Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
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.
Our "Private" Flight from Oaxaca,
Mexico to Puerto Escondido and back to
Editor's Note: See
some updated information on Carlos Vega at the end of the article below.
We decided to take a
mini-break from our lives in
Panajachel, Guatemala and flew to the city of
Oaxaca, Mexico. We had been here before in years past, and really enjoyed the
beauty of the Historico Centro of the city, not to mention its wide variety of
restaurants, mescalerias, museums and shops.
Yet... the beach called us.
We had a choice of taking a
twisting and turning 7 to 12 hour winding mountainous road trip on a bus or
shuttle as we had
done a couple of years ago, or, as someone recommended, take a more-or-less private flight from the
city to one of our favorite beach towns, Puerto
Rosa at Hotel Monte
We made contact with Juan
Carlos Vega, the owner/pilot, via email previously and made our reservations. But due to
our busy schedule in Oaxaca, those reservations needed to be changed. He
recommended that we go to Hotel Monte Alban on
the Zocalo and speak with Rosa at the check-in desk.
Writing our names in the
reservation book we affirmed the day, time and number of passengers for which we
were arranging this trip. It was 1,600 Mexican Pesos per person one way
(currently $86USD). We could pay Rosa in advance, or simply pay Carlos on the day
We opted to pay Carlos
directly. But how would we find him?
Rosa explained that while facing the
airport terminal go to the right to "General Aviation" and we would find Carlos there.
At our hotel we made
arrangements with the manager, Karina, for her father-in-law to take us to the
airport at 7:15 in the morning the day we were to go to the beach. To grab a
taxi on the street would have cost us 250Pesos (about $13.50USD) but our family
driver would do it for 100Pesos (about $5.50USD).
What a deal, and everyone
The airport was about 25
When we arrived at the
airport and walked through the General Aviation doors, there were a few people
also waiting for Carlos Vega. We took our seats and looked forward to our
If you look straight
through the opened door, you can see the tarmac straight ahead.
AeroVega - one of two
planes Carlos owns
Our flight was scheduled
for 8:30 in the morning and was to take about 30 minutes. This surely beat a
whole day on a non-air conditioned bus, winding through the mountains.
Soon, passengers arriving
Escondido walked through the doors and Carlos Vega followed them in
to the waiting lounge.
Three young, tanned, surfer, twenty-somethings
with huge smiles on their faces rummaged through their travel bags scraping up
the Pesos to pay the Capitan.
El Capitan Vega on the
There were no lines, no
checking of our passports, no clearing security for liquids and no taking off
our shoes and going through a security structure that might beep. We simply placed
our names on a manifest and followed Mr. Vega out onto the runway area where one
of his two airplanes were parked.
After placing our baggage into
the compartment, we all climbed in and took seats.
I'm sitting behind the
So here I am, smashing
myself into the back of my seat, thinking Billy wants to photograph something
outside my window. It wasn't until he clicked the camera that I realized I was
the subject. Sheesh.
We're on our way!
This was a two engine plane
and sat about seven people.
Here we are gaining
altitude and the day was glorious.
Looking back down from
whence we came
It seemed that everything
was accessible to us from this little plane, and we didn't jet up into the sky
so quickly as with a major airline.
We gracefully flew for half
an hour up through the mountains and over some low clouds. Our little aircraft
was not tossed around by any air currents and the day was clear. I was most
grateful that I was not in some hot bus somewhere on the ground slowing making
my way through the winding terrain.
Before long, we were over
the mountains and approaching the beach.
The sea was blue and the
In front of Captain
We arrived safely in
practically no time at all. The morning was still cool and sweet, and we just
needed to grab a taxi and get to our hotel in Zicatela.
There are many beaches to
choose from in
Puerto Escondido and we decided to stay in Zicatela. It's a
little cutsey surfer town that is very clean and has been steadily growing for
We were looking forward to
eating seafood and watching the sunsets over the sea in the evenings.
During the days we walked
past the surfer's beach with its strong rip tides to the swimming beach, jumped
into the ocean, ate fresh fish and drank fresh fruit liquados.
Our hotel had a swimming
pool, so when we wanted to have a change, we could just hang out at the pool.
Our return trip - Mr.
Vega walking with our bag
Our return ticket was for a
short 5 days later and after our taxi driver took us back to Puerto Escondido
airport (about ten minutes away), we were ready to board the second of Capitan Vega's
planes to fly back to the city of Oaxaca.
A smaller, single engine
This time on our return
trip to Oaxaca, instead of having six passengers, we are the only two scheduled
for the flight. This single engine plane is much smaller and looks like a toy
compared to the one on which we took our initial flight.
Years past Billy lost one of his best
friends in a single engine plane crash, and swore he would only fly in twin
engine planes or better from then on, so this is virtually, his nightmare.
But he bucked up, swallowed
hard and uh... prayed. The Captain asked Billy "Are you Catholic?" Billy replied
" I am today!"
Tiny, tiny, tiny
Mr. Vega takes our luggage
and mooshes it into the luggage compartment, which - I find out later - is
simply an area behind my seat in the plane.
The co-pilot seat
Back away from those
This is where Billy sat
during the flight and thank God, he didn't need to take over in case of an
The total view of the
This airplane seats three
passengers and the Captain. Here you can see our luggage in the area behind me.
I want you to know that
most cars are bigger than this plane. The taxi we took to the airport was bigger
than this plane. I have never been in such a small plane in my life!
I know Billy was nervous,
but I kept thinking... the sky is clear, there is no wind and no rain... so I
think we're good.
The air conditioning?
Ok, so this had me
thinking. As I mentioned, this was the tiniest plane I had ever been in and a
Volkswagen was larger than this thing. I saw the fan in the back seat with me,
and wondered... Was this the air conditioning?
I mean, how hot was it
going to get in here during our flight? I looked around and didn't see any air
vents so I didn't know what to expect.
Carlos told us earlier that
he had been making thousands of these flights - almost daily - for about thirty years... so I had
to believe he knew what he was doing.
On the tarmac
On the tarmac in the beach
town of Puerto Escondido, the altimeter says we are at 200 feet above sea level.
Our plane headed out to
It wasn't long before our
plane builds up speed down the runway and we head out to sea trying to get lift
to cross the mountains.
We say goodbye to the beach
and Puerto Escondido - until we return again.
A safe harbor below
Not far from the beach
where we swam, is this small harbor. One can rent a deep sea fishing boat if you
want to go out and find the big fish or a small launch to tour the beautiful
This particular section of
the beach is very popular with Mexican families and tourists.
The expansive Zicatela Beach
We get a great view of the
area from the sky and are able to appreciate the beauty of the beaches below.
There were long stretches of sand and from the air, the sea looked so gentle.
We knew otherwise, as we
had been down in that surf days before and it was powerful!
Almost ready to turn
towards the mountains
It was a beautiful view
from up here (about 1800 feet), and it reminded us that there are plenty of
beaches to visit and hotels available to stay on our next visit, which will be
Here is the altimeter
showing our altitude
As we gain in altitude, we
are now about 1800 feet above sea level.
It was very interesting to
have these gauges so close by to monitor and Billy's eyes were glued to the fuel
Captain Vega in the
We are flying over
mountains now and Mr. Vega seems completely in control.
My quasi-fears about not
having ventilation had drifted away some time ago. I never had the inclination
to grab that fan, as I was plenty cool.
Over the mountains and
above the clouds
So we are at the highest
altitude of our journey at this point; Above the mountains and above most of the
clouds. The white puffy clouds made a beautiful contrast to the dark forest
Our instruments show we
are at 8,600 feet
Not sure how much higher
this plane could go... but at this point we are about 8,600 feet above sea
Our view straight ahead
Without realizing it, our
flight took us twice as long to return in this smaller plane. It was half an hour from
Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido, but an hour from the beach back to the city.
The landing strip
Back home in Oaxaca City
airport, we are getting ready to land.
What a shot.
I guess if you are used to
flying in small aircraft this is a common sight, but for us, it was something
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So now Captain Vega is
turning off all the instruments and we are getting ready to deboard the plane.
Our taxi is waiting for us outside the doors of the airport and we will head
back to the Historico Centro in the city of Oaxaca.
We would certainly
recommend flying with Captain Vega if you want to go to the beach from Oaxaca
City or vice versa. It's easy to arrange and affordable, considering the
Aerovega in Oaxaca
95. 4588. 0062
Call Carlos direct, as he
is no longer under contract or available at Hotel Monte Alban.
From Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido = 2,300Pesos per person
From Oaxaca to Zihuatanejo
= 8,000Pesos per hour to rent the plane. It takes 2 hours to get there =
Emilio Carranza 303,
Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca, Oaxaca. Phone: 01 951. 502. 0840
Other phone numbers: 01
800. 640. 4148 Phone with 10 lines: +52 951. 502. 0840
For more stories and
photos of Oaxaca,
For more stories and
photos of Mexico, click
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About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha