skippig to puerto escondido
ok, i messed up with the photos; i filled my memory card and transferred the photos to an online site. but now i canīt work with them easily to put them on the blog. so iīm going to skip a few days: the neat little town of Barra de Navidad, Aculpoco (which i really liked), the state of colima and michoancan (small secluded pacific beach towns),
Puerto Escondido is anything but "escondido". Itīs very discovered actually with itīs many hotels and hostels and private homes being built along the beach. Itīs really two towns, the real Puerto- to the north and inland -and the tourist Puerto - to the south and along the beach. Itīs a surferīs paradise with itīs huge waves at Zicatela beach.
I stayed at Cabaņas Edda, a neat, cheap place where you could rent a private room with a bathroom, a bed with shared bathrooms or space to hang your "hammaca". This would be the beginning of a hammaca world I was about to enter; it seems every place I stay now has hammaca to lounge on. I was getting farther away from the hustle-bustle influence of capitalism and entering a slower world.
Hereīs a photo of my nice, open air room with mosquito-netted bed.
Like most small places I stay I park my bike right next to my room.
Edda is a sunhat -wearing, sweet, old lady with blond hair and blue eyes who walks around her comlex by the beach, taking very small, quick strides. Her parents emmigrated from Germany, but she speaks only spanish. She was happy to learn what Lonely Planet had to say about her place when I translated it for her.
Puerto Escondido also has jaw-dropping sunsets.
I stayed there two nights because I arrived late the first day after a 7 hour day of riding from Aculpoco, I also had to do some laundry.
But I didnīt leave with that great of an impression of Puerto Escondido. One reason was the shits I got from eating a nasty "pollo sopa" (that included everything from the bird- feet with nails and all, feather-dotted skin, bones and gizzard) from the colorful Mercada Benito Juaréz. The soup smelled like a dirty chicken coup. So I had to resort to taking the dookie pills I was prescribed before leaving the States. Another reason was the surfer, "Iīm way too-cool-for-school", cold shoulder you get from all the super-cool, accesorized, tattoed, nose-ring wearing Americans that think they discovered the "escondido" playa bro.
I left in the morning with the intention of reaching Tuxla-Gutierrez. It was steaming hot. I wore my white, gringo looking tank-top that I had bought the day before in Puerto because I had nothing else to wear because all my clothes were at the "lavanderia". I passed right by Zipotelaīs (different that Zicatela) nude beach 50km south of Puerto, I wanted to make good time that day.
At Bahia de Huatulco, their manicured, palm-lined streets beckoned me to turn off highway 200 and discover this isolated bubble of modernity and elite Mexican world. There were billboards selling water front properties and the perfect lifestyle. Banks were on every corner, modern Pemex gas stations and beautiful, outdoor cafés. Such a contrast to the simple, dirt road villages with modest, dirt floor, one-room houses with with tin roofs and chickens, pigs and donkeys in the yards. There were no roaming chickens to be seen here.
I noticed a sparkling GS at the Pemex, a nice 1150 with a black and yellow tank. I turned around to introduce myself. As I pulled up I felt a sense of embarassment with my white tank-top and sunburnt skin. Oscar was fully decked out in protective gear, his bike was immaculate and I got the feeling he sized me up and concluded I was some "ugly american". He told me he was going to Tuxla today and he had 2 friends with beemers too, but they were leaving later that day. I didnīt get the invitation I was expecting to ride with him.
I told him I would find some breakfast and hope to run into his friends. I circled town, couldnīt find the BMWs and decided to go back to 200 and catch up wth Oscar.
I raced through the twisties, twice coming upon rolled-over trucks in ditches off the side of the road. One was a huge semi, with its diesel leaking out of itīs immense tank. Mexicans, passing, had stopped and raced over with whatever containers they had to collect the quickly emptying reserve. The "policia" and "bombeiros" had arrived, but they were permitting this distribution.
I stopped at a Pemex and asked for "Premium, lleno", but they only had Magna time. Two young boys were playing in the parking lot, catching bugs. The younger one said something to me that included the word "moto" but I couldnīt discerne what they were saying. I asked them if they were speaking Spanish and they shyed away. I believe this was my first encounter with indigenous languages here. I was entering Maya civilization.
After gasing up again outside of Tehuantepic, in an aptly-named pueblo "La Ventosa", I embarked off for Tuxla. The wind was powerful, reminding me of 5 days I spent in the plains of South Dakota because the wind was so strong I couldnīt ride the bike. I was riding almost at a 45 degree angle, my wheels occasionaly slipping a few feet in one direction, but my heavy bike held up strong.
I came across a semi that had blown over and there were many other trucks parked along the road (apparenty deciding to stop instead of risking it). It was here I saw a chopper-style bike, with lots of gear strapped to the rear, on its side in the ditch next to the road. I scanned the surrounding area for its rder and found him and another rider huddled next to eachother behind a mound of dirt. Upon closer inspection I noticed the other bike was the black and yellow BMW, it was Oscar! I came to find out Oscar had stopped to help this guy out-he had his bike blown right out from underneath him by the strong gust. Nicolas had come from Quebec, his trip taking 5 months to get to this point. The first 4 spent in the US learning Englsh. The wind was blowing so hard you could lean face forward into the wind and not fall down.
The two of them could not manage to get the bike out of the ditch and were waiting for help. Me! We dragged the bike back onto the road, inspected it for any damage and decided to keep going. We had a plan; each one of us would get close behind abig truck to help block the fierce winds. This plan quickly fizzled when the trucks we were following either decided to stop or exited the highway. The BMWs were much more steady than Nickīs Suzuki 800. I decided to be Nickīs shield and we rode side-by-side in one lane for the next 20 Kms until a mountain range blocked out the wind. We survived and we were on our way together as a group. Pumping fists, giving thumbs-up and taking photos of eachother while riding, we were having fun as a gang. The three norte-americanos: a Canadian, an American and a Mexican. Bonded by our fraternity of motorcycling.
At gas stops and vista points we quickly got to know eachother. Oscar lived in Tuxla and he had plans to start a business in McAllen, Texas. What "biz" I never found out. He was older with a family. His business must have been something lucrative, because his new bikeīs not cheap, especially buying it in Mexico with their luxury taxes.
Nick is 26 and is on his way to Australia. He plans to ride Mexico and Central America and then hopes to find a sailing boat from Panama City to the land down-under, help out as a crew member and put the bike on board. He also plans to stay one month in Guatamala to study Spanish.
We left Oscar in Tuxla and Nick and I continued on to the wonderful town of San Cristobal de Las Casas, set amid low-lying clouds high in the mountains above the industrial city of Tuxla-Gutierrez. I had found a "compadre de motocicleta".
Posted by Christian Burrows at December 10, 2006 06:39 PM GMT