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LA to Tulum, Days 7-8 — Sayulita to Zihuatanejo

By Larry Crowson

Days 7-8

As I woke up, I was raring to go heading down to Zihuatanejo for my next stop. This would be a very long day and one of the most beautiful, filled with incredible scenery as I drove down the Pacific coast and into the mountains and back onto the coast again.

The drive towards Puerto Vallarta was easy but crowded at 6am. The town is a mix of both old town and new high rises, with many beautiful parts, especially up in the foothills overlooking town. You pass by many of these neighborhoods as you climb out of town and go south. There are too many homes to count with fabulous Cliffside perches looking out on the ocean below and town to the north. These don’t come cheap either.

About a hundred miles into my day, I had my first and only scare needing gas. I knew there was a town ahead and was caught off guard when they told me they were waiting for their delivery truck to show up, but there was a little town ahead about two miles off the main highway, no problem.

As I turned off towards the town, it all seemed good. It was a nice little village with a few thousand people and it was Saturday so the farmers market and weekly crafts and goods sellers were out in full force, the streets were jammed with local folks socializing and shopping.  No gas here—now what? I’ve got maybe 50 miles left but I’m in the mountains and there are no real towns around. I thought about going back towards PV; it was only an hour back and running out wasn’t an option. As I was staring at my map by the side of the highway, a local farmer stopped and tried to ask me if I needed help. Between my Spanglish and hand signals, he was able to point me down the road, telling me there was a gas station and it was close. I trusted him and kept going and sure enough, maybe 2-3 miles away, there was a new station sitting in the middle of nowhere. All gassed up with another 400 miles to go.

I might not have mentioned it before, but I had my I-Pod with over 7,000 songs to keep me company when I wasn’t listening to my Spanish CDs. I went around 3-4 times on that music playlist on this trip. Your Sirius Satellite radio will work here as well if you have it; GPS works too. The roads here are usually well marked and you should have no problem reading the highway signs.

This would be a 12 hour day behind the wheel and I did stop many times to take photos, as it was driving me crazy wanting to explore many of these small roads leading down the water or incredible cliff-side photo opportunities that just kept coming and coming. The long stretch of coast reminded me of California, without the people. There were too many times to count when I had to jerk the car back onto my lane—all of the twisting mountain roads with long distance coastal views were a total distraction, but I loved it. Many places I plan to re-visit along here someday soon I hope.

I passed thru a few larger towns like Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas heading south towards Zihuatanejo.

I pulled into town around 5 pm and was beat from the long day driving. I had made reservations for a place I found on a Google search before I left Sayulita and now pulled out my laptop to review the maps. After 30 minutes, I called and the owner talked me right in. I never would have found it myself. I walked down two flights of stairs to my unit, a fully self-contained mini apartment with Cliffside views. It was a short single flight of stairs’ walk down to the beach. This place felt nice and the sunset with a cocktail made it all the better. After a beachside dinner, I made my way back to my room. Each room has a large patio with several small pools on each level with outdoor bbq and kitchen. I sat down to take in the lights playing out on the many houses and hotels up and down the cliffs above the water.

I realized I had company as a small kitten nuzzled up to me, wanting some attention. The owner has many cats who roam the grounds and my new buddy joined me, realizing he had a sucker to play with. He ended up spending the night with me, making up for my dog Kona who I was missing by now.

Woke up early and headed out for another long day. My plan was to make Puerto Escondido by nightfall—one of the 5 top places in the world for surfing and a location the real estate market has taken notice of.

More on that next time…



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  1. Lildino says:

    , “My expertise and imiainatgon—or lack of these—were not the reason my images were falling flat. It was the fact that I was shortchanging them from the beginning by taking short cuts.” And goes on to describe the preliminary work–largely quick, with a lot of help from the subconscious–that comes before he even starts the picture. Beautiful!

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