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LA to Tulum, Day 9 — Zihuatanejo to Puerto Escondido

By Larry Crowson

Day 9

Woke up early and headed out for another long day. My plan was to make Puerto Escondido by nightfall.

I had to pass thru Acapulco as I headed south. I’ve flown into this town before a few years back. We were picked up and taken directly to hotel row back then for a convention so I didn’t drive around at all.

I have never had a bad time driving in this country until today entering Acapulco. The highway is undergoing massive new roadwork with bridges and tunnels that will improve it, I’m sure. The road just comes to a three-way intersection with no signs telling which way to go to stay on the highway. This lead to a two-hour total pain-in-the-ass drive thru town as I had to keep on guessing which way to go. For the most part, I guessed right, but it got to be stressful. It was a welcome sight when I saw the highway signs again leading me south. From here on I just tried to make up time, as I was anxious to get to Puerto Escondido and explore the coastal town.

This wouldn’t be a long day today except for the fact that I was passing thru what seemed like hundreds of small villages or towns and they all had so many topes (Mexico’s dirty little secret to slow you down without stop lights or cops) or wicked speed bumps that can jolt you awake instantly. Scenery was nice as I pass thru the mountains and foothills. In one of the small villages I saw something that just made me laugh.

No matter where you go in Mexico, there’re lots of street dogs just roaming or hanging out. Well, twice I looked over and saw a large a pig running along with the dogs just like he was part of the group. It seemed perfectly normal at the time but was funny as hell.

I got into town around 4pm and drove around looking for a place to eat and was drawn towards the water. I found an old section of town with lots of historic hotels and shops and restaurants.

I stopped to eat dinner at a very old-looking place with lots of folks already there enjoying the sunset. Food was awesome as usual; they had a really large kitchen with a bakery. The smells coming out of that kitchen was truly inspiring. The local Mayor was having a dinner meeting with some business group and they were filming it for local TV while I was there. The person at the end of their table tried to explain to me what was going on. Once again, the Mexicans’ sense of being polite and courtesy is amazing to me. We should all be like this more in our daily lives.

Headed out after dinner towards the main part of the waterfront and found a charming section of the malecon with lots of hotel choices and great food options everywhere. It was threatening to rain and the surfers were out hitting the last waves of the day. This town has a good feel to it, and it might be my number one choice to explore more when I have time.  You have a mix of Cliffside homes, beachside lots and foothills nearby, all providing a wonderful backdrop against the ocean. There’s a real 60s California surfer hippie vibe here along the waterfront, but it feels nice. Lots of Europeans staying here as well in my hotel.

Well, off to sleep. Tomorrow will be a real butt-buster behind the wheel as I try to hump it home to Tulum.


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