Trip Reports
Best of Mexico

The Green Tortoise
to Mexico

Published Jan 15, 2001

Dear Lorena and Carl:

I just wanted to thank you for writing the Peoples' Guide. Last winter, I (a 46 year old gringo), my Significant Other (a 52 year old gringa), and our 9 year old adopted nephew (nickname "Changito") took a 2 1/2 week trip down Baja, across to Mazatlan via ferry and down to San Blas. We spent Christmas Day body surfing at Playa Amor and went up to the village of El Corro to hike to and swim at a waterfall and enjoyed the local rodeo in El Corro that afternoon. Then we came back north to the Copper Canyon, around the north end of the Sierra Madre, back to Los Mochis, north to Guaymas/San Carlos (spent New Year's Eve/Day on the beach at San Carlos), and then back to Los Estados Unidos.

It was a fantastic trip, and my first time in Mexico, other than Tijuana when I was 10 years old with my brother and our Dad. As they say, "Tijuana is not Mexico." My S.O. had been to Mexico several times before, and tried to reassure me that "you won't get sick, you won't run into banditos, and the people are very friendly and helpful." How very true that is, as you know! Your book gave me some great information and helped to diminish my fears of Mexico. My travels in Mexico would not have been as enjoyable without the information provided in the book.

You are probably not into mentioning specific tour companies, but we went on the Green Tortoise bus and it was "totally groovy" as we used to say back in the old days. If anyone asks you about the Green Tortoise (I'm sure you know about it and may have experienced it), you can tell them that at least one middle aged ‘undercover hippie’ family went on it and enjoyed it so much that they can't wait until next time. Maybe winter 2001-02? I sure hope so.

Our nephew has mixed feelings about Mexico. He enjoyed the people, playing with Mexican kids (you don't need a common language, as you know, to make friends), the food, the beaches, the churches and museums. He did not enjoy putting the toilet paper in the basket, the amount of trash on the roadsides, and the apparent lack of concern for the health and well-being of the local dogs. He was somewhat reassured by talking to local folks (especially one lady we met in La Paz walking her dog) and discovering that a lot of people in Mexico are trying to help the stray dogs and educate folks to use trash cans! It turned out to be a great learning experience for him (and myself) and as we now say, be thankful you live in Milwaukie, Oregon and have a warm house, good food to eat, and a healthy, happy dog, because lots of people in the world don't have these things.

Anyway, thanks for writing the Peoples' Guide. It really helped a lot. It was a great trip, and would not have been as near enjoyable if I hadn't studied your book first. I was sorry to hear about Steve's passing into the Spirit World, and my condolences to you all and Tina and Churpa. I felt like I knew him as a brother from your book. Well, he's with Jesus and Jerry now, and we'll all be there someday.

Thanks again for the Peoples' Guide. It's made a big impact in my life and indirectly, a big impact in the life of a 10 year old boy who came from a very unhappy background.

Feel free to use my comments on your website if you would like.

Shawn Dougherty,
Milwaukie, Oregon

The Best of Mexico
The Copper Canyon
©1972-2001 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens