My next stop after Oaxaca was Puerto Escondido! I had put it down on my maybe list of cities to visit. Most of the backpackers I met in Oaxaca were headed either there or Muzunte, a smaller beach town close to Puerto Escondido after Oaxaca. One of my goals for this trip was to learn how to surf and Puerto Escondido is famous for surfing so it was my obvious next choice.
I was happily surprised that Helena, my Austrian friend decided to join me! To get to Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca there are two options, you can take an ADO bus which takes about 10 to 12 hours or take a taxi collectivo which only takes about 6 to 7 hours. The ADO bus goes around the mountains and is a much smoother ride while the van goes through them, it takes less time but in my opinion is not worth it.
We booked a taxi collectivo through our hostel which was to pick us up at 10am. After breakfast our van showed up at 10:30am, right on Mexican time. I had heard that there were winding roads on the trip, I get carsick easily so I decided to put on one of my motion sickness patches.
The van was packed full and Helena and I were the only tourists. There were two young children in the back who I had no idea were even there until we stopped for lunch. They barely made a sound the whole time.
About an hour into our trip the winding roads started. The curves were very sharp and back to back, we had a terrible driver to boot. The driver was driving like a maniac, driving fast and taking sharp turns. I kept my eyes closed the whole ride and hoped my motion sickness patch would work.
By the time we stopped for lunch I was surprised I hadn’t thrown up yet. Helena was questioning her decision to join me. I had heard from a guy at my cooking school that drinking a Coke helped with motion sickness. We sat in the restaurant slowly drinking our Cokes, which didn’t help, while we watched the rest of the passengers eat huge lunches. I was sick to my stomach just watching them.
Once we got back into the death machine we told the driver we needed to stop at a pharmacy for some Dramamine. He said it would be about an hour before we could reach one. The sharp turns continued and didn’t let up. The kids in the back began throwing up their lunch. One of the passengers was pregnant and was having trouble breathing due to altitude sickness.
Just as I thought I was going to throw up all over the van and cry, we reached the pharmacy. I know Dramamine takes about 20 minutes to work but I immediately felt better after swallowing the pill. The pregnant woman was still having trouble breathing so we had to find a hospital. It was Sunday and we were in the middle of no where so most places were closed. After driving around for about an hour looking for a medic we finally found one. The driver even stayed with the woman at the clinic while his assistant took over and drove us the rest of the way.
By the time we arrived in Puerto Escondido it was 7pm and I was so ready to get out of that van. As we climbed out of the van we were met with intense heat and humidity. We were exhausted and nauseous and the heat was not helping. We missed Oaxaca.
Scared to get into another vehicle we decide to walk in the heat to find our hostel. We stayed at Casa Losodeli which I highly recommend. It’s close to the town as well as the beach and the staff are amazing. When we finally arrived at the hostel, which is only about a 10 minute walk from the ADO station, I immediately hated it. I feel this way in every new city I get to. It’s unfamiliar which makes me feel uncomfortable and therefore I automatically hate it. It didn’t matter that our hostel had a pool or it was within walking distance from two different beaches. It was hot, I was nauseous, there were mosquitos and we were in a new city and would have to make new friends.
Helena and I were staying in a four person dorm room. Our two other roommates were Bernarda from Slovenia and Nelly from Germany. Bernarda was friendly and outgoing and already making plans for us for the next day. Perhaps I had judged Puerto Escondido too soon, maybe things would work out after all.