A Travellerspoint blog

Visiting Beach Towns

February 27

sunny 30 °C

We set out fairly early to go along the coast to visit some other beach towns. We caught a collectivo to Zipolite and then a taxi to Puerto Angel. Puerto Angel has a nice harbour with a narrow opening to the sea. It is the fishing harbour for this area. We arrived as the fishing boats were coming back with their catches. They drive their boats up on the beach, like the video I posted previously, except they don't put down any rollers or poles. It looks like an accident happening, but it obviously works for them. As soon as they are on land, a crowd of people gather around the boat to see what the catch is and start haggling over it. Then once the catch is gone, it's time for a little help from the fisherman's friends. They haul the boat higher up on the beach, which doesn't look easy. See the video.

There were piles of fish everywhere, some people only had a few, one fellow had the back of his truck filled up! Don asked what the name of the silvery fish was and we both heard the answer, but we could not understand it!! Catching Spanish names is difficult.
Piles of fish

Piles of fish

Truck load

Truck load


Once we had seen enough of the fishing fleet, we walked along the main road a little ways and then caught a taxi back to Zipolite. We walked most of the length of Zipolite beach, and it's a long one. It was starting to get pretty hot in the sun. There were a couple of young guys surfing with their boogie boards and we sat at a beachside restaurant and had a cold drink. The surf was quite big and the red warning flags were flying. We had heard of a place to get real vanilla in Zipolite, but the last time we were there it was closed. So we went there and it was closed again but also, the sign was changed, like it was a different store. So maybe the vanilla seller has become an itinerant vendor or something? Anyway, no vanilla for us. Any store that sells it here, is selling artificial vanilla. I guess the real stuff is too expensive.
The streets in Zipolite are all torn up. They are laying fibre optic cable, apparently, and have the whole main street in a mess. It takes a long time to build a road when it is mostly done by hand!
We walked back up to the highway and caught a collectivo to San Agustinillo. Another little town with a gorgeous beach. I think these towns exist to provide services to people like us, escaping winter. I sat in the shade while Don explored this beach. But you can't sit in the shade for free - I had to buy a drink so I could use the shade - it's a precious commodity!
Don on the rocks at Agustinillo

Don on the rocks at Agustinillo


We caught another collectivo back to Mazunte and then went down to our beach for a swim. I went up for lunch and a rest and Don had a snorkel before coming up. Later after our afternoon bird watching, Don went out to Punta Cometa to visit the other beach out there. Boy, he does love his beaches!! Then we went down to have supper at a restaurant by our beach. We ate up on the second floor under a palapa roof, but it was so dark by then we couldn't see the ocean.

Posted by katdill 04:38 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Turtle Centre

February 26

After Don had his swim and snorkel in the morning, we went to The National Mexican Turtle Center. This is quite a big establishment with lots of different turtles. They have a lot of big tanks inside with many different species of turtles, lots of them from other parts of Mexico, not just the west coast. Outside they have rows of smaller turtles - some to be released, I think, but I don't know about the others. I had read on the website that we would have to have a guide to do the tour, but when we got there we just paid our money and got some directions and away we went. Unfortunately, there were no English interpretative panels, just Spanish, so we didn't learn as much as we might have.
Big Hawksbill turtle, I think

Big Hawksbill turtle, I think

Just hatched, maybe to be released?

Just hatched, maybe to be released?


We also visited the Natural Cosmetic Co-op on our way. It was started with the help of the woman who founded Body Shop. They have quite an array of natural cosmetics and a few non-cosmetic items.
We've been enjoying a wonderful dessert here in Mazunte. One of the bakeries here makes them and Don buys them on his way home from the beach. They are so delicious!
Yum!

Yum!


We spend the late afternoons bird watching fro our terrace. We've seen lots of varieties of birds here. And today we finally got a photo of a Maggie-Jay!
White-throated Maggie-Jay

White-throated Maggie-Jay

Posted by katdill 05:07 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Laguna La Ventanilla

February 25

We got up early this morning and caught a collectivo over to the junction to La Ventanilla. We walked down the road to the town about 1 km or so. Once in the town, we went to the tourist booth and asked about a lagoon trip. We had to wait while they called a guide and then off we went. We walked down the beach with him to the lagoon and got into a boat. On the way down the beach, we passed the turtle nest hatchery. They retrieve the turtle eggs after they are laid on the beach and move them to the hatchery. Then when they hatch, the babies are released into the ocean. They had some 2300 eggs currently in the hatchery.
Turtle Hatchery - each stick marks a nest

Turtle Hatchery - each stick marks a nest


He paddled us around the lagoon, pointing out the different birds and crocodiles.
Green heron

Green heron

Green iguana

Green iguana

Crocodile

Crocodile

Art shot of crocodile

Art shot of crocodile


Our guide, Lalo, also took us to an island, which is part of the reserve. There they have birds and crocodiles which have been confiscated from smugglers and are kept until they can survive in the wild. He showed us a cage of orange fronted parrots and said 350 of them had been confiscated at one time. Most of them have been returned to freedom, but some of them don't have all their feathers yet, so they can't fly. We also saw a couple of confiscated crocodiles, which seemed very big for capturing and transporting. Then we returned back to town and got a taxi back to Mazunte.
Don had a great snorkel while I cooled it in the shade. I find climbing the hill in the heat quite difficult. It often gives me a headache, which reduces my enthusiasm for going down the hill. In the late afternoon, we went for a walk around town, just exploring other little streets we haven't been on yet. We came back home for supper, as Don had bought some fresh dorado from a vendor.

Posted by katdill 06:10 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Visiting Punta Cometa

February 24

We got going fairly early to walk out to the point. Punta Cometa is the southern most point in Oaxaca state. We go up some steps from our casa and out a locked gate. Then more steps up to the top of the hill we are perched on. We had a visit with a friendly donkey who lives up there.
Friendly donkey

Friendly donkey


Then we followed a dusty road up and down to get over to the park which contains the point. The bush is quite varied and interesting, although nothing very big.
Strange tree, I think Kapok

Strange tree, I think Kapok

Little lizard

Little lizard


We saw some pygmy owls, one very close to the path, but of course when I pointed my camera at him, he flew away! We also saw a pair of Baltimore Orioles. There were lots of interesting butterflies, some very large ones and with interesting patterns.
Don went all the way to the end of the path on the point, but I stayed in the shade of the trees. Even though it was only 9:00 or so, it is so hot when the sun beats down.
Punta Cometa

Punta Cometa


We came back and Don went snorkeling. He saw Frank, one of the other renters here, on the beach and loaned him his snorkel gear when he was done. Frank loved it and was very appreciative.
We laid around all afternoon and apart from a trip out to get vegetables, which Don did, not much else. Had supper at home and sat and watched birds in the dusk. We have a pretty good place to watch the birds.

Posted by katdill 08:55 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

The Circus Comes to Town

February 23

This morning Don wanted to watch the gold medal hockey game and the closing ceremony of the Olympics. But apparently, our landlord turns off the router overnight, so we don't get internet until later in the morning. Don tried going down to the town to check out the restaurant and the internet cafe, but it was too early. So he didn't get to see the hockey game, but later he did get to watch the closing ceremony at the restaurant.
I went for a walk down on the beach, trying one of the many different paths we can take to get there. The one I took, I won't do again - too steep and not maintained at all. I came back up the long way - easier by a long shot!
Lovely beach

Lovely beach

Village signpost

Village signpost

Some of the funky beach architecture around here

Some of the funky beach architecture around here


We lay around all afternoon and Don went for a walk in the late afternoon. He tried to find the point, Punta Cometa, but took a wrong turn and ended up at another beach. When he came back, we went down to find some supper. And we found out the circus had come to town. It's not like the circus we are used to. It's all people, no animals, no tent, pretty bare bones entertainment. We watched some of it, but when you can't understand what they are saying it's hard to stay interested. We had supper in a restaurant close to where the circus is so we could keep an eye on it. After supper we went back over and watched the girl on the trapeze. She was pretty good. Apart from the trapeze, the circus seems more like a busker festival to me.
When we got back up to our place, we found this little frog/toad? on the pillar of our patio. Hope he eats up lots of bugs!
Toad or Frog?

Toad or Frog?

Posted by katdill 08:47 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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