I spent close to a month at the beaches in Oaxaca, living in Puerto Angel and taking daily trips to the other local beaches, Zipolite, San Augustunillo, and Mazunte. I stayed at The Hotel Almendro, a small hotel across from the beach.
I convinced Wendy from Guadalajara to come to Puerto Angel for a week to celebrate her birthday. We hired a boat for the day and went exploring in the ocean.
We also took a boat tour of the mangroves in Playa Ventanilla. Beautiful toucan birds and huge crocodiles were everywhere. A group of families have created an animal reservation in Playa Ventanilla, helping to improve the population numbers of the crocodiles and protect the sea turtles and their eggs during nesting season. It’s a beautiful area to explore, and very inexpensive at 80 pesos/person for a tour of a few hours.
There were fences around most of the biggest crocodiles, but this one was just chilling near a walking path we were on. Our guide warned us that crocodiles can run faster than humans on land, but only after I had gotten within 10 feet to take this picture.
The other thing I spent most of my time doing in Puerto Angel was reading on my new Christmas gift, the Amazon Kindle. This device is seriously the most kick-ass thing ever to come along for motorcycle travellers. I’ve loaded up PDF versions of travel guides for all of the countries I’ll be visiting, along with PDF topographic and street maps. All of the text in the PDFs is indexed, which means you can do a quick search on the Kindle and have all relevant information come up within a few seconds.
The battery life is close to a month… a real actual month and not a marketing-speak month. It’s lightweight at 8.5oz, or with the lighted cover, about 15oz, and packs much easier than carrying along a selection of paperback books and travel guides. At this point, I’ve given away my paperback travel guides and other books I was carrying. The lighted cover is great for reading at night or in your tent, and can also double for an emergency flashlight. My version of the Kindle includes Wifi, and has been very useful for discreetly finding open Wifi hotspots that I can then use with my netbook.
After purchasing some ebooks and downloading a ton of ebooks from the public domain, I’ve got close to 100 novels and stories with me at all times. So, whenever I’ve got down time, I whip out my Kindle and read. I’ve also been using a piece of software called Calibre, which I setup to automatically download digital content from some of my favorite websites and put it on my Kindle about twice a week. With Calibre, I’m able to read the NYTimes, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, CNN, ArsTechnica, Slashdot, and all of my other favorite websites at any time, without needing to have internet access.
After spending a month in Puerto Angel, I was ready to move on. I decided to head to the city of Oaxaca while I wait for my motorcycle parts to arrive to Mexico City.