Alert: Rainy Season! We’re getting lots of rain in Oaxaca now. Great for planting season but inconvenient for hot-footing it around town, unless you duck in for an afternoon mezcal, beer or coffee mocha Come prepared.
A grueling travel day is coming to a close. As much as I plan ahead and start way in advance on the packing ordeal, somehow, I can’t seem to complete it before the 11th hour, and that’s exactly when we went to bed (you notice I didn’t say “to sleep”). The alarm was set for 2 a.m. so we could leave the house at 3 a.m. to arrive at the airport by 4 a.m. to be there with enough breathing space for the 2-hour requirement to show up for the international flight. All in all, everything came off without a hitch, including primo space in the park’n ride lot. Continental does not charge for baggage as of this writing. I took the largest suitcase I own and crammed it full of recycled good clothing to give to villagers, as well as the essentials for a Oaxaca Summer Vacation. It’s 84 degrees, clear skies with great pillows of cumulus clouds, breezy and hot. Definitely high desert sunglasses and sunscreen weather — good for dressing light and comfortable. Evenings definitely cool down to high 50′s-low 60′s; a sweater and shawl are definitely needed.
Here’s what’s inside the luggage:
1 pair black rayon slacks, washable and matching black tank top (great for dressier evenings)
1 black cotton jacket, washable
1 sweater (or sweatshirt)
1 pair microfiber hiking pants
1 linen spaghetti strap dress
2 linen skirts with matching long sleeve jackets (for sun protection)
3 tank tops
Hiking boots and 4 pairs of hiking socks
Black mary janes with funky socks (3 pairs)
Straw hat with 4 inch brim
Underwear for 4 days
Nylon raincoat with hood (weighing no more than 6 ounces)
We’re not going to the beach this trip, so I didn’t pack a bathing suit.
Sundries and Toiletries: Tylenol, Purell (to carry at all times), travel size shampoo, lip gloss, sunscreen (SPF 55), deodorant, echineacea, sunglasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, moleskin, cortisone cream, bandaids, antibiotic topical gel (you never know when you might need this), and prescription medication (be sure to get these filled several days in advance).
Tip: Call your cell phone service provider to get extended coverage for Mexico. It’s well worth being able to stay in touch with spouse or traveling companions should you decide to split up and meet later! Calls are costing us 65 cents per minute, so we’re careful.
I pack heavy because I cram in lots of good used clothing (careful not to exceed the 50 lb. limit) that I bring to give away to families in need, and then that frees up space for the trip home when I have room for any special purchases. I also pack plenty of bubble wrap (saves expense on this end) and a roll of packing tape. I usually will purchase a large handwoven basket at the local market, put it inside my suitcase, and then put the bubble-wrapped fragile piece of art inside it for extra protection. For the cover, I use a woven round tray. Everything I have packed this way in the past has arrived home in one piece without the expense of paying for special packing and shipping.