The Roads of Oaxaca
I know, we talked about the road to Juquila, and you were impressed with the curves and the reductors designed to slow you down. I thought that was a trip. Little did I know.
We had plans to go to Puerto Escondido, which is a resort beach town. That’s where Dee and I were planning to fly into, and stay, when we go to Mexico, hopefully in February, when I’ll be so sick of winter I won’t be able to stand it. So I wanted to go visit it and get some feel for what it’s like and where we might want to stay.
I had no idea what I was asking for.
After all, it’s just a two and a half hour bus ride. Ok, maybe three hours.
But Conan and Julia and Paulina start talking about maybe not being able to go because it’s been raining ~ well, privileged U.S. visitor that I am, I’m baffled. How could rain keep us from going? It’s been raining part of the day every day since I got to Juquila ~ how does anyone ever get to go to Puerto Escondido?
But I tolerate the uncertainty, fingers crossed, because what else can I do?
The day before we’re scheduled to leave, Conan advises us that yes, we are definitely going. He has bought tickets for the bus leaving at 9 a.m. We need to leave the house by 8:30.
Packing my backpack ~ we’ll be gone at least three days ~ is a challenge. Juquila has been colder than I expected, and damp. I’ve been living in my hoodie. I can no longer remember what it feels like to be hot. And Paulina says it’s been raining in Puerto Escondido too, so I’m sure it will be chilly.
I pack and unpack and pack again. I’m sure whatever I take will be wrong. With a shrug, I assure myself that if I need something different, I’ll just buy it. My backpack is overflowing, and it’s time to go.
We take a cab to the bus station, which is a tiny room packed with people waiting for the bus. Well, the truck. It’s not a bus at this point, it’s a truck. Like this
Women ride in the front ~ there is an extended cab ~ men ride on the benches in the back.
Soon after we start, i realize why they were concerned about the rain.
The first 45 minutes or so, the road is mud.
But if the truck gets stuck, some of the men in the back jump out and push. I’m not in the truck that gets stuck, as you can see.
We also pass a bulldozer, and I make some comment about working on the roads. I think they’re getting ready to pave it, but Julia and Conan laugh at me. Gently, but they’re laughing. Here’s the bulldozer.
I know some of you are thinking, well, what about seat belts? You’re wearing seat belts, right?
Mwahahahahahahaha… Seat belts? There are no seat belts in this truck. Are you kidding?
Of course, at our top speed, we’re going maybe 20 kilometers an hour. Kilometers, not miles. And if we go off the side of the mountain, I’m pretty sure seat belts aren’t going to help anyhow.
I can hear some of you tsking from here. Before you get too comfortable with that, ask yourself if you’ve ever put your child on a school bus. Or know people who do.
The road is also incredibly beautiful.
I can’t actually get a picture that does it justice.
And after a while, we switch from the truck to a van, and the roads are paved again. Maybe a little curvy, maybe with a few pothole, but a huge improvement.
And before too long, we’re in Rio Grande.
Where Arturo is going to meet us with his truck, and we’ll be on the road again ~ headed to the Reforma’s house and their amazing hospitality.