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Entry 13: San Jose del Pacifico – Oaxaca

MEXICO | Sunday, 23 February 2014 | Views [2534]

After a final breakfast in Puerto Escondido I said Adios to my main travel companion Ben and set out solo towards San Jose del Pacifico. The route took me away from the coast and climbed HWY 175 into the mountains following a sometimes damaged, curvy stretch of road that topped out at 8,850’ in elevation. I was pretty damn stoked to have a change from the coastal life and feel cool mountain air amongst tall pine trees that surround the domesticated hillsides of San Jose del Pacifico. The town which is apparently world renowned for its magical mushrooms, was so named for its long sighted view (weather dependent) of the Pacific – nearly 90 KM away.  

I didn’t imbibe in any edibles that took me on trips to speak Spanish with pink elephants nor was I able to see the Ocean from town but, I did meet a couple of cool cats named Mat & Pamela. Mat is from France, started traveling the world back in 2010 and is doing it all on a 2004 BMW GS-1150. Pamela is a Wisconsin born American that went abroad to study French and ended up staying for 8 years – long enough to develop a French accent when speaking English. The two meet on two different occasions, in two different Mexican towns and with the second chance encounter a few months back, they decided to travel together – two up on the motorcycle. Apart from the awesomeness of being back in the mountains, the warm vibe of the locals and meeting Mat & Pamela, the highlight of San Jose del Pacifico would have to be joining Mat for a ride up past where the pavement ends and up into the mountains that felt a lot like Colorado. The only apparent difference from a National Forest road in Colorado was that the landscape’s visitors were all packing a machetes and none sported Gore-Tex.

Although tempted with an invite to hang out in the mountain setting for a day or two more, I was itching to get the wheels turning so after the aforementioned dirt ride, I rolled on down to the big city lights and sounds and culture of Oaxaca City.

Upon arrival to Oaxaca and after doing about 25 victory laps around town searching for a place to stay, I happened to come across a little jewel of a hotel that was just outside of the tourist epicenter and cost $12 a night. The Hotel Posada Cortez on JP Garcia at Calle Mina is clean, has secure off street parking and really personable folks working there.

Day one in culture land: arrival, v-laps, lodging, street vender supper, sleepy-time.

Day two: Breakfast, java, people watching at the Zocalo (town square), Rufino Tamayo Museum (Mesoamerican exhibit), Museum of the Painters, 20th of November Market, more Zocalo and lots of walking.

Day three: Monte Alban ruins - tapped on the shoulder while checking out a Mesoamerican carving of a dude losing his baby making tools and turned to see the Dynamic Duo from Alaska – Brian and Soniyae! The last time a saw these cats, we were in La Paz and I was fixing to board the ferry and they were waiting for a new stator coil for their bike. The travel world keeps getting smaller and so far, that has been a good thing. Good peeps, cool sites and stuff to do. After their part came in, team Victory AK caught the ghetto cruise liner to the mainland, shot up to Guadalupe and experienced Mexico’s more interior offerings and happened to find their way to Oaxaca on the same day as yours truly. Kickass! That night while I was chewing the fat with some Oaxacan peeps at the hotel, B & S showed up with a gaggle of cats from their hostel and one of which was named Mike and was also astride a DR650. Kickass II! After chowing down on some awesome street eats pointed out by Diego (brother of Felix from the hotel), we headed to a bar that specialized in Mescal. Mescal, like the glue applied to angry redneck brake pedals (by Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd), is strong stuff!

Day four: The AK posse, Mike aka Big Balls Mike and I rode out of town in search of the majestic waters of Hierve de Agua. The H de A is about a two hour ride west from Oaxaca and after about an hour on pavement one takes a dirt mountain pass that is very curvy, scenic and fun. The actual destination was pretty scenic as well and after a warm ride the tepid waters were refreshing.

Day five: Breakfast with hostel posse: Brian & Soniyae, Mike, Mina & Matilda (both from Sweden); Said adios to Brian and Soniyae who were departing towards Palenque; BB Mike & I installed new brake pads on our motos, enjoy a little tequila (parting gift from Brian & Soniyae), eat at the market, chew travel fat & said adios. He’s heading north to Puebla in the morning and then on to Teotihuacán and eventually back to the US and I’m heading south towards Chiapas, Palenque and then the Yucatan. Good times!

 

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Colorado: 1995 & 2013

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