We arrived in Hualtuco to find long stretches of empty beaches, a nice marina, but a sterile town.
This is one of Mexico’s planned tourist areas, trying to make up for the sins of Cancun and Ixtapa by thinking things out before slapping up high rises on every square inch of land.
They succeeded in avoiding the spring break blight, but forgot about history and culture, resulting in a charmless town with quaint neighborhood names like sector A & sector C and, oh yes, everyone’s favorite sector T. Most boaters hole up here waiting for a favorable weather window to cross the infamous Gulf of Tehuantepec (Click here for that post). Amazingly when we arrived there was such a window and several other boats we knew were going. So what to do: do a quick turnaround and take the opening or stay for an inland adventure? After our fun stop in Acapulco, we were itching to see more sides of Mexico, not just beach towns, and Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka) was at the top of our list. Many warned against the long journey and torturous roads, but after researching and hearing that our NY pal George and his wife Laura had just had a fantastic trip there, so we couldn’t resist. Besides Lucy had already rented a car 😉
So we drove about 250 miles from Huatulco to Oaxaca. We will do a longer posts about the trip, but first we had to get there. Many folks warned us that the drive would be a horrible one on a bad road in very mountainous terrain. We had a lot of experience driving in mountain switchbacks from our time in Northern California and thought, “how bad could it be?” Well, the road was VERY windy and long (6.5 hours), but it is pretty well maintained.
The countryside is absolutely stunning – very hilly and largely unpopulated, with many agave fields and roadside mezcal factory.
Whenever you’d approach a small town, sometimes just a couple of buildings clustered near the highway, there would be a speed bump, or several, spanning the highway, called a “tope”. Now, mind you, this was a highway that several seconds
earlier you were traversing at 70 mph. We only failed to see and slow down for about two of them and those we bounced over Dukes of Hazzard style, thinking we’d have to buy the rental car company a new exhaust system.
But, apart from those instances, the trip was fine. We arrived in one piece and can report that it’s not the road that makes the trip tough but the crazy drivers down here. There seemed to be a memorial at ever other turn.
This is a truck chassis being dragged 500ft back up this hill from where it went over the edge. May whomever was in that vehicle rest in peace.
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