When travelling to some areas of the world, there are things you just do not do. They are to some degree common sense and easy enough to figure out. But there are times that we just forget about these few little things. The story of this free drink is a little bit different, but an interesting experience.
Don’t Drink The Water
Probably the most common warning when travelling to many different countries is not to drink the water. In some places, this extends even to not even remotely letting the water get near entering your body. Being careful when brushing your teeth and showering.
It is, of course, a warning that is best listened to for the most part as well. Especially when you consider the potential of sickness and disease in some countries. There is every reason to do everything you can to ensure you stick to this advice.
When you are staying in a country, it is relatively easy to remember. Because you go and buy bottled water and you religiously stick to it. But when you are on a cruise ship visiting these countries, you are a little buffered to the thought and idea.
Visiting Huatulco, Mexico
The small town of Huatulco is a perfect spot to visit. There is a small natural harbour where the cruise ship docks. A beach with plenty of locals enjoying the sun. With numerous cafes and bars overlooking the beach.
Huatulco is a beautiful place in Mexico. However, if I was honest it is not a place I even would have known existed let alone planned to visit. That is if not for the port of call twice on the itinerary of my 28 Day Panama Canal Cruise.
The first port day was on the southbound leg heading towards the Panama Canal and was rather uneventful. I spent a couple of hours walking around and exploring the small town, before going to the beach. In the late afternoon, I found a cafe and sampled the cliche Corona in Mexico.
A Free Drink!
The second port day in Huatulco was on the northbound return towards San Diego. It was more a half day in port arriving around lunch time and departing around 5 pm. So my choice was to spend it on the beach.
Heading back towards the ship I was having a good conversation with one of the crew members. We had stopped and sat on a stone wall just enjoying the beautiful day.
Soon a local man wandered over and invited us to come and sit at the tables he had set up in the shade. It did look inviting, and we headed over. We spent another 10 minutes chatting with the gentleman before he offered to get us a drink. Neither of us had any money with us, but he said: “no worries, I organise for you a margarita.”
The Makings Of A Drink
It is here that the story takes a twist. Anywhere else you would imagine a bar or cafe with everything on hand. But this gentleman’s tables were set up in front of what was a boarded up abandoned building.
On another table, he did have a few large plastic cocktail goblets of sorts. He headed off in one direction, returning a few minutes later with a small bottle of Tequila. Then it was off in another direction, where he came back with a small bottle of lemon squash soft drink. Finally, he wandered off again returning with two plastic cups full of ice.
One cup of ice had gone into each goblet before he split the bottle of lemon squash between the two. Then it was to add a good portion of Tequila to each drink before he brought them over to us with a straw.
To be honest, I am not so sure that this drink could be called a margarita. However, the way he went about making it and the generosity to offer two strangers a drink I will always remember.
Reflections On A Drink
Thinking back to this day some things were quite wrong with this situation. The first one that comes to mind comes back to the introduction above about “don’t drink the water”. Although doing a little reading most ice is going to be ok, but still something you should check the origin of.
Also, I believe had the circumstances been different I would have personally not been comfortable. The location was very close to the ship. Plus, being with a member of the crew that I had gotten to know a little helped as a little reassurance. I think the only regret from the situation was not having my camera with me at the time.
The same situation if I were by myself, I would walk away from. Enjoying experiences is about taking calculated risks, and not putting yourself in a position you are not comfortable with.