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Old 01-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by vaara View Post
Pro tip: in Google Translate...
Yep, good tip. I tried it but google didn't conjugate correctly nor use the words I would choose (nor give me the option to change to the words I would choose). But their Cyrillic is perfect ...it may be me that's wrong, as I rarely use Russian, but it just doesn't "sound" right to my eyes. Although what you wrote is correct, what I tried to write wasn't. Back to topic as soon as these photos upload...
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #137
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01/18/2013 – Goodbye mountains; it's beach time!

The plan was to leave Oaxaca today and head over to San Cristóbal, a two day ride to the south and (mostly) east. On a whim I looked up the weather forecast and was displeased with what I found: Apparently the future held rain and temps of 3 C. I called bullshit on the whole (almost) freezing temperatures and rain situation, and changed my plans to something I can actually look forward too. Instead of the mountains, I headed straight south to do a whole lot of nothing at the beach for a while... At least until the weather clears up. Mazunte was my new destination. It's a beach just west of Zipolite, one of the few nude beaches in Mexico. I was going to head to Zipolite, but was warned about a weird “50 year old, gay meat-market vibe” there. That's fine, but not the vibe I'm really looking for, plus Mazunte waters aren't dangerous to swim in (undertows, riptides and all that at Zipolite).

On the road again.


Down into the valley.






The ride from Oaxaca to Mazunte took me through the desert, over some pretty tall mountains, through some jungle and around some beaches; a nice diverse set of climates for me to enjoy. It's only about 300 Km, but most of the way there is the (no longer rare) curvy, narrow road I enjoy so much. I think (but hope it's not true) that I'm getting desensitized to beauty. There's just too much of it here to have a continual affect. The scenic views that would catch my breath and quicken my heart just a week ago are now almost normal. I'm not sure what the solution is, but it might have me going someplace ugly, or at least ordinary for a while. Now where can I find such a place? And do I really want to go there?

Through the desert..






Perhaps if I spend enough time at the beach, the mountains will again become breathtaking (they still are, just not as intensely), and then if I spend enough time in the mountains, the beach will again become amazing (it still is now). Maybe it's just too much of too many things at the same time. I need to “scene specialize” for a while... maybe. It's a little funny to complain about too much beauty (or complain about anything really).

Into the mountains.


Detour for a view.




Daily bike shot.




I took Mex 175 down from Oaxaca to Puerto Angel, then a tiny winding road along the coast, west to Mazunte. About halfway between Oaxaca and Mazunte, at the top of the pass (~8500 ft) is the small town of San José del Pacífico. I didn't know it at the time, but this town is famous for it's Magic Mushrooms. I was a bit curious though as I was passing through it because of all the mushroom figures and statues in peoples' yards and along the road. The town is beautiful (but was very cold so I passed through quickly) and “the thing to do” there is sit around and watch the clouds. I guess the mushrooms explain why that activity is so popular.

San José del Pacífico views.














From San José del Pacífico it was all downhill, through the mountains and finally into the jungle. More beauty and excellent riding later, I was on the coast. It was getting dark by the time I pulled into Mazunte and was greeted with a familiar scene: dready hippies everywhere! After a couple of tries for a hostel (many were full of rainbow kids coming from Palenque after the solstice), I found Hostel La Isla and decided to camp on the beach there. That night they showed a movie (Life of Pi, good and very accurate to the book) on the big screen. In the dark, under the grass roof of the hut, I could have sworn I was in Thailand and not Mexico. It was actually shocking when the movie was over and all around me I heard Spanish and not Thai.

Into the jungle.








Camp site.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #138
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Excellent . You made a good choice. I hate cold weather.

I spent a week there in April. Celebrated my birthday on the beach with a full moon.

How much are they charging you to camp there?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:19 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
Excellent . You made a good choice. I hate cold weather.

I spent a week there in April. Celebrated my birthday on the beach with a full moon.

How much are they charging you to camp there?
Hey Pete, Yeah it's really great here. I sort of got stuck I thought I'd only be here for two days, but I'm on day five now and not leaving tomorrow. It's a great place to be. I'm paying 60 pesos at La Isla, but there's a place for 40 near by. It's not quite as secure for the bike though...

There are a bunch of rainbow types here camping for free on the beach... They just have to keep their packs with them and I like to wander light The only downside is the internet is slow here and I can't upload photos to update the report
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #140
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01/19/2013 – Doing nothing at the beach – day 1.



What woke me up in the morning confused me a great deal, as I was groggy and couldn't think. When I set up my tent after dark the previous night, I oriented it on what I thought was an east west axis with my toes pointing to the ocean (the west?). When I awoke I witnessed the sun rising out of the sea, directly in front of me. It took several seconds of searching my memory to realize where I was and another split second to realized what was happening. The bay I'm in faces directly south, so I was seeing the sun rise in the southeast (where it belongs).





I relate this story as it is the only noteworthy thing to say. The day was spent in complete relaxation, doing nothing, with nothing to do. My activities were limited to: drinking coffee, having conversations, meeting people, sunbathing and eating fantastic fish tacos! The end.



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Old 01-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #141
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Glad to see your doing okay and not over doing it

I will be heading into the office soon, thinking about your relaxing days in paradise.

I hope you get a good laugh picturing traffic chaos and steamy exhaust spewing about in the cold morning.

Great pictures.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #142
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01/20/2013 – 01/27/2013 – Doing nothing at the beach – day 2 - 9.

Home sweet home (although someone stole my toothbrush here).


I thought this town would be a great opportunity to catch up on the ride report. Alas, the internet is so slow here that I cannot upload pictures at any kind of tolerable rate. This is both a good and a bad thing. Bad for obvious reasons, good because it gives the place a certain sense of remoteness. The idea was to do a series of entries labeled “Doing nothing at the beach – day x.” but seeing now that I would have to go all the way up to “day 9” with every day being very much similar to the one before, I decided to just summarize them all in one entry and spare you the boredom.

Mazunte beach.




View from a cafe with excellent coffee.




I met a lot of good people, some may well be friends for life. I had a lot of amazing conversations and learned many things, some even about myself. I explored the beach, from the rock with the window, to the local Discotheque; some of those places even left me with a hangover. I lay out on the beach and got a tan, or maybe even a little bit of a burn. I watched movies not yet released on video and some made in the 1930s. I played volleyball and walked a slack-line. Mostly I just was and the days slipped by one after the other. The hardest part about being here is leaving.

Exploring the surrounds.




The Jacuzzi.






An interesting coincidence: My friend was talking to a girl sitting near us. When introduced and after a short “usual traveler conversation” (including questions like: “Where are you from?”, “How long are you traveling?”, “Where are you going”, and “Where have you been?”) I found out that she is from the same home town as me in Vermont! (It's a very small place) She had the same teachers in school and even taught my nephew! The town has about 10,000 people and most of them don't leave. Small world.





Sea turtle.


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Old 01-30-2013, 09:46 AM   #143
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love the beach pics!!!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:24 PM   #144
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Stunning photos! I think I speak for the majority here and say that you are living the dream! Enjoy the moment as you appear to do and PLEASE keep taking pictures
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:38 AM   #145
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Thanks for the kind words eakins and woodley!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:53 AM   #146
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01/28/2013 – It's like leaving home, again.

With all my new friends gone to distant lands and my appetite for beach satiated, it was time to move on with the plan. My next major destination was San Cristóbal which should by now be less rainy and cold then when I was originally supposed to be there. The ride there is over 600 Kms and will take more than a day. Packing up took a bit of time since I'd made myself pretty comfortable over the last 9 days, so I left Mazunte mid morning after a nice breakfast with lots of coffee.

Leaving Mazunte.


After being out of the saddle for such an extended period of time, it was surprisingly difficult to get back into it. The bike felt sluggish and off balance (okay, it IS a KLR) for the first few hundred Kms, but eventually I settled into the ride and once again began to fully enjoy the experience. I followed Mex 200 along the coast as far as Salina Cruz, which I heard was a resort town, but all I saw was a port. The ride was off the coast and took me through brown, dry desert.





Entering Salina Cruz.




At Salina Cruz I turned inland towards La Ventosa (which I was told was very windy with some people having their bikes knocked over and broken by the wind). Luckily for me the wind was mellow that day, but the place is completely surrounded by wind farms (more than I've seen in any other place) so I can see it being extremely windy at times. The roads were pretty straight and the landscape was uninspiring, so I made good time until I reached Cintalapa and decided to try and find a place to stay for the night.

Wind farms.






I rode all over town and didn't see a single hotel sign. The town is not what I'd call touristy, and I was perhaps the only gringo there, but I still expected there would be a hotel or two. After searching until it began to get dark, I decided to head down the road to the next town, hopefully one with a hotel. Luckily I didn't get more than ½ a kilometer before I saw a hotel on the side of the road. I guess I just didn't range wide enough in my search. I stopped and called it an early night at the hotel with a name I don't recall.

Gaining elevation.


Unknown hotel.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #147
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01/29/2013 – Another place I can see myself getting stuck.

From Cintalapa to San Cristóbal the road wound it's way through the mountains cultivated with corn and coffee. You can see right away that Chiapas is somehow different from Oaxaca. The mountains seem smaller, the roads are windy, but less so and the villages are populated by a different people. The clothing is brighter and more colorful and there are more smiles on faces and more waves from the children I pass, even while the work they do appears brutal.

Through the mountains.










Daily bike pic.


By early afternoon I arrived in San Cristóbal. I rode around town for a bit in the hopes of blindly running into the hostel I was looking for; Rossco Hostel. They're offering a promotion where if you arrive by motorbike, you get your second night free. I didn't randomly encounter the hostel so I stopped at a coffee shop (of which there are many here) to find the address online. While drinking a coffee with Irish Cream I learned that the hostel was only a few blocks away, so I rode over and checked in. The place is really nice and I saw myself being there for the duration of my stay, but things didn't quite work out that way (more on that later).

San Cristóbal.








After checking in I went to wander town, once again forgetting my camera (as is tradition). San Cristóbal is very touristy with some familiar faces from Mazunte. Apparently there is a big hippie/rainbow population here competing with indigenous people for tourists' pesos. Despite this, I really like the look and feel of the town. My preliminary explorations covered most of the central downtown area and I now had a good idea of where I wanted to return for photos later. Despite this I think I need to make an effort to remember my camera in the future.

Rossco Hostel.




In the evening, after eating some local street food I returned to the hostel to find a great group of travelers hanging out around a bonfire. Several interesting conversations and a bottle of Posh (a local moonshine [illegal]) later I went to bed, very cozy, under 10 centimeters of blankets (as it gets rather cold here at night). Unfortunately late in the night I was awoken by a couple having loud sex not two feet from me in the next bed over. If I was to make a list of things that are inappropriate in a dorm room with other guests, loud sex in an adjacent bed would be towards the top of that list. Get a room! (rant over)
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:01 AM   #148
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Thank you for sharing the amazing scenery and tales of adventure. I just got caught up after being out of town and away from the interwebs for a week. It sounds like your still having a great time and living the dream that most of us in the colder climates wish for throughout the winter months. The beach sounds lovely this time of year as I'm growing tired of seeing the snow and ice that are still covering parts of my front yard. The twisty mountain roads look like a lot of fun as well and inspire me to layer up and get out and ride.

Things are looking up around here since my gravel driveway is no longer a solid sheet of ice and now more the consistency of settling concrete. This confirms were getting closer to summer and almost through the annual winter dry spell before the start of the spring snow dump.

Keep having fun and enjoy the journey! I'm looking forward to tagging along for the rest of the ride.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #149
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Thank you for sharing the amazing scenery and tales of adventure. I just got caught up after being out of town and away from the interwebs for a week. It sounds like your still having a great time and living the dream that most of us in the colder climates wish for throughout the winter months. The beach sounds lovely this time of year as I'm growing tired of seeing the snow and ice that are still covering parts of my front yard. The twisty mountain roads look like a lot of fun as well and inspire me to layer up and get out and ride.

Things are looking up around here since my gravel driveway is no longer a solid sheet of ice and now more the consistency of settling concrete. This confirms were getting closer to summer and almost through the annual winter dry spell before the start of the spring snow dump.

Keep having fun and enjoy the journey! I'm looking forward to tagging along for the rest of the ride.
Hey Wander, the dream continues. I can relate to cold weather in a sense... It was almost freezing in San Cristóbal for a while. I had to wear long sleeves... Actually even a jacket at times...

I'm in the land of SLOW internet so updates are taking a while. Once photos are uploaded the report will continue

Sneak preview: I took a small motorboat up a river and crossed into Guatemala. This may be my favorite country in CA... Will have to see the Yucatan and Belize on the way back.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:58 PM   #150
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Great report, and thanks for posting up! Those pic's of Mazunte really took me back. I spent about three weeks in the area split between Oaxaca, Puerto Angel, Mazunte, Zipolite and Puerto Escondido a few years back. I rode around on a rented 125cc motorcycle with my girlfriend at the time on the back, really fun times! Glad you're enjoying yourself and rock on man.
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