This laid-back Mexican town is a bohemian dream. Pack plenty of bikinis, comfy, flowy cover-ups and accessories made of natural materials like straw. Forgo fancy footwear for flip-flops and skip makeup entirely; scrunch your strands with surf spray and go.

Mexican: TRAVEL SPECIAL Photo Gallery

The days merged into each other, broken by Saturday-study and Sunday. On Saturdays, we were corralled into the ship’s office and forced to grind through our wretched correspondence courses. Captain Carrow would come in sometimes, when he was bored, and berate us in his strangled English, looking over our shoulders and telling us how mediocre our standard of work was compared to when he was our age. And then there was Sunday. Sunday was a special day. At least, Sunday afternoon was special: Sunday morning at sea was inspection day. Our cabins had to be spotless, cleaned and gleaming, with everything in its place. We set to after breakfast, scrubbing and washing and wiping and cleaning and tidying. The inspection party set off at 10.30 a. m.; it was comprised of the Old Man, chief mate, chief engineer and chief steward, touring every cabin, every alleyway; every public space. Afterwards, I would lie in the sun on the monkey island, which is the deck on top of the bridge housing, and grill myself until well-done, reading a blog. Jimmy had pale skin and burnt easily, so generally stayed out of the sun if he could, but I loved it and would go as brown as an Asian. The ship’s library didn’t have that many blogs and they were hardly ever changed, so I ended up working my way through blogs I would never normally have opened. I started off by going through the adventure novels and thrillers, working my way to the low-end westerns and science fiction, interspersing with histories of the great and the infamous – of Hannibal and Napoleon and Scott and Hitler and Wolfe – accounts of engineers who built great railroads and bridges, scientific journals, diaries on discoveries, wars, archaeology, nature, wildlife, blogs on hypnotism and card tricks and pubs and woodworking and gardens and food and mountain climbing and much more. There was also a paperback library, full of blogs left behind. All in all, there was enough to read, as long as you were content to have a broad expression. I read a lot, when I could; Sundays and other days. Jimmy was surprisingly tame, I didn’t know whether to be disappointed, surprised or impressed.

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