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Costa Esmeralda (Final Trip in Mexico)

MEXICO | Wednesday, 29 July 2009 | Views [1019] | Comments [1]

 We got to the Costa Esmeralda in the afternoon, it wasn't a particularly long journey from El Tajin.  There were so many trailer parks along the coast that it was difficult to know which one to choose.  We figured that they would all be much the same and chose one that had a pool and palapas so that I had some shade to sit in as I was still not recovered enough to go out in the sun.

There was absolutely no-one else there and we pitched the tent next to a palapa with a picnic table underneath it so that we would have a nice spot for our bbq later on.  The campsite was right next to the beach, and we had a little walk along the beach (well covered in sun cream, of course) and spent the afternoon relaxing.

We went out to buy some bits and pieces for the bbq just before it started to get dark, and with some difficulty got the bbq going and had our first, very satisfying meal off it.

It was hot but not unpleasantly so and we had a very nice first night in our tent.  After our camping in the rough experiences in Toluca, it was quite nice to have lights and civilisation nearby!  the mosquitos started to be a nuisance here and we needed to cover ourselves in spray - even this didn't prevent a good few bites.

The next day we woke up early and walked along the beach to see the sunrise.  It was a bit cloudy and so not the most spectacular sunrise ever, but it was a nice morning, and I was enjoying the time I could spend outside the shade of the palapa.

We spent the day relaxing, reading books and Ed did a bit of sunbathing and splashing about in the sea.  I was a bit jealous as the sea looked wonderful: shallow and calm and great for playing in, but I didn't risk stepping out in clothes that revealed anything more than my ankles!  It was a nice relaxing day though with a bbq lunch to finish off the buns and sausages we had opened the evening before.

Later on, when the sun was less strong, and there was a good amount of shade over the pool, I had a dip with the rubber ring in the campsite's little pool.  It felt nice to be in the water, and I stayed in there, splashing about until the sun started to go down.

For dinner we decided to head out to a pizza place which we'd seen on the drive in.  We missed it the first time round, but saw it on the way back, and although it wasn't exactly a fancy restaurant, we had a very enjoyable pizza dinner.

We had another night under canvas but decided that the next day we would move on.  We intended to go and stay at another beach between the Costa Esmeralda and Veracruz, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

We got up fairly early and drove down towards Veracruz.  We'd planned to go to Zempoala, where there were some ruins, and on the way down we spied a sign for more ruins - the Totonac tombs at Quiahuiztlan.  They were a short journey up a dirt track, and despite a hefty entrance fee there wasn't actually that much to see.  The tombs were interesting and there were beautiful views over the sea (just down the road was the site of where the first Spanish fleet had landed - they certainly choose a beautiful bit of coast to arrive on!)

After we'd wandered around for a bit, we followed a track which led up and up and up.  We soon realised that it was not taking us to any more ruins, and that it was almost certainly just leading up a very big rock, which would have great views but it was hot, we didn't have any water, and couodn't really be bothered.  So we turned back and headed back to the bliss of the air-conditioned car.

We continued on to Zempoala, which was a very intereting site and which looked quite different from the others we had seen.  The stones had been smoothed away - i think they'd come from a river, and they had a beautiful and distinctive look to them.  There was also a huge tree which would've been hundreds of years old, and I loved the idea that we were sitting there under a tree which would have been there all those years ago when Zempoala was a real town.

After that we had lunch at a little comedor next to the site.  The food was really nice and filling - we discovred that in Veracruz state sopes (one of our favourite Mexican snacks) are called picadas but are still really delicious.

We decided to go to Chachalacas and spend the night there, either camping or in a cheap hotel.  However when we got there, the beach didn't seem that nice and the town was pretty grotty too.  We tried to follow signs to the sand dunes, but never got there.  Instead we found ourselves at a dead end and a rubbish dump.  It was huge, filthy and there were skeleton like dogs with no hair and sores on their exposed skin everywhere.  The idea of people living in conditions like this really upset me and after that I just wanted to get out of Chachalacas.  I didn't really care about having another night at the beach and preferred the idea of just going to Veracruz a night early.  As we were only about 50 km away, that is exactly what we did.



Great to read your thoughts as you pass through this beautiful area. If you ever pass this way again, I hope you try Playa Juan Angel instead of Chachalacas. The exit is just north of the exit to Zempoala (through the town of Paso Dona Juana)- the beach is clean and the dunes are right there. There are several palapa restaurants, and a small hotel. We are Canadians who fell in love with the beach here, and live here.

  staccey Sep 16, 2009 4:03 AM

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