We drove just north of Acapulco City and found the Acapulco Trailer Park. We were one of only 2 campers (one permanent) and got to set up close to the beach. The waves were beautiful, huge and loud and definitely not swim-able. Sadly the pool was being painted as well – oh well.
Our main mission in Acapulco was to see the famous cliff divers! Acapulco was the original tourist resort place in Mexico and had all kinds of famous people coming as long ago as the 50’s. However this boom really only lasted until the 70’s due to overdevelopment and oh yes raw sewage polluting their beaches. This is all since cleaned up, and they’re trying to get back the tourists. The biggest attraction, since 1934, are the guys that dive off the La Quebrada cliffs. Probably about 15 divers walk down the steps through the crowds on the viewing areas and dive into the water below. They then climb 25-35m on the rock face opposite this little inlet of water. They bless themselves on the little shrine on top and then take the tumble into the water. Really amazing to see especially with the tiny and shallow body of water they have to jump into with all the waves and variables. Of course just as we were to take lots of pictures we realised that something had happened to our SD card a nd our camera was not able to work – grrrrr. You’ll have to settle for an Internet pic instead!
The next day, November 9th, we got on the road a bit late as we had to buy our new SD card. We continued south along the coast to Puerto Escondido, a big surfing and party town. Unfortunately we got into town after dark and the 3 campgrounds we had mapped out were either awful, closed or not able to accommodate us. It was a hoppin’ Friday night on the waterfront so we parked and went to find some dinner. We wandered the streets and checked things out, including a loud beach concert. We then parked Ginger in front of a hotel in a well lit area on a quieter area of the main street and went to sleep. Our first, non Walmart, boondock!
On Saturday we spoiled ourselves with pancakes and coffee in a nice cafe, and then watched some of the surfing competition going on. Puerto Escondido was definitely a young surfers hangout.
We drove a couple of hours further south to Zipolite Beach. Here we found a beautiful RV campground, Ranchos Los Mangos, that was set inside a walled mango orchard and had great clean amenities, plus a pool! We immediately signed up for 2 nights! We also arranged for a much needed spa treatment for Ginger. Well, a guy with a bucket and a rag anyway…
The beach was lovely although still quite rough and tumble. It is known in Mexico as the only real nude beach even though nudity in Mexico is illegal. Dave was looking forward to seeing the sights! Hee hee, just kidding. There were actually only a couple of nudies and they were secluded at the end of the beach. The whole little town has a hippie seventies kind of feel.
In the next town over there was a turtle sanctuary with quite a large live turtle display. We saw lots of big sea turtles and baby turtles, but of course someone (not naming anyone in particular!) forgot the camera so we had to use our iPhone. Not great pics but here are the best.
We sadly left the Pacific Ocean and now started to head overland towards the Atlantic. The last time we did this crossing it took three weeks from Halifax to Vancouver. Down here you can do it in about 8hrs of driving. We overnighted at the Hogar Infantile which was pretty much midway. It’s an orphanage that also has a few RV spots set up. No money is accepted but you can donate through their website, which we promptly did. There was a french family also camping there in a Winnebago with their 5 kids, ages 2-13! They are traveling for a couple of years and also hope to reach Argentina as an end point. Amazing or crazy, we’re not sure!
We made it to the Gulf of Mexico the next day! We had scouted out on the internet a good campground in Isla Aguada. Unfortunately another long driving day made us arrive after dark and we weren’t overly impressed with the place. We were the only RV’ers there and the beach was only ok. In the morning we checked out the waterfront and then got back on the road.
A couple of hours driving and we arrived at our first Mayan ruins – Uxmal [oosh-mal]! Our plan was to camp in their little camping area right at the gate of the ruins so we could see it by day and night. We got our hiking boots on and explored.
We came back to the van for dinner and then went back for the sound and light show. It was very impressive and all, but due to our idiotic inability to understand spanish we only stayed for half the show.
On Thursday we had another real short drive into the city of Merida, which is supposed to be the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsula. We wanted to stay close to the Grande Plaza in the centre so we got a hotel room.
Our main criteria for picking a place was that it had to have nice secure parking so we wouldn’t have to worry about the van. We spent the afternoon and evening exploring the city square and the markets and had some good food. But we both agree we’re not the best at being tourists in cities and decided that one night in town was enough, so headed on to the next Mayan sight of Chicken Schnitzel today.
This was a very impressive city ruin, but unfortunately within easy driving distance of Cancun, which meant it was jam packed with international tourists. This was quite novel for us, after having traveled the last few weeks with very few other tourists. It was good reminder for us that we don’t like other people – only joking!
This week we have also passed 20,000km driven since leaving Halifax (20,805km actually) – not bad for 108 days on the road.
We are now camped in front of a hotel near the ruins, and plan to be back on the beach by lunch time tomorrow. The Atlantic this time! Oh, that’s after we pick up some hammocks on the way.