This last weekend we went to the coast to visit the beaches of Oaxaca. They speak of the coast as if it were somewhat close, but this is mere illusion. We left Oaxaca at 3 PM, in a car made for 8 but holding 12 (my 2 host siblings, Antonio, Antonio's cousin Paulina, Noelia a mutual friend, my host parents, 2 adult friends of my host parents, their 2 children, one of which is a 4 month old baby, and me) and arrived at 11PM. It was one of the most interesting car trips I have ever taken. German, our host brother, was appointed head driver and drove the majority of the trip. At about 3 hours in, as we were crawling around the super tight mountain curves that comprise the road to the coast, a torrential downpour arrived, that almost completely obscured our vision. Thinking things couldn't really get much worse, after a few minutes of rain a very dense fog arrived so that you really couldn't see anything at all. And to make matters even more interesting a leak in the roof opened above our head, so we were not only blinded, but blinded and wet! And it was so hot inside the car that we were all literally dripping sweat, our clothes completely soaked and the windows completely fogged, further obscuring German's vision. Then the baby that came with the friends of my host parents began to cry and cry and cry because she was afraid of the electric storm raging outside. We all decided that the best remedy for the situation would be to sing. And so, from my seat cramped into the back row of the 30 year old Volkswagen van, I began to sing with my fellow travelers. We sang and sang and sang until, with cramped legs, smelly clothes, and smiles on our faces we finally arrived at the beach. Our host family wanted us to see All of the beaches, and rightly so because each beach was very different, and so we ran from one place to the next on Saturday and Sunday. The first beach we went to is a world famous surfer destination, the second Puerto Angelito, more of a family destination. This beach surprised me a lot because I realized here that Mexicans do not know how to swim. It was the strangest sight to see maybe 100 people lined up on the bank of the sea, playing in the water but not venturing any farther. At 3 meters in, I had the sea all to myself. To me it seems like such a disconnect between the people and the reality that surrounds them. How can it be that Everyone goes to the beach, yet No one can swim??? After the second beach we wanted to go see the Turtle Museum, but it was closed so we went for a tour of a swamp instead... and saw an 4 meter long alligator!
Saturday night we slept in Huatulco and bright and early Sunday we left for the beach San Augustin where we spent 4 hours snorkeling in the coral reefs that surround the beach. I saw so many different types of fish, and even got to swim with a school of maybe 300 large black fish with yellow tails. We finished the day with a shrimp and fish soup and then hit the road to return to Oaxaca, a 5 hour drive which turned into a 9 hour trek, once again plagued by rain and fog, although instead of cooking in the back seat of the car, this time I froze as we traversed the mountain tops.
All in all, it was a most amazing adventure; I saw many beautiful places and animals and got to spend a lot time with some of my favorite people here in Mexico.