As a gesture of appreciation for Marta Elena’s outstanding hospitality, I decided to get her some flowers since I know that she absolutely loves gardening. Around the Palacio de Cortés I started asking around where I would get flowers and everyone pointed me in the direction of the local Mercado. People in the street were very helpful, whenever I had a question they’d stop patiently and try to help me direct me.
The market was about 7 or 8 blocks away down a fairly steep hill and as usual a very colourful place. I got a wonderful big bouquet of flowers with orange and white lilies for a very reasonable price of 55 pesos. I was also looking for a card to give to Marta Elena and walked through the very basic stalls selling food, clothing, shoes, toys and many other basic items, but no luck, no cards were to be found anywhere. It’s certainly a very colourful place with a very local flavour, and there was not a tourist to be seen. The sights, sounds and smells of Mexico come at you in full force and you get a real taste for where the locals do their shopping.
This is also the main local bus terminal where all the municipal buses leave from. What a commotion! Buses leaving every few minutes and lining up in the usual chaotic way to exit the market. I was amazed that the buses weren’t hitting one another – quite an experience.
The beautiful garden retreat at Villa San Marcos, Marta Elena’s B&B
At 5:30 pm I had my second physiotherapy appointment – now I am really getting to know the Mexican health care system. Due to all the walking I have been suffering from an inflammation of the tendon and ligament surrounding my left ankle, and Roxana Villamichel, my local contact at the city’s tourist department, had recommended that I visit a local physiotherapist named Ivo whose office is literally 10 minutes away from Marta Elena’s bed and breakfast.
The office is housed in a simple 3-story residential building, as usually protected by an exterior wall. Ivo is a young therapist in his 30s, always smiling and concerned about his patients. He administered an electrode as well as an ultrasound treatment to me (to reduce the pain) and gave me a referral to a local orthopedist named Dr. Chinchilla who will fix me up with some orthotic inserts for my shoes. My experience with Mexican medical specialists has been thoroughly positive. Ivo is always friendly, professional and very knowledgeable and my pain has come down significantly already.
After my return from my physio appointment I got ready to move from one B&B to another and started packing my bags. My next hostess was going to be Roxana Villamichel who works for the City of Cuernavaca’s Tourism Department. She has been extremely instrumental and helpful in planning my trip to Cuernavaca. Roxana also owns a bed and breakfast called RX Villa in the northern part of Cuernavaca which she runs together with her son Luis. My current hostess Marta Elena and Roxana know each other so they decided all three of us would have dinner together.
Marta Elena and I have gotten quite close in the very few short days that we have known each other and I helped Marta Elena set the table in the beautiful oasis that is the backyard of her bed and breakfast. Marta Elena is a consummate gardener and her garden is full of all sorts of tropical and subtropical plant species that appeal to all the senses. Marta Elena even put some edible flowers on one of my breakfasts as garnishment…
After everything was set up we sat down and chatted for a while. Marta Elena’s two dogs, Peggy and Kissy, two lively and loving pugs, joined us, while Marta Elena’s Persian cat Billy watched us from afar. He had made himself comfortable in a net used to dry clothes.
Billy makes himself comfortable
Roxana came shortly after and the three of us started our delicious dinner. We toasted with some California bubbly and Marta Elena had prepared a nice set of cold dishes, including fried eggplant slices with a special dipping sauce, a set of antipasti including cold turkey breast and prosciutto, and a paté made with Roquefort cheese which was extremely tasty. Marta Elena’s home made mango ice cream was the crowning touch to a very savoury meal.
Both women run bed and breakfasts, Marta Elena runs hers full-time all by herself, while Roxana works full-time for the city and has some help looking after the garden, the kitchen and the house.
Roxana and Marta Elena propose a toast on a special evening
It was a wonderful relaxing meal, and just after 10 pm we finished our dinner and I moved in with Roxana in a wonderful area in the northern, mountainous part of the city. I was a bit sad to leave Marta Elena, who had become such a good friend in such a short time, but we decided to go on a mutual adventure together tomorrow to a place called “Las Estacas”, a riverside resort that she had never been to, that both of us would enjoy.
After getting comfortable at RX Villa I downloaded all the pictures I had shot and finally got to bed at about 1:30 am after another full day….
My beautiful bedroom at RX Villa