Who would have thought that the Pacific Ocean could be so warm, welcoming, and tropical? We had in mind the cold, foggy, and austere beaches of the northern United States and never would have thought we could swim and have a blast in warm, clear water. Nothing but fun, nothing but happiness!
Friday, March 3, 2023
From the city of Oaxaca, our 260 km journey to the ocean is long and arduous. We opted for the highway... which is under construction! Yes, because it is possible to take this highway even if it is not finished 🙄 And that's a bad idea in itself, because there is a big difference between an almost completed highway and a highway where bridges are still being built and hills are being flattened to make way for the road... In short, the construction is clearly far from over. So yes, the completed sections of the road are a real treat: they are wide, straight, and smooth, with no road markings and no one around. The kilometers go by without difficulty. However, during the sections that are still under construction, the detours are 5, 20, 50 kilometers long, on bumpy and dusty roads that cross the jungle and mountains and are lined with banana trees, coffee plantations, and mango trees. It's quite an adventure, but what a beautiful one it is!
After 6 hours and 30 minutes of detours, roadblocks, and waiting, we finally reach the edge of the Pacific Ocean under suffocating heat. We stop at a roadside comedor to drink a refreshing pineapple juice and eat. It's 40°C. Between the road difficulties and the overwhelming heat, we give up: we go to a retired couple who rent a few camping spots in their garden. JP finds a spot on the lawn, between palm trees, by... the pool! We just arrived and already we're in the water!
Saturday, March 4
The place is a true little corner of paradise. So much so that we decide to stay an extra night. We thus take advantage of the pool and shower (cold but for once it suits us perfectly!), hammocks, cool communal spaces under the palapa, and WiFi to work.
In the late afternoon, we walk to the ocean to admire the sunset. The water is warm on our feet, the air is hot, the waterfront restaurants, palm trees, sand, and bathers: the place has a vacation vibe that we enjoy a lot. And the sunset is exceptional.
Sunday, March 05
When it's time to go, it's time to go! We would have loved to stay one, two, ten more nights, but the road doesn't wait! After a cold shower, we set out to face the scorching sun and the crushing heat to meet up with Thibaud and Margot. And it's a good thing, because they're waiting for us by the water with Clotilde and Léo, a mother and her 16-year-old son who are traveling in a van, and Muriel and Eric, seasoned travelers who have been on the road in a truck for several years. We all eat together at a beachside restaurant, with our feet in the sand facing the ocean.
And then, it's time to swim! The water in the bay is warm and transparent. The waves are gigantic! They crash onto the beach with a smashing sound, and worst of all, they then head back out to sea. Two waves for the price of one 🤪 When the two waves collide, it's best not to get caught in between, because it's rough! The trick is to pass the waves before they break. Otherwise, we have to dive! And in case it get too rough, don't panic. We use Leo's bodyboard to take turns surfing the waves. It's exhilarating! The power of the rollers propels us forward at a crazy speed 🌊 Let's hope the bathing suit is properly attached! 🤣
After over two hours in the warm water trying to stay afloat against the never-ending waves, fatigue sets in and it's time to get out. We had planned to sleep further down the road, but we're exhausted and it's already late. And how can we say no to an evening with friends, even in a parking lot, with the sound of waves in the background? We settle in behind the restaurants and, in true French fashion, we have an aperitif that drags on. Léo even cooks us some chichis! What are chichis? (We asked too) Well, simply put, they are churros 😁 Delicious!
Monday, March 06
As early as 7am, the heat is oppressive and pushes us out of our vehicles. We have breakfast and head straight to the water. The waves are just as big as yesterday and the water is still so warm! We never thought we could spend several hours swimming in the Pacific without even getting cold. Refreshed, we say goodbye to our new friends and hit the road again, still with Thibaud and Margot. A long day of driving awaits us. After several hours, we cross the border into the state of Chiapas! We go through two police checkpoints, both of them a formality. Bienvenidos en Chiapas! 😊 And for our first foray into Chiapas, we drive at night until we find a place to camp. We set up camp near the ocean. It's hot and humid, and since we are not far from a village, we decide to sleep in the Jeep.
Tuesday, March 07
Big mistake! A huge mistake. We had the worst night of the trip. The heat in the Jeep was stifling, the air unbreathable 🥵🥵🥵 At midnight, I even had to go outside to breathe the cool ocean air. And I stayed outside reading for over an hour! It must be said that the fridge, on which I sleep, heated up a lot during the night! So, I "slept" like a griddle. We start driving again, exhausted, with the sole objective of reaching San Cristobal de Las Casas as quickly as possible to enjoy the coolness of the mountains.