Letter from a Reader: 40 Years in Mexico

David writes:

Hello Felisa Churpa Rosa Rogers,
At the People’s Guide website I found your name with the invitation to share Mexico stories et cetera.  I PeoplesGuideMexico14Cover (2)mainly just wanted to thank Carl Franz and his companions for opening up a world to which I probably would never have had to courage to visit without first getting familiar with The People’s Guide to Mexico.  In Dec. 1974, I was in Ocean Beach San Diego CA and stumbled into a bookstore where I found The People’s Guide.  Well, hell, I had a $276.83 check from back home in Chicago just arrived at the mailbox in this little ramshackle boarding house I was staying in in Ocean Beach and thought, “why not go down there?”  The PGtoM section on bus travel was my main inspiration.  Took the bus down the Pacific coast, way down there.  Got down to Mazatlan, ate a burger in a Jack-in-the Box restaurant and got a bad reaction and missed most of what at the time, January 1975, was a most magical town while on route further south along the coast, Barra de Navidad.  But far from discouraging me, this episode only whetted my appetite for more visits south of the border.  I went back seven more times between 1976 and 2004.  Now I am going back again.  There is something about the country and its people that makes travel there more interesting and rewarding than anywhere else in the world, despite or because of all the obstacles to smooth, seamless existence.

One Response to “Letter from a Reader: 40 Years in Mexico”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. -El Codo- says:

    Gee Whiz what memories. Barra had cobblestone streets, and camping on the sand spit. I remember a breakfast that cost a dollar. One egg, lots of beans, rice, three strips of bacon, chunk of cheese, a stack of tortilleria tortillas and all the lukewarm NoesCafe a person could stand. “The big trip” was to Cihuatlan to wait in line at the Banco de Mexico. Hand scrawled sign taped to the teller cage with today’s tipo de cambio. The bus trip cost 11 cents U.S. each way. Nine cents to Melaque. Lobster dinner five bucks and change including agua fresca and flan. Today the Gran Bay hotel frowns from across the bay, and visitors try and speak in Spanish while locals try to respond in Ingles.

    Want a good burger and big salad in the seventies? Jajajaja. Start off with cabbage, peeled carrot strips, and a squeeze of limon. A bout with a burger was a fight to the death with gristle – like gnawing on the end of a belt.

    The bigger issue was utterly losing all contact with “home” and for that matter with the outside world. Reach out and touch someone, was a two-hour event that used to cost better than fifty cents US a minute.