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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.

A Mexican Adventure

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Markets are down and money's tight so why not look to where you can stretch your dollar? Go south to Mexico!

Our travels took us through 5 States in Mexico: Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Colima and Jalisco.

With the Peso trading at 13 to one Dollar, Mexico has plenty of bargains for savvy travelers. We recently journeyed 29 days, first flying from Guadalajara to Oaxaca where we spent two weeks. Busing south to Puerto Escondido with one week of body surfing, we then continued 600 miles up the coast by bus to Zihuatanejo for 3 nights, 2 more in Caleta de Campo, and finally 2 nights in Melaque before returning to Chapala.

Our daily cost of this entire trip was less than $50 US Dollars per day. That included all buses, 1st class, 2nd class and minivans, meals, hotels and a bottle of champagne for a farewell dinner. (Not including the one way flight to Oaxaca which was $135 US Dollars each.) Because there are so few travelers here, now is the time you can bargain for everything including your hotel rooms. During this adventure we had three rooms with ocean views either on the beach or bluffs, one in the center of the city of Oaxaca (a fantastic location!) with the most 'expensive' one setting us back $ 23 US Dollars a night.

 

Oaxaca, the Capital city of the State with the same name, is the Paris of Mexico. Eating is a favorite activity and there are countless restaurants, cafes and food stalls.

 

A beautiful colonial city, Oaxaca is home to a university, many art galleries, orchestras and music culture and many sidewalk cafes.

 

The Zocalo, or the city’s main plaza, is majestic with its huge shade trees and potted flowers. For Christmas the flower beds were changed and filled with thousands of brilliant red nochas buenas - or as we call them, poinsettias. A remarkable site!

 

From Oaxaca we headed high into the mountains on a hair raising 5 hour drive via a comfortable mini van to visit the town of Huautla de Jimenez.

 

Music legends such as Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Peter Townsend and Bob Dylan came to “trip out “ on the local magical mushrooms in the 1970s. This is a mural on the town school walls celebrating the indigenous culture of taking mushrooms for a direct experience of God.


 

Back to Oaxaca where we sampled their celebrated cuisine including the mole negro (made with chocolate) and then we visited the famous Monte Alban ruins less than an hour away by bus.

 

These ruins are in great shape and are very extensive. We spent hours there climbing up and down hundreds of stairs. From this viewpoint, one can see the inhabited towns below.

 

After 2 weeks in Oaxaca, we were ready to hit the beach. We took another minivan south 7 hours to the popular surfing destination of Puerto Escondido.

Here, our minivan broke down and we had to wait for the next one coming down the road! Fortunately we travel with food so used this time to eat lunch under a big shade tree.

 

Ahh! The beach!

We are not board surfers, but as body surfers we were not disappointed. The wave breaks were constant which gave us the opportunity for some long rides. The beach extends to left for quite a long walk, and most body surfers choose this location to ride the waves.

 

Daily on the beach we ate our lunches of fresh fish sandwiches, fish tacos and icy cold beers. This made the days drift by charmingly.

 

A special grilled fish dinner prepared by Cipriano's Restaurant with mounds of salad. Here we are toasting friendship, food and fun with our champagne!

It is was here that we split up with our traveling buddies as we had plans to meet other friends, Captain Ray and Gloria, 600 miles up the coast. Dennis and Martha (who purchased our book, are newly retired and tracked us down in Chapala) needed to head south, and Doug (an international businessman and traveler, sitting between Dennis and Martha) was on his way to San Cristobal.

 

Our next stop was Zihuatanejo, the town made famous by the 1994 movie Shawshank Redemption with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The city has built up since the days of the movie...! 

 

Zihuatanenjo is a fishing town and there was plenty of fish to be eaten!

 

Here at the local fish market the morning catch is being sliced up for customers walking by, ready to purchase.

 

This was sopa de pescado (fish soup), about $2.70 US Dollars and it was outrageously good!

 

Next, it was a 5 hour spectacular bus journey north with views of pacific coast beaches. The coastline looked like California's coast, with some turns appearing to be exactly like Big Sur, the next was just like Half Moon Bay, Monterey or Davenport.. Our destination was Caleta de Campo, a sleepy one-road town with not only a great beach for body surfing but also fabulous sun rises and sets.

 

This is our ocean view $15 US Dollar per night room and it proved to be a great find. From here we had 180 degree views while falling asleep to the sounds of the surf crashing on the rocks below.

 

The unspoiled beach was a perfect place for lunch under a palapa after catching a few waves. That little dot in the center of the photo is Billy with his arms outstretched. The beach was huge and we were the only ones on it!

 

We walked around the rocky point separating this 'inhabited' beach from the previous natural one, and sat down for a little computer work and a plate of fresh shrimp in garlic butter.

 

This is sunset from our room in Campo.

 

Captain Ray Gaines dancing with Gloria

Three bus rides and another 6 hours took us to Melaque which is where we were to meet up with our friends, Captain Ray and Gloria. They found us wandering the streets after dinner and immediately took us to a beach RV party with live music. These RV’ers know how to put on a party and we were not disappointed.

Bruce is playing the 'gut bucket base' made with a box, some heavy string and a broom handle. It added remarkable musical dimension to the live guitar and singing that Rod Snow provided. Yeehaw!

 

The next day was spent checking out beaches we had previously visited and reconnecting with people we had met on those earlier trips. The shrimp quesadillas at Playa la Manzanillo were the best ever, only to be topped by the view. One last dinner in Melaque that evening and we were good to leave in the morning back to Chapala.

This one month trip was worth every peso we spent. The people we met, the friends we made and the sights we saw were worth far more than what we paid. So if you’re looking for a destination away from the cold that will not cost you an arm and a leg ….. Come to Mexico!

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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.

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