Posted by: glenswatman | March 9, 2009

200902-MEXICO

MONDAY 16 FEBRUARY – Kevin & Ruth cycled
round the bays the other day to check out the camping by the lighthouse.  It’s an interesting drive out around the
bays with lots of fine views.  When we
arrive they are parked out on the street waiting for another rig to leave.  It is a stunning spot for the views but
otherwise just a gravel parking lot a long way above the beach charging P100
(£5) for dry camping and P200 (£10) with services.  We drive right down to Playa La Entrega where there are numerous
parking lots.  They say we can stay for
free overnight and this suits us really well as we are a short level walk to
the beach.  This is a wonderfully calm
bay with really clear water and great snorkelling just off the shore.  Steve says it is the most colourful coral he
has seen in Mexico and the best mix of fish. 
I try to snorkel but my sinuses make it too painful.  Kevin & Ruth hike down to join us for an
hour in the afternoon whilst we are happy to spend pretty much all day on the
beach.  We learn that it is a Mexican
holiday and this explains the beach being so busy and all the revelry in the
restaurants.  Returning to the motorhome
Steve negotiates to trade a beer for a fresh coconut.  After drinking the juice they slice out the inside then smear it
with chilli and salt for us to eat and it is surprisingly tasty.  The holidaymakers stagger back the bus in
fine fettle but once they have left it is a very peaceful spot.

HUATULCO, PLAYA LA ENTREGA

 

TUESDAY 17 FEBRUARY – We head along the coast
to the southern most point of our journey at Puerto Angel.  The main Mex 200 is a good road but still
winding and up and down hill so slow going. 
Turn off and drop down to the traditional fishing port of Puerto Angel
(doesn’t sound so nice in Spanish as it is pronounced Ann Hell).  We are pleased we know that motorhomes comes
this way as we negotiate narrow streets and twisty lanes along the coast.  About 3km further on we reach the famous
Zipolite Beach, the only nude beach in Mexico. 
The “main” road runs along the back but between it and the beach is a
sand road with palapas, restaurants and other buildings on either side.  There are 3 trailer parks, Fernando’s is
landside and we have had reports of people getting mice in their
motorhomes.  Mango’s is expensive at
P350 (£17.50) and Palms is OK but down in a dip and very hot.  Having parked in the village we explore and
find ourselves in a nice back packer type haven with lots of hippy people.  Learn that we can drive along the beach sand
road behind Palms to a small camping area known as La Habana Trailer Park and
somehow we manage to squeeze Harry onto it. 
Negotiate with Mickey to pay P70 (£3.50) dry camping.  Two Quebec couples are just leaving from the
top of the beach but we are too heavy to take their spots so settle below but
without the view we would like.  It’s
not long before we are stripped off enjoying a stroll around the bay.  The beach no longer seems to have naturists
at the west end and the whole length is a mixture of nudes (including Mexicans),
topless, people in swimwear and others fully dressed.  Lots of alternative lifestyle people can be seen with dreadlocks,
doing yoga or practising juggling.  I
wonder if a nude person doing yoga would be a “Yogi Bear”!  At the west end of the beach we see really
nice attractive accommodation in classy bungalows built up the rock.  There is also a huge hole in a rock where
you can watch the waves coming through. 
Nearby is a nude restaurant with four-poster beds on the beach
advertising nude breakfast for P30 (£1.50) – this seems like just our kind of
place.  Other accommodation along the
beach ranges from nice motel style rooms down through beach huts to tent
camping catering for all but the most discerning visitor.  A Canadian van pulls up opposite us with a
nice young family, Jeff, his girlfriend Nat, children Sarah and Isilie and a
puppy they have just bought.  We make
many walks along the beach (well over 1km each way) and take dips in the ocean,
as it is really hot.  Late afternoon we
walk the back streets and are amazed to see a wheelchair basketball match in
progress.  The youths all have
wheelchairs with three small central wheels along with the two inward sloping
outside ones.  Nearby at the derelict
community centre we find the two Quebec vans that left Habana.  They have a superb spot directly above the
beach and moved due to noise from the reggae bar at the other place – think we
may be joining them soon.  A local came
and asked for P200 (£10) for the week but they told him it was too much and
that they didn’t think he had any right to be asking money for them parking on
public land.  We would be perfectly
happy paying that to be there.  After
the beautiful sunset we sit out sipping our drinks by candlelight.

ZIPOLITE, LA HABANA TRAILER PARK – P70 (£3.50)

39 MILES

 

WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY – We were lucky there
was no music last night and slept well. 
Exercises and jogging along the beach makes a good start to the day and
we very happy to watch whilst having breakfast outside.  Walking along the beach we learn the Quebec
vans with naturists Gilbert & Lynn and another guy and Marcel had a good
night.  Jeff has a friend arriving soon
with 3 children and a big rig and it is going to be crowded at La Habana so we
pack up and move to the “Casa Communal”. 
Parked sideways to the beach we have a near perfect spot for us and set
up camp properly.  We can be discretely
nude by the van and are right behind the beach with an unobstructed view.  It’s really tough deciding whether to people
watch, read, dip in the ocean or stroll along the shore so we mix it
around.  The waves are very strong and
there’s a bit of an undercurrent so swimming is not good but playing in the
waves until you get fed up being knocked over is fun and the water is really
warm.  During our second beach walk we
meet fellow naturists Paul & Heather from Montreal.  They are also in a motorhome but with a 38’
rig are staying at “Mangoes” but seem a little envious of our spot.  Mid afternoon Kevin & Ruth arrive but
opt not to stay by us partly because there are lots of burrs that get in
Whiskey’s paws and also they are not so comfortable with nudity.  They move into the central parking area of
the adjoining hotel at P100 (£5) so we can still socialise by visiting them –
when we are dressed!  After sunset 3
Mexicans arrive asking for camping money. 
They approach the Quebec vans and a heated argument begins.  In the end we see them packing up to leave.  When the men come to us they are very
friendly, ask for P100 (£5) but we say that is expensive just for parking
compared to other places offering more for the same price.  They say then ask for P50 (£2.50) and we get
an official receipt.  Gilbert & Lynn
think they are “Tres Bandidos” sent by Mickey from La Habana as his brother has
the hotel next door where K&R are staying. 
He is probably not happy to have lost 3 customers to this spot and sent
them over to demand P200 (£10) night. 
They really don’t want to pay anything and this is why they leave to
park up the back street.  We want to be
here for a good few days and don’t mind paying the small price they ask for the
comfort of knowing we won’t be asked to move on.  K&R join us for a card evening.  Typing up my diary on the computer I chuckle to find the spell
check wants me to change Zipolite to impolite – is that what the computer
thinks of naturists!

ZIPOLITE 2, COMMUNITY CENTRE LAND, P50 (£2.50)

1 MILE

 

THURSDAY 19 FEBRUARY – There was a lot of
noise with waves crashing during the night. 
A strange thing happens here with waves rolling onto the shore, where
there is a steep bank, then turning round and heading back out to sea to crash
into the incoming ones.  Take our
morning walk around the bay before settling into our routine.  The Canadians move back and park in the
narrow sand street between the “casa communal” and the hotel.  Although they are speaking in French there
is obviously quite a heated discussion going on culminating in the one couple
leaving and Gilbert & Lynn moving in properly and setting up their camp. No
one has called to collect any money before we set off with Kevin & Ruth for
a sunset walk along the beach.  Sunsets
here are pretty good with the huge pink ball descending behind the rocks.   Many of the restaurants and bars have glass
jars filled with fuel and lit up like candles and we find one offering 2
cocktails for the price of 1, P40 (£2) during happy hour.  Service is really slow but the waitress does
bring taco chips and salsa to nibble whilst we are waiting.  We have all ordered a different drink and
when she arrives we get two of each. 
There’s quite a lot of alcohol in them so I have a hard time continuing
our walk to the far end, where the rock hotel is really attractively lit, and
back again.  Round off with euchre in
K&R’s.

ZIPOLITE 3, CASA COMMUNAL

 

FRIDAY 20 FEBRUARY – We must be getting used
to the waves as we sleep in late.  Steve
does what should be our last service on Harry. 
In the evening we are joined by a French group in a California motorhome
and they are kite surfers.  Take an
evening stroll around the back streets of the village before an evening of
Canasta with K&R.

ZIPOLITE 4, CASA COMMUNAL

 

SATURDY 21 FEBRUARY – Mid afternoon we walk
round the block to do Internet, P15 (75p) hour, to finalise arrangements for
picking up Sandra on Thursday.  It seems
an even hotter day and stays hot well into the evening so we sit out late with
our candles.

ZIPOLITE 5, CASA COMMUNAL

 

SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY – Ending our late afternoon
walk we see a sea rescue.  A couple have
been out swimming but the guy has ended up quite a long way out and can’t seem
to get back in.  The lifeguard swims out
to him, fits a lifesaving belt around him then tows him along parallel with the
shore before heading inwards.  He’s OK
but must have got stuck in a rip. 
Apparently many people drown here and one year 26 people died.  Watch a movie at K&R’s in the
evening.  We are very reluctant to leave
but want to break up the journey to the airport.  Without a deadline we would probably have stayed here for a few
weeks as it is probably the best spot we have had in Mexico.  Cheap too as the rent man has only been to
see us twice so our 5 days here have only cost P150 (£7.50), bargain.

ZIPOLITE 6, CASA COMMUNAL

 

MONDAY 23 FEBRUARY – Kevin & Ruth are also
moving on today but we like to set off as soon as we are ready and this is
often before them so we go alone.  The
coastal road is slow going but we do pass a couple of nice beaches including
one that is famous for the turtle sanctuary, a far cry from it’s fame of years
gone by when they used to slaughter turtles here.  Back on the main Mex 200 it is a fast and easy road and a couple
of hours after setting off we are at Puerto Escondido.  This area is world famous to surfers who enjoy
riding the Mexican Pipeline.  Just
before the river we turn down to Zicatela Beach then left along the sandy beach
road.  At the far side of the
"Hostal" we find a big parking area directly behind the beach and
although there is no one else there a local tells us motorhomes often use
it.  Just after 10am we are set up with
our beach chairs enjoying the view. 
Again this is the kind of spot that we could stay for quite some
time.  Late afternoon I take a walk to
the village and notice lots of nice hotels with interesting architecture.  At the western end of the beach there are
lots of bars and restaurants and tourist orientated shops.  An attractive lookout gives you a view along
the beach and also into the next bay. 
On the beach they are renting out horses and I also see 4 parachutists
drop in.  The surf is not that good so
although lots of people are out there they are just paddling around.  When I tell Steve how nice it is he goes off
to look as well and chats to Clermont and Barb in “Freedom 2”, we keep bumping
into them en route.  We enjoy sitting
out for sunset and chat to Don & his wife who bought a house here 20-years
ago as a winter holiday home to get away from the cold in the Yucatan.  It seems a nice peaceful spot until 11.30pm
when a car on the nearby dirt road decides to put a full wheel lock on and
drive around in circles until he stalls it. 
The noise is incredible but worse still is the amount of dust that he
disturbs as we are down wind.  Luckily
he only does it once before heading off.

PUERTO ESCONDIDO, PLAYA ZICATELA, NEXT TO THE HOSTAL

45 MILES

 

TUESDAY 24 FEBRUARY – Away by 8am we suddenly
realise just how big Puerto Escondido is. 
The old town is above the main highway with the tourist part below and
both sections stretch a long way.  The
road is pleasant enough at the start with enough points of interest to keep us
happy.  We have been warned that there
are over 200 topes (sleeping policemen) between here and Acapulco and they are
a bit of a pain.  There are also lots of
checkpoints, the first by Police who wave us through when we pretend not to
speak any Spanish.  In Rio Grande there
seem to be more Moto Taxi’s than cars. 
We are waved through a military checkpoint then have to show our
passports at an immigration check.  
Passing through Huaxpaltepec we hear lots of music and see a gathering
in the square.  We park up to
investigate, hear a sort of country style music and see lots of men doing a
strange dance.  They are wearing scarves
over their faces covered with miniature masks. 
It seems there is a story being told as one man pretends to shoot
another and we see a whip come into play. 
It’s a really hot day and we’ve a long way to go so press on.  At the next military checkpoint they
indicate we must pull over.  There’s
another motorhome already being searched. 
It is the friends of Clermont & Barb and they have been there for
ages as the soldiers are going through absolutely everything.  The lady speaks good Spanish and asked the
guy what they were checking for and was told drugs and weapons.  He told her that tourists now often carry
them through. We are parked in a narrow spot and other vehicles are having
trouble getting past us.   There are
only 2 soldiers, one to stop you or say you can go ahead and one doing the
search.  They don’t stop a single
Mexican vehicle whilst we are waiting so Steve speaks to the soldier in
English, babbles on about targeting tourists and it is not fair and is a little
surprised when they tell us to be on our way! 
At the 6th checkpoint of the day, crossing into GUERRERO
state, we are waved through after pretending not to be able to understand their
request for permission to search our vehicle. 
At about 1.30pm we reach km124 and turn off to drive 7km to Playa
Ventura.  This area has a beautiful long
beach but little development, a handful of shops, bars, restaurants and rooms
to let.  A boy leaps out and tries to
guide us to his camping spot but he wants P100 (£5) for a poor spot with
difficult access.  There are so many
places here with parking options that we check out a few more.  At the eastern end we secure nice parking by
a restaurant for P20 (£1) pp including use of showers and toilets.  Set out to explore more on foot and find the
road extends further to the west.  Many
areas seem to have been fenced off as plots of land for sale in between others
that have already been developed. 
Almost everyone has a sign up offering “camping” and one has a lovely
swimming pool.  There are no campers
there but the lady next door tells us we could stay so we negotiate a price of
P30 (£1.50) pp and will move tomorrow. 
Walking home we spot “Freedom 2” parked at the restaurant next to
us.  They are just having a drink and
thinking about dinner and parking there but decide to move to the site with the
pool once we tell them about it.  If we
hadn’t already paid we would have joined them.

PLAYA VENTURA – PALAPA PANCHO VILLA, P40 (£2)

171 MILES 

 

WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY – We relocate to the
place where the sign says “Lugar para acampar con alberca” about 1 mile
northwest along the beach.  We are the
only visitors so park by the toilet/shower block to make use of the water for a
clean up.  Since our initial clean up in
readiness for our visitor we have camped at the beach and had one side of the
van covered in sea spray then had the other side sand blasted by the car doing
doughnuts.  Between jobs we enjoy lots
of cooling dips in the swimming pool. 

PLAYA VENTURA 2, LUGAR PARA ACAMPER, P60 (£3)

1 MILE

 

THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY – Off at 7.45am.  Although we still only make 50 km an hour it
is an easy drive to Acapulco and we turn off to Barra Viejo to follow the coast
road in to the airport.  This looks to
be the next area for development as it is only 30km for the city and has a nice
beach.  Arriving at the airport we are
amazed at how small it is, more like a little regional one rather than an
International.  We are too big for the
car park so Steve parks in the street no parking zone and OK’s it with
security.  Sandra’s flight from Houston
arrives on time and I am there to meet her and in minutes she is settled in
Harry and we are on our way.  We’ve been
advised to take a wide by pass around Acapulco and the first part is a toll
road, P73 (£3.65).  We actually think we
have gone wrong as we head off towards Mexico City but eventually find the turn
off and finally make it down to the coast north of the city at Pie De La
Cuesta.  It has taken ages so we think
we would have been better going straight through the city.  Heading for the campground we see a great
parking place directly behind the beach (warning see Saturdays entry).  Johnny Walker lives there and says he is the
security and we negotiate to camp in amongst the palms for P100 (£5)
night.  After a snack lunch Steve &
Sandra brave the ocean but it is too challenging and Steve ends up giving
Sandra a depiction of how easily you get sucked under and lose your
footing.  A French motorhome arrives
with Dutch couple Peter and Miriam who live in France.  They shipped their vehicle over to Nova
Scotia and are on their way to Panama. 
The rest of the afternoon is catching up on news from Sandra.  Take a late stroll up the road.  We see an open-air church on the beach with
nice views of the ocean through the picture windows behind the altar.  There is an attractive lagoon opposite where
you can do boat trips but we now have a time deadline to get Sandra to Puerto
Vallarta for her return flight on 10th March. The boatman does warn
us not to go onto the beach at night here, as it is dangerous.   Acapulco Trailer Park is not bad, secure
behind a low wall and fencing it is directly behind the beach, has a small swimming
pool and free wi-fi.  Negotiate P150
(£7.50) for tomorrow, as we will be out all day.  Return for our evening Chinese meal sitting out looking at the
ocean.  Sandra is whacked so we all
retire to bed around 8.30pm.

ACAPULCO, PIE DE LA CUESTA BEACH PARKING, P100 (£5)

121 MILES

 

FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY – After breakfast we move
onto the trailer park, which is only about a quarter full.  The local buses run directly past the
entrance and P4.50 (23p) gets us a ride for the 15km back to the city.  It takes about 1-hour due to road works and
lots of traffic so maybe we did do the right thing going wide yesterday.  The roads are full of VW Beetle taxis
painted white with blue hub areas.  It
feels like we have walked onto the set of “Herbie”.  Begin exploring at the Zocolo with an unusual cathedral.  Walking down to the waterfront we have to
head a long way round before we get a view of the enormous Acapulco Bay with
the main beach backed by high-rise hotels. 
We take a slow walk up the hill to La Quebrada and stop in a local
restaurant for a snack lunch.  Whilst
there the beer is being delivered and we are amazed to see Herculean men
carrying 4 cases each (96 bottles) on their backs.  If you pay P35 (£1.75) you can get closer to the cliff divers and
the price includes a soft drink.  There
are no tour buses and few people around so we have a great view.  In total there are 8 divers who begin with
fancy dives from a low level building up to the main event.  4 divers climb up the seemingly sheer cliff
face, pray at a couple of shrines before checking the incoming water level then
diving into the narrow channel.  There’s
little else to interest us so we walk down to the bay and catch the bus
back.  There are hundreds of buses
around so we are amazed to get the same one going back.  It’s easy to tell this as they are all
personalised and we are on “Figaro”. 
Many of them have themes and fantastic adornment and paint jobs.  Back at camp we all head for a dip in the
pool where Steve & Sandra eventually fall asleep. 

ACAPULCO TRAILER PARK, P150 (£7.50)

1 MILE

 

SATURDAY 28 FEBRUARY – We are surprised to see
Peter & Miriam on the campground early morning.  Apparently they had a terrible night camped at “Johnny
Walkers”.  After we left they pulled
their motorhome forward almost onto the beach and stayed there.  In the night they had someone banging on the
motorhome, seemingly spaced out on drugs or something.  Then he began throwing rocks at them.  Johnny Walker came out of his house and saw
the man had a gun, shouted to Peter not to open their door.  All Johnny could do was open the gate to let
Peter back up then drive out (one of the reasons we try to park faced ready to
leave).  By that time a rock had hit
them between the side windows, but the metal strip in the middle rather than
breaking the window and another had smashed through the window in the door and
ripped through the blind.  They were
terrified so abandoned the stuff outside (we pack everything away each night),
drove off and went to the Police. 
Apparently the regular Police have no authority on the beach, as this is
the domain of the “Federales”.  However
they took a report and suggested they parked by the fire station for safety for
the rest of the night.  Not sure whether
the problem was that they were alone, it was a weekend, they had moved forward
onto the beach or they were just plain unlucky but so glad that we had opted to
move.  We are pretty late getting away
and this gets worse as the road north along the coast turns into a dead end and
we have to backtrack all the way past the Trailer Park wasting over 1/1
hour.  The village Saturday markets are
in full flow so I hop out to pick up some fruit.  Following the free road sign to go around Tecpan De Galeana we
suddenly notice the last sign has “cuota” (toll) added at the bottom.  With little time to make a decision we take
it but the lack of traffic soon makes us realise the P43 (£2.20) toll for about
3km is the wrong call.  At Km150 we turn
off to Piedra de Tlacoyunque and just over a mile down the rough paved road we
reach a parking area directly behind a beautiful beach.  It’s lunchtime and by the time we have eaten
and checked around we decide to stay for the night.  One of the men working on fixing up the restaurant says it is
very safe and quiet.  To the north there
are some unusual rocks like volcanic stuff bubbling up from the ocean and a
huge one with two arches.  A man is busy
fishing with a net but only catches small sardines.  To the south there is a fenced off area with shade cloth.  Within it are lots of pieces of wooden
orange boxes pushed into the ground with dates and numbers.  This is a turtle sanctuary beach and we
gather the eggs are moved here, re buried, labelled then near to hatching time
a net cage is put over the area to catch the hatchlings.  Presumably then someone takes them down to
release them into the ocean.  Again the
sea is too rough to swim and Sandra is tired from our early stroll so Steve and
I venture south but it is hard going. 
In the evening around 9pm a car pulls up nearby with 2 girls and 2
lads.  They are playing loud music but
more annoyingly smash their beer bottles as they empty them.  After last night we feel a little
intimidated so stay up until they leave at 11pm but they actually caused us no
trouble.  Throughout the night we hear
the quad bike going up and down the beach, presumably moving turtle eggs into
the hatchery.    

KM 150 PIEDRA DE TLACOYUNQUE – FREE

103 MILES

 

 

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