Starting out in Zihuatanejo a few days before Semana Santa was a great decision.
Mexican beach towns were full of locals preparing to enjoy the holiday.
At our hotel Villa Mexicana the beach views, rolling waves, and small setting was
On our final day staying at this resort we had seven more days to burn, and no specific plans.
A couple staying in the room above us fell in love with Lily.
The gentleman happened to
be returning to the U.S. while the lady would return to Los Reyes, Michoacan.
An invitation for Holy Week was warmly welcomed.
After calling home with the address, phone number, and information of our new destination, we went to the bus station.
Bus stations in Mexico are a whole new animal, or should I say chicken?
Imagine a beautiful tour bus carrying chickens in the luggage area.
Indigenous traders bring truckloads of palm leaves, handmade artwork, little
guitars, and everything Mexican on the bus.
Busses are a major part of trade in Mexico, and important transportation. Mexico offers a vast array of bus companies, with frequent departures.
The first bus ride from Zihuatanejo to Uruapan was
smooth. I was impressed by the beautiful empty roads in Mexico, and noticed many toll stations.
The bus would stop for anyone standing on the side of the road, on would come new passengers, people selling food, and one time a gentleman with no legs
The people of Mexico seem to be very giving, and supportive of the lesser classes.
While poverty is largely ignored by officials, people take care of one another.
A mother working in a
grocery market of Los Reyes has her son bag groceries for tips to earn a little extra money.
Local shop owners hire many part time workers, and maintain flexible work schedules.
The bus ride from Uruapan to Los Reyes was a big
The bus was smaller, older, and not nearly as comfortable.
There were a lot of people onboard, and some were standing.
The bus began towards the mountain pass as the
daytime wore into afternoon.
Suddenly, the road became steeper, more narrow, and all the turns were tight.
While we were the only tourists on this bus, everyone else seemed to enjoy being tossed back and forth as much as anything I’ve ever seen.
People were passing food around, reading books, eating more food, talking, kids were happy.
But, I had to ride the entire trip wearing Lily in the backpack carrier, standing up, holding on for dear life around the treacherous mountain pass.
It’s probably not as crazy as Guatemala, nowhere near that level of crazy, but it is a famously crazy ride.
On the other side of the pass we made our way to the valley.
The road turned through a small village and became more narrow.
A dog on a roof barks happily at eye level staring into the bus, goats and chickens slow traffic.
We still had time to make plenty of friends on the bus, and a nice lady Maria would help us find our way to meet up with our friends.
The Mexican people so far
had been giving tons of food to Lily. If she was not eating, someone would be walking toward her with more food.
From mangoes, to the indigenous fruits rarely exported, Mexico is a feast.
Lollipops, candies, ice cream, roadside tacos, grilled chicken, you name it,
Mexico is full of good food, and impressively high health standards.
Nothing is sanitary like alcohol, and that’s a fact. If you happen to order up a huge coconut, feel free to add tequila to sterilize.
Mexico reminded me of one
big Dollar Store, everything is cheap, and getting large bills spent is a big problem.
ATM lines were very long in Los Reyes, but I already had plenty of Pesos, and U.S. dollars spend just fine in Mexico.
But, if you’re trying to break a $100 for a couple of tacos, or a cup of coffee, good luck.
Stick with the smaller bills in Mexico, and you’ll be able to do business better.
Everything in Mexico is a negotiation, unless the price is clearly listed.
A taxi at ten in the morning is typically less expensive than ten at night.
Ask the price first, “Cuanto Cobra…..” It means “How Much Is The Cover”.
The microbus service was also excellent in Mexico.
It is customary to greet the entire bus when boarding, hand your bus fare up to the drive and let them know your destination. Paying first is a
great way to go.
Other passengers will be happy to pass your fare to the driver, and return the change, but don’t expect change to be available.
Holy Week In Los Reyes:
Tocumbo, and Periban are nearby towns that host their own Semana Santa events.
Tocumbo is famous for its ice cream, and we were invited by one of the artisan ice cream makers for a beer, as well as a look at his very own private museum of Coca-Cola antiques, which were perfectly maintained.
In Periban we arrived for Festival De Las Bandas, and entire families gathered
throughout the entire town, filling the plaza, streets, and even alleys with bands.
The ensembles would sometimes march around the town during the performances.
It appeared to be that all the bands played as much
music, all night as possible.
It was rare to see a band not playing, it was like a huge competition that lasted for hours.
Dancing in the streets is one of my favorite things about life, even though I can’t really dance.
We danced in the streets way past midnight, into the early morning hours, whole families from babies to grandparents stay until things really slow down around two in the morning or later.
And in the end, the Mexican Police thought we were good enough to keep around for extra photos.