We got back on the road early in the morning and arrived in Tapachula by 4 PM. We drove through the town and down to the beach town Puerto Madero. This is a very small poor beach town who’s only tourists are from Tapachula. Most of the streets are unpaved and there are quite a few abandoned houses around. There is no beach in front of most of the town, blocked by piles of rocks forming a sea break. However on the outskirts of town is a place called Mision Surf. This is a hotel and surf school run by an orphanage called Mision Mexico. It seemed the perfect hangout for a couple of days and perhaps Olivia could try a surf lesson.
After navigating the small unpaved roads of Puerto Madero and finally a sand path we arrived at Mision Surf and it was lovely, right on the ocean. I had a nice main two story building, nice pool and large grounds which had sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and dogs roaming around. It was a veritable petting zoo. They had RV parking for 150 pesos per person with electricity but no sewer hookups. No problem, we could be completely self-sufficient for a few days. We looked at the rooms which started at 900 pesos but since they did not have air-conditioning there was no reason for us to spend the extra money. There were plenty of rooms available since we were the only guests at the time. The weather was sunny and warm, in the mid 80’s but the high humidity made it feel warmer.
Olivia, immediately went to the pools and I made arrangements with Sophie the hotel manager for Olivia and Holly to take surfing lessons the next day, Sunday. After that we would hit the border first thing Monday morning and be back in Oaxaca by Tuesday night, plenty of time before Christmas on Friday. We could even stay an extra day, go to the border Tuesday, and be back in Oaxaca by Wednesday.
After frolicking in the water for a couple of hours it was starting to get dark so I took Olivia to the hotel showers. There, I showered her first, wrapped her up in a towel and sent her back to the RV so that Holly could dry her hair while I showered. I had just hopped into the shower and lathered up my head when I heard screaming outside including the distinctive high pitched scream of a little girl. Fortunately I still had my swim suit on so I ran outside to see Olivia running by being chased by a black dog. She runs up the porch and closes the gate on the dog. I went up to her, asked if she was OK, if she had been bitten by the dog and she said no, she was OK, no injuries.
Fine, so I have her stay on the porch and go back to rinse off. After I get back, I find out that Holly had actually met Olivia as she came out of the shower and decided to take Olivia for a quick walk around. They had not walked far when a black dog started barking at them. This was not a big deal except that this brought two Pit Bull dogs who came up to them and started aggressively sniffing and jumping on the two of them. Holly grabbed Olivia’s towel and Olivia took off running while Holly held back to the Pit Bulls. The manager Sophie had arrived quickly and restrained the Pit Bulls but not before one of them had nipped Holly on the shoulder leaving a hole in the sleeve of her shirt.
I took Olivia back to Rover while Holly cleaned and disinfected her shoulder. Fortunately, the bite was not too bad and we had already taken three rabies vaccination shots in the US before we had left. Sophie had vaccination paperwork but the vaccinations were out of date so Holly decided that she should get the two additional post-exposure rabies shots. Rabies deaths in Mexico are very rare with the last human fatality from a rabid dog bit recorded in 2006. It was dark by this time and Puerto Madero is a very small town so there is no hospital. Since we had the pre-exposure rabies shots we had some more time than the 24 hours recommended for the initial rabies vaccine shot after exposure. The hotel staff tried calling around but could not find any place that had rabies shots so we decided that we get Holly the rabies shot the next day.
When we talked to the hotel manager Sophie, she took the position that the dogs were there for security, had never been aggressive to anyone before and did not seem to be willing to much about it. We decided to send emails to the main organization telling them about the aggressive dogs. Frankly, it is a terrible idea to have guard dogs at a hotel. Guard dogs are well and fine for places you want to keep strangers out of but the whole purpose of a hotel is to have random people checking in and out all the time. There is no way for a guard dog to know who is a guest or an intruder.