We needed a holiday (from our holiday), so booked flights to La Paz, Mexico with the plan to rent an apartment in La Ventana, a tiny fishing village in Baja California Sur. We had been on the road for six months by this stage, so when we rolled into town we were definitely ready for a rest.
Within the space of a week, Jamie signed up for and completed three kite lessons with Jesus. I discovered the local dog shelter and started walking orphaned pups. We explored local beaches (where we found a baby turtle), and discovered mountain bike routes and a delicious taco stand. We fell into the quiet rhythm of sleep ins, long walks, kiting, painting and cooking. We fell in love with our neighbour’s dog, Ruby. We mastered the perfect margarita and I baked fresh bread nearly every day. Our Swiss friends invited us to a beach further down the coast, which was perfect for snorkelling and picnics. Occasionally we went out to see local music but mostly we sat on our rooftop, watching the sunset and eating corn chips and salsa.
We had the usual, funny experiences that you have in a foreign country: accidentally buying 14 cobs of corn (which turned out to be rotten inside), paying triple the price as a local for fresh fish, seeing milk advertised as ‘snail milk’, getting mildly electrocuted in the shower, making the mistake of buying Mexican wine, and walking outside to realise you have three workmen napping on your doorstep, escaping the heat of the day.
We also had the wonderful experience of hosting another cycle tourist – our first warmshowers guest. Erica is a friendly Canadian, who is incredibly outgoing and enthusiastic. She had ridden Baja California with her friend over a few weeks and was spending her last week exploring the southern towns on her own. It was fun to be the hosts rather than the guests for once; we still shared and swapped stories, but also enjoyed being able to give back some of the kindness we received on our journey.
Mexico was the first place we started to think of home. We miss our Australian beaches, our friends and family, the local markets, our old apartment and the pasta on Lygon Street. Make no mistake - we are still incredibly excited about the adventures to come! On Christmas eve our neighbours in Mexico invited us over for a huge feast of turkey, roast potatoes and wine. We spent Christmas morning eating croissants and swimming in the Sea of Cortez. That night, our Swiss friends, Adam and Julie, invited us to their friend’s place for games and a dinner of delicious fresh fish. These few things made us feel like we had a home away from home.
By the end of our five weeks in Mexico we felt happy and full, ready for a month of cycling and adventures in the vibrant country of Cuba!