1 0 Posts from: February, 2012
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The Oaxacan Coast

Posted by on February 14th, 2012 7 Comments
February 08 2012 DSC 7294 548x260 The Oaxacan Coast

La Punta, steps from our Cabana at Buena Onda

We’ve been eyeing Puerto Escondido for quite some time as a destination ahead of us on our maps, but it wasn’t until I read a bit about this coastal city in the guidebook that I yearned to take a few days off there. We discovered this city has the best of all worlds for a Mexican beach town: an eclectic population of tourists – we’ve been getting used to hanging out with Canadian surfers along the coast, but here there are a good mix of visitors from many European countries and Australia; excellent food from a variety of different ethnic cuisines; it is big enough to have services like banks, grocery stores, and lodging and food options, yet small enough to have a relaxed atmosphere – and fortunately free of the busy resorts we have seen frequently down the coast. It seemed like the balance here was just right for us, as previous towns always seemed to lack something: like Nexpa, which felt a little small and had no internet access or decent grocery stores; or Puerto Vallarta, which was too big and overwhelming at times; or Sayulita, which seemed a little inflated price-wise. Puerto Escondido has three different beaches which feature one of the top 10 surfing spots in the world, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming, and the sand is the cleanest we’ve encountered so far with fewer hawkers, more room, and less noise.

We’ve been using Lonely Planet’s Mexico guidebook, which has been fantastic so far at recommending places to stay. We typically stay at the most budget end of the spectrum and their recommendation here was our favourite so far – Cabanas Buena Onda. Set right on the beach in Zicatela, a small community a few miles south of the city itself, this place was a little paradise! Lush greenery provides a lot of privacy. Clean bathrooms where the toilets have seats (yay!) and a communal kitchen. The camping area is excellent, and the cabanas are exceptionally clean and come with 2 hammocks and a set of table and chairs out front. There are just enough restaurants in the area to try out, such as an Italian crepe café and a wood-fired pizzeria – all offering delicious, well-priced food. There’s also laundry just around the corner where they line dried our wool clothes for us! The colectivo taxi route passes by the front door of Buena Onda, which we used to get into town to explore a bit and resupply for the next leg of our journey.

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Our Portable Home: a Hilleberg Nallo 4 GT review

Posted by on February 8th, 2012 8 Comments

PedalPoweredFamily 05.09.2011 144 1 548x364 Our Portable Home: a Hilleberg Nallo 4 GT review

“Home is whenever I’m with you.”

This song lyric by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros carries a great sentiment for a family traveling together – there doesn’t need to be a permanent structure where a family convenes every day in order to feel that sense of home. And while this is true, and fits well with our experience out here cycle touring together for the last nine months, there is still something abstract — some feeling, some sense of letting everything hang out when you enter a familiar place with all too familiar people, that you can really call home.

What I didn’t realize before we left on our journey is that a little portable fabric shelter, weighing in at less than 8lbs, could become that space of comfort. I didn’t think I’d climb into my sleeping bag snuggled between my children and my husband, and feel that intangible comfort of home while basking in the warm yellow glow of light passing through the cocoon around me. And yet I do. Our Hilleberg the Tentmaker Nallo 4 GT is the best portable home I’ve ever had the pleasure of finding rest in.

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Choose your own adventure

Posted by on February 6th, 2012 4 Comments
January 14 2012 DSC 6755 548x332 Choose your own adventure

Views along the Michoacan coast

The long Pacific coast of Mexico has been treating us well these past few weeks. We were within sight of the ocean every single day in January, and thus we’ve had more beach camping and shady hangouts under palapas than we ever thought we would on this bike tour. We’ve been spending a great deal of our time at surf hangouts and RV parks full of Canadian snowbirds, as well as overnighting in small Mexican villages when the road has taken us away from the beach. The scenery has varied from lush green jungle and palm trees, to stretches of lonely road along Highway 200 full undulating hills, to countless empty riverbeds in the dry foothills of the Sierra Madre.

January 15 2012 DSC 6771 548x362 Choose your own adventure

Going back to New Years Day, we spent a few nights just steps from the beach in San Blas. After many kilometers spent on the hot and flat toll road from Mazatlan, we were ready for a few days of rest and relaxation. This is where we first encountered sand fleas – a tiny beach bug that carries a nasty bite with an itch worse than a mosquito. We were nursing our numerous red speckled legs and arms for weeks afterwards and would encounter these pests quite a few times going forward.

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