Central America | Mexico | Pacific Coast | Oaxaca | Puerto Escondido – Happy New Years
I am in a bit of a state. I got to bed only a few hours ago after revelling with the masses. I am in a beach town again on the Pacific coast. Its a fun place to be but as I have been telling fellow travellers, I am looking forward to a bit of history and culture which Oaxaca City should provide. After 2 months of travel along Mexicos pacific coast things are beginning to look the same. As well the heat is becoming somewhat of an obstacle. The cooler and less humid weather inland will provide a nice break.
I ran into a cyclist a couple of days back. The first in over a month. He is from Switzerland doing the coast trip in reverse. He’s been on the road for 9 months and has logged 13,000kms. He started in Argentina and came all the way up here including Columbia without incident. His final destination is Alaska. I am very impressed.
I am staying in a hostel here, which is worth its meagre cost in travel talk. The people in hostels are so much fun and full of life it is an adventure just to hang out with them. The accommodations are a little rustic but that just adds to the life. Of course I could be a little over sensitive as I spend about a week at a time now cycling from little town to littler town without ever seeing another English speaking human let alone engaging in conversation. This is a good thing I suppose for my Spanish but bad for the poor Mexicans who have to tolerate my assault on such a beautiful language.
I used to think that cycling was the best way to travel until being here. Cycling is a great medium for travel but I am beginning to see the lure and advantages of backpacking. These folks just pick up and move on to wherever by bus with just the very slightest of effort. For example, people got up this morning and hopped on busses to Oaxaca, Mexico city, Guatemala…..I only got to bed a few hours ago and couldn’t even contemplate getting on my bicycle to move on and these rugged partiers are on their way to new destinations with only a headache to tend to, I’m jealous. As well, with such short travel times between cities you are afforded the time to relax and explore the city while on a bike I find my mind is always a day ahead sorting out necessary details.
I suffered my 4th broken spoke and 2nd flat tire on my way here. Of course these things occur at the peak of heat on a stretch of road that offers no relief from the sun let alone a safe piece of earth to work on the bike. After walking the bike to a safe place I repaired the flat but with only 20kms remaining of a 144km ride I left the spoke for the bike shop folks. I noticed my new rear wheel has a flat spot. I assume that is why I am breaking so many spokes.
Unfortunately my Spanish is not effective enough to explain the importance of a true wheel so I anticipate several more bike shop stops as I was unable to get the wheel trued properly at the shop. I am contemplating having my replacement wheel shipped down here. Its shitty to endure a lack of confidence in your mode of transport on a trip of this nature. Then again its just one more element that makes up reality.
A couple of days ago I passed by a large gathering of vultures. Initially I could only make out the cluster of large black wings and the occasional head. When the sound of my bike rustled a few of them however I could see that they were concealing a full-grown cow.
These vultures were extracting the insides of the cow from all available orifices as the hide is too tuff to penetrate. As you can imagine many of the birds where positioned at rear of the huge beast as it offers the best port of entry. It was as incredible a sight as it was disgusting, or am I just adding the pronoun disgusting to politically balance the story……
As well as an abundance of mamillion road kill there is great evidence of reptilian existence down here.
Lots of snakes! The red, black and yellow kind, the very large diamond patterned type and more recently a smaller but very bright red snake. There are also an abundance of lizards, crocodiles and amazing birds.
Gotta run, OK stagger, Blair
Next Destination: Oaxaca
Weather: 30 degrees, humid, sunny
Flat Tires: 2