Remember Winter in Puerto Escondido?
Updated: Feb 14, 2021
Back in December 2019, We left Alcapulco early and are heading to Puerto Escondido for the next week. It’s over 7 hours to drive so we needed to get going. We found a campground right across the street from Zicatela beach. Larry is super excited about staying here. The drive was a long one, with many stops. Highway 200 took us away from the coast for a long time and through many little villages. Little villages means driving slowly and watching for topes (Mexican cement speed bumps). Sometimes with both of us watching the road, we still miss one! This happened on this drive. At one of our stops, I noticed water dripping from the back of the trailer. When I went inside I found that our 5 gallons jug of water had cracked and was leaking all over the bedroom carpet…...again! Just like the flood in La Penita. Luckily it wasn't as much water to clean up. I now store the water jug in the shower, not the bedroom. I’m smartening up!
We stopped for lunch in another small village on the corner by a small roadside restaurant. As we were sitting in the truck eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we saw an elderly woman get out of a cab with 2 large bags of groceries. She walked from the corner to a staircase on the side of the road with her groceries and started up the stairs. There had to be 50 or more steep steps. I looked at Larry and he popped out of the truck. He went to her and offered to carry up her bags. She spoke no English but understood. The young girls at the restaurant watched and giggled. Larry said when they went inside to set down the bags, she offered him money. He said, “NO” and pointed to her bananas. He asked for “Dos”. She gave him 6!!! He got a huge smile and a hug too!
When we finally reached Puerto Escondido, I was ready to get out and stretch my legs. We figured that it would be easy to find the campground as there are only 2 streets by Zicatela Beach. Well, it was not easy to find at all. We drove down the street twice. The directions said we were there but all we saw was an Oxxo store and a little restaurant. Larry decided to park the trailer, we barely were pulled off the road so he put the hazard lights on. He walked around and I stayed with the truck. When he got back, he said he found it but didn’t know if we could fit. That’s not what I wanted to hear. I was done for the day. I didn’t need anything hard to do now. Well, Cabanas El Eden Rv park was between the Oxxo market and the restaurant. It was a narrow alleyway, maybe 10 feet wide. He felt like he could drive in but getting out might be a problem. I figured he had a week to come up with a solution. Just drive her in there!!! When he started pulling in, the owner came out and said, ”Mas Grande!” I was impressed by how Larry was able to maneuver the trailer into the tiny campground. We were at home!! At least for the next week.
The fellow campers were super friendly and came to visit as we were setting up. This sometimes is not as helpful as you might imagine. The lady to our right had so much information to share about this place and many other places she had traveled with her husband, but this wasn’t the best time. I listened patiently until I could get inside to do my set up in there. We never exchanged names, which was weird but she chatted with us every day until they left. She did let us know that the bars directly across the street, play very loud music until 5 am all weekend long. We did experience this but a few pillows on my head helped.
Larry had been to Puerto Escondido back in 2015 to surf. He had just recovered from a back injury that had him almost completely on bed rest for over 3 months. While he was recovering, he made a bucket list for when he got better. Learning to surf was on that list. He came to Puerto Escondido for 2 weeks and surfed on Zicatela beach by the end of his stay. It was a huge accomplishment considering doctors had told him he would need surgery and would never get better on his own. Larry liked proving the doctors wrong….in a big way! I was excited to watch Larry surf again as I love it when he tells me his stories.
The sad thing was there was no surf the entire time we were on the beach. Larry couldn’t understand it. He asked the locals and no one could explain where the waves were. So we made other plans while we stayed here. It’s a super cute little laid back surfing village. It’s small enough to walk around and not get too lost. We did a lot of walking around. The first day, Larry took me down the beach to a trail alongside on the beach and cliffs that overhang the beach. It had many stairs and was set into the cliffs and rocks. The water would splash up every once in a while but the tide was low and wasn’t too bad. We found some beautiful tropical fish in pools of water in the rocks. A couple of places the cement trail had crumbled but we didn’t stop….we bouldered up to where we could get back on it. Eventually, it took us to the top and dropped us on the street close to the beach. As we walked down, we found a cute little restaurant and stopped to have breakfast. It was good and cheap!
The Zicatela beach was an interesting place. It was lined with restaurants and bars that would serve you anything you wanted right on the beach. We spend a few afternoons just hanging out. We visited one of our favorite restaurants from Huatulco called Guns and Beers.
We love going here when we are in Huatulco so we had to try the one here. I enjoyed my beer but the food wasn’t as good. I was a little disappointed. I do however have the Huatulco one to look forward to as we are heading that way next. Also, they have one in Oaxaca too!
We walked up and down the beach several times. At the south end of the beach, we watched some folks trying to surf on small waves. Larry said that wasn’t worth the time. We did see some nudists tanning too. The very casual atmosphere down here. We also drove one day to Playa Carrizalillo for the day. This place was great. You had to walk down a steep trail but it was worth it. Saw some iguanas up in a tree on the cliffs. Not in range to try to catch. We observed some young topless gals that were putting on a fabulous show on the beach and in the water. LOL, The best part was the stingrays we followed swimming close to shore. I got a few photos too. They had wonderful rocks that were close to the water that made pools for us to see tropical fish, crabs, and even an Eel!!! We loved the beaches in this area and they were easy to get to and very accessible. We even walked to Playa Angelito y Manzanillo the day we did the trail on the cliffs. Beaches get a huge thumbs up here!
Some days we went to the hotel next to our campgrounds and used their pool. That was so convenient and super cheap too! 50 pesos each for the day. About $2.20 US. They had a wonderful garden with palm trees everywhere. Super comfortable lounge chairs and quiet and peaceful. As we were lounging around, I noticed in the palm trees a huge green iguana. Once I spotted that one, I seemed to see them everywhere. The very interesting thing I learn from this is that they are so good at camouflaging themselves. The green for the green on the trees. The stripey black and gray tails blend in so well with the light and dark shadows. The browns they have even resembled the dead leaves. This is where all the nature shows and reading about camouflage really made sense to me!! I was enlightened by these Iguanas!! So cool. I love lizards!!
At our park one afternoon, we had a close encounter with one of these huge green iguanas. While we were just sitting chatting, we heard a loud crash and looked to see one had fallen out of the palm tree and was on the ground nearby. This means: Chase the Iguana!!! Larry and I tried to corner him at many places but were unsuccessful. I really wanted to get this guy too. Then he bolted along the front of this little restaurant and through the kitchen door!! I ran up, just as the lady working there was closing the door to trap him. As I walked up she had a machete in her hand and she called out to a young man to help her. When I said that I was trying to catch the lizard in English, she put the machete away and came to speak with me. She only spoke Spanish. Next with the help of the young man, she grabbed the lizard behind his neck firmly and lifted him up to bring him to me. Then she started lecturing me in Spanish...she looked angry too. She eventually handed over the big green iguana and Larry and I took it back to our campsite. From what we deducted, she was probably mad because when it came into her kitchen, she had a machete and she saw it as a free meal!!! They eat Iguanas in Mexico, at least the green ones. No thanks! We had the lizard for about 30 minutes. Whatever she did to his neck stunned him. Perfect chance for a photoshoot. The groundskeeper came by to see the iguana and showed us how to shake his tail to get him to leave. He ran away and up to his palm tree again.
This happened again a few days later. We heard a crash and saw a big iguana on the ground. Larry, the groundskeeper, and I were able to corral this sucker and Larry grabbed him just like the woman in the restaurant, right behind his neck, and lifted him up!!! 2 Iguanas in a week. We did good!
When we come back to this area I hope Larry will be able to surf. That really was the point of this stop. We found lots of fun things to do to entertain us but were disappointed that there were no good surfing waves. Next time we will do some skydiving. We watched them do this every night at sunset. It looks like a blast. Besides watching the skydivers, we found a fabulous restaurant right above our campground….literally above. We walked up the hill and there it was. It had a wonderful view of the beach and ocean. We saw whales both nights we ate dinner here. I would recommend Comedor Brisas del Mar for the food, atmosphere and the fabulous view!!
The day came when we needed to head out to our next destination: Zipolite Beach. Since getting the trailer into the site was hard, Larry anticipated the same or worse for leaving. He spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to turn the trailer around but with all the palm trees and the campground is so narrow, he concluded he would need to back it out. We thought leaving as early as possible would be the best. Less traffic to hold up on the busy main beach street. And the later in the day, more cars are parked in the alleyway with folks eating at the 2 small restaurants. Larry’s skill at driving, maneuvering, and backing up this trailer is Amazing!! He made it look so easy. I helped by guiding him back to avoid a low hanging awning and holding up any traffic on the main street. It looked effortless when we executed the departure. He then parked the rig on the main road to go back to shower before heading to Zipolite our nudie beach destination!