Cuernavaca – The City of Eternal Spring

Our flight leaves Panama City after dark and it is getting late as we touch down in Mexico City. We gain an hour moving into the Central Time Zone. It is dark on the entire drive from Mexico City to Cuernavaca, so we see little else but the road reflectors that mark our lane of traffic and the pine trees lining the highway. That is, until we crest the last hill overlooking the high valley full of the city lights of our destination. We are excited as we catch the first glimpse of our new home – quite a change moving into a metropolitan area the size of Seattle after living near the village of Boquete nestled remotely in the mountains of Panama.

During the drive from the airport, I say to our driver, Vincente, “You know, other countries have their own national drink. In Chile it’s the pisco sour. In Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica it’s rum. What’s the national drink of Mexico?” To which Vincente simply replies, “Beer.” After a good laugh I tell him I was expecting him to say tequila. He grins and says, “That, too.”

There are many choices of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market.

There are many choices of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market.

Our temporary living quarters is without provisions, so our first stop the next morning is La Glorieta Restaurant, a 10 minute walk up the street. Our eggs are served ranchero style on a bed of deliciously spiced beans. We use our fresh corn tortillas to soak up the beans. The coffee and pastries are included in the meal which we are now too full to finish off. When we tell our host, Julio, that we are new in town, he provides us with a map of the city. I ask where we can watch our favorite NFL football teams during the playoffs this weekend. He walks me back to the adjoining room with the big flatscreen TV which is obviously where the local soccer fans come to cheer on their favorite teams. Julio says, “You come back here when the game is on and I will put on your football game for you. I have the satellite dish.” I love Mexico already!

The cut watermelon sells for $.19/lb at the Market, which is open 7 days/week.

The cut watermelon sells for $.19/lb at the Market, which is open 7 days/week.

After stocking up on food and supplies our landlady, Ruth, takes us on a quick tour into the town center and the public market. Surprise – they have apples from Washington for the same price they sell for back home! I cannot resist the prices and selection. We purchase a papaya, two pounds of tangerines, six bananas, a fresh-cut pineapple, a new variety of orange we’ve never seen before, plus some tomatoes and avocados for a total cost of about $5.00. I almost forgot to mention the kilo of fresh strawberries we purchased for 80 cents, which I am munching on now as I write this. It is still 80°F outside where I am sitting as the sun sinks into the West. I think we will like Cuernavaca, Mexico just fine.

living in Panama

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18 comments on “Cuernavaca – The City of Eternal Spring

  1. Angeline M says:

    I am so jealous! This sounds lovely. My husband and I have talked about retiring in Mexico, but for now, it’s just in the talking stages (we’ve got about another year of working here in the States).

    • You have to visit, Angeline. It is an especially good time since the terrible publicity is keeping Americans away by the thousands. Compared with the number of people killed by firearms every day in the U. S., Mexico is a model of domestic tranquility. I can hardly wait to explore further. Thank you for sharing your comments.

  2. Congrats Mike on arriving in your new home! Thanks for the email heads up; I was racing to pack and leave on my trip to Israel, so not sure if I responded. Sounds amazing so far! Can’t wait to see how it all goes and what the new home will be like. The fruit is gorgeous! Muy bien mi amigo!

  3. Ah, beautiful Cuernavaca……. Don’t forget the avacados!

    What part of the city are you in? I’m sure El Jefe will have some amazing restaurant recommendations for you.

    BTW, Las Mananitas is terribly overrated. Beautiful gardens, but you sure do pay for it.

  4. We are up the hill about two miles north of El Centro. It’s less than a mile from the language school. We plan to connect with the Partida brothers next week after their current session adjourns. Our long-term apartment will vacate in another week. Then I will make guacamole!

  5. sarah says:

    wow, so cool! As I’m winding down on my travels, I’m going to have to live vicariously through you!

  6. jim and nena says:

    Great description of the new landing zone! haha The 80 degree temps sound more inviting than the chilly, damp mornings in the mountain rainforest. I read the Sicily post before this one and I know exactly how you felt meeting all the relatives. I have been visiting Panama for 40 years and Nena still finds cousins that I haven’t met! haha
    Best of luck in the newest adventure, I think you have found another great place.
    jim

  7. Loca Gringa says:

    I’m thinkin’ Nino needs to fedex me some gellati 🙂 From one adventurer to another, best wishes on the new home.

  8. Enjoy your stay there. I have visited Cuernavaca many times over the years as my husband is from there. My last visit was last March. Always a pleasure to return to such a beautiful city and climate. We especially love the Palmira area and FYI there is a great Doctor in that area if you need one, Dr. Zurita. Also, Sanborns is a great place for breakfast. We always go there! Please continue blogging about your Mexico adventures. I have a travelers heart and expat dreams but unfortunately for now we are rooted here in Austin, TX. so I live vicariously through others living the dream!

    • Great comments, Aleyna. Our landlady took us to Sanborn’s for Happy Hour last week. What a fun place! We bought some chocolates at their candy counter – pretty difficult to walk by that without buying something. Pretty good prices in their store, especially on sale items.
      We are about 3 miles up the hill from Palmira in Tlatenango. I appreciate the doctor referral. Right now I need a good dentist because I broke a tooth on my last day in Panama, and I’ll likely need a crown. Suggestions?

      • Unfortunately no ideas on a dentist. Wish I could help you there. We went to Dr. Zurita for my husband to have a hernia surgery. We had insurance and still couldn’t afford it in the states. They wanted $5,000.00 before they would even schedule it. He had it done in MX for $1,000.00 total and though things are definitely different there, we received unbelievably great service unlike any you would ever get here. Definitely visit the pyramids @ Xochicalco and at Tepoztlan. (My favorite city of all) Last March we went to Tepoztlan and my husband made it all the way up to the top, my son and I didn’t go all way up as it is really steep and rocky and I had just been in my first earthquake that same morning and was a bit freaked out! 😉

  9. Devon says:

    Great blog! I will be studying abroad in Cuernavaca this upcoming semester (I leave in two days!) and am even more excited after reading this entry. Like many, my parents were worried after hearing all of the negative publicity that Mexico has been getting. Fortunately, they reluctantly agreed to let me spend the next four months living there. Thanks again for all of your insight!

    • There is little evidence of violence anywhere I have been. Your parents should rest assured you will be no less safe in Mexico than you would be in the U. S. I even think the people here are generally at least as open and friendly as Americans at home. You are going to have a great time!

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