Work, relocation and the daily grind has gotten the best of me – up until today, the blog has all been but forgotten. I finally signed up for the “Time-Hop” feature on Facebook and it was the swift kick in the ass that I needed. A year ago, around this time, we were faced with the hard decision of setting a date to be home. We were posted up with good friends in Nicaragua, torn apart of the thought of heading home. We had to. Our blew our hopeful budget and promising work comes with the winter for us – so we knew, we had to be home before Christmas and we had a substantial amount of miles between San Juan del Sur and the Colorado Rockies.
This 3rd installment of our return trip is where everything slows down. We had no idea how much Mexico would grip us, again. We had rushed 4 countries in under 5 days and we had no real intention of spending lots of time in Mexico either. Then Mexico happened… as it does… And home had to wait.
We broke our biggest rule the first night in Mexico. DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT. We drove all the way from Antigua, Guatemala to the border, crossed and had no real plans of where to go next. We relied on iOverlander to guide us once the sun started setting. Paranoid, we found the closest camping area in Puerto Arista. It was well dark when we arrived and were fully on edge due to the numerous check points we had gone through on the way – some of them with no marked vehicles and no one with uniforms on.
We pulled into Jose’s Camping well after dark. Puerto Arista was a ghost town and the restaurants noted in the area were all closed. We had messed up bad – drove at night, were super irritated due to the tension and the hanger of not eating all day. We were the only vehicle at Jose’s and there may have been one other person staying in a cabana that night but they were solo and didn’t speak any common languages. We set out for the main road to find a tienda, a taco, anything. We found a little restaurant open on the main road and it was packed – must have been the only place open. The food was just what we needed before turning in for another long day of driving to follow.
It was Thanksgiving… And it was just us and the open road. Thankful for the 4runner that we relied on, we headed for the surf coast of Mexico. We had been told of this awesome spot called Concepcion Bamba. We pointed the car to the west and went. The drive, as usual, was beautiful. Huge wind farms lined the horizon… And as soon as you approach the area on MX190, you know why. You even pass a town appropriately named La Venta.
The wind was fierce. You have to go slow with a taller vehicle like our own. Trucks drove side-by-side down both lanes of the highway to help protect one another. It was incredible to feel a wind like this. And it didn’t end on this spot of road.
We took the exit to Concepcion Bamba… and found nothing. The sands of the beach were an amazing, blinding white. Not a soul to be found though. The wind was as bad as ever and the sand stung every part of your body it could lash out on. Our visit here lasted just long enough to snap pictures, check the map and head toward Puerto Angel and Playa Zipolite.
The road along the southern edge of Oaxaca state is beautiful. Very windy, climbing over mountains and hills, allowing sneak peeks of the ocean below.
We had a solid idea of where we wanted to stay based on recommendations and based on iOverlander – Cabanas La Habana. When we arrived, they were relaying the brick road and wouldn’t grant us access to the property, leaving us a bit lost. We checked out everywhere that allowed camping but the prices didn’t match the accommodations. We settled for asking a pretty run down hostel if we could pay to stay in their parking area and to use the facilities. They agreed and Lyoban Hostel became our home for quite a few nights.
The sunsets were spectacular and on the horizon we could see whales blowing off shore. Be warned if visiting this area, Zipolite is a nude beach! Might be the only in all of Mexico. It also has a large gay population and if you are shy about seeing body parts on the beach, this is not the place for you. We took day trips around the the other beaches in the immediate area and fell in love with the views. We were able to snorkel for shells right from the beach in some of the coves, body surf the waves in the next and surf right in front of the hostel we were staying at.
We naturally made friends with anyone we could and rounded up a group to watch the Seahawks game on the only TV we could find. The hostel employees were very friendly and helpful and generous with the state’s proud export – Mezcal. I naturally became bffs with the resident cat. I didn’t trust the shower at this place, so I dry cleaned (ew) and was ready to take off when we did.