In the morning, we wandered around a bit more before taking the metro to the airport for our flight to Puerto Escondido, far south on the Pacific coast. I have on thing to say about the Mexico City metro system: wow! It's easy, fast, efficient, cheap, clean and quiet! The trains run on rubber wheels, so it's super quiet -- you can easily hold a conversation at normal volumes. It was great.
We waited around the airport for a while, got in a people mover to go to our plane, waited by the plane for a while, then turned around and went back to the gate. Much waiting in the people mover passed, and then they let us off and into the airport, where we waited for... a while. Finally, back onto the people mover, and to a new plane, and eventually we took off.
Unsurprisingly, the landscape of Mexico is amazingly striking from the air, and another thing that's striking is the pollution of the DF. Even knowing what a problem it is, I was amazed to see the thick tendrils trailing through valleys even well outside the city. It does make the mountains stand out, though, to have their peaks darkly outlined against the smoggy valleys.
Puerto Escondido is much like any other tropical town: warm, humid, colorful. My mom's big suitcase went missing, so we hung about at the airport for a while, and we're hoping it'll arrive today. We found a hotel on the main drag, which reminds me immensely of Gringotenango (Panajachel), overlooking the ocean. Immediately after getting our rooms, we went for the swim off the beach that's right in front of our hotel. It's so great!
The water, naturally, is perfect: warm and salty! This is a big surfing area, but the surfing beach is off to the southeast of where we are. Apparently, it's experts only surfing and I'll certainly have to walk down that way to check out the scene, where my brother saw someone not-quite-experienced-enough nearly die when he was here a few years ago. I hope to miss that sort of thing, but it's not the big surf time of year, so I expect I will.
It's great to be back in a Spanish-speaking setting. I'm doing okay so far, but I'm slightly confused by regional differences. Although Mexico and Guatemala are neighbors, there's a lot of vocabulary differences that I've run into already, and some cultural things that I'm just not sure about. Nonetheless, I'm making myself understood, and I don't THINK I've embarrassed myself too badly (yet), so I can't complain.
Soon, the high sun will move off to the side and I'll let myself go out in it again for some swimming. My goal this trip is to get tan without the introductory sunburn.
Because a few folks have asked: My plan is to return the 19th, but because I'm flying standby, that may turn into the 20th. I certainly expect to be back for Arisia, however, which is important since I'm again in charge of food for that one party.