Mexico Part 2: Beaches and Oaxaca

April 5 – 8, 2010

Camping on the beach in the small surfer’s enclave of Barra de Nexpa.

Camping for P35.

Beach cabanas. I was invited over by a Canadian who was staying here for a few months and spent the evening on his porch, meeting some locals.

The beach front.

The beach on one side and mountains right on the coast.

Wonderful setting sun rays reflecting of the clouds.

Heading down the coast the next day. A restaurant with a great view.

The coastal highway, heading towards Acapulco.

In Acapulco where the classic VW Beatle is still used as a taxi. It was fun seeing a whole bunch of them buzzing around the city. Most other cities have banned them as they only have 2 doors. Note the zip-ties on the wheel rim. Maybe it’s holding the brake rotor on :p

The Acapulco skyline. My CouchSurfing host, Eduardo took me for a driving tour around the city.

I stayed the night with CouchSurfer, Eduardo.

Trying to find the free road to Puerto Escondido and I got turned onto the toll road. Arrgh, one last cuota of P25. But the cuota are very nice roads and usually with little traffic, since they are quite expensive for the average person.

Entering the state of Oaxaca (wah-ha-ka), which I was looking forward to as it is less developed than the rest of Mexico and has less traffic.

All throughout Mexico I saw fires going off and most didn’t look like they were controlled. Lots of fires just on the road side, mostly garbage being burnt and also brush clearing. I had to hold my breath through some areas, thick black smoke wafting across the highway. This was the end of the dry season, as the rains will be starting shortly and that’s probably helping the easy starting of fires.

Even though there are cuota roads that are meant for commercial traffic, some trucks still take the libre roads and ruin the twisties.

And of course, a fine example of impatient drivers overtaking over a blind hill. I just stay well behind until it’s clear to pass.

Arriving at Zipolite, a beach community on the Oaxacan coast.

Staying at the beachside hostel, Shambhala. I took a dorm bed for P100.

The view from my hostel room of Zipolite Beach. The west end of the beach, from the small rock outcrop toward my hostel is the only sanctioned clothing optional beach in Mexico. I wanted to come down here on my previous trip, but it was too far south.

Shambhala with the dorm beds on the upper level.

A small private area on the beach.

Waves crashing through the hole in the rocks.

The view from the beach towards Shambhala and these photos were taken au naturel, after a dip in the ocean, being totally free. It’s a wonderful feeling. When I interned in Ft. Lauderdale, I frequented Haulover Beach and loved being free. Clothes definitely have their uses and since getting into motorcycling and skiing, I’ve seen them more and more as just gear for different settings to protect the body, since the skin is fragile. Besides being stylistic and traditional, I wish we didn’t have to wear clothes all the time 🙂

The walk back up to Shambhala.

Live guitar music for dinner on the beach.

Dinner on the beach under a starry night sky.

Breakfast the next morning of curried eggs with veggies and rice and beans for P40. I was craving for some curry.

Fresh papaya juice with a covering to keep the flies out.

The view from the restaurant. I spent the morning reading before hitting the road.

Heading inland from the coast to the small town of Juchitan de Zaragoza.

The central market of Juchitan at night.

Staying with CouchSurfer Nizbeth, who didn’t speak much English but we still had good conversations the whole evening in my broken Spanish and I could understand most of what she said if she spoke slowly. Total immersion is the best way to learn. Here, we’re getting a local drink made from cocoa and vanilla.

It was very frothy and warm.

Quite tasty cocoa drink.

Dried fish stands.

Fresh cheese. And I had samples from each stand.

Dolls with the traditional costume of the region.

With Nizbeth, who took me around her town and was proud to show it off. She’s a psychologist and works for the state.

A poster in Nizbeth’s room with English phrases that she’s practicing. We also talked in English as she wanted to practice.

At Nizbeth’s house.

Inside Nizbeth’s house, which is very similar to many Indian homes.

A huge wind energy farm east of Juchitan. This region is known for really strong winds during certain times of the year. Tall buses are known to be blown over. However, right now, there were no winds and very few turbines were spinning.

Entering the southernmost state of Chiapas, considered the poorest in Mexico with a large indigenous population of Maya, who’ve been marginalized. The state is also known for a rebel uprising in the 1990s of the Zapatista, who were representing the indigenous. Things have quieted down now.

Heading up from the hot and humid plains into the highlands.

Heading into San Cristobal de las Casas, where I will be spending a week to rest and learn some Spanish before crossing into Guatemala.

Next: Mexico, Part 3: San Cristobal

Previous: Mexico, Part 1: Border to Michoacan

8 thoughts on “Mexico Part 2: Beaches and Oaxaca

  1. Jay, those are some beautiful pictures! Nothing beats exploring nature in a new place. Makes you feel like a new-born figuring out this strange world. I’m glad you’re engaging the journey and making experiences and stories along the way! Seeing people and experiencing their way of life and their point of view opens the mind like no other! -V

  2. Thank you so much Jay. These ride reports are the perfect break for me while I study calculus for my engineering degree. Ride safe and keep them coming! — Will

  3. You’re a braver man than I for driving through Mexico and Central America. Something about that gives me the heebee-geebees.

    I would definitely have spent a LOT more time at Zipolite. 🙂

    Safe travels!

  4. this is amazing…and you’re doing so well. The pictures tell a fantastic story and I’m so glad you’re able to share these details with us…

    keep going…look forward to your next post.

    out of curiosity – what phone service are you with to get you through the journey….

  5. @V: you said it brother. I really like staying with local people and getting a glimpse of their life, much more richer experience.

    @anon: for sure, glad to provide a stress relief. Keep at it!

    @Bote Man: I hope to show through my travels that it’s not as crazy as we think it is out here. Yes, there are more dangers, but on the whole, being aware of the situation, it’s not that bad. cheers

    @Diksha: hey girl, i have a global sim card from but it’s still quite expensive to use and im not using it much, mainly for emergencies. I’m actually de-tethered from a cell phone. Feels great!

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