Friday, November 4, 2011

Indie Travel - Worst Travel Mistake

Worst travel mistake? Well, missing a plane....but who hasn't done that once or twice? Maybe none of the perfectionists among us, but I have several times.

Missing a plane doesn't count. Making a mistake of judgement resulting in a poor travel experience is way more interesting.

And some mistakes turn out not to be.

My friend Suzanne sat me down one day at lunch and said, "Do you know what you're doing? You are going to spend three weeks in Mexico house sitting with a guy you've only met twice? What are you thinking?"

Good question. Sometimes you just know.....and sometimes you don't. I've never been a particularly good judge of men as lovers, but am usually very good at judging a friend. When I met John, I liked him, but could see right off that my interest and his, would be limited to the friend variety. There was no compunction about going to Mexico and joining him in a house sitting endeavor. After all, I was going to relieve him so he could travel around a while giving me the opportunity to get to know the Patzcuaro area of Michoacan. He planned to leave shortly after I arrived but that didn't happen.

Looking up at our 'digs'.

It worked out ok, and we had a great time and got to know each other very well. So when he proposed another trip, this time to San Cristobal, Chiapas, I jumped on it. Unfortunately, the house we would rent was a sublet from a friend of his and neither of us had seen it. The woman described it as having a set of stairs, but sorta failed to mention that it was also at the top of mountain! Climbing from the base of the hill to the base of the stairs, and then on up to the porch was the equivalent of climbing one of the pyramids at Tenochtitlan. Two or three times a day. AND the house was on the far outskirts of town. Buses ran regularly, and a taxi could be had for three dollars (US) which would deliver you to the base of the stairs. But everything we wanted to do was in the Centro, not out in the boonies. Riding the bus into town was a 45 minute ride each way.

John counted 'em, 61 stairs to the parking spot,
another equivalent to the bottom of the hill. 

And John's mother passed away right before the trip, so he didn't come for about three weeks. The daily trek got me into good condition, a workout without all the gym fees, but he's older and not as appreciative of workouts. By the time I left, he had secured lodging in Centro and stayed a couple of months longer, a very happy camper.

So, a mistake I shall not make again, in a foreign country, is living far out, away from the main doings of a town. But finding a hilly place to live is a great idea if you want to stay in shape.

30 Days of Indie Travel