milk, served icy cold. Here in Tapachula you can get nearly a litre of fresh juice for about $2, then walk to any corner and find a fresh homemade quesadilla for roughly the same price.
Everyday in Tapachula I get these smiley moments where I feel blessed to be here. I find myself smilling at simple things, like us walking back from a surf at the beach and fitting four of us pilled into a little tuk tuk with a huge mahi mahi fish at our feet. Sometimes it’s just the drives through local areas seeing people go about their day to day lives, or a smile and a ‘buenos dias’ from someone on the street. The other night I went with some of the kids to their musical concert in another town. They were SO good. Some where in the choir, one played violin and the other took the show on the drums. Again I was blessed by the kindness of the Mexican people. I asked a lady where the toilets were and recognising that I was not Mexican, she insisted on taking me to the toilets and waiting for me. What a legend!
The same night while all the other kids wanted to be with their friends and not ‘the gringo'(the foreigner), one little angel made me feel welcome the whole night. He had a seat waiting for me on the bus, offered to share his small bread roll he had for dinner with me and insited that I have his valentines day lolly pop. He nearly brought me to tears with his thoughtfulness.
We drove up into the mountains the other day where the coffee grows, and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall where we swam and layed in the sun. Yesterday I had a ball playing shops and making mud pies with some of the kids. They absolutely love playing in the dirt and are SO dirty at the end of the day. Their favourite game to play with me is the tiger game. They get up on top of the playground and I pretend to be the tiger grabbing at their feet as they screech and laugh when I grab one of their toes.
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©