Trip Start Nov 08, 2007
Trip End Jan 03, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We arrived in Pochutla fairly early in the morning - I think it was a little before 6am.  Nothing had opened yet, however this didn't prevent a throng of 15 taxi drivers from assaulting everyone as soon as we got off the bus: "Taxi?!?  Taxi!?!".  We had planned on waiting around and taking a local bus to Mazunte, however a couple from Poland asked if we wanted to split a cab to Puerto Angel, so we decided to just go with them.  It was still pretty dark when we showed up at Puerto Angel.  We had to wake up the manager of a hostel so that he could let us in and give us prices for rooms - which ended up costing more than we wanted to pay.  I admit that we did feel a little bad about waking him up just to tell him that we weren't interested in staying there...  So we walked down to the beach and waited for the sun to come up and for more places to open.  As it slowly got lighter out, we began seeing Puerto Angel better.  As the sun slowly rose it was beautiful.  Then as it got lighter, it was actually kinda dumpy.  Puerto Angel is a small fishing port, so the water is absolutely packed with anchored boats, and there's a few restaurants right on the beach crammed in there.  It's fairly polluted, and swimming isn't really an option unless you want to find a spot without a boat anchored and try not to think about all the crap in the water.  It didn't take us long to decide to go to Mazunte instead.

We had heard about Mazunte from the manager of the hotel we stayed at in Oaxaca city.  We told him that we were planning on heading to Puerto Escondido or Zipolite.  He assured us that Mazunte was absolutely beautiful and also not nearly as touristy as the other beaches.  We were not disapointed.  Mazunte is a very small beach town, the main drag of which runs for about 100 yards just inland from the Pacific Ocean on the southern coast of Mexico.  There is not much to do there... at all.  No fancy resorts, no parasailing, no night clubs, no throngs of tourists assuming that everyone speaks english.  Our hostel was perched atop a rock wall right on the beach, and we had absolutely beautiful weather every day we were there for 4 days.  The sunrises were stunning, and one evening we hiked over the hills on the west side of the beach with the Mariosh and Luisa (the couple from Poland) to see the sunset (which was beautiful, but not nearly as good as the sunrises).  Joerg was staying in Zipolite (a beach town just east of Mazunte), and one afternoon we took a collective over there to meet up with him for a few beers and lunch before he hit the road.  He had rented a hammock right on the beach for something like 50 pesos a day ($5 USD) and was just loving life, which is actually pretty standard for Joerg - he's one of the most optomistic people I've ever met.  Zipolite is bigger and more popular that Mazunte, but it's still pretty laid back.  People describe it as a hippy beach town, with plenty of drugs and topless suntanning.  After Zipolite we walked about a mile or so further east to Puerto Angel to look for sea glass (the good thing about polluted beaches is that there tends to be tons of good sea glass).  Aside from the sunset hike and the trip to Zipolite and Puerto Angel, we didn't do anything but swim, lie on the beach, and eat ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and pancakes, crepes, and fruit in the mornings.

When we finally left Mazunte, we were heading for Palenque with a stopover in San Cristobal de las Casas.  As it turned out, Mariosh and Luiza (I don't know if I'm spelling their names right - sorry guys!) were planning on the exact same thing and we ended up being on the same bus as them.  As we waited in the bus station Mariosh and I watched the division finals soccer game between the Pumas and Atlante in Cancun.  It was an extremely exciting game that went to extra time, and unfortunately we didn't get to see the end because our bus was leaving.  It's probably better that we missed the end because the Pumas lost, which is who we were rooting for.  Sorry Alfonso...

We had been toying with the idea of going home for christmas for some time, and it was in Mazunte that we finally bought plane tickets from Cancun to Dulles airport.  We also decided that there was very little chance that we were going to make it all the way to South America considering the pace that we were setting.  We had originally planned on 2 weeks in Mexico, and it was looking like we were going to be there for almost a full month (and STILL we felt like we were rushing a little bit).  Also, we figured that flying all the way to South America just wouldn't be worth it for anything less than 2 months travel down there, which we definitely wouldn't have if we wanted to travel around Central America more.  So, it was in Mazunte, relaxing in on the beach in the tropical sun that we decided to go home for Christmas and to slow everything down a bit and take our time enjoying Central America.  South America will have to wait for another trip...
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