When we were on our way to Zipolite on the Pacific Coast six hours south of Oaxaca city we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew that it was a clothing optional beach, yes, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. What we found though was a truly peaceful haven away from the craziness of big city Mexico. One of those places you can really put your feet up and not even care what day it is. A real escape.
After taking care of a prick of a tyre problem we looked for a place to stop over while making the long drive to the coast and stumbled across San Jose Del Pacifico, a small and peaceful village located high in the mountains, which also turned out to be the magic mushroom capital of Mexico. We pictured a friendly, relaxed and social atmosphere but instead found that it was filled mostly with zombie hippies just looking to get high. I had a few weird conversations the one night we decided to stay there so we were back on the road early the next day.
When we finally reached the coast we decided to look for a secluded place to camp for another night before continuing on to Zipolite. We found a long and quite treacherous dirt road leading to the ocean which turned out to be used mostly by keen fishermen on dirt bikes. We parked Fuego and spent some time in the ocean of the private beach, using the water as our first bath in several days.
The next morning we finally arrived in Zipolite and decided to grab some breakfast. As we sat down to our huevos a la Mexicana the rain started to drizzle, then pelt, then pour. As we sipped our coffee we wondered what the hell we were going to do in a quiet beachside town experiencing torrential downpour, guessing we would only stay one night then continue on our way. But shortly after breakfast the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, and it was the most unbelievably perfect day. In fact, that was the only rain we experienced the entire six nights we ended up staying!
We found a quiet beachfront cafe called Cafe Maya and got chatting to very friendly owners Ray and Kate. After spending the day lounging we got quite friendly with the couple and I asked whether we could park next to the cafe and camp for the night. I negotiated free use of the showers, toilet and wifi, as well as beachfront parking for a measley 4AUD a night. What a deal! We reversed up, put up our bug screen and threw open the back doors, settling in for the night as we watched the sun go down to the sound of crashing waves.
The next morning we ventured into town and found an inconspicuous taco vendor set up on the side of the road. As we walked past he dropped his cleaver and handed me a slither of pork shoulder seasoned and cooked to absolute perfection. He certainly knew how to get my attention. I sat down and ordered two tacos, and soon in front of me appeared two of the fattest, juiciest tacos I’d ever seen. Anita had to pull me away after my fifth, but I promised him I would be back for more in the coming days.
One evening while we were sleeping I half awoke to the van shaking violently. It was in the early hours of the morning and Anita was still sleeping, so I thought I was dreaming and went back to sleep. The next morning when I checked my phone my screen was covered in messages and missed calls. A major earthquake had hit parts of Oaxaca and Chiapas and concerned family and friends were desperate to reach us as there was news of a tidal wave approaching the Pacific Coast. After speaking with Ray who didn’t seem fazed by the whole thing I assured everyone that there was nothing to worry about. By the time the “tidal wave” reached shore it was only about 30cm – luckily for us who had pretty much slept through the whole thing.
So what else did we do with our time in Zipolite? Honestly, nothing. We sat on the beach, drank beers, did some more trip planning and really just enjoyed our time in peace. We even embraced the free spirited culture of the area and went for a few nude walks and swims, an activity which brings a surprising amount of liberation and comfort in oneself.
And so after six blissful nights we decided it was time to move on. We said goodbye to Ray and Kate, covered our insignificant bill, and got back on the road, this time headed for the next of our WorkAways in beautiful Puerto Escondido.