28th Feb 2012
When I looked for a place to stay yesterday, I might have lost buff which I got from Mexico mom. I am so sad and cry in the morning. Because we visited many store to buy it and I tried to pay by myself but she paid for me. It was gift but I lost. It rains in the morning on up&down and a big dog chases me. I am so scared and try to escape from the dog. Then I fall down. Fortunately (?), the dog goes away after I fall down. On my hands and left knee it bleeds. It is so hard morning to me.
I clean injuries in a gas station and I use medicine. This is my normal meal. I like simple and cheap things when I am on the road. I get ketchup and mayonnaise on a grocery.
It stops to rain. I have pain on my hands but the big pain is with my right knee which didn’t bleed. So, I thought I should have had to hitchhike because the mount makes pain more. But I just try to keep a little bit more, and then I already get out of the mount. But the other hard thing is waiting me. The strong wind!! Later, I heard that sometimes truck is overturned because of heavy wind. That’s why I can see a lot of wind power plant. It makes me so hard to control a bike. I think I should hitchhike as soon as possible because of the strong wind and the pain with right knee.
The wind is no stronger after I get out of there. But it is too hot! It is 35 C ( 95 F).
I just keep trying a little bit more and a little bit more, then I find I am already in Zanatepec which is my destination today. I ride over 110 km (68 mi). My host name is Rodrigo and he is warmshowers member. Kindly, his wife cooks for me.
29th Feb 2012
It’s breakfast and beside eggs are bananas fired. I love bananas because it’s so sweet. I think the south of Mexico has a lot of banana tree.
Rodrigo is an English teacher. After eating breakfast, I am invited to his school. I answer to their questions. I think a few teachers invite me in Mexico so far.
He has two sons. One is one years old and the other is 4 years old. When he gives me a ride to home, he takes his son from a kindergarten.
We have lunch (dinner?) around 3pm. Typical Mexican family eat lunch (dinner?) around 2 or 3pm. And they eat dinner (?) with very small meal. That’s why many Mexican stores close from 2 pm to 4pm.
Rodrigo who is my host is cutting coco. Juice is so sweet but the inside white skin is more delicious.
I think I rode a bike hard yesterday because I’ve got sunburn and it really hurts. Rodrigo translate in Pharmacy for me but he also pays for me. He also brings me to restaurant. But it is a spicy (?) beer.
There are sea food. The white thing is turtle eggs. I heard it’s illegal to catch but it’s known to be very healthy food. So, many restaurants sell it. Tasty is …hm……
1st Mar 2012
The next day Rodrigo gives me apples and mangos. When I try to shake hands with him, I find what he holds on his hands. I just say that thank you but I am okay. And he says that why not. Kindly, he even gives money to me. I start to ride at 6:30 am to avoid strong sun. But after an hour, I am already covered in sweat. It’s the first time to get a whole mango but I find that seed is two third. Even it is made like skein of thread so that I have to remove mango stuck between my teeth. But a mango is so delicious.
I wear long pants to avoid sunburn but the problem is the part of arms. So, I use handkerchief. I need something to cover my arm.
The closer I go to the Guatemalan border, the less there are cars. There are not many cars in the road and the sun is too strong. In the water bottles water is not warm but hot. I think I can cook a noodle with it. I wet handkerchief with hot water but it turns to cold handkerchief after a minute. But it helps just few minute. I don’t like too hot weather and I am wondering that how I stand hot summer in Korea.
Although it is too hot, the life is still going.
I arrive in Tonalo around 4 pm. I decide to find a cheap hotel and write journal. But every hotel is expensive to me. I think Mexico is not cheap. I try to set up my tent in a playground by asking to people. Then someone asks to put my tent in his taxi company and he says it would be safer. His wife gives me a dinner and then they ask me to sleep in their house. I take the shower in their house and I lie down on a hammock with eating cold mango.
2nd Mar 2012
It’s my breakfast. A snack for 10 pesos (USD 80 cents) and water.
Today also it’s too hot. Even it’s not easy to find a shade to take the rest. I find some place that looks like a bus station. So, I take off my helmet and the rest.
It’s my lunch and costs 13pesos (USD 1$).
When I ride a bike over 70 km (43 mi), I can hear some noise on my bike. So I stop and try to find what’s wrong. At that time the Mexican is looking at me, and then he gives me a ride to a bike repair shop. I find it is spokes problem. The man who works in a repair shop changes spokes and tuning rear wheels. My front wheel also looks bad, so I ask to him about it and then he is tuning it. I think if I didn’t ask about it, he has not fixed my front wheel. I am hungry and sleepy during fixing it. But I can’t go to somewhere to eat because I can’t leave my stuff.
When I am sleepy, the guy who gave me a ride to a bike repair shop gives also a cake and coke. I thank to him and eat everything during fixing. I am supposed to stop the town where my bike has problem, but it’s too early to set up my tent, so I decide to keep going over 30 km (19 mi).
I arrive to some town after 6 pm. When I look for a place to set up my tent, I find some park. But I notice that it is not a park but a school. Thankfully, a teacher let me stay in the class which has air conditional. It is the first time to sleep with air conditional in Mexico so that I am happy but a little bit nervous because I am alone.
I buy bread, cheese, ham and mayonnaise for dinner, breakfast and lunch.
3rd Mar 2012
Again, I am riding a bike with hot weather and sweating on up&down hill. I want to go down to a brook but I can’t do it. Because I can’t leave a bike on the road and I am not sure that it’s clean water.
One of my traveling rules is that I must not steal any fruit from a farm. But it looks no owner for this tree on the middle of road and even a mango fell from the tree. So I eat mango! Still it’s hard fruit to eat but so delicious.
Mexico has only one kind of gas station which is called Pemex and it is run by the government. Every 10 or 50 km (6~31 mi) I can see Pemex with Oxxo which is a grocery. I am wondering it is okay. Because I’ve seen many different kind of gas stations in my country and other country. Anyway, Pemex is very helpful to me so far. I take the picture of Pemex with Oxxo because I think I can’t see those anymore after crossing the Guatemalan border.
When I am covered in sweaty, I see the Mexican people who launder.
I know that I must drink a lot of water to survive in hot weather but I don’t have water at that time. So, I buy orranges for 10 pesos (USD 80 cents).
I am so thirsty that I eat three oranges in one time. When I try to ride a bike, the security guy comes to me. So I ask him to get water and he gives me cold water. So I give him left of oranges as a gift.
Finally, I set up my tent in a fire station in Tapachula. I traveled in Jeju Island in my country with a bike without money to test myself two years ago. At that time I had an experienced to sleep in a fire station. There was so clean and nice. But the Mexico fire station is not like Korea. Even there was no firewoman but the boss guards at outside for me when I take the shower because door is broken.
It is too hot and I feel sick again so I try to sleep early around 9 pm. But I find that I have a stomachache AGAIN! I take a medicine which I got in Mexico City. But it doesn’t work so I take another one again. But it doesn’t help and then later I throw up medicine and everything. It’s like that somebody squeezes my belly every few minutes and I have too much pain. Fortunately(?) I am in a fire station at that time, so I ask to them around 11pm. They give me medicines and say to me that if I still have pain, then let’s go to the doctor. After I take medicines which I got from them, I fall a sleep deeply.
4th Mar 2012
The next day I get better. My couchsurfing host in Tapachula says to me that his family will come back home after 5 pm today. The boss in fire station says I can stay as long as I want. While I wait in a fire station, I can use wifi. When I get to host home after 5 pm, there is nobody. Kindly, neighborhood let me stay in their house and gives me dinner.
Few hours later I can meet host family. It’s my last time to meet Mexican family in Mexico.
5th Mar 2012
Host wife has 7 years old daughter. When she brings her daughter to school, I follow them. Every Mexican school’s wall is locked except in the morning and afternoon and wall is too high.
Host family has a tortilla store and farm. In the morning, I follow her. We eat some fruit on our way. I was wondering I might have had pain because of eating orange on the road. But I eat fruit again.
Also I drink juice. I am not sure that why I had a stomachache. So I just eat fruit and drink juice.
It is a small tortilla shop.
It is still too hot. When we get back to home, her sister’s daughter is sleeping.
It is host wife’s daughter with a bird.
My host is from Sweden and he has lived over 20 years.
6th Mar 2012
Today I will visit to his farm. It’s banana in the blue bag.
There are over 200 workers. My host buys mangos and bananas from other farm. People peel bananas and mangos off and cut. And then those go to the oven for dry. Then it is packed and exported to the US.
He gives me those as a gift.
I used to drink the banana juice which is from some company in my country. But I can’t find their product even in LA where so many Korean live in. And I miss that so much.
The horse in Jeju island in Korea eats oranges because Jeju island has many orange farms. And now I am seeing that the horse eats Mangos because I am in Mexico.
It’s ice creams which are covered by plastic bag. It costs 50 pesos (USD 40 cents). The peanut ice cream is so delicious.
There is no internet at host home, so I go to a coffee shop to research information of Guatemala and border. I am nervous to go to Guatemala. Because every people have told me that Guatemala is dangerous more than Mexico.
I take the picture of Mexican money to remember. I can’t sleep well for a few weeks because of hot weather and lots of mosquito. Also usually I can’t sleep before the important day. So I can’t sleep and I am so nervous.
8th Mar 2012
It’s over 25 km(15 mi) from Tapachula to Guatemalan border. I am so tired of hot weather and lots of mosquito. But I feel being sad when I am closer to Guatemalan border. I’ve been in Mexico for three and half months and then I start to remember everything of Mexico.
When I cross the Mexican border, I needed a lot of courage. I think it was the most courage I needed in my life. It’s true that Mexico is dangerous country. But thankfully I meet generous and kind people so far. I am really happy to meet kind and nice people in Mexico.
When I was in Culiacan for Christmas day, I said to my Mexican friends and family that I will be back to you after traveling around the world.
I hope I can keep my promise.
I will miss you always..
In Mexico = 109 Days (Three and half months)
Distances = 2,815.43 km (1759.64 mi)
Spending Moeny =5,579.94 Pesos / USD 440.642 $
Total Cities I stayed = 30 cities
Nogales(Mexican Border), Magdalena, Benjamin Hill, Cabro, Hermosillo, Guaymas, Obregon, Chihuahuita, Guasave, Culiacan, Mazatlan, Rincon del Verde, Tepic, Guadalajara, Tototlan, La Piedad, Irapuato, Queretaro, San Juan del Rio, Mexico city, Puebla, Xalapa, Veracruz, Alvarado, San Andres Tuxtla, Acayucan, Matias Romero, Zanatepec, Tonala, Mapastepec, Tapachula, Talisman(Guatemala Border)
People who helped me =
German’s family (Magdalena, SON)/ Karina’s family, Mariby’s friends and her school (Benhamin Hill, SON)
Leticia’s family (Hermosillo, SON)/ Marie, Julie, Lucia and Valeria (Guaymas, SON)
Rafael, Rafael’s friend, LEE-Eng’s family (Roverto, Adriana, Maria Elena, Gilberto, Gloria, Arturo), Dr. Dario Horita Yamasaki (Cirujano Dentista), Belen Lopez, Arlette, Erikson school (Obregon, SON)/
Brenda, Claudia (Guasave, SIN), Karen, Alexis, Faustino, Araceli, Karen’s all family, Ernesto Collantes (Culiacan, SIN)/ Naim (Mazatlan, SIN)/ Sonorina, Hernandez Cerna (Rincon del Verde, SIN)
Angeles Verdes (Tepic, NAY)/ Manuel, Ximena, Lorena (Guadalajara, JAL)/ Joe Sanchez (Tototlan, JAL)/
Alejandra (Irapuato, GUA)/ Ana & Luise, Leslie (Queretaro, QUE) / Claudia (San Juan del Rio, QEU)/
멕시코 엄마, 멕시코 아빠, 도훈, 지훈, 김형주 선생님, 진영언니, 종호오빠, 쪼꼬(Mexico city, DF)
Gibran Martinez (Puebla, PUE), Pamela Salas (Xalapa, VER), Ernesto Lara (Veracruz, VER)
Aaron Trujillo, Ponciano Martinez(Alvarado, VER), Jeanne Dumas (San Andres Tuxtla, VER)
Ricardo Alberto (Acayoucan, VER), Victor Hugo Santos(Matias Romero, OAX)
Rodrigo Razgado, Lupita Mateo (Zanatepec, OAX), Samuel, Calmita (Tonala, CHP), Alfonso(Pijijiapan, CHP)
Tapachula Bombero, Jan & Noemi(Tapachula, CHP)
Small tip about Mexico
The government try to stop drugs. But people have said that it makes worse. I usually looked around the town with local people in the night. But I didn’t ride a bike in the night.
It’s not cheap. I think prices is like the US or Korea. It costs USD 4$~6$ or over 7$ for one meal. Snacks costs USD 1$~3$.
Usually they are so kind and generous. But some people were too friendly and it made me feel bad few times. Almost every people said to me that my house is your house. They are so easy-going and open mind.
There is no shoulder around North of Mexico. But many cars are generous in highway so it was no problem to ride a bike in the highway. But you know there are also few crazy cars around the world. It’s a little bit dangerous in cities. Because many cars drive crazily in cities.
Pemex ,Gas station, is on every 10 km ~ 40 km. But I had to pay many times. If there is somebody, they let me into for free. But sometimes there is no people but auto-machine. It costs 2~4 pesos (USD 10~20cents)
Still I can’t understand that when I buy small bottle of water, then always I can taste something. You know usually water must not have taste anything. But when I get water from the people, then I can taste nothing. The Mexican people don’t drink tap-water but they buy 20L of water for the home. And that doesn’t have taste.
Always if there is Pemex, then you can find Oxxo which is a grocery. Also there are many small local restaurants on the road.
You can find Walmart and everything in the big city.
Telmex is company of internet and every house has that in their home. So it’s no problem to use WiFi if you stayed in someone’s house. I used WiFi almost every day in Mexico. But there is no free WiFi. Even McDonald and Starbucks don’t give you free WiFi.
Every small and big cities have PC cafe and price can be less one dollar (USD).
Motel and Hotel
It can be between USD 20$ to 40$. I am not sure about it.
Local bus is not good but cost is 5 pesos to 7 pesos (USD 30 cents to 50 cents). City bus is very nice and even you can use WiFi in the bus and you can also choose seat. Cost is normal.