1 0 Posts with the tag: Oaxaca
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Crossing Borders

Posted by on March 4th, 2012 6 Comments

While taking a few simple pedal strokes from one state or country into the next may not change the scenery at all, to a long distance bicycle tourist, it marks a major milestone and sense of accomplishment – as well as a new burst excitement and energy for the trip as a whole. We felt this when we crossed the Mississippi in the first month of our trip, when we reached the Pacific Coast in the Fall, when we crossed into Mexico near Christmas – and even more so entering Guatemala, our first Central American country, a few days ago.

February 15 2012 DSC 7405 548x232 Crossing Borders

We had been counting down the days until the Guatemalan border throughout our last week in Mexico. We cruised through our last day in the state of Oaxaca, heading towards the state of Chiapas over flat roads and through fields of wind farms – both of which are usually a clear indication of one of our worst enemies – strong headwinds. But not on this day! Fortunately for us, the windmills stood still as we rode by at a healthy 25km per hour, covering the distance from Juchitan to Zanatepec in record time. Here we were warmly greeted by Warmshowers hosts Rodrigo and Lupita and their two young sons Ethan (3) and Mateo (1). The four of them took us around their town that evening – Eden and Harper especially loved the children’s activities in the Centro such as a trampoline and electric toy cars they could ride around in circles. Mexican towns and cities really come alive at night, so this was something we truly enjoyed as we rarely explore much after sunset.

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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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