Hi, I’m in a Waterfall

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Another great couple of weekends here in Mexico, I escaped cold and rainy Guadalajara and headed to the beach.  The first weekend I went to Sayulita which is my new favourite place in the entire world! Unfortunately my camera has broken and won’t let me upload any photos but as soon as I buy a new cable for it I’ll be posting, because it really is beautiful.  It has this really cool, surfer/hippie vibe, so it’s pretty much my spirit home.  I can imagine I’ll be spending a lot of weekends there over the next 5 months!

Last weekend I went on another trip organised by InterCUCSH, the society for exchange students at University of Guadalajara.  We went to Puerto Vallarta, another beach town a few hours away.  I don’t like it as much as Sayulita but it was a really fun way to meet a lot of people, and we had a lovely time sunbathing, swimming in the sea, snorkeling, swimming in waterfalls (I dropped my super old brick phone in but it still works perfectly) and dancing all night.  We found a great little restaurant/shisha cafe situated in a loft with no chairs, just pillows all over the floor, with good music and pizza – heaven.  I’m stealing some photos from friends to post for the time being!

 

This weekend I’m just mooching around Guadalajara, feeling a bit sorry for myself because I can’t make it to Electric Daisy Carnaval, a music festival in Mexico City.  Instead, I’m planning to catch up on all the work I haven’t been doing whilst I was chilling at the beach, and getting back into the gym which I’ve well and truly neglected ever since I got back to Mexico after Christmas! Can you believe it’s nearly March already?! I know I say it every single month but the time really does go fast.

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Where to Begin!

Well, it’s been a while!  About a month, I think, but it’s been a busy one! In short, here’s what I’ve been up to:

1.  My lovely boyfriend came out to visit me for two weeks from mid-October.  We travelled to the coast and spent a few days at the beach at Puerto Vallarta, relaxing a bit, swimming in the sea…we also went horse riding through a forest and waded through some rivers up to a waterfall.  And, we lay in a hammock, made our own tortillas and ate the yummiest tacos!

2. From Puerto Vallarta we went to Nayarit for an evening of baby turtle rescuing! They were only a day old and so tiny!  It was a bit of a touristy thing, but really interesting and fun – the guide told us all about the rescue programme, how they search the beach every night for eggs and take them to the sanctuary to hatch, and as soon as they do they need to be helped back into the sea, which is what we did.

3. We went to the zoo and met a very friendly giraffe (:

4. Took a day trip to Tequila, enjoyed lots of free samples and bought plenty of souvenirs.

5. At the end of Josh’s two week stay was the Day of the Dead weekend.  This was one of the things I’d most looked forward to about coming to Mexico – it’s unlike anything you’d find anywhere else in the world.  I’ll write a full post about it soon (hopefully!) but in brief, we went to Tlaquepaque, the artesan district of Guadalajara, to see the altars and street stalls.

6. …And then the essays struck! Apparently, in Mexico it’s possible for the term to be cut two weeks short, meaning deadlines are brought forward and six weeks of work has to be done in a month.  It was pretty stressful when ALL my lecturers announced that we had 10 page essays to write, presentations to do and exams to revise for…but now I’ve got about half of it done, it looks like it’s going to be doable!

7. Finally, last weekend I went with some friends to Leon for the International Hot Air Balloon festival.  Despite the absolutely horrendous organisation of the company we went with, the festival itself was good and I got to take some cool photos, which was the main reason I wanted to go!

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So, that pretty much sums up why I haven’t had much time to blog (or write for the other websites I’ve got article ideas lined up for…oops) but in two weeks time I’ll be back home for Christmas, and back on track.  As well as some Mexico-themed posts that have been stored up in my head for the last few weeks, I’ll be writing a lot about my favourite time of year, Christmas!

Mexico Bucket List, Part 1

Sometimes, I find myself looking forward to all the things I’ll do when I finish this year – truth be told, I do look forward to going home, back to Cardiff, having my own house again and making a start on my own future (thinking about internships at the moment!) I sometimes think of that life as my actual life, and this year is a year out from that life, and sometimes I think I could really use that year (if that makes sense!) Anyway, when I find myself thinking negatively about being away from home, I try to remind myself that I’m getting way ahead of myself, and to use the time I have here to, yes, prepare myself for life afterwards, and that the best preparation I can do is to make the most of everything Mexico has to offer.  To focus on living here – the time will pass either way, and I have my whole life to do the things I’m missing.

When I need to stay positive, I remind myself how I felt looking out of the window of the coach on the way to Morelia – just driving through wilderness and thinking about how lucky I am, thinking, ‘I can’t believe I get to live here!’ and that gets me thinking, there are so many things I want to do here and I only have a year to do them.

So, I thought I’d put together a bit of a bucket list of the places I want to visit/things I want to do before the year is up.

1) Go to Corona Capital in Mexico City and see Conor Oberst.

This is first on the list because this is the plan for my 21st birthday – I was thinking about not going but I’d regret it so much if I didn’t! Living in the moment, and all!

2) Go to Puerto Vallarta

Another concrete plan for October – my boyfriend surprised me by announcing he’s visiting for two weeks (yipee!), so we’ve arranged a few days at the beach, including horse-riding up to some waterfalls, swimming in lakes and working with a conservation project to release baby sea turtles into the ocean.

3) Temazcal at Tepoztlan

 

Tepoztlan is otherwise known as “the mystic valley” – I’d go for the name if nothing else! It’s a tiny town but very beautiful, surrounded by nature and home to many rumoured UFO sightings.  A Temazcal is a Mesoamerican sweat lodge, a bit like a sauna but with the addition of body-and-soul-cleansing, purifying herbs.  Here is my place for a spiritual break.

4) UFO-Spot at Popoctapetl

Whilst we’re on the subject of UFOs, another hotspot is Popocatepetl, the (still active) volcano.  It’s also surrounded by indigenous villages and neighboured by Itzaccihuatl.

5) Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Probably Mexico’s most internationally famous festival is El Dia de los Muertos, celebrated on the 2nd of November – it will need a post of it’s own which I can’t wait to write!

6) Go to the Hot Air Balloon Festival

7) Dive in Cozumel

8) Visit Archaeological Sites: Chichen Itza, Palenque, Teotihuacan, Uxmal…

 

9) Be a tourist in Cancun and Playa del Carmen

 

10) Lie on the beach for days in Tulum