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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

         

Marquelia, Guerrero, Mexico
(Pronounced: Mar-KAYL-ee-ah, Geh-RARE-roh, MAY-hee-coh)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Conversion Site

Almost 3 weeks into our 105 day journey through southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan, we find ourselves leaving the old pirate port of Zihuatanejo to make a rest stop in a tiny beach town of Marquelia, in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Since this was going to be a long travel day - some 9 hours - we rose early and took a 25 Peso taxi to the bus station in Zihuatanejo. Tickets for a second class bus to Acapulco were 116 Pesos each and we purchased them for the 7:55 a.m. bus. However, in Mexican fashion, it left at 8:20 a.m. The first class bus leaves at 10 a.m.

 

It took 5 hours to arrive in Acapulco where we purchased our 110 Peso tickets to Marquelia. Reaching this dusty town 4 hours later, we were hot, tired, thirsty and needed to find a hotel room.

Fortunately, we were dropped off in the center of town with hotels on both sides of the road. Lodging is basic here. For the most part rooms are clean, beds are firm, but check the bathrooms before you agree to a room if a toilet seat on the commode is a priority. In this part of  the world it is common for hotels not to provide you with the comfortable seat, as it is a favorite place for scorpions to hide out.

Now that's a soothing thought.

 

The next morning was Sunday, and there was a food market going on. We love seeing these displays of local culture. It is as though we are living first-hand in a National Geographic world. So after a breakfast in the marketplace of Huevos Mexicana - a scrambled version of Huevos Rancheros - we took time for discovery.

Elote is a staple here in Mexico and right here is a truck load! It is eaten roasted over an open fire with crema and grated cheese melting over the kernels. Yummy! Sometimes the elote is made into a bread-cake which is like a sweet, chewy bread pudding. Definitely worth trying.

Notice the pile of papayas in the lower left corner.

 

Melons anyone?

Markets are a great place to see what is going on in a town. The abundance of fresh food, pastries, cheeses, embroidered clothes and other items for sale can give you insight into the town itself.

We have plenty of time, day is just breaking.

 

Mangos, sweet and plentiful. Prices vary from 8 Pesos to 14 Pesos a kilo, about 32-56 U.S. cents a pound.

These gathering markets is the place to purchase your food for the week. Prices are competitive and the whole neighborhood comes out to bargain and buy.

 

And to catch up on the latest news!

These tiny bananas are very sweet and delicious. They are a bit more in price than the larger platanos also found in the market. Take a closer look at the rolled and stacked banana leaves in this woman's wheelbarrow. Banana leaves are used as plates, as 'to-go' containers for food, and to wrap food items such as fish before placing them on the grill These leaves are also used extensively in Thailand for both cooking and displaying food.

Somewhere along our journey through the market I had found a small, clear marble on the ground and put it in my pocket. I figured I'd find a child somewhere today and give the marble to him. A rare treasure, indeed...

 

Once again, aguas frescas. All over Mexico you will find this delicious drink in large jars such as these. The first jar on the left is horchata, made with rice, sugar and cinnamon. The second jar is tamarind agua made from the brown seed pods of the tropical tamarind tree. The last jar is filled with fresas or strawberry agua.

Refreshing and dee-licious!

 

As you can see, I purchased an agua fresca and now I'm looking at a locally produced sugar mound. We found these sugar mounds all over Ecuador made in distinct shapes to reflect  the style of each village. In the lower left of this photo you can see sugar cane wrapped in bundles.

The mounds are made from the juice of this sugar cane, which is cooked until thick and poured into molds. A refreshing drink made with the sweet juice compressed from the cane and topped with a squeeze of lime is a must - at least once - to try.

The lady in this photo looks as though she doesn't know what to make of me. Who knows what she is thinking? Whatever it is, I don't think I've passed muster.

 

We're on the coast of Mexico and the menu is seafood! And so fresh!

 

There are plenty of fish to choose from today's catch.

 

Or if you prefer, fresh chicken!

These chickens were probably running around the courtyard earlier in the morning. When I see chickens like this in the marketplace it  reminds me of Sunday visits with my grandparents. Many a time we'd go to Grandma's and there would be a big pot of chicken soup on the stove with chicken feet sticking out the top! Coming from my suburban home, it was like visiting another country.

Another time, some family friends decided they wanted to buy a farm and raise chickens and fresh produce. Problem was, they had never killed a chicken before! To the rescue! My Grandfather was called in to help. He chased the chickens around and well... you know, ... did the rest. But it surely helped me learn where my food came from, and it wasn't from packages and boxes in the store!

 

This woman is selling textiles made into blouses like the one she is wearing. She might also have shawls, baby-wraps, or a tablecloth.

We often see women carrying items on their heads in the tropics. It is efficient, distributes the weight and allows the vendor to carry more items to sell.

Billy is trying to get me to learn how to do this balance act so that I can carry his gear. Yeah, nice try, Honey!

 

So much of market day is socializing along with the exchange of goods and, of course, local news and information.

This woman is selling dried chiles on her plastic cloth display. Chiles are basic fare in the food of southern climates, packed with vitamin C and helps to burn fat cells. Not only that, but chiles aid ridding our bodies of toxins, waste and creates better circulation.

Health food from centuries past! Viva los chiles!

 

A quick trip to an inside section of the market.

We love photographing the local population. While this woman has collected many years, she still dresses in bright colors - mismatched patterns in the traditional tropical style.

 

We didn't want to spend all day at the market, and were told about a beach, Playa La Bocana, 2.5 kilometers away.

So off we go to discover the local way of life. This man peers from the front door of his wooden home. It is doubtful he sees many foreigners in these parts.

 

Along our walk to the beach, we were surprised to find - out in the middle of nowhere, really -  this school for internet systems study. They have about 100 students who come here every Saturday and Sunday to learn about computers so they can improve their futures. Since the door was open, we walked in. We chatted with the teachers and were also able to use their internet for half an hour.
 

We caught a ride with the driver of a water truck who dropped us off directly at Playa La Bocana.

There were lots of palapa restaurants there selling food. We wanted to walk around a bit before stopping for lunch. Each restaurant owner beckoned us in to their establishment. The menu? Fish, fish, fish! 

 


We took a look at several places to stay for the night right on the beach, but they were a little rough -at least for my tastes. Billy said he'd be happy to stay in most any of the cabanas we viewed. Many had 2 beds, fan and running water, but since this was the tropics, mold was growing pretty thick on some of the walls. And, as was traditional here, no one had seats on their toilets. Rooms went for 150 - 300 pesos per night, about $12 - $24 U.S.D.

The cleanest and most well-maintained establishment was one called Hotel Corazon de la Costa and was associated with the hotel in town of the same name. Just call there to reserve a room on the beach. Senora Margarita Marcial Graciano runs a tight ship and the place had no trash within its borders. Cabanas here were 200 pesos per night, rooms were 300 per night. Fan only.

 

Here's the beach, with it's gentle rolling waves, easy for swimming. There are hammocks at each of the restaurants and you can park yourself there for the day if you like. While hammock riding is free, one is expected to purchase food or drink in the restaurant providing the hammock.

That's a fair deal.

 

Posing for our camera, this fisherman proudly shows his net to us.

 

It's a simple life and most of the village depend on the fruits of the sea. This fisherman is throwing his net to supply his restaurant with fish or to bring seafood home to feed his family.

 

This is the 'boca' part of the Playa de Bocana.

Boca means mouth, and bocana indicates a river mouth. Therefore this is the beach area where the river meets the sea.

From here you can throw a stone to the ocean which is located to the right of this photo.

Palapa restaurants line the boca and the ocean, and it's about time to choose one.

 

All this walking around and watching others fish or swim has made us hungry. Let's order lunch.

This cerveza is traditionally served with coarse salt and fresh limones - sweet limes. One will often see salt accompanying drinks south of the border and in Asia as well. It's the local way of keeping their electrolytes balanced since it is hot in the tropics and everyone is perspiring.

Each palapa basically has the same menu and the same view. When we had arrived earlier, we chatted with a woman who enticed us to come to her restaurant, claiming she was the best. 

With 2 young children, I found the perfect occasion to give the clear marble I discovered at the morning market to her son and promised we'd return for lunch. When we sat down, he was still rubbing that clear marble between his palms. It was a prize held dear! He had probably never seen anything like it in his young life.

 

Such a relaxed view.

Nothing to do, nowhere to be, and the sounds of surf on the sand.

 

Our beautiful waitress bringing lunch.

Each restaurant makes their own corn tortillas, beginning with cooking the maiz for hours beforehand. Big pots of a heavy style corn similar to hominy are boiling until they are tender between the fingers. After the corn is drained and cooled, they grind it up, knead it like bread dough and then pat them into tortillas.

Billy has a favorite joke that he tells in each new city or pueblo we visit and where tortillas are served. He pretends to be rolling tortilla dough into a ball between his palms - an action which they recognize right away - and when he has their attention, he shoves the imaginary dough under his armpit and clamps it down -- producing the tortilla!

These women just roared over his joke, which is just what Billy wanted.

The people here are poor by our standards, but we’ve never heard such honest laughter from deep inside their bodies. This laughter renews our connections as humans and is the perfect example that you don’t need much money to be happy.

 

Fresh Huachinango, or red snapper, for 80 Pesos.

 We receive a full plate with freshly made hot tortillas, black beans, salad and sopa con arroz.
 

After lunch we caught a taxi that comes regularly to and from the beach for 5 Pesos per person. He dropped us off at El Centro, which was about 1/4 kilometer to the left of our hotel.

Now, we're off to our next destination, another beautiful beach, Puerto Escondido!

**

There are 5 different beaches within easy distance of Marquelia -

*Playa La Bocana the local beach 3 km from town

*Playa Tortuga which is 10 minutes from Marquelia

,*Playa Las Penitas which is 15 minutes from the town center

*Playa Barra de Tecanapa where 80% of the inhabitants do their fishing, and is about 25 minutes from town, and

*Playa Barra de Tila which is20 minutes from town

If you want to see some waterfalls, Cascadas de Chapultepec is about 40 minutes from town towards the city of Acapulco.


Sunday market gathers on Calle Italia across from the El Dorado Hotel.


 

Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s certainly not where the tourists shop.

The Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation available, useful information and the pros and cons of each place as we viewed it. To learn more, Click here

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

 

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