Our final night in Puerto Escondido was really something to remember. We’d just finished downing some of the most delicious tacos we experienced in Mexico when we heard about a ‘once a year’ party being held by the church. Not expecting much we wandered up the hill to come across the most bizzare scene imaginable. In fact I’m not sure our imaginations would have even dreamt up what our eyes were relaying to our brains. The night was basically a series of events that seemed to progress as one eventually got old and boring. The first ‘event’ we walked in on had a guy in a costume dancing around with a huge cone on his head. Okay, whatever. Then we saw all the kids had tree branches in their arms and they were chasing this guy, trying to mob him and whack him with their branches. Poor guy you might be thinking, but he had an unexpected defence. Fireworks. Yes, fireworks. Periodically, his big cone hat would light up and for about 30 seconds and sparks and fireworks would proceed shoot off in every direction as he chased the kids around. And then it would repeat. The kids hit him with sticks until he decides to fight back and shoot fireworks at them. All while a 12 piece latino band played cumbia and other traditional latin dance music at full volume. Chasing greased-up pigs, climbing oil-ridden poles and more, I’ll leave you to imagine what the other events that happened afterwards, but boy oh boy, what a scene to stumble across.
Still utterly confused about the party we’d seen the night before we loaded the Blazer up and rolled out of town. We were heading south to get to a beach that had come highly recommended, Barra de la Cruz. The plan was to camp out there for a few days until Pat came to join us and take it from there. The town was a little different to what we expected, paying for a campsite, paying to access the beach, etc. apparently they had caught on to their tourism potential. But on our first day out the waves were incredible so we weren’t complaining. Unfortunately having not surfed for a long long time our abilities were worse than sub-par so despite lots of time in the water, you couldn’t really say we were surfing. But we were happy, and Harry of course was still able to show us what we could be doing. It was such a beautiful beach too. Being a point break, waiting for a wave meant we were out next to the big boulders lined with local fisherman. Their work also ensured that plenty of birds were always cruising around and dive-bombing into the water right next to us for a feed. The most impressive being the massive Mexican Brown Pelican that would also glide centimetres above the face of a breaking wave as if surfing it too, far further than we could.
Barra was a beautiful place but with the waves dying off, Pat unfortunately back with us, and the constant biting of mosquitos and midges really starting to annoy us it was time to move on.
The classic tactic of using iOverlander to find a campsite on a quiet beach, far down a small road once again worked its magic. We ended up about an hour south at Rio Seco which is supposedly one of the top five beaches worldwide that these big turtles come to nest at naturally. At the right time the beach can be flooded with thousands upon thousands of turtles making their way to the water. We didn’t see anything that incredible but it was honestly an amazingly spectacular beach. There was no-one for miles and you could catch glimpses of some big turtles out in the surf with us from time to time. With all our stuff set up in an empty info centre/resturante we took the Blazer out for an explore. We’d bought it a new battery in Barra because it was struggling to start, but now she was running as good as new we didn’t hesitate to take her for a spin. At the far end of the beach the sun was starting as we tried to spin her around to head home. Only that whole spinning thing didn’t go as we planned. Because with our new found confidence in the car we’d neglected the fact the tires were useless and had zero grip off road. So the only spinning we did saw the car sink deep into the sand. Bogged again. We were hopeful we could rescue the situation but after over an hour trying every trick we had, we hadn’t gotten the car far. So we resigned to the long walk back alone the beach. Tomorrows problem right?.
We got back to the car early the next morning and a whole bunch of guys had rocked up to head out fishing so using the extra man power, they helped push us out of trouble. Thanks. Paige left us to fly on to better friends waiting for her in Norway as we climbed up into the mountains to Oaxaca City. We hit the tourist trail there to see the worlds largest tree (in diameter) and some beautiful natural pools. Ben and Laura came for dinner and it was super nice to rinse off after a week of sea water infusing itself into our bodies.
To complete our little Southern circuit we were headed back to Mex City and on our last night camping just out of the city we met a man who personified the generosity of the Mexicans. It was freezing cold and we were setting up beside a stream to camp the night and a man appeared out of the woods. We had a quick chat and he disappeared back the way he came. Five minutes later he had his son came back with an armful of wood and built us a little fire to warm up by. Legend. We gave him some of our burritos to say thanks and then he left to go to bed. That little act of generosity is so great to experience and is such a common thing we have experienced this year.
But then we were back in the city, and there’s always a ruckus, Scott will fill you in on that soon.