Zipolite and More Beaches

I’m a little behind in my posts. I spent a few more days on the beaches of western Oaxaca just chilling out. In the more touristy places things can get a bit weird. After two months of nothing but Mexicans, Mexican food and Spanish, now I hear English, see sushi restaurants and hear all kinds of music. For example, I ate in an Italian restaurant having a great lasagna and Barolo while listening to David Bowie and ZZ Top playing on the speakers I had to stop and think– where the hell am I?

Just for reference I highly recommend Zipolite and Mazunte. Great, low key, simple places. No 5 star hotels here, just simple cabanas right near the beach, good restaurants, great weather, nice people. Forget about high speed internet too.

There is a definite hippy vibe here, full of young tan people with dreadlocks, piercings and tattoos, selling their handmade crafts.

You just don’t feel like doing much in Zipolite. Lay on the beach or a hammock until you are hungry, maybe go for a swim or take a walk. It is a great place to hang out if you are lazy.

Morning beers? Not sure about that one.

Zipolite is also a clothing optional place if you are into that sort of thing. It’s a bit strange at first, but you get used to seeing flabby old butts walk by.

The surf can be dangerous in Zipolite with strong current and tides. Here is a young boy swimming at dusk with dad carefully watching over him.

I saw a disturbing article on my bbc feed a few days ago.

The US state department has warned tourists to “completely avoid” five states in Mexico because of rampant crime levels and gang activity.

Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have all been classified as a level-four risk, the highest in the scale. That puts them at the same levels as conflict-ridden countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Of course, all these states are on my route. I’ve been through Tamaulipas but I still have to get through the other 4. Here is the article.

My strategy has been to stay on main roads, quit early so I can shop and eat before dark, and just stay in my hotel room after dark. So no night clubs, no casinos, no bars, no late night drinking. Boring, but safe.

I finally took the bus for the first time in Mexico. The distance from the coast to Oaxaca city is not that far but it crosses the Sierra Madre range, so many ups and downs. in 100 km there is a 4000 m elevation gain and 3000 m descent. Few flat areas to camp and get water. In my younger days I may have tried it, but I still remember one day in the Peruvian Andes when I rode  uphill for 2000 m. It took 10 hours, then a screaming two hour descent in the dark. I swore, never again.

Here is the van I took with my bike strapped on the roof.

Not too many photos of this area but I stopped one day just outside of Ocatlan for a beer and the owner was very interested in my trip. We chatted for a bit then when I was ready to leave he did not charge me for the beer. How nice! Here he is on the left with a buddy. His name is Delfine.

My panniers are looking pretty ragged. After 9000 miles though they have held up well. I should get Arkel to advertise on this blog. Maybe make a few dollars.

I finally made it to the capital of Oaxaca state, Oaxaca city. There are a lot of indigenous people here, many different tribes still exist in small towns around the area. Here is a local woman weaving.

This group of indigenous people were protesting in front of a government building. Not sure what about exactly.

These people live in the central plaza in tents. They were protesting also. Something about being forced from their homes.

Well that’s it for now. My sister Katrina is here and we have done a lot over the past couple days. I need to sort through all the photos and put a post together over the next week or so. Stay tuned.