Mexico Travel Stories, Page 2

Avoid Guidebook Follow Surfers Travel

Avoid Guidebook Follow Surfers Travel
Mexico is a disaster zone for tourist and travelers, about the same as the Caribbean, just one huge annoying tourist trap. One week or two weeks and you can be happy, after that, you could learn to really despise these places.

I think I have to completely leave any place listed in the guidebook, and maybe follow the surfers to find the new paradise NOT full of tourist locations.

I do not have a guidebook, this is a problem, I need a list of places not to go.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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Well, I will rely on my memory, for sure Puerto Escondido is in the guidebook so as I go south, I need to avoid this beach, try to find others. On Tuesday or Wednesday, I should start to move slowly south, the price of Airplane ticket is double what they should be so makes taking a bus the best value.

I do not want to take all night buses as is typical or easy to do, I want to get up in the morning and travel from about 6:00 am until 10-12 then stop and find a room, hang out if good, or continue down the road.

I am going to rely on my instincts, and wing it, I will take Colectivo Taxis from Pie de la Cuesta into the city and maybe just continue to take them south 200 kilometers.

When a person gets into a group taxi they need to know where they are going, the taxi is running a route, you need to give the driver some help, this makes the Travel Golf lie of the ball easier.

In Pie, I will say to the driver Acapulco, then while in the taxi start to say Airport then sort of keep talking about cities.

Aero Puerto
Barra Vieja
Tamarindo
Calle 200
San Marcos
San Jose
Cruz Grande

8 Kilometers for 10 Pesos or One Dollar.

If my math hold true, it would cost about 37.50 to take Colectivo Taxis all the way to Puerto Escondido, however I doubt they have them all the way. I am hoping there is Combi these little Volkswagen Vans used for mass transit here. If not, I guess I flag down big buses and keep going of find the Estrella de Oro buses and keep on moving.

I do not want to take night buses, I do not want to wait from noon until midnight to leave, waste 12 hours of time just to take a bus. Plus, I saw this country by night bus before, not a good way to see a country but if you want to see a country a lot better than planes.

When you get in a small bus, talk with the locals, have a good old time of traveling hanging out with the locals, normally one or two of them will help me to find small Mom and Pop hotels and I end up being immersed in the local culture. Seems funny, but people say they are going to Mexico and completely miss the half the country or three quarters by somehow avoiding the Mexican people completely. I suppose they do not talk with them in the USA, why would they talk with them in Mexico.

I wonder how many people leave Mexico and never get to step one.
“Hola Amigo” or get to watch the Tortillas being made on the conveyor belt device.

Avoid Guidebook Follow Surfers Travel


Acapulco Surfing Maps

Acapulco Surfing Maps
Maps are fun, I know this beach, I know the area, I used this beach in Mexico for a base for over a year. I know this area; I understand how Google Maps works was able to find this Satellite Map quickly of my present location.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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View Larger Map

I hope this map is visible and all went well, I only put this up this way because I think Google.com will stay in business and the map will continue to exist.
There is not surfing at Pie, however while I was looking for this Google map, I got on a website called
Wanna Surf.” Drilled down to the coast of Mexico and found all the surf places, my ides is this, where surfer are, there should be cheaper rooms, nice bikinis and less fat tourist with coolers. (Note, fat tourist with coolers do not cause divorces.)

I always laugh, when I was in the Caribbean, rich fat people, if I was rich, the last thing I would do is go to a beach full of rich fat people. Pie is a weak on bikinis, however I have seen in one week more nice bikinis at Pie de la Cuesta than three months of traveling in the Caribbean.



Map of Surf places on a map I found in the Pie de la Cuesta Internet Café.

Copacabana, Las Animas, Playa Ventura, Punta Acamara, Marquella, Penitas, Punta Colorada, Punta Meldonado, Tepextla



Map of Surfing around Puerto Escondido about 10 hours, maybe 20 dollars south of Acapulco.

Chacahua, Puerta Escondido, Barra de Colotepec, Topleca, Zapotengo, Coyula, Rio Coyula

I took photos of the map and all the surfing locations all the way down the coast to Guatemala.

Acapulco Surfing Maps


Are Guidebooks Doomed

Are Guidebooks Doomed
Hotel rooms and Maps, the two major selling points to paper guidebooks.

I want paper guidebooks; however, the tricky pricing schemes of hotel could put them out of business.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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I still get the best prices on plane tickets from Travel Agents and I still get the best prices for Hotel rooms in Guidebooks.

The prices of plane tickets are probably becoming more predictable and more stable because of the fierce internet competition with low cost carriers.

I own a large Hotel Web Site whereby the owner of hotel need to put in the lowest priced room in the Hotel as a guide or reference. When the site went up there was no way for the owners to edit this price, I did not see as a huge problem, why would an owner want to change his price more than once per year.

I was wrong, hotels want to change their prices often, and it would not surprise me if they want to change the price of rooms for each day of the week. Maybe weekend will be expensive, while the midweek prices will be cheaper, a constant instability for people wanting to rent rooms.

How would a paper guidebook publish prices, people who purchase guidebooks already complain about inaccuracy of pricing, now the hotels are changing their prices radically?

High Season
Low Season
Easter Weekend
Weekend
Midweek
Business is slow discount
Monthly Rates
Weekly Rates

I do not recommend hotels very often.
I do not tell the price of a specific hotel room often.

The reason is this, the Hotel owners cannot be trusted, if suddenly their hotel was full they would raise their prices and my recommendation would suffer the same fate as a guidebooks.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND EL PACIFIC INN
(Did you read that, now continue to read.)
I am in a Hotel presently called El Pacifico Inn on the beach of Pie de la Cuesta or Playa Luces about 8 miles north of Acapulco.

I am paying Raul 100 dollars per week, or 1000 pesos per week, when I came he had a sign on the front that said 200 pesos per day, a few days ago he changed it to 300 peso per day. This is Easter Weekend here in a Catholic country, the rooms are full.

I like Raul a Mexican who lived 20 years in the USA, a good guy; it is possible you could get a room here after Easter weekend for as low as 10 dollars per day if you paid weekly. The hotel across the street is getting 150 dollars per day this Easter weekend, and the Villa Bonita is getting 75 dollars per night.

I am in the neighbors hotels paying 17 dollars per day and my room is probably better inside, bigger and better location, second floor with two large windows that allows a great breeze, plus not full of groups of Mexican who came to party, drink beer, smoke cigarettes and play Mexican music all night at full volume with their three dogs, and two beer coolers. I am on the same beach and can walk to the party and go home if I wish, and not live in the party.

All the Hotels on this strip of beach will be almost 100 percent empty on Monday night after Easter weekend is over.

I will not recommend El Pacifico Inn, I will not recommend any Hotel on this beach, they are Human and they are Mexican. I cannot buy peanuts and get the same price in the same store two times in a row; they look at me, change the price and sell them. Mexicans are not to be trusted for prices, you must know the proper price before you purchase. This is difficult, how do I learn the proper price of peanuts, rooms, when 9 out 10 people cheat me?

What is the future of guidebooks, how can they put the price of a Hotel in their books when none are to be trusted. Tourist areas gouge, they are actively searching for fools who will pay too much, get reservation and give a credit card to pay.

The truth is the hotel owners are not to be trusted and either is the people living in rooms. I normally pay daily, if I find better deal, I change hotels. I do not lie, I am not tricky, I do not say I will take the room for a week and then pay daily. I negotiate the price; pay for my room and I live happily ever after.

A good hotel is full high season, low season, Tuesday, Monday, Easter and ever lousy day of the year. I do not think there are any good hotels on this beach called Pie de la Cuesta.

I am not sure how paper guidebooks can survive. The list of Hotels with the prices is why I buy a guidebook. I have some ideas and propositions on how this could work, however they better get hopping or the internet will become the standard before the guidebooks can adapt.

TRUE REAL ESTATE EXAMPLE
I was a Real Estate Agent, a sold sign needed to be put on a property immediately after sold. Then taken out of the Multiple Listing Service almost instantly. It had to happen, if a higher price offer came in after a signed contract was made, 95 percent of sellers would do about anything to break the legal binding contract, and they would call their lawyers trying to see how to break their handshake and signature.

Are Guidebooks Doomed


Should I go Acapulco to Guatemala City

Should I go Acapulco to Guatemala City
I am in a big fight with myself, I find I still have almost zero respect for the Country of Mexico, even had a stray thought it would be nice to be in India. I am in the process of mapping out some surfing spots along the coast and trying to figure out if there are beaches in Guatemala worth a darn.

I think I need to change the epicenter of this earthquake.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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If I went to Guatemala I may travel outside this USA culture overlay that dominated the brains of Mexico, whereby they want to give nothing but charge the same. Chiapas, Mexico and into Guatemala would help me escape some of the drudgery of dealing with a mix of American and Mexico culture that comes out too stupid for words.

The Americans in Mexico should do me a favor and go home, they must be the same group that thinks going in the Duty Free Shop at the airport if full of bargains.

The price of tickets seem extremely high at around 350-400 dollars.

Should I go Acapulco to Guatemala City


Number One Problem With Photos

Number One Problem With Photos
I take photos, I am not in love with my photos, and I do not open up my computer and try to show my photos to people.

I am normal, I am the
“I need money traveler,”
and photos are a great way to generate cash.

I do not know how you could call yourself a traveler if you did not somewhat obsess on scrounging for money so we do not need to go home. A traveler, hoboes, vagabonds, tramps, we are all bums for the money, we need the juice that pays for the road, we need Dollars.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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I got a small “Heads Up” from Boy Genius from India while in we were in Thailand having a meeting on what to do with this big mess of a site called HoboTraveler.com, and the rather clean one called HoboHideOut.com

He said,
“Andy, photos generate about 10-30 percent of traffic.”
Then he pushed the issue,
“10-30 percent of our visitors come from Google.com Image search.”

I bow my head, look down at the floor, try to come up with some juicy rationalization, and then try to shy off,
“I know.”

There is what I know in life, and what I want to do in life, and working on photos to make money to me is work, no two ways about it, I do not like this work, it is like watching “I Love Lucy” reruns for days.

I said,
“My Mom is bugging me about the photo thing.”

Then just yesterday she write and does it again, Boy Genius is on the beat, my mother is on the beat, even JohnnyJet.com wrote and said where are the newsletters and ALL the photos.

Mom writes,
“We Loved your pictures yesterday. Wish you still did a newsletter even if the pictures did not have captions. So much fun to look at all your old newsletters. love prayers mom dad”

This is how it works, I do daily Blogs, easy to do, and I put some photos in them when it helps support my diary. Sometimes I put them in just to make people happy. For every photo that is in the blog, there are maybe 50 that are not, or even up to 100 photos, the blog readers never see.

The people who read the newsletters can see all the photos.
“Ooops, I have not sent a newsletter in over a year.”

The newsletters preceded the blog, the trendy thing to do before Blogs was newsletters, so I wrote newsletters for about four years before I ever blogged, in each of the newsletter I would put all the photo links.

Blogs or Newsletters, more or less just an online travelogue, just using different words.

Ok, get to the point, what are the big problems with photos, my mother has asked, inquired, talked until she even knows my problem.
“not have captions”

Captions
Titles,
Filenames
Headlines
Copy
Explanations

EXAMPLES: No Captions



NO CAPTION - NO EXPLANATIONS



NO CAPTION - NO EXPLANATIONS

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EXAMPLES: With Captions



This is a Catholic Church maybe, the sign about the entrance says,
Capella Catolica
San Judas Tadeo

Located on the top of the hill at the base of Pie de la Cuesta, Playa Luces, 8 miles north of the city of Acapulco. I went up there to take videos of both the ocean and the lagoon at the same time.



“Harbor at Sunset
Seventeenth-century French artist Claude Lorrain’s stylized, ideal landscapes influenced many later artists, particularly English landscape painters. His Harbor at Sunset, painted in 1639, is in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.” (3)

The big problem is it takes a long time to write in proper captions or explanations of the photos. The value of the photos is zero to make money or generate traffic until I put the captions, change the filenames to mirror the captions and create the synergy of explanation that Google.com index needs to use the photos in their search engine.

However, thinking of readers, and I do care about the truly I am interested and need help person. For instance, I always try to put the price of something, why, because I go searching for hotels, buses, and other things on the internet and consider information about hotels of zero value unless the writer tells me the price. I am not going to go visit a hotel without knowing the price before I make this obnoxious journey.

Well, for a researcher, a person wanting to learn about taking landscape or photos of sunset, the caption below the photos explains the who, when, where, why, what and how of the photos. It gives them a thread of information they can follow, the spoor of the concepts, so they could repeat or duplicate my trip or research.

When I write, I try my best to always remember to do a mental checklist of who, when, where, why, what and how about the writing, I want to give a beginning and end, I want to give the map, I am not going to hoard information, I am a traveler, we help other travelers, because what goes around comes around and for sure I need help.

I continuously search for ways to do this caption thing faster, may even go so far as to write a computer programs to do it correctly and quickly. The better the camera, the more photos I can take, this has quadrupled the number of photos I can take, and now I even do not carry the camera sometimes because I do not want to write captions.

I am now dwelling on how a Traveler can make money, putting photos up on the internet CORRECTLY is about 10 time more profitable than writing Blogs, and about 10 times less interesting. However, some of the wanna be travelers need to get a life and realize that anything worth doing it worth working for; they have to pay the piper and work.

Number One Problem With Photos


Mexico USA Neighbor Inflation

Mexico USA Neighbor Inflation
I have two photos of Ice Coffee to try to demonstrate the cost of living in Mexico is about three to four times higher times too high. Mexico is a very poor country, however the price of products and service are trying to be like their big neighbor the USA, this type of pricing is outrageously expensive for a Mexican making 10 dollars per day.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles north of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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Mexico is a very class system country, rich and poor, and the rich try to ignore the people on the Mountain. I stopped in an OXXO convenience store by chance, was very excited to see my favorite Ice Coffee machine, the same one as in the Philippines. I then looked at the price of 18 Pesos and thought, this is outrageous, this is 1.80 U.S. dollars more or less and about four time more than Thailand or the Philippines. Thailand and the Philippines is a much better educated and more prosperous thriving place than Mexico, hard to imagine any normal person in Mexico getting paid 5-15 dollars per day giving up 1.80 dollars to have an ice coffee.



18 Peso or about 1.80 U.S. Dollar for Ice Coffee sold in a OXXO convenience store near Acapulco, Mexico.


Ice Coffee sold in Mini Mart for 26 Peso of Philippines money, I think about .55 cents US Dollars in the Malate neighborhood, across from the very modern Robinsons Mall in Manila, Philippines.

Both stores are comparable, both coffees almost identical right down to the machine. The Nescafe in the Philippines is more of a brand name coffee so should be more expensive, but is less.

Money exchange, Euros, Dollars this is all a lot of crap in a way, the cost of living is what is important, yes the tourist do not care, they are on a two week look at me, I am in Mexico vacation, they pay these prices, the store get the money, and the poor countrymen cannot afford to live the same.

Mexico is not the USA, the quality of life sucks in comparison to the USA,

The Philippines has about triple the density of humans per square kilometers and is probably more like Mexico City in ways.

The big difference is mobility in Asia they all have Motorcycles and Cell Phones and can both go to work, get educated and communicate easier, faster and better

Mexico USA Neighbor Inflation


Travel Paradise is Cheap Not Easy

Travel Paradise is Cheap Not Easy
“It is almost axiomatic, that as soon as a place gets a reputation for being paradise it goes to hell.”
Paul Theroux in book The Happy Isles of Oceania

Paradise Beaches and Islands are very cheap places to live, however not easy to find as they continually move around. There is no shortage of beaches, islands or oceanfront property.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles north of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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I would say,
“The more you pay for Paradise, the more likely you paid for a one way ticket to Hell.”

The Devil has one goal, to cause confusion and to lead you into temptation… Paradise is free, but the path is long and narrow.

I am happy all the Devil worshipers go to the Paradise locations as explained to them by travelers writers getting free Resort Vacations in exchange for working for the Devil selling tickets to Hell. One week in a Resort can be a wonderful and great feeling, but it is not real, it is not Paradise, it is more the idea of selling you the idea that for one time in your life you are the rich and famous, and that somebody loves you.

Paul Theroux basically has it right, if everyone it saying the place is Paradise and it probably is not.

A Paradise beach has a shelf life of less than five years, there is a window of time where a beach or island can be one of the best experiences of your life. The time where walking barefoot is common, where people are friendly, accessible and the locals are happy to see you, after this time the welcome matt is pulled out and the blank indifferent faces are put on, the exception is when you really pay the big money to have someone act as if they love you.

There is no shortage of beaches, islands or oceanfront property. What is difficult to find is a beach with only about 3-10 hotels with a western toilet. What makes a place paradise is the people, when the locals are happy to see you, when the other tourist and travelers are happy to have some new faces, some new conversations, when it is still not crowded, but enough people to enjoy the day.

I am hoping and anticipating a new genre of Hotels to pop up all over the planet, the closest words to describe them are either the Boutique Hotel or the Apartelle.
The Boutique Hotel can normally be translated to pay extraordinary amount of money to live in a small hotel that maybe give you Five Star services, however normally just great landscaping.

To give incredibly great services and benefits in a hotel, the manager and owner must know and be accustomed to living first class. This is not so hard to find if a foreighner, however then to find one that knows how to get maintenance work done is an act of God, I think my ideal Hotel owner would be working on building a new unit, installing the plumbing when I arrived, stops what he is doing and come and shakes my hand and walks me around the property explaining the place. Then ends off by giving a few of the needed warnings on who will rip me off for what and how. I like to tease reception people, I say hello to them, I then say your job title is to receive me, do you ever say hello when people walk in the hotel?

I found this map in the Internet Café, it has listing of all the beaches along the coast line of Mexico, interesting map and great, I may be able to work my way down the coast giving each a small lick and taste before I stay too long, trying to tap into the traveler network. I think they have all left Mexico as it seems to be one of the worst backpack places on the planet.

I was told Jamaica was full of New Yorkers, a lot of rude people in love with rude people. If you come from a place where everyone is indifferent, ignores you, your paradise may be that type of place. At the end of the day you have to live with the locals of the area, if you do not like the locals, then there is a problem.

Travel Paradise is Cheap Not Easy


Acapulco Pie de La Cuesta Mountain

Acapulco Pie de La Cuesta Mountain
A video of Pie de la Cuesta, called Playa Luces from the top of the mountain that overlooks the beach. This beach is located about 8 miles North of Acapulco and is know for the place to watch the Sunset. Whales and Dolphins swim close to the beach, however the waves are very dangerous for small children. A great place to stay because of outside the big city of Acapulco, but just a taxi drive or bus trip away.

What is unique?

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Acapulco - 8 Miles north of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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Because of the winds are continually blowing in from the ocean across a very narrow piece of land, less than 100 meters in width the main Hotel area has almost no mosquitoes.



This is Pie de la Cuesta or Playa Luces, to the left is where the sun sets and to the right is a large lagoon where they have water skiing and boat trips. This strip of land is about 20 kilometers long and has a Mexican Airforce Base on its, at the end of the strip is a small village called La Barra. The whole area is maybe called Laguna de Coyuca or Barra de Coyuca, however to get to the beach it is easies to say Pie de la Cuesta or Playa Luces. Taxis are a pain in Mexico as normal and you need to just say about 8 US Dollars or better yet take a bus for around 50 cents U.S. There are collectivo taxis that cost 1 dollars also, take great care with the Mexican Taxi drivers they are the kings of crooks, in some ways a lot safer to take a bus.

The central point of the beach is the Restaurant called Tres Marias and best to tell the Taxi to go to Tres Marias to watch the Sunset. To live on this beach now is a challenge as they have raised the price thinking they are more special than they are, this has driven away the long-term expats travelers and now bring in more or less the rich Mexicans from Mexico City complete with children and noise.

I stay in a room now for 1000 pesos per week, about 100 USA dollar, however it is on the ridiculous side, however cheaper. I expect after Easter passes the price of room will become extremely negotiable. The cheaper room are probably now towards the entrance and you must just walk in an say you will pay five dollars or something really cheap and get them down to a good price. The real value of the rooms on this beach from a global vacation perspective is between 5 and 20 dollars per night for about any hotel on this beach. The prices they are asking you may as well go to the Caribbean for the same price.

I would say from a backpacker go live on the beach, enjoy life this is now a disaster zone as about 10 to 20 years past it prime and sold to the tourist industry. This is a prime time tourist beach now and not for connoisseur beach people, however is a nice place to walk up and down for a few days.

Take great care with your children and do not trust the life guards to save them or watch them, the water hits right on the beach are some of the most dangerous I have ever seen. Not because of the size, but because the seem ok, however they hit immediately on the beach and can easily flip you on your head. People often go out beyond the waves and become to afraid to return to the beach.

The lifeguards are more or less to give the illusion of safety, not really up to standards needed for this type of beach.

Video of Pie de la Cuesta Beach from mountain, this is not a beach video, explains the view of the fresh water lagoon and the ocean.
10 MEGS wmv (Follow-Mom)
Click here:
Video of Pie de la Cuesta

Acapulco Pie de La Cuesta Mountain