13 December 2018
God I’m bad at writing blogs… Where were we? Oh yes, South America. Four months of it and four months of being rather underwhelmed. But that was about to change.
On 2 June 2018, we flew from Bogota to Cancun. It was a bit of a shock to the system to see all the development of Hotel Resorts as in South America we hadn’t encountered this much. However we were backpackers on a longer trip so to the budget hostels we went! Immediately though, everything was cheap, the food was delicious and the people were charming – at last!
After an amazing first week however, the rain came. Like properly. Like for ages. We met an awesome new friend, Eric from California who was staying in our dorm on Cozumel and since the weather was horrible, all there was to do was to get to know each other better. Eric was just there for a quick one week holiday, and the poor guy (to our protest) bought an early flight home as the forecast wasn’t showing any signs of improving. In just a few days we became close friends and two months later would stay with him in California. (Side note: Eric also has a Travel Podcast called “Getaway Bus”, where he interviews people about their journeys – including yours truly)
And so the rain continued. We had had about 2 weeks straight of torrential rain and Alida was getting fed up. She was on her phone looking at flights back home to Germany. I however was not ready to leave. I wanted my travels to be a journey of personal progress and growth and so far I had yet to really experience any of that. So we had come to a tough decision as a couple that we would part ways for two months, go on our own journeys and meet back up in Europe. The wifi at our hostel was so bad that Alida couldn’t book her flight and by the time it was working again the price had gone up significantly. So she was stuck with me!
Turns out that the rest of our time in Mexico was amazing. The real highlight though is our gorgeous adopted Mexican Street Dog, Daisy. From the mountains of Oaxaca lies the peaceful town of San Jose del Pacifico. Backpackers will know this as the place where you get magic mushrooms, and I won’t lie, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. One day we went on a hike in the forest and found a place to lie down. Minutes later, a pair of hikers passed us with a dog. But the dog came over to us and lay right beside me. I thought, strange, but I love dogs so I was also stoked. So the three of us lay there for a few hours. Anytime a hiker or local would walk near us, the dog would get up and bark at them as if to protect us. We didn’t even feed it as we didn’t have any food on us. I would look into her little amber eyes and could swear I saw her little soul in there. When we were ready to go home, we were also lost, not having paid any attention to where we were walking. No problem! We just followed the dog an 30 minutes later we were back in town. This dog stuck with us for the next 4 days, going to restaurants with us (getting shooed away by the owners), hanging by our cabin (also getting shooed away by the owners) and for more hikes. We developed a bond with this little creature and when we had to leave it was heartbreaking.
We got on a van to Oaxaca City, a 3 hour drive away and I can remember looking at her out the back window. I had never considered adopting a street dog, I mean that’s crazy right!? It’ll be too hard and too expensive. I remember seeing a video online of Steve-O from Jackass adopted a dog from Peru. And I have nothing in common with Steve-O! But a few things were planted in my mind. Alida said “If you really feel like you need the dog, we can go get her.” A couple we met in San Jose mentioned their friend had adopted a dog from there and brought it back to Canada with them. Also, when I told my sister about Daisy, she said “Go back for her!” So I got my research on. I looked up the costs and legalities of adopting the dog. Airfares, vets, vaccinations, health certificates, everything. Turns out it wasn’t THAT hard. So it was decided. We bought a collar and leash at the local market, hired a dog cage from the vet and the next day we would head back to San Jose to be reunited with Daisy.
To be continued…