To Mexico, via fiji
We just made it a bit over a week ago over to Mexico and are completely loving it. Even the beer comes with chilli sauce so P is a v happy man. It’s really strange to be cold again though – we’re around 2km elevation here in St Christobal. It’s beautifully sunny in the day but feels freezing at night. England is going to be a big shock.
I started writing this the other night – and I guess all my overdue blog entries got bunged up and spat out in this big chunk. Are you sitting comfortably? Well, I’ll begin.
Vanuatu was fantastic. We weren’t so sad to leave the ‘civilisation’ of Australia and get back to the wilds. The diving on Santo on the Coolidge wreck from WWII was awesome, and the john frum cult and volcano walk – literally gazing into the hissing angry maw spewing guts of the earth, were all so otherworldy!
Fiji seemed a little droll by comparison, but i guess this is a statement of the overindulged! We went from shark diving at beqa lagoon to the most beautiful island which you could walk around in 20 mins. Admittedly this was via Suva, Fiji’s capital city with no so much to recommend it. Our colonial ‘heritage’ means that the Indian population nearly equals the Fijian population, but still to paul the curry wasn’t quite up to par. Actually, to be fair, it was a very authentic Indian curry – more bone than gravy or meat.
Although it was still very hot it was not as intolerable as the heat in the Gili Islands in Indonesia, and the snorkelling again was awesome. We did some dives there that were practically uncharted territory, and getting back into a 10’ fibreglass boat with no ladder in 7’ swells with fins of a length suitable for those 3’ or shorter actually proved not so bad.
We also shore dove from there, which was really nice too – some great hard corals and nurseries. Such abundant and beautiful underwater life, we have been so spoilt!
From there (via Suva again, ugh) we surprised ourselves and took the overnight ferry to Kadavu, a journey which the lonely planet explicitly does not recommend. The divemaster in the tiny island, Calaquai, used to work on a resort there and arranged us a great deal. We were so glad we took it up in the end – despite their being out of season we were able to dive with manta rays, up to five at a time. So beautiful and graceful. We were so lucky.
From there we went up to the Yasawa islands, which is where many tourists and backpackers go. It was very lovely, but very hot, and after the secluded quiet of Kadavu we were slightly perturbed by the backpacker flesh parade, with the daybed around the pool etc. It was an absolutely beautiful setting, but I am a little disappointed that we didn’t make it up the blue lagoons or over to the dateline to do the one foot in today, one in yesterday.
Infact it was especially annoying that when we did finally cross the dateline we did it on a day of transit – so had an extra 24hrs of airport lounges, plane cramp etc, but not only that, we also had the misfortune to fly with a coughing traveller. Not really just coughing, really coughing his lungs up. So surprise surprise we got his bug, and instead of gaining a day we have lost a bit of time overcoming it (or maybe getting used to Mexico City’s smog).
The capital city was great, and from there we travelled further to the colonial towns of Puebla, Oaxaca and here, St Christobal. The history is great, the people are great, the food is great.. Over the next few days we are looking forward to seeing more natural beauty in the Cañón del Sumidero, and visiting Mayan villages before heading up to Merida, the Yucatan and on to Belize.
Must go now – it’s getting late and I’m sure there’s another hot chocolate out there with my name on. The Oaxacan Chocolate Mole (sauce) was great to try, and is deservedly famous, but my mind it’s even yummier hot in the cup.
Hopefully we'll catch up with putting our pics up now we have a good internet connection! Tansy here are your promised wotsits. They have green and red and white ones, as well as the huge and minute. Book your flight immediately!