Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.






Mexico: Day 10

by Kathy 11. May 2009 21:26
<< Day 9:Huatulco | Day 11: Puerto Escondido >>

 

Traveling to Puerto Escondido

 

This morning we packed quickly. We generally have the suitcases pretty well organized so that packing and unpacking is a fairly simple task. Ben and Sebastian’s clothing and personal items are packed into one suitcase, using packing cubes to keep each person’s items separate from the other. Genevieve’s clothing and personal items get packed into my suitcase. We roll the clothing as small as possible, and it is amazing how everything fits. We are still working on fine-tuning what we can leave behind "next time"; and we seem to pack less and less with each journey.

While Ben finished packing, Genevieve and I walked to Café Huatulco to get morning lattes for Ben and I. The trees in the plaza were decked out in their best brown "vinery".

The plaza was pretty quiet, although another cruise ship had arrived during the night:

We knew there would soon be a steady stream of passengers descending to explore the town.

Driving away from Huatulco, we passed quite a few burros:

Here is a house that we passed, with laundry already drying and a woman working inside:

I love looking at the different types of houses in the many places we travel. Some of the homes are very basic, yes, and some are very grand. It is the humble homes that are often more impressive. The resourcefulness of those who live in less-than-ideal conditions never ceases to amaze me. And many of the more rustic homes remind me of those that I often saw as a child when visiting my relatives in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky where I was born.

We stopped for lunch at the beachside town of Puerto Angel. We parked along the main street . . .

. . . where we could see the beach beckoning.

We planned to find a restaurant along the beach, a seemingly easy task given our experience over the last few days. But first, Genevieve and I spotted a hand-written sign on cardboard that had an arrow and the word "Baño" (bathroom) taped to a wall.

We walked down the narrow concrete path between two buildings and reached the patio in this photo below (we were up next to the grey garbage can—this photo was taken after our experience).

The area looked like part of someone’s housing space, with a washer and other domestic items. I didn’t see an obvious bathroom, so I asked the woman (in the background of this photo) if there was a baño; she pointed to a doorway and said that the bathroom was in the back of the room (all in Spanish, of course). I peeked into the room, and it was the woman’s home—with a table and chairs in the middle of the room and a small bed in the corner; in the back of the room was a toilet and sink behind a curtain. It was quite rustic but clean, and there was toilet paper. When we came back outside, I gave the woman 10 pesos (about 85 cents)—she never stated a price, but we had found bathroom fees to be pretty common in Mexico, and the going rate (no pun intended) had usually been 2-3 pesos per person. I thought that the sign was a very practical and convenient way for the woman to make money off of her private bathroom. (To Genevieve, the concept of paying to go to the bathroom had seemed pretty bizarre during our first few days in Mexico, so we had discussed how the fees cover the cost of keeping the bathroom clean, paying for water and toilet paper, and providing the caretaker with some income.)

The Puerto Angel beach was very charming, with many fishing boats and several restaurants set right on the beach.





We chose a restaurant owned by a nice couple with two children—the son was about 10 years old, and he took our orders and served us our food. The daughter was about 2, and she sat near us the whole time we were there, playing with a shell that she eventually used to scoop sand up into her shirt—she then would pat the rolled-up tube of sand, and rock it like it was a baby (which reminded me of the book "Elizabeti’s Doll", by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, which was one of Genevieve’s favorites as a small child; the book was about an African girl who used a rock as a babydoll).


After lunch, we continued driving to Mazunte. Every year thousands of sea turtles make their way to the beaches around here to lay eggs. The coastal community of Mazunte used to have a large turtle processing facility, which has now been turned into a Conservation Center to protect the turtles.

Here is some varying architecture that we saw along the way:



We soon arrived in Mazunte.

The conservation center was divided into distinct small areas, with different types of turtles in each part. First, we saw some rescued land turtles:

Genevieve volunteered to read the brochure text related to each area.

(Sebastian was feeling hot and tired today—needing to rejuvenate his energy from all the swimming during the past two days. I think that riding piggy-back on me is his favorite mode of transportation, next to his own two legs.)

We headed over to the large tank in which a number of sea turtles were swimming.

The turtles were beautiful, and we stood in awe for a long time. Here is one that had light coloring:

In another area, there were many of these turtles (I think they are pond sliders):

There was an area with many baby sea turtles, and of course we "oooooh-ed" and "aaahhhh-ed" our way through.




Inside a large building was an aquarium that allowed us to see the majestic animals under water—they were fascinating to watch.


There were a few vendors with small carts right at the conservation center exit. The day was very hot. The carts were stocked full of freshly made ice cream--the perfect treat to cool us off. After tasting samples, Ben, Genevieve and I chose to have scoops of coconut ice cream.  I am generally not a big coconut fan, but this ice cream was absolutely scrumptious.

Sebastian was not in the mood for ice cream, saying that he wanted some nuts. Across the street from the ice cream vendors was a row of outdoor souvenir shops, so I took him on a treasure hunt for nuts. We went from shop to shop; I didn’t see any nuts but asked each shopkeeper if they knew where to find any—everyone shook their head. Seeing a couple of confused looks, I finally dug my pocket-sized Spanish dictionary out of the backpack and discovered (ooops!) the word for "nut" is "nuez" and not "nez". I went back to the nearest shop and asked again, using the correct word this time; the shopkeeper understood (whew!) and immediately directed me down the street, past the souvenir shops; there Sebastian and I found a man who had large containers full of about 15 different kinds of nuts. We purchased a small baggie of pistachios, which Sebastian happily munched in the car as we headed down the road.

As we got closer to Puerto Escondido, we passed miles and miles of road construction. There will soon be a new toll road from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, which purportedly will cut the driving time in half; as an extension of the new road system, there will be a new four-lane coastal highway from Puerto Escondido to Huatulco.


Puerto Escondido was much larger than Huatulco. Over the last 25 years, the town has grown from a small fishing village of 3,000 people to a bustling town of over 50,000. Puerto Escondido is also famous for its huge waves that draw hoards of surfing fanatics. We had reservations at the Santa Fe Hotel, which was the most expensive place that we stayed during our entire journey. The rooms had very high ceilings, with tile floors, large windows overlooking the beach, and lots and lots of funky "character" (which we really like and appreciate). We had reserved a suite, with a sofa that converted to a bed for the children in the living area. This picture shows about three-quarters of the children’s "bedroom"—there was almost too much space (not that I am one to complain):

The view from our room:


Shortly after arriving, the kids wanted to go swimming. The beach across from the hotel has powerful waves and is not recommended for swimming. But the hotel has two lovely pools that the children enjoyed:



This sculpture of large hands, with one unfolding, was directly across from our hotel.  We learned that it was a memorial placed by the loved ones of Juan Carlos Rojas Centeno, who died in the waves here in 2004 at the age of 21. 

We had read rave reviews about the Santa Fe Hotel restaurant, so we decided to eat here this evening. The food was superb, and the service was excellent. Both Sebastian and Genevieve were thrilled with their shellfish stew:


Walking to and from our hotel room, the kids couldn’t resist sitting in this sculptural chair:

The chair was visually intriguing, with a long stretch of vertebrae up the back, above a large "tushy", and a tiny under-sized lumpy head at the top:

(This last photo above was taken the next morning.)

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Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

Bhutan
   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Kanglung
   Mongar
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Thimphu
   Tongsa
   Wangdi Phrodrang

Bolivia
   Caranavi
   Guanay
   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Llica
   Potosí
   Queteña
   Rurrenabaque
   Sajama
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sorata
   Sud Lipez
   Tupiza
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

Canada
   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Chetwynd
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Isle-aux-Coudres
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Montreal
   Niagara Falls
   Ottawa
   Quebec City
   Quesnel
   Thousand Islands
   Toronto
   Vancouver
   Vancouver Island
   Victoria
   Watson Lake
   Whistler
   Whitehorse

China
   Beijing
   Datong
   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   HuaShan
   Lijiang
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Xi’an
   Yangshuo
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Quepos
   Sarchi
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves
   Zarcero

France
   Paris

Ecuador
   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Quito
   Yasuní National Park

India
   Bagdogra
   Darjeeling
   Delhi
   Gawahati
   Jaigaon
   Kalimpong

Mexico
   Baja California
   Crucecita
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Huatulco
   Marietas Islands
   Mazunte
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Patzcuaro
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Sayulita
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotihuacán
   Teotitlán del Valle
   TzinTzunTzan
   Yagul
   Yelapa

Namibia
   Caprivi
   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Katutura
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisfontein
   Seisriem Camp
   Sossusvlie
   Swakopmund
   Treesleeper Camp
   Twyfeltein
   Windhoek

Peru
   Balsas
   Barranca
   Cajabamba
   Cajamarca
   Caraz
   Cañón del Pato
   Celendín
   Cerro de Pasco
   Chachapoyas
   Cusco
   Huamachuco
   Huánico
   Huaraz
   La Oroya
   Leymebamba
   Llanganuco
   Lima
   Machu Picchu
   Moyobamba
   Nuevo Jaén
   Pallasca
   Pampas
   Tápuc
   Tarapoto
   Tarma
   Tingo Maria
   Tocache
   Yungay Memorial

Portugal
   Burgau
   Coimbra
   Evora
   Lisbon
   Marvao
   Nazare
   Obidos
   Portimao
   Sintra
   Sitio

South Africa
   Johannesburg

Spain
   Barcelona
   Bilbao
   Hondarribia
   Madrid
   Montserrat
   Nerja
   Rock of Gibraltar
   Ronda
   Santillana del Mar
   Tolosa
   Zaragoza

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.


Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin