Journals from Oaxaca, Mexico
2012-04-16 Spring Break Continued. . . .
View of the sunset from our hostel in Zipolite
Well, the rest of spring break was absolutely amazing! We did decide to go to Puerto Angel as I had hoped, where we went on a boat tour on which we saw dolphins, jumped from a four-meter rock, and went snorkeling. It was so much fun! It was so cool to see dolphins up close, right beside the boat, and we saw quite a few of them. Jumping from the rock was scary at first, especially for me since I was the first one to go, but once I finally summoned up the courage, it was a lot of fun. Next we went to another beach where we went snorkeling and saw a lot of different kinds of fish, which were really colorful and pretty. I had never been snorkeling before so it was exciting for me. All in all the trip was well worth it! It only cost 150 pesos (less than 15 dollars) for the whole tour, so I’m glad we took advantage of it. After a couple more days in Zipolite everyone else went back to Oaxaca while I went to Puerto Escondido to meet up with my mom and sister (my actual family). At first I was a little hesitant to go because I was feeling burnt out and ready to go back to Oaxaca, but once I got there I didn’t regret it.
Puerto Escondido was a lot bigger than Zipolite so it was fun to explore the city a little. We found a lot of good restaurants and little shops and stands with things to buy, such as clothes, souvenirs, and handmade jewelry. We also came across a booth with tourist information where we were able to sign up for an event where we helped free baby sea turtles into the ocean and then went on a boat tour in a bioluminescent lagoon: two experiences that were the highlights of my time there. First we went with our guide Lalo at sunset to a beach where the turtles were kept. Lalo and another of the guys who organized the event dug the turtles out from underneath the sand where they had hatched and put them into buckets, which we carried to a line that the guides had drawn in the sand. This was where we had to put the turtles so that they could make their way to the ocean, feeling the sand along the way so that they could remember the place that from which they left and return to it in ten years. . . .Pretty amazing, huh?
After this Lalo took us to the lagoon (by this point it was dark) where we all went out in a boat. Along the way Lalo pointed out the kinds of trees that grew there, the animals that lived there (including crocodiles! I swear I saw one but no one believed me), and explained why the plankton lit up (there are microorganisms that have a kind of defense mechanism so that when they are touched, they glow). At first there didn’t seem to be anything unusual about the water, but once we got out further I looked down and saw that the water that had been pushed out by the boat as well as the fish swimming in it, was neon yellow. We stopped at a spot in the middle of the lagoon where we all jumped in and swam. It looked incredible to have all of the water around you light up whenever you moved; I wish I could have gotten some photos, but unfortunately you needed a special kind of camera to capture it.
In short, it was a great ten days of vacation, probably one of the best spring breaks I’ve ever had. However, it was nice to come back to Oaxaca and see my family again, taking advantage of our time there before leaving for Chiapas, which is where we are now (just got here this afternoon!). Tomorrow we are going to Bonampak, a few hours away from where we are now in Palenque. . . .That being said we have a long day ahead of us and should probably get some rest.