Monday, March 3, 2014


Pumpkin - the Best Reason to Visit Home
Fernweh - (n.) An ache for distant places; a craving for travel.

Just Part of the Prunings from My Yard
Four weeks at home may not have been enough time to see all my friends, catch up on yard work, and hunt down all the boat parts, clothing and food items we needed, but it was long enough for me to start yearning to be cruising again.  Arriving in Huatulco felt like coming home, even though we had only been here for a week or so before we left.

                                                                                                                                                   Our trip back was actually kind of hilarious.  Our flight didn't leave until 1 AM.  Ingemar drove us to the airport.  We were traveling with two big duffel bags, two heavy carry-ons, a cardboard box full of boat parts and a chest freezer wrapped in a purple yoga mat because the original packaging exceeded the allowable size for checked luggage.  This amounted to nearly 250 pounds of baggage, which caused Ingemar's Lincoln to bottom out when we left the driveway and required two luggage carts.  I had called ahead to ask whether or not we could check the freezer, but the clerk at the check-in counter was reluctant to accept it.  We had to schlep it over to security and ask the TSA folks, who fortunately said, "No problem."

My next fear was getting everything through customs. We had elected to bring everything with us on the plane, rather than shipping it, because FedEx had advised us that we would need to hire a customs broker and provide original invoices (which we didn't have in many cases) for everything in order to get our goods through customs if we shipped them.  We had a five hour layover in Mexico City and speculated that we should be able to talk our way through customs and pay any necessary duty during that time.  Sure that we would not just be waved through with our two carts, giant purple freezer and monumental stack of belongings, I had admitted to carrying food on my customs declaration form.  They waved us through, anyway.  We didn't end up paying a cent of duty!  The security guard at the place to drop off connecting baggage, however, rejected our cardboard box of boat parts.  We had to go to the ticket counter, stand in a long line, and check it there.  Fortunately, someone pulled us out of the line when we were only part way through.  Having been up virtually all night, we were glad to be able to grab some breakfast and coffee.

It took forever for our luggage to arrive once we got to Huatulco and our freezer was the last item off the plane.  There were no carts, so we had to hire a porter with a giant hand truck.  It cost twice as much to get back to the marina in a collectivo van than it had to arrive there in a taxi, but we were the only ones on the van, so at least there was room for our luggage.  It had taken every peso I had to pay the fare, so I had to get the driver to stop at the bank in order for me to get pesos for his tip.  Luckily, that also allowed us to buy dinner.

The weather was a sunny 91 degrees when we arrived.  It took two trips with a rusty, rattle trap shopping cart to get our bags to the boat.  Pedro, whom we had hired to look after the boat, had everything in ship shape when we got back. Unfortunately, it seemed a little desolate.  Most of our friends had moved on and our favorite restaurant had closed while we were gone, another victim of Fonatur's outrageous rent.  After a long nap, we hiked across the road to a nearby sports bar for dinner.  We watched part of the Oscars there, but were too sleepy to stay up for the rest.  The balmy evening felt delicious.  I definitely felt like I had returned to my "real" life.

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