Happy 2008 to all!
28.12.2007 - 01.01.2008 30 °C
Puerto Escondido, like Gregory said at one point, should have remained escondido (hidden)...!!
Frankly, we did not like it that much. Surely the accomodation we got did not help in this regard, but objectively from the point of view of the place itself, well, we have seen much better places in our travels, enough not to have chosen to go there, had we known beforehand.
The town is a common seaside Mexican town, hot and humid, while the beach is just not worth it, unless you surf. There are a few beaches around town, all with dark sand like it is the norm on the Pacific side of things, and pretty mediocre to say it nicely. The town beach is inside the port and full of boats, while the surfers beach, Playa Zicatela, is a long stretch of beach with strong undertows and a perennial red flag which warns non-surfers that entering the water means risking their lives. Along it, lots of hotels and restaurants and, when we were there, masses of people. There is also another small beach called Playa Carrizalillo, which is found inside of a bay and is therefore ok for swimming. Playa Carrizalillo was about 20 mins walk away from our hostel; we went there on the 31st for the last dip of the year and it was fairly nice, though the water near the shore was covered with some floating white matter as well as the oil from the many boats that go up and down taking people for rides.
For New Years Eve we took a taxi down to the Zicatela beach and had a nice dinner in the sand at candle light. We then bought a cheap horrible fizzy bottle of something very sweet and had a toast on the beach, with the fireworks going off and bonfires around us. Then someone set fire to an abandoned straw hut and the fire brigade was called... We finally ended up in a beach bar for a decent drink and there we met a nice couple from Mexico City, Mario and Regina, whom we will visit in a couple of days. At the same time, a really weird American girl started talking to us. She soon introduced us to her dad, an even weirder person who looked like he had just come out of one of those American movies, with a leather hat and funny clothing.. well, in no time this guy was behind Gregory and somehow hugged him and passed a knife around his neck, only with the blade around the other way. That was scary, but we both kept cool and sneaked off into a taxi as quickly as we could.
In Puerto Escondido we did not actually do much. The whole idea was to spend some relaxing time in the hostel which, when we booked it, looked like a nice place with lots of entertainment available, including swimming-pool, pool table, table tennis and lots of leafy vegetation to make it really nice and cosy. Kitchen was available too, with me dreaming of cooking some nice fish.... This is the website for the Tower Hill Hostel - never go there:
This is NOT what we got!!! The overall layout of the place is indeed really nice, however we never got any of the bungalows shown in the website. We got a unit with a bedroom with incorporated bathroom and no walls separating them, and a small lounge with a sofa and TV. The kitchen was outside and honestly, not fit to cook anything in it but hot water for coffee, preferably served in your own cup. The guy that owns and runs it is a British fellow with clearly no sense of cleanliness whatsoever. The place was dirty, the swimming-pool was not fit for swimming in and things were so deteriorated and run down that I was in tears for the disappointment!!! The worse part was that we had paid for all of the nights in advance - since it is so high season etc - and there was no way we could back out of it. It must be said that the atmosphere was good, despite everything. The same filthy guy, Steve, was also quite friendly and easy -going, really, so we had some fun playing pool and enjoying the music with the others. Not that we could have done much else...
Eventually we decided to leave a day early, despite having paid for it, as I did not have any intention of waking up in that place on the day of my birthday!! So we checked out on the 1st of January and took a bus to Oaxaca, 7 hours straight. In Oaxaca we checked into a nice place, Hotel Catarina, which was of a high standard for our budget, but a must as we needed to recover from the Tower Bridge.
A view of nicely packed Playa Principal: