‘Casa Nando’ where we’re staying in La Punta, Zicatela has become our home away from home. Yes, it’s a tad basic compared to the recent places we’ve stayed, but as we’ve been saying to each other since we arrived, it has a private pool in a gorgeous tropical garden, which is not to be sniffed at in these parts – actually, the longer we’re here the more we adore its simplicity. Oh, and at $50 a night there’s nothing to gripe about at all.
La Punta is somewhat remote from Puerto Escondido and therefore ‘far from the madding crowd’ as it were, which means the hordes of Mexican families holidaying in Puerto Escondido are not here – just a few locals and some foreign surfers. There are cheap and cheerful beach restaurants and bars which in many cases are little more than a shelf stocked with booze, some fish tacos and guacamole produced miraculously from somewhere, some cool local music and a few captive strays…that’s all you need right?
Surprisingly, La Punta is not overrun with tourists – yet, as previously noted the streets here are little more than rocky tracks but there are signs of change with blocks of land up for sale and some building going on. I can quite imagine this place going off in the coming years. Apparently, the Mexican Government actively seeks out foreign investment into the country and grants residency with highly attractive loans quite readily available…. Hmmm, investment perhaps?
Today we went to Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo, again just a 40 pesos or a A$3 ‘seat of your pants’ 10 min cab ride away – no seat belts provided, no aircon, windows that either are or aren’t wound down, and seemingly a dodgem race track of hapless participants. They have ‘Topes’, ‘Reductors’ or Speed Buffers on the roads every so often which drivers see as a red flag to speed right up to with abandon, suddenly slow down then carefully negotiate, often sideways, along with everyone else, and then speed up again. It’s quite hair-raising – thankfully our hair is already grey – but when you’re bombarded on arrival by hordes of guys selling every fish-and-water-related activity under the Mexican sun, it’s definitely time to say to each other ‘Dios, necesito un trago!’.
Angelito was heaving with Mexican families – it was actually like a Mexican version of a chockers Cornish cove in high summer. A pocket-sized beach with screaming kids, shops with inflatable everything (killer whales), bucket and spades, snorkels and masks. Thankfully, Angelito is linked by a short pathway between rocks with Manzanillo, another sheltered cove fifty metres along and a nice spot for lunch…. so just after a lovely swim in the bay a man emerged alongside me with a small but fierce looking baby shark, complete with a set of razor looking teeth. I asked him where he’d found it and he pointed to where I’d just been swimming…. right, maybe back to our pool….