If you need somewhere to lay low, get away from civilization and rest your mind, anywhere in Oaxaca is a safe bet. Being that Oaxaca is a very large state though, let’s focus on the coastal region. Beach, sun, surf, huts, Australians, what more could you want?
When I went there, I went just for that. The escape. I needed time for myself and with myself, and being as short on cash as I was, having started a new job with very little pay; I bought a bus ticket to San Pedro Pochutla, rather than flying. Have in mind that that’s a 13-hour bumpy drive, against a 45-minute trip. But, what was I going to do? With my backpack, wannabe Go-Pro camera, and no laptop with me, I traveled on.
Arriving at the center of Pochutla, I shared a “colectivo taxi” – imagine Uber Pool without the app or air-conditioned car – and headed to the main road towards Zipolite. From there, I picked up a local taxi that would take me directly into the small beach town and arrived to this run-down hostel called Shambhala.
Being on a top a corner cliff, Shambhala overlooks the whole 2 km long nudist-beach. Staying there at the time was just I, a guy who was only there on his last day, and a woman from the south of Spain who was on a 6-month trip around South America. The hostel had lived through its hey days though, keeping busy having been one of the top destinations for Yogi retreats during the 60s and 70s, the place boasted of several spaces, cabins, and a dorm with several beds in the open breeze, and a place to meditate. Unfortunately though, after suffering through the Hurricane Carlota and the new competition along the coast, its maintenance is impossible.
My time there was exactly what I was looking for. Peace. Being alone and having all the lazy time to myself, I would walk up and down the beach at my own pace, take pictures, read, and eat guacamole. That was actually my diet. Guacamole, pescadillas and beer were cheap, but not necessarily nutritious. I also watched Germany gloriously beat Argentina at the World Cup in Brazil whilst eating guacamole at El Alquimista, Zipolite’s fancier boutique hotel.
On my less lazy day, I visited Las Ventanillas, an ecotourism center where they care for endangered animals. Beautiful place to visit and worth supporting them after the damage they too suffered because of the hurricane. I also took a boat ride from Puerto Angel, where they took us to visit several other beaches along the coastline and the chance to swim with the turtles. And though gratifying as it was to play with them, after learning the harm that we cause these endangered species by our frivolous actions, I will refrain from doing it next time.
Where to stay: El Alquimista $$$ / Shambhala $
Where to eat: Restaurante El Alquimista / Pacha Mama
Places to visit: Las Ventanillas/ San Agustinillo
TO BE CONTINUED….