keywords: Mexico, travel, tourism, beaches, landscape, history, places of interest, food & drink, backpacking, people & places.
05/10/2008: We were looking forward to continue our journey to the south coast of Mexico and in the morning took a mini bus (fare 130 pesos pp) for Puerto Escondido (The Hidden Port). The journey of 300kms, through mountainous rustic country took exactly six hours. We left Oaxaca city at 9.30 in the morning and reached our destination at exactly 15.30 in the afternoon. Th day was hot and when we arrived at the bus station and climbed down from the bus, the heat hit us like a blast from a furnace.
We consulted the Lonely Planet and decided to stay at Mayflower Hotel& Hostel. The choice proved to be good. Our bus companions were a young man from the U.K and an Austrian girl from Vienna who told us that they also were going to stay at the same hostel. So we all walked down the road and in about ten minutes were at the Mayflower. The two travellers took a bunk bed each in the hostel section of the Mayflower (100 pesos each) and Alex and myself decided to take a double bedroom with attached bath (350 pesos).
The Mayflower is a nicely furnished clean hotel, rooms on three floors, with small balconies. Our room was on the third floor, with an open sitting area with sofas, a white piano sitting prettily in the middle, a book shelf and a small balcony with a table and chair, with a view of the sea. What a delight it was to hear the waves breaking over the rocks, fishing boats lolling on the waves. The night before our arrival it had rained and our arrival I found rain clouds gathering in distant sky.
Almost all my adult life I have lived close to the sea, I know its many moods. I have watched, thousands of times the angry sea foaming and frothing, its thundering waves breaking over the rocks, or calm wavelets lapping the shore or coming rushing to the beach and then in a slow motion spreading itself gently, soft soothing breeze calming the mind.
We chucked our backpacks in the room and ran down the stairs to have a look at the beach and the sea and breathe the fresh salty air of the Pacific. We came out of the hotel, walked down a flight a steps and were in the main street of the puerto and a few steps further down was the beach. I immediately saw that the sea at Puerto Escondido was heavy, the waves strong and did not allow an easy swim. But it was wonderful to stroll on the beach ,to lie in a hammock and sip ice cold cuba libre and a mojito and later drink a cold dark beer (Negra) and eat olives. And it was completely relaxing.
Looking at the map of Puerto Escondido, you will see a long streach of beach strip about l00kms long. Its turquoise waters heaving in the wind, I found, were suitable only for surfing and although I tried, at various points of the beach to swim, it was not without danger of getting dragged inwards. Even the seagulls hovered carefully over the waves. The fishermen had already hauled in their boats and when we went down, they were selling their daily catch. Bonito, small shark, snapper, bream (mojarra) lobsters and prawns are caught and sold to the locals and to the restaurants.
There are three large beaches, Playa Principal, Playa Marinero and the Zicatela, the long stretch of sandy beach which you can see from the Playa Principal. But the beaches are not for swimming and during our stay there, we saw a few tourists, only some travellers. We wre told that it was low tourist season and we thanked God for it.