For my birthday, I decided to head to the beach at Puerto Escondido, which is on the Pacific coast of the state of Oaxaca. The trip involved a 7 hour van ride through winding mountain roads. I made it there in one piece, but I nearly died on the way back of motion sickness. I barely made it back to the hotel in Oaxaca city before throwing up in the cab 😦
In any case, the first two days in Puerto Escondido were pouring rain, which was sort of sad since I went all the way out there to hang out on the beach. But when I woke up on the best day of the year, August 17, the sun was magically shining through my window. My two Swiss friends from my Spanish class also came to Puerto Escondido. We went to the beach together and they were sweet enough to get me some beers and a Twinky (“Tuinky”) for my birthday, lit with matches – you have to make do with what you have!
Puerto Escondido is mostly a surfer´s hang out with huge waves and a lot of surfer/hippie types. It is true what the Lonely Planet (¨LP¨, as we have taken to calling it) says that Puerto Escondido has a manageable scale of development. No huge resort hotels. The waves were definitely the biggest I´ve ever seen and it was cool to see surfers on them. There is apparently some huge surfing tournament there every November.
Needless to say, the waves at the main beach, Playa Zicatela, were not safe for swimming. So I cabbed it with the girls to another beach, Playa Carizalillo, 10 minutes away that is more amenable to swimming and also for beginner surfers.