The beachy side of things…

November 21, 2010

Our first coastal town of Puerto Escondido proved to be as anticipated… full of beach side palapas, hotels, motels, surf shops and the more than occasional sighting of Europeans and Australians.  Puerto Escondido is  well-known for it’s world-class surf break, aptly named the “Mexican Pipeline”, with waves reaching as high as 12 meters in between May and July.  For the most part I laid low in the shade, reading and relaxing.  Meanwhile Kurt was lucky to find Tello at Bicitodo, a bike shop he owns and runs in the Puerto Escondido center.  Tello was super kind and allowed Kurt to use his shop and tools to replace his bottom bracket bearings.  He also gave us some great Bicitodo T-shirts to rock.  A few days later, as we were leaving town, I returned with Kurt to meet Tello’s wonderful wife and take some photos of all of us together in front of his shop. If anyone passing through or living in the Puerto Escondido area needs their bike worked on by a friendly and knowledgeable mechanic, Tello at Bicitodo is your man.

It was here that we also bid adieu to our buddies Wolf and Javier.  We did it up right the last evening with a huge group effort dinner and some late night belly flops in the hotel pool, something the night watchman wasn’t all too impressed with.  The guys were great to let us crash in their hotel room too, forgoing a night of wild camping for some quiet, comfortable sleeping with a ceiling fan oscillating overhead.

From there, Kurt and I headed south along the coast, dipping into the sleepy beach towns of Mazunte, San Agustinillo and Zipolite.  It was here that we had the pleasure of running into our friends Juan Diego and Luis the Chef, two travelers we had met back in the Huasteca.  They’ve been hitchhiking their way around Mexico and have settled down to work for the season in Zipolite.   Both are natives of Mexico and have chosen to leave their border towns behind due to all of the current drama and chaos.

From there it was a mere 10 kilometers up and over another little ridge before dropping down into Puerto Angel.  A slightly bigger town, Puerto Angel had some fancier looking hotels and some bigger hillside homes, though mainly it is used for its fishing port and naval base.   I let my pure white belly get a little crispy as I was sucked page after page into Confessions of an Economic Hitman, a book full of unsurprising, cringe worthy facts depicting disgusting corporate American greed.  Something we see the effects of on a daily basis, no matter whether we are traveling or at home.

Moving right along, we plopped on over to another bay we had heard had good snorkeling possibilities.  We are currently without snorkel gear, but figured it would be beautiful nonetheless.  Indeed it was.  So beautiful we ended up camping there for two nights, even though the owner of the petite bungalow hotel at the other end of the beach told us “Oh no.  No.  There is no camping there.  Um, there is a cheap hostal right up on that bluff.  See there?….”  I inquired, “But this is a public beach, no?  The coastline is federal property.”  “Well, yeh” she said “but there are um, these boats and um….” and just let her sentence trail off to nothing.”  I thanked her for the info and left some small Kelly foot prints in the sand as I made my way back to Kurt who had already settled quite comfortably in the sandy nook, where our two peaceful days of “no camping” commenced.

We had a few visitors over the next two days.  I would watch as Kurt shuttled back and forth between the rocky edges of the bay, a trail of at least 4 local kids behind him, trading him the crawdads they’d dug up for bait in exchange for the drop lines he made for them with old plastic soda bottles and fishing line.  And then there was our dog pal, quiet Slim Jimmy Buttons, who hung around with us, chasing the shade of the day, hoping for a snack or two came meal time.  I can’t remember the last time I moved so little during the course of a day.

We eventually peeled ourselves away from our little paradise and after about a half a day’s worth of riding we bumped head long into Bahias de Huatulco.  Cruise boat central.  We didn’t get close enough to the docking area to see any actual ships (which I was kind of anticipating in a strange way, as I have never actually seen a real live cruise ship), but we could feel the presence through all of the perfectly green sod road dividers, gate‘s glaring back at you where an entrance to a beach seemingly would be and huge shiny and reflective signs directing you to “Terminal F”, “Terminal K”, etc.  We chose “Terminal Moving Right Along” and did eventually find a great camp spot on a beach a bit further down.  The only evidence of hotels we could see were a mere smattering of sparkling lights tucked up into a hillside.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

Even with all of this coastal riding, we actually only got close to the beach  if we wanted to and for much of the time the Pacific is not even within eyesight.  The rideable highway down the coast is, understandably due to the firmness of the land, set back a ways inland, so for the most part the views are not all that spectacular and it is hot, hot, hot.  During this time I was quite happy to reminisce about the fantastic adventures we’d had thus far, weaving our way down through the center highlands of Mexico, rather than taking the entire coastal route down from California.

Saying goodbye to the sun on the sands of Puerto Escondido...

...and again...

Pancho Homer...

Puerto Angel, where the fisherman drop off loads of dorado fish all day long...

Follow little sandy roads like this, and you will be rewarded big time as we found out...

Sunrise at our pristine "no camping" spot...

A bit timid at first, this little guy eventually let it all hang out and scampered across the beach for some grassy cover. Those little bug eyes are the best...

Hidden cove of daydreams and sandy naps...

As I mentioned above, much of our coastal riding is not actually on the coast at all. On this particular day, this was one of the only chances we got to get a glimpse of the big blue Pacific...

Peering out from another hidden camp spot, I viewed these two fisherman setting out in the early morning hours...

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One Response to “The beachy side of things…”

  1. c$ said

    i watched the splash and saw ur footprint (i really felt it!) that was absolutely, positively, my most favorite words to read thus far. cruise ship desires, stashy camping and all. just marvelous. kisses to u misses. ❤

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