We exited Oaxaca in the coolness of the morning knowing that we had a 6 hour plus day of riding to get across to the coast and Puerto Escondido. Originally we had planned a route to visit the area where the Monarch butterflies migrate to, then make our way onto Zihuatenejo, then along the coast to Puerto Escondido….but all that changed when we learned about the turmoil in the neighboring area. Unfortunately a solo adventure biker has been reported missing on the route we had intended to travel. So we re-routed ourselves and traveled up, around and over to bypass the area.
Our ride was an impressive 7 hours of mountain switchbacks covering patchy, potholed, new sections, crappy sections, landslide destroyed sections, sandy corners and drop-offs. It was incredible! We stopped somewhere along the mountain terrain for a lunch of fresh chorizo quesadillas cooked over an open flame, and twice after that for water breaks. There was no need for a banos break as we sweated, intently focusing our pressure and energy on each and every corner! Today's playlist was the Electric Light Orchestra, a perfect pick!
"I smell the ocean!", Kev radio's! Such a wonderful smell I never tire of. We finally pull up at Villa Lily around 5pm, beat! Adelina the host and owner graciously helps us unload and secure the bikes. Adelina directs us to the nearest good restaurant. We shower, eat a great meal then hit the sack!
Puerto is a pretty cool place! Kev and I have the chance to relax on the beautiful beaches, surf the beginners break, watch experienced surfers do their thing on the experienced breaks known here as the "Mexican Pipeline"…super crazy!!!! Viewed some of the amazing bird life, swim at night in Manialtepec Lagoon's pitch black brackish cocodrillo waters that surprisingly possess bioluminescence. There is no need to worry about the croc's we were told as you can see them coming lit up by the bioluminescence! Yeah right! View large pods of frenzied feeding dolphins, and jump in… marvel at graceful whale families, get a fright when flying manta rays burst out of the water in front of you, and see the white necks of the green turtles bobbing in the middle of nowhere…but the peace to resistance is to release baby tortugas, turtles.
I'll chat a little about the turtles. This humble operation almost entirely funded by donations is such a beautiful example of human devotion and kindness. Beto spends his days caring for the relocated nests, anticipating their hatch date, and catching up on needed sleep. His nights are spent riding his quad watching over the beach front waiting for the mother turtles to lay their eggs. He waits for them to enter the water before disturbing the nest. He digs, carefully collects the eggs and relocates them in new sand nests within the safe boundaries of his meager compound. As the eggs mature and near hatching he lays a mosquito net over the mounds so that the vivacious blood sucking insect cannot lay their lava within. The eggs hatch at all hours of the day and night, and the baby tortugas are ready to go. Beto tuned into the nest sounds awakes and safely collects the babes once again, placing them in a container ready for a sunset release. Over 90% of the eggs from each nest hatch! All of the hatched babes make it to the sea, and from there Mother Nature takes over. Having the chance to really observe, handle and singularly release each babe, carefully placing them on the sand bank approximately 4 meters from the crashing waves and watch them instinctively and aggressively flipper towards their brave new life was beyond amazing. There was no hesitation, only excitement. I'm sure they were all smiling as they tumbled in the frothy, sandy, foamy wash caused by the crashing waves. I could not help but gasp as I watched their tiny bodies being tossed around, then moments later breathing a sigh of relief when they finally disappeared from the shore they had already imprinted and would return to to lay their eggs years from now. You could actually see their tiny black heads popping out of the dark ocean, now breaking for air every 5 seconds or so as they braved the next wave. They will swim their way out fairly close to the surface, having enough sustainance in their bodies to last them 10 - 15 days. Surviving many predators along with the oceans wrath, it was explained to us that brother and sister turtles in the area will teach them where to dive for fish eggs nestled within the rocks…then they will enjoy their first meal.