The only way to get to the Oaxaca Coast was by yet another night bus. We did try to find a day bus that would take us direct through the mountains in about 5 to 6 hours, but after a browse around the ‘second class’ bus station, I dug my heels in, as no way was I getting on any of those ‘accidents waiting to happen’. So, the expensive, 10 hour, long way around, night bus it was.
Puerto Escondido is not really on the main international tourist route, but its definately a favourite with Mexican families – the place has a real buzz ‘Mexican style’. There is one long white sand beach, with massive breakers pushing in off the Pacific – a surfers dream – and three smaller sandy coves.
The main beach is called Playa Zicatela which you access through a rocky outcrop, and its pretty cool. Easily a mile long, it has become our favourite place to walk bearfoot at night. You can grab a beer and a meal and watch the sunset as huge waves come crashing in. You just can’t get bored with it.
You can spot turtles in the water in the cove right outside our hotel, in fact this whole coastline has a really good turtle population. You can hire a boat to go out and see them, but the local boatmen have the habit of hauling them out of the water onto the boat so that tourists can get a good photo – and though the turtles aren’t harmed, we chose not to be part of this and leave them in peace, just watching them from the shoreline is good enough for us.
The main street is a Mexican ‘Scarbrough’ 🙂 all noisy families and tourist crap for sale, cheap restaurants and bars with thumping music, but apart from the late night boom of the night clubs (it can go on until 3 or 4 in the morning – just not funny), we are really enjoying the activity and general mayhem. We had a close shave on the beach the other day – they bring the small boats in from the bay at full engine throttle and they come up onto the sand at some speed, pretty unexpectedly. Jane screamed, well, like a girl:) as a boat shot past her with inches to spare – it was hilarious. Even in the pitch black the Mexicans are in the sea and the dogs come down to play on the sand in the cooler air, and then there’s the bands….trumpets are the background noise to everything here.
We walked out to the small bay of Puerto Angelito, where we found that among the crowds we were the only non Mexicans on the whole beach. This was Mexican family holiday on full throttle – happy kids and content adults swimming, eating, drinking and doing what the Mexicans do best, making lots of noise! It was the same vibe on the Playa Carrizafillo, an even smaller bay, but with some incredible waves that you can sit and watch all day. We are really enjoying the contagious buzz of the family holiday here, but we are back to the intense heat during the day and so make regular trips back to our cooler hotel room. At night though the temperature is perfect as long as you stay by the sea and catch the breeze.
We move on tommorrow, to the seaside resort everyone has heard of – Acapulco. Don’t quite know what to expect!