The Art of Overpacking and Mexican Mail
Despite all of the awesome advice on not packing too much, we procrastinated, finished packing at the last minute, and brought too much stuff. Yes there are things we wouldn’t want to travel without, like our boards, but we found ourselves carrying more than necessary from taxi to bus to cabana, another reminder that that less is more. So what do you do when you have too much stuff?
We pared down what we really need and with the rest we made two piles: one to give away and one to ship home.
We didn’t realize how heavy surf wax is until we started carrying around ten bars. Now we are wondering how hard it is to find wax throughout Latin America. Is it better to pay a high price for wax later to get rid of weight now? Probably.
So we made our way to the local correos (post office) to mail a few things we don’t need back to California. We didn’t have a box to ship our goods in, so an expat from Wisconsin named Daniel showed us a place down the street where we could buy a caja (box) for one peso. A box for less than ten cents? Sweet! Then we went back to the post office with a box but we still needed tape and paper to cover it. So we walked across the street to the copy/paper shop and bought a roll of packing tape and paper for 17 pesos. Not too bad.
We made our way back to the post office with all of our supplies and the gentleman working at the counter was nice enough to box and wrap our package for us. For just 2.1 kg, it costs 330 pesos which is about $26.15 USD at the current exchange rate. To say the least, it ain’t cheap.
Although there are some things we need that you really can’t buy easily in a lot of other countries that come in handy. On a two day side trip up to a surf spot we somehow managed to lose an invaluable pair of straps that we used to stap our boards to the top of taxis. Those straps have come in handy several times in the last few weeks. They were definitely worth their weight in gold. I guess we will just have to use parachute cord for the rest of the trip.
Is there anything you can’t live without on the road? Do you have any packing tips for backpacking and/or surf travel?
**side note: I just learned that surfboard in Spanish is “tabla de surf”