SAND, SURF & SEMANA SANTA

Oops, we forgot about the Easter holidays approaching. Semana Santa (holy week) is BIG in Mexico. When it occurred to us that we had better think about securing lodging most places on the Oaxaca coast were already booked. We managed to land in La Boquilla, the picture perfect bay east of Zipolite, Mazunte and San Agustinillo for a few days.

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Our hotel owner’s pet pig.

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The small bay is uncrowded and ideal for swimming with a couple of lodging choices and a restaurant/ bar right on the beach. We heard that the towns just west of us were jam packed with wild and crazy party-animals celebrating holiness with copious amounts and booze, gay parades and al natural sunbathing at the only nude beach in Mexico.

It isn’t easy for us to hang out on beaches relaxing for too long and now that we were finally on the coast we needed to find Jay some wind! We thought surely there must be beaches suitable for kite boarding somewhere on this coast so we checked out of La Boquilla, resigning ourselves to sleeping in the truck on the beach if we couldn’t find a place to stay. Without cell phone reception or internet and no way to research and make reservations we were a little nervous heading out. But then our call went through to a surf camp to the east- and yes, they had space for us! The farther east we drove the fewer cars we saw packed with Mexicans outfitted for the beach with luggage and coolers strapped on top. With little or no tourist infrastructure the beaches were nearly deserted.

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In the remote little village Concepcion Bamba, about 40 km from Salina Cruz, Oaxaca is the welcoming Cocoleoco Surf Camp. Owned by Coco, a French woman with her Mexican husband, Leo, they’ve created a rustic respite with a touch of style. As we drove into the camp, little curly blonde haired boys with handmade cross bows and toy guns made from wood and string ran circles around us under the shade trees. A two year old topless blonde little girl with the brightest blue eyes sat on the ground next to a hammock.

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A couple of visitors balanced on a slack line strung between two trees. People were speaking Spanish, French, German and English and were residing in the camp for a day to two weeks. Some had arrived by air, and then bus or rental car from Brazil, France, Australia and Germany. We shared the parking area with a yellow school bus converted into a camper from the Yukon Territory, a VW Westfalia from Oregon, and a Chevy van from Quebec. We knew our time here was going to be interesting! One couple staying here were driving from Quebec to Argentina. They are literally Tangoing their way across the Americas creating a documentary film on Tango dancing.

Once again we were without cell phone service or internet which can feel a little isolated but the conversations, storytelling and laughter shared among very diverse yet like-minded people was more meaningful and worthwhile than anything we could find on line. We shared travel advice for upcoming destinations and those musically inclined played outstanding improvisational music.

Tools along with a solution for a needed car repair was provided by our new Canadian friend. It was a joy to observe kids playing among nature with toys they made themselves and absorbing the information being discussed by the adults like sponges without the constant dependence on their “personal devices.”

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Mexican fishing club members.

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Surfin’ Dan from Australia traveling for a year in the Americas.
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Turtle conservation project with day old hatchlings.
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Pascal, Veronica and their three kids from The Yukon Territory are traveling the Americas for a full year. What a great education. They all speak French, English and Spanish.

And yes…people from around the world want to know what on earth is going on in the US with the election. People from other nations may have varying viewpoints about US domestic and international policy but it has been my observation that they would like to feel that the US, for better or worse is at the very least- sane and civil and decent. At this juncture the world is watching with much more “shock and awe” than during the Irag War. It’s painful for us to watch and attempt to explain.

 

 

4 thoughts on “SAND, SURF & SEMANA SANTA

  1. Hey Uncle Jay! I was waiting for you to whip out your harmonica and jam with those guys!! Looks like you and Ann are having the time of your lives. You guys should write a book about this experience. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pictures and storytelling!
    XOXO – Care

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  2. I LOVE LA BOQUILLA! We stayed at a natural hotel owned by a couple in San Miguel and managed by a Swiss gentleman. His father was visiting from Switzerland and was teaching the cooks to make mango linzertort. Boy did we pig out. I snorkled and saw the biggest ray ever. It was such a perfect beach. Now it looks different with the Surf School, but the same. A quiet beach at Semana Santa? Amazing! xok

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    1. Hey Kimberly, It was two different beaches, La Boquilla and La Bamba where the surf camp was located. At La Bamba one of the surfers reported seeing a few rays swimming close to the surface with the tips of their wings sticking straight up out of the water. He first thought it was a school of sharks! Was Easter busy in Alamos?

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