Tuxtepec to Oaxaca

Posted: April 12, 2014 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

Tuxtepec to Oaxaca:
Day 11: 2164 Miles traveled. We didn’t leave Textupec until 10 am after a stop at a local McDonalds (again) for internet. Google said it would take 2 hours 45 minutes to go the route we planned on highway 175 South. Easy day we thought. We will be in Oaxaca just after lunch, in time to do some sight-seeing. We had been in contact with Overlander Oasis, so we knew right where we were going to stay. The sun was bright, and the temperature great at about 70 degrees when we took off. As we wound through a few small towns, we snapped pictures of locals going about their daily business. We made the 90 degree left turn onto the road heading out of the last populated town. We began climbing fairly quickly. The road between Tuxtepec and Oaxaca is a winding road that goes directly through the mountain range. Oaxaca is in the mountains, so maybe the higher elevations will offer some cooler weather.
At around 1750 feet above sea level, we decided to pull over for a break. The winding, cut back roads were already wearing on us, and we were not even a 1/3 of the way yet. As Angela and Tammy were navigating from the passenger seats in their respective vehicles, they decided to apply some motion sickness ointment, just to be safe. Tammy said, “Whew, we are getting up there now”. I said, “We are only in the foothills”. She said, “Un huuh, yeah right”, in her best Tennessee accent.
Back in the vehicles we began the mountainous trek around multiple “s” curves, at times snaking back so far on themselves that we could see each others vehicles facing each other in opposite directions. Bernard, held in right tight to form a seamless caravan of our vehicles. The winding and snaking did not stop for hours, as we rapidly climbed to 3000 feet. I noted that this was about the elevation of Mountain Pine Ridge in Belize. The climbing and winding continued relentlessly, until we were nearing 7000 feet. Now, we were getting “up there”. By this time, we were already at over 4 hours on the mountain pass! So much for Google. We reached over 9700 feet above sea level by the time we reached the top. By this time, the Landrovers needed a break along with its passengers. Many times we were in only first gear running 4000 rpm to just make it up some of the slopes. We occasionally got caught behind a truck hauling huge sections of trees being repurposed.

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The view from the top was amazing, and our breaths were noticeably short as we walked around to the lookouts. Some cows were there to greet us, but shied away when we tried to snap pictures. We maintained nearly 9000 feet for the remaining part of the trip until we neared Oaxaca (pronounced WaHacka). We began descending to around 5000 feet by the time we got to our destination.
Along the way down the mountains, we pulled over for another breather. It was at another little roadside stand ran by a local and her 3-year-old daughter. She was the cutest little girl. When her mom pulled the bottle of water from the ice water in the cooler, she grabbed a napkin and held it under the bottle to keep it from dripping without being told. She had a cute, but shy smile. I walked back to the car and grabbed a small ring with the lords prayer inscribed on the side, that we always carry for just such instances. It always gets an extra smile from the children we encounter, when they receive this tiny gift. She hung out the window and waved good-bye as we pulled back onto the road.
The coordinates were spot on and we ended up at the front gate of Overlander Oasis. This is a great little camping facility at the home of Calvin and Leanna, also overlanders who have been traveling for nearly 17 years. We just missed a group of travelers from Hungary when we arrived, so we had the place to ourselves. A hot shower, movie under the stars, and a fresh watermelon wrapped up our eventful day. Not a bad ending to an over 6 hour trip through the mountain terrain. We slept great in the tents last night as the temperatures cooled in to the mid 50’s. Tomorrow we explore downtown Oaxaca!


  1. Eva Cooper says:

    Beautiful pictures of the mountains. Your postings make me feel like I am there with you. Great writings of your trip.

  2. chefbourque says:

    This is an exciting trip. I feel like I am sitting in the back seat. Good luck on the next leg of your journey. Aieee!

  3. chefbourque says:

    Be safe my friends. Aieee!

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