As far as your upcoming trip south:
Zipolite is the famous beach with $12-a-night hotels and $5 whole bass meals. I would recommend crashing at any of the beachfront places, then walking to the northern end of the beach to the hotel called Alquimista, where the Argentine can rent you a fantastic bungalow for around $40 to $50 per night. Clean, safe, beautiful. On the sands. Zipolite is a 5-hour bus ride over the mountains from Oaxaca city. You could also go from to Puereto (more of a surfer's scene), and then take the bus south to and then a taxi to Zipolite. I can give you more details, but you can read the ins and outs in the or Rough Guide books on or . If you want to relax, look at beautiful young people, read, and sleep on and off while eating fruit and fish, Zipolite is almost paradise. As I said before, I've been to a lot of wild places on Earth, but Zipolite is its own special experience.