Mexico (4) The Pacific Coast and the central Highlands

After our visitors left we stay a few more days in Oaxaca for some maintenance work. But then we continue to the pacific coast. The road thru the mountains is very windy and we need 2 days for the 250 kilometers. 

We stay overnight in a small village in the mountains and need another 4 hours for the remainder of 100 kilometers until we reach San Augustin, a small fishing village on the pacific coast. The bay is also good for swimming which is not mandatory because of the strong current. Every year dozens of people die along the coast. We enjoy the beach and the sea and relax some days before we move on. 

First we drive south to Huatulco which is a mega project of the Mexican government of tourism. The plan is to develop five large touristic centers in Mexico till 2018. But we feel that this is not a place for individual tourists in case you have not booked one of the large all-inclusive resorts. So we move in the opposite direction to the Hippie village of Zipolite. Mexico`s legendary beach still is the meeting place for international travelers and we meet again the Germans Kathrin and Ruediger with her VW Bus who we know from Xpu-Ha in Yucatan where we spent a nice time together. We park directly in front of the beach and a lot of nice beach bars are just next door. The weather is great and the waves are huge. Zipolite means in “zopoteke language” beach of death. The current is very dangerous and more than getting your feet wet is not recommended. We spend the evenings in one of the numerous beach bars, feet in the sand, cocktail in hand, what else you want? 

But all of a sudden we run into some problems. The Mexican teachers in the regions around us are on strike as they are not satisfied with the new regulations for education. They block the streets and we are mousetrappd in the middle of the trouble. Gasoline and food are limited and some of it is only available on the black market. After 10 days we continue our journey and make it to Puerto Escondido without problems. We come exactly right to the Big wave surf contest. The waves are more than 10 meters in height and all world champions are available. Infos and videos from the official homepage are here: Big Wave Surf Contest in Puerto Escondido - Mexiko

Puerto Escondido is a chilli village with a lot of bars and we have a nice place at the south part of the beach. Every day we check the current status of the blockades and finally decide to continue in direction Acapulco on a Sunday. The first blockade is easy and we can pass. But then we are stuck at  the next blockade a few kilometers further. We start negotiations with $50 and finally end with 20 Pesos which is $1 to pass. Thanks god the atmoshere is peaceful and all are very friendly. We are now only a few kilometers away from Acapulco and decide to make a stop there to see the cliff jumpers. We park the car at a large RV park and take a shared taxi into the city center the next morning. At 1pm we are at the Quebrada for the show of the cliff jumpers which is the most famous tourist attraction in Acapulco. They jump from 30-35 meters and the water is only 4 meters deep. The depth increases  due to the incoming waves and therefore the timing is very important. 

We move on the next day and are lucky as we have only one blockade where we pay a few Pesos to pass. Our destination is Taxco at 1800 meters. The baroque style silver town is completely under monument protection and lives more or less exclusively from tourism but nevertheless the town still has preserved a nice atmosphere and is worth a visit. 

Our next stop is the „Gruta de Cacahuamilpa“ where we can stay overnight on the big parking lot. The stalactite cave is absolutely worth a visit. The dimensons are unbelievable with huge caves up to 80 meters in height. The return path with a mondatory guide is 4 km and lasts 2 hours.

From there we drive to the archeological site of Xochicalco. The less visited site surprises us with well preserved pyramids on a huge area. 

The city of Cholula with over 45 churches was already inhabited 200 B.C. The main attraction is the Tepanapa pyramid. With a length of 430*460 meter and 66 meter height it is the largest pyramid of the world with regards to volume. As a visitor one enters a tunnel on the North side with an exit on the east side. From there the sightseeing continues to a church on a hill with a wonderfull view to the town and to the vulcano Popocatepetl .

The next day we take a bus to Puebla which has a lovely historic city and is world heritage since 1987. Eye-catcher at the main plaza is the cathedrale which was erected from 1575-1649. During the colonial era Puebla developed to an important center of trade. The most famous product was the Talavera ceramic which are glazed and painted tiles. We make a tour in one of the largest factories at Uriarte Talavera. Everything is hand made and the production process is very time consuming. The final products are wonderful ceramic works in all facets.

From Cholula we go via the Paso de Cortes up to 3700m. Between Puebla and Mexico-City are the two vulcanos Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. The unpaved road to the entrance of the National park with the same name needs MOMO`s full attention. Since the 13th century  the volcano is erupted 30 times and today he is very well seismological monitored. No wonder in face of the potential  threat of 300 Million people in the region. 

Now we are in Tepotzotlan in the greater area of Mexico-City on a large RV Park and prepare for our holiday in Germany. Before we fly home we make a stop in Mexico-City. But this is then part of the next blog. Until then. Hasta Luego. 

And finally a few nice snapshots

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