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the great outdoors

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The Menace

Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 54
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 5:02 am    Post subject: the great outdoors Reply with quote

Hi there, Iím new to this forum but Iíve enjoyed reading the threads- great stuff- thanks to all helping out. How did we make decisions before the net anyway? Can anyone remember?

Anyway, my wife and I have just finished our contracts in China and are looking to teach someplace in Mexico. One of the posts mentioned Uruapan as a good place for outdoor types. Can anyone recommend other places that offer good hiking, mountain biking and such? We come from the mountains and need our regular fixes of fresh air, blue skies and open spaces. We prefer dry over humid but otherwise we donít mind the heat or cold.

Our intension is to go back to Canada pick up our Ford Explorer, camping gear, clean sox and head down Mexico way and look for work. We both have degrees, experience (although not tons) and I have a teacher certification. We left our regular day jobs last year have begun our ESL journey. So far so good but we didnít like China enough to stay a few years as weíd hoped but are hoping Mexico will be different. Weíve been to Mexico a few times but only as tourists on the coast; you know swilling Margaritas and singing Jimmy Buffet songs. But we did enjoy the food and the people.

We want to start looking in smaller cities like: San Luis Potosi, Leon, Morelia and Puebla-sort of circumnavigating Mexico City. How am I doing so far?
We expect to be in Mexico by late July or early August. Good time to fine work or no?
I would appreciate any advice or itinerary suggestions.
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Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 12
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been to too many parts, but I spent a lot of time in Cuernavaca. It's worth seeing on your tour, and there's a little town nearby called Tepotzlan that has a great hike up to a little temple overlooking a valley, really beautiful.

I had really bad experiences driving through Mexico, I promised myself I wouldn't do it again. I don't really know what I did wrong, maybe I'm just not suave enough when it comes to dealing with federales and border officials... not horrible, just big bribes... but, just to let you know...
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Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not taught in Mexico (yet), but I've spent a good deal of time there and feel qualified to answer this question. First off, I have driven in Mexico extensively and, unlike the previous poster, I have had mostly positive experiences. I've had no problems with Mexican police while on the highways, and the only problems I've ever had with customs have been with American customs agents, not Mexican ones. The negatives I had while driving were 1) finding safe places to park the car, and 2) dealing with different driving customs and macho Mexican drivers. As for the outdoors, the scenery is spectacular throughout much of the country. The cool thing about Mexico is that you can pretty much "hike" or "camp" wherever you want...most Mexicans live on a level that we would pretty much consider "hiking" and "camping." You're rarely far from some type of natural wonder, it just depends on what you prefer. When we were in Guadalajara, for example, we bussed out to Tequila (about 2 hours away by 2nd class bus) for the weekend. We originally just went there to see the town, but it turned out to be a beautiful place to camp and hike. We spent very little time in the town, preferring instead to explore the surrounding hills!! Bring any special gear you want, as fancy camping/fishing gear can be hard to find in Mexico. You also need to be aware of safety when camping, as some places are safer than others. This is best judged by talking to the locals upon arrival, and by using common sense. Your China experience will probably come in handy in this regard.
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The Menace

Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 54
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your thoughts on camping and especially driving; I think Iíll start a new post on driving.

But what I was hoping for were suggestion and opinions about cities that would suit someone who loves the great outdoors. Where are the Bolder, Coloradoís, Banff, Albertaís or San Luis Obispoís of Mexico?
Quality of work and play are important to us.

Very Happy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 110
Location: The twilight zone

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being from British Columbia, I am constantly trying to find something to compare with the great outdoors of western Canada - so far, no luck. Have you ever been to the interior of BC? Kamloops, Merrit? That region presents the closest resemblence to the Mexican outdoors (from what I have experienced thus far). The natural wonders that exist here seem to be few and far between, and the ones that do exist have been commercialized and capitalized on. However there are many fascinating landscapes of all shapes and sizes, some really cool rock formations and cliffs in Guanajuato state, to the greenery of places like Michoacan and Oaxaca. Morelia is a good central place for many daytrips/weekend excursions. San Luis Potosi is also a good location. It really depends on what you want to see around you everyday.
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For the love of Mexico

Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: Hiring Seasons Reply with quote

Menice, My husband and I are also heading down to Mexico this fall to check out the ESL job market. The only thing I can give you advice on is I would recommend that you try to get there before the end of July. The terms are Jan - June, July - Dec ( although they are always hiring, these are only high times ). I wish you all the best in your journey !

Never give up on your dream Laughing
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some waygug-in

Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are looking for rugged natural beauty, try Chiapas. But don't expect to make much money there. When I lived in Comitan, I found the prices of things to be a bit higher than other regions of Mexico, but the wages certainly are not. Crying or Very sad
The mountains in Chiapas are truely awesome. Especially if you are travelling on one of those winding mountian roads by bus. The trip from Tuxtla-Gutierrez to San Cristobal is surreal, you may experience motion sickness so take some Gravol or Pepto-bismal with you. But this is nothing compaired to the trip from Comitan to Tapachula or from San Cristobal to Palenque. You may have trouble getting a day time trip, as busses fill up quickly. You might have to pass through some of the spectacular scenery at night.
The one disappointing factor is the amount of garbage you will see along the side of the road, and in the populated areas in general. Sad
Anyway, I hope you have a great time in Mexico. Cool
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