BOLT in Oaxaca!

Our week’s stay in Oaxaca has been wonderful! This city, located in southwestern Mexico, is known for its architecture, delicious foods and Zapotec culture. It did not disappoint!

What we liked best: Temazcal Ceremony.

One of the most unforgettable things to do in Oaxaca City is to experience a traditional sweat-lodge or temazcal ceremony. This ritual is intended to purify your mind, body and spirit. It was a truly amazing experience led by a woman well versed in her Zapotec heritage. She had so many words of wisdom to share. The heat was not oppressive but we did sweat a lot and felt much lighter at the end of the ceremony. https://m.facebook.com/ceviarem.temazcal/

What We Recommend: Walking Tour

There is so much history to learn, amazing architecture to see and interesting cultural facts in Oaxaca City. I think the best way to experience your first day in Oaxaca is with a walking tour. The tours are free, except for a tip for your tour guide. Ours was excellent! https://oaxacanexperiences.com/

Not For Us: Market or Food Tours

Oaxaca has many, many fabulous markets, full of food, colorful clothing, souvenirs and more. We did go on a few paid market tours and a food tour. Personally, we prefer just exploring local markets on our own. They are great places for food tastings, shopping and just enjoying the sights and sounds.

Always a BOLT Must: Serendipity

We don’t like travel that is too heavily scheduled. We love just walking up on random events and things to see and do! There was lots happening this week because of the yearly Guglegatza Festival.

Enjoy Something New!

The food in Oaxaca is varied and delicious. I tried grasshoppers which I found crunchy and delicious!

Any Questions or Comments?

Want to know more about travel in Mexico or anything about the BOLT travel model. Please share with us below. Thank you so much for visiting our blog.

BOLT Top 7! Reasons why we love Merida.

Merida is a great, vibrant city in the south of Mexico, it’s  the capital Yucatan state. According to the 2020 census, the population of Mérida was 1,161,000.  Mérida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres, and shops. Sadly, with Covid many of these are closed or have limited access.  There is much to love about Merida, these are our top 7 reasons (in no particular order).

Community!

Community!

There is a wonderful and growing community of black folks where in Merida. We especially appreciate the diversity of ages, there are lots of families and we’ve made lots of friends with women in our age group as well.

Parks and Green Spaces!

Parks and Green Spaces!


Merida is a lovely and lively city with an abundance of parks. These are great for two of our favorite activities, walking and people watching.

The Beaches!

The Beaches!  

While not technically a beach city there are plenty of sweet little beach towns less than 30 minutes away.

Biciruta!

Lots to See and Do!

From beautiful monuments, majestic mansions on Paseó Montejo, magical cenotes and ancient Chichen Itza, there is a wide variety of activities and sightseeing trips in and around Merida. Biciruta is a favorite activity of ours, it’s made me love Merida even more.

Safety, Language and the People!

Safety, Language and the People!

Merida is consistently rated as one of the safest cities in the world. We have found it to be so. We are learning Spanish and find communication fairly easy. Most importantly, we have found the people here to be helpful, friendly and kind.

Modern Comforts!

Modern Comforts!

Merida is modern city with a range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities. Medical care is good and affordable.

The Food!

If you are expecting “traditional” Mexican food like you’d find in your favorite U.S. spot, you’re gonna be disappointed. The flavors of this region are quite different. I’m growing to like several dishes and am willing to try more. Also, there are plenty of non Yucatecan restaurants in town, including vegetarian spots, top of the line steak houses and even U.S. chains like Fridays, Chilli’s and IHOP.

!Biciruta!

There’s a great Sunday morning tradition here in Merida. Paseó Montejo, a beautiful street filled with old world mansions, is closed off to car traffic. Bicyclers, skaters and walkers take over the street from 8am to noon. It was a lovely experience!

We especially enjoyed seeing all the cute kids and dogs. There were several bands playing a variety of music and of course, vendors selling their wares. BOLT will definitely be returning for many Sundays to come.

We Are Vaccinated!

Two trips to Los Angeles, two 4 day hotel stays… getting the Covid vaccine wasn’t cheap for us. We believe that being vaccinated will make our future travels safer and easier.

Get your family and friends vaccinated! Appointments are AVAILABLE NOW at MyTurn.ca.gov. Vaccines are FREE and for anyone 16 and older.

Adventures with BOLT: My $800 Piece of Paper

There is a little piece of red, white and green paper that non-residents get upon entering mainland Mexico. It is the visitors permit. Not having this piece of paper was a costly mistake for Kathy and I. The paper is just handed to you when you exit the airport. It is not stapled into your passport or otherwise secured. It is easily lost or misplaced.

Kathy and I were on our way from Merida to Los Angeles for a quick trip to get the Covid vaccine. It is not available to non-residents here in Mexico. Reservations had been made, negative covid tests obtained and passports were in hand. I vaguely noticed I didn’t have the same paper Kathy had but was not very worried about it.

We flew from Merida to Mexico City without this permit. However, when I checked in for our Mexico City to Los Angeles flight, I was told I must have it to fly.

This seems to happen to a lot of people. I was sent downstairs to immigration where I was told “no problem”. I paid 600 Pesos (about $30 USD), signed a form saying I lost the paper and voila! I was on my way back to the American Airlines check in counter.

But…there was a problem, a big one! I was like five minutes past the check in time. Despite Kathy standing right there, boarding pass in hand, despite the plane still boarding with at least 30 minutes before takeoff, depsite my pleas and begs…I was not allowed to board.

Kathy went ahead as there was no sense in both of us missing our flight. Distraught I began to look for other flights. There was nothing left flying out that evening. It was only 8 pm and I was not comfortable spending the night in the airport terminal.

There are no actual hotels in the Mexico City airport but I found a moderately priced sleep pod.

I was unable to truly sleep but with Kathy’s help I got a flight our in the morning. I made it to Los Angeles, we got our first vaccination and are safely back in Merida.

Some expensive lessons were learned!

Check, double check and triple check that you have all necessary documents, no matter where you are traveling.

Allow yourself plenty of time between flights, especially if traveling to large international airports. In Mexico City we had to wait for and take trains between the terminals which was another reason I was late.

If at all possible, when you have missed a flight, allow the airline to rebook your travel. I booked on another airline which is not reimbursable and they cancel your round trip when you don’t allow the original airline to rebook you.

Sleep pods are nice clean places to rest, take care of business, etc. but NOT to sleep.

Missing a flight is not the end of the world. Stay calm, patient and focused and all shall be well.

BOLT Reviews: Playa Bonita Beach Club

Just a short 3o minutes away from Mérida, Mexico is the city of Chelem. This sleepy little pueblo is home to the perfect spot for a getaway.

Playa Bonita Beach Club is the perfect spot for a day trip. For only 100 pesos (about $5 usd) you can spend all day on a comfortable beach lounge.

There is a lovely little pool, changing rooms and very clean restrooms.

I was especially delighted by how good, I mean really good the food and drinks were. There is a full, moderately priced menu. The waiters were attentive and friendly. You can have your food brought to your oceanside lounge or table.

I enjoyed a lovely walk along the beach and several people were actually enjoying time in the waves. All in all I spent a perfect day at Playa Bonita Beach Club. I can’t wait to go back!

If you have a special getaway spot in the Yucatan or wherever you are, we’d love to hear about it. Comment here or write us at BOLTraveling@gmail.com

Los parques de Mérida

Parque de Santiago
Parque de Santiago

One of the many things I have come to appreciate about Merida is the multitude of parks, green spaces, and walking paths.

Parque de las Américas

It seems that no matter what direction I walk, I will eventually come upon some type of park. It’s really lovely!

Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán
Parque de la Alemán

Yesterday a small group of us visited Parque de la Alemán. This space is really great because walkers can walk and skaters can skate.

As I embark upon Girl Treks 21 Day #blackhistorybootcamp walking challenge, I’m grateful for all the parks and walking paths surrounding me.

When Life Gives You Radishes…Make Pickles!

In this case it was my lovely neighbor/friend, Tai, who gave me a small bag of radishes. I love salty, spicy, briny foods and since I had a free Saturday afternoon I decided to make some pickles.

I make quick pickles which are really easy. Using any vegetable or vegetable combination, quick pickles are soaked in brine in the refrigerator as opposed to the more complicated outdoor fermentation process. Quick pickles do not require canning and are ready to eat in a day. They last several weeks in the fridge, although ours don’t usually last that long.

I made 4 different pickles today and the simple recipes are below. They all use a hot 50/50 vinegar to water liquid for brining. I don’t use precise measurements for this type of recipe. I taste as I go along. Be careful with the salt!

Be creative, use combinations and amounts that you wish. Your pickles will be a delicious adventure!

Radish Carrot Pickles
Combine chopped carrots, sliced radishes and white onion chunks. Season with a tablespoon each of pink salt and chopped garlic. Add whole red peppers and banana peppers. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Sweet and Spicy Red Cabbage Kraut
Combine chopped red cabbage, a tablespoon of chopped ginger and 3 grated apples (any kind). Add a tablespoon of salt. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of apple cider vinegar and water over the veggies. Add honey to taste (I used 4 tablespoon per jar). Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Asparagus Spear Pickles
This is the easiest pickles. Trim the asparagus. Add salt and red chilis to taste. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

Radish Carrot Relish
This is my all time favorite! Finely slice radishes, carrots and purple onions. Add garlic, salt and whole black peppercorns to taste. Pack into clean glass jars. Pour the heated mixture of white vinegar and water over the veggies. Close, cool and then refrigerate.

As you can see I am not a professional chef or recipe writer but I hope you will try one of these recipes. Even better…create your own pickle combo! Please share if you do.