Travelling’s not all fun fun fun you know. There are endless hours spent on bus journeys (especially in a country as big as Mexico). Waiting around in bus stations (just as dull as back home, just twenty times busier). Sitting around waiting for photos to upload over veeeery slow internet connections. Sitting inside your hotel room waiting for the rain to stop. Dull things like laundry still need doing. So after five weeks of relentless, non-stop travelling and sightseeing (and swine flu-induced stress) it was quite a relief to arrive in Zipolite for a bit of a holiday.
Getting there is pretty fun itself (or it was for me anyway…one of my friends felt quite ill thanks to the insane bends and even madder driver) as the road winds its way through the mountains for about five hours before finally dropping back to sea level just before it hits the Pacific. Arriving was even nicer – the beautiful beach gently curves its way for nearly two miles between two rocky headlands, and we soon found ourselves a thatched cabaña set just back from it, with hammocks on the porch. We could have chosen any really – almost all of the accommodation on the beach consists of similar places, and for some reason, despite the place having been firmly on the backpacker trail for decades, more upmarket places have yet to arrive, leaving the place a tranquil contrast to the brasher resorts that make up most of Mexico’s more famous beach destinations.
After we’d found somewhere to stay, we very easily slipped into a routine of doing very little – long lie-ins in the morning, fresh fruit and granola for breakfast, the rest of the morning spent alternating between relaxing on the beach and then tiring ourselves out by jumping around in the huge waves that reliably crash onto the shore day and night, then spending the afternoon lying in a hammock reading or sleeping. Best of all was the fact that we arrived just at the end of the season, before the rains arrive for the summer, meaning that the place was almost deserted – probably less than 200 tourists when we arrived, almost certainly less than 50 by the time we left, making it the perfect place to relax. We were there for a week, and the routine of doing very little was so nice I could happily have spent far more time there (in fact it seems to be the kind of place that happens easily in, quite a few of the longer-term residents seemed to be tourists who’d never left). It’s interesting that the longer I travel, the less stressed I get about wanting to see everything, and the more I’m happy to just find a place I like and stay there for a bit. It feels like the stress of London life and working has finally well and truly left my system, and I finally know what it feels like to be truly relaxed for the first time in what feels like years.
Once the North American leg of my trip is out of the way and I arrive in Colombia, I think I may well try and find myself a place to stay along the Caribbean coast and just stay there as long as I feel like it. Now that’s a nice thought.