Yes, but why would anyone want to stop in Marquelia?” the bartender in Puerto Escondido asked me.
“We stopped there so we didn’t have to stop in Acapulco.”
“Okay, I can see that. But Marquelia???”
Even the Mexicans in Puerto Escondido couldn’t think of a reason to go to Marquelia, although being in P.E. with its magnificent beaches might have had something to do with it.
A very long bus day. 5 hours to get to Acapulco Papagayo, an hour’s wait for the next bus out (nobody wants to stay in Acapulco) and then…
2 1/2 hours later, we’re still on the bus and Al finally got enough bars to check his Google map. According to it we were only a third of the way to Marquelia and it was already 5:00 with the sun low in the sky. Finally we came to a town with a name I recognized: Cruz Grande. And hit a traffic jam.
It was the day before the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and masses of processions and pilgrimages delayed us on the route. We finally got into Marquelia as the sun was setting and the moon was rising bright.
We knew there were hotels in Marquelia but had been unable to book anything online, making it one of the few places where we were travelling without a clue!
At the bus ‘stall’ we purchased tickets on the bus to Puerto Escondido leaving at 11 am the next day, and that done queried the ticket seller about hotels. He sent us down aways to a hotel across the highway. We figured we were close but there were barely any lights and we could hardly make out its name.
Crossing the highway (nervously), we made our way down a dark alley to discover the proprietor of the hotel watering all the plants and turning the dirt walkway to mud. But there was a room, 350 pesos ($25 Can) a night and it wasn’t half bad!
From there we went back down the highway and to our delight discovered a Tacos Pastor place.Tacos pastor are one of our very favourite, and when you add cheese and lots of pineapple it makes for a fantastic meal. So there we were, eating tacos pastor and drinking Corona for the fourth day in a row, and loving it.Taco accompaniments of radishes, limes, pickled vegetable, red hot sauce and even hotter green salsa made with the green ghost (fantasme verde) chiles at the Tacos Pastor place in Marquelia.After our fine meal we went for a tour of the town at night.The muffler shop. There wasn’t much to see but because of the holiday people were up singing traditional Mexican songs into the night, and we fell asleep serenaded by soft Spanish voices.
The next day the gang that hung around the hotel sent us off to the mercadito for breakfast. Mercadito means ‘little market’ but this one was quite large, with lots of twists and turns.It took us awhile to find the breakfast stalls as I was perpetually distracted by the market offerings. An impromptu fish stand.Orange snacks for our upcoming bus ride. Meat in a display case, a rather unique way to sell meat in Marquelia’s mercadito.We eventually located a collection of breakfast places where I was served desayuno with a smile. I had a ‘capuchino’ which was Nescafé in hot milk, along with fresh-squeezed orange juice, eggs, beans and bacon.The place next door may have had really fresh eggs for breakfast! While we were waiting in the tiny bus depot in Marquelia a bus going the other way to Acapulco arrived and the vendors started circling.Then we were off on the bus to Puerto Escondido, to stay in the same hotel we had stayed at 30 years earlier…