Music is prevalent in Mexico.  All the time you hear everything from piercing mariachi music, to tribal drum bands to Guns ‘n Roses or Beyonce.  But whatever is playing, it’s always something.  Tonight I got my first taste of it live and up close.

After arriving at my hostel in Tulum I befriended two couples (one American, one Swedish) and the American’s son.  The Swedish couple had been in the area for a week and had scoped out the local action so invited us to dinner at a local restaurant.

Charlie’s looks pretty basic from the outside, but after walking through the bar you discover a huge back patio area with a stage and dance floor.  By the time we arrived the locals had claimed their territory and were waiting for the band to start.

A mix of Latin and reggae, they had a unique sound that just compelled you to dance to the bongo beat – it was easy to see why they were so popular.  There was hardly a person in the place that wasn’t on their feet shaking their – remarkably loose – hips.  Watching was fun, but after a couple bottles of liquid courage we all couldn’t help but join in.

Nowhere near as skilled and loose jointed as the locals, we had a great time none the less.

This is what Mexico is about.  Drinking ice cold beer while listening to great music and making new friends.