Monday, August 22, 2011

Road Babe Dispatch From Oaxaca

Everybody talks about Puerto Escondido. I didn't want Puerto Escondido. I'd seen Endless Summer enough times to get the point. I didn't want Zipolite, either. Not that I have a problem dropping trow, but anything advocated as nudist is a bit of a turn off. What I wanted was something in between. Small enough to camp out in my tent, yet big enough to seek out hidden spots: palapas with fresh seafood or coves with inlet beaches and not another person in sight.

When I arrived in Mazunte, I found a cliff-top spot looming over the beach with a hammock hangout where I could pitch my tent for cheap, a delicious eatery (consisting of a picnic table and the owner's personal kitchen) where guests could chip in minimal funds to partake in a scrumptious shared meal, fresh aloe massages and a view to kill for (probably the best in town). It was Balamjuyuc, meaning jaguar, and it was a traveler's jewel. Just the kind of place you want to stumble upon, far off the beaten path, up a steep ass hill, where you can follow the sound of laughter into the darkness.

You may recall from my last dispatch that I'd met a couple on my travels: a German woman and a Mexican named Pepe. One day, we decided to go adventure hunting. We'd had enough of lazing under azure skies and shaking sand out of our bathing suits. We wanted action. This hot Spanish chick named Lara, who was also staying at Balamjuyuc, came by my hammock cut and bruised, looking like she'd had her ass beaten. “Que te paso, reina?” (What happened to you, queenie?) She proceeded to tell me about this amazing cove that only appears for a moment when the tide subsides but wasn't easy to get to and less easy to get out of (hence the cuts and bruises), yet at just the right moment makes a natural Jacuzzi. Completely worth it, right?

So, I set out with the bicultural duo, another American, a couple cold sixers and an inspiring destination. We worked our way on a forested trail, until we reached a clearing. Below, we could see a completely empty beach covered with shallow foam. Waves crashed on the rocks then slowly dragged themselves back out to sea. We were hoping they wouldn't take us with them. The sun was beating down like a warrior with no sign of easing up, so we used our towels as head and shoulder shields.

Soon we reached the rocky inlet where (relatively) calmer water swirled into a pool, but to our dismay, it was covered with fist-sized crabs just waiting to take a pinch out of someone's unsuspecting ass. We started out across the rocks, dodging pincers and slippery spots, to reach our goal. Suddenly Pepe's sandal flew out with the tide. Scrambling to retrieve it and nearly killing himself on jagged stone, he returned busted up but victorious. Sunburnt and ever-so-slightly drunk, we saw the waves crashing harder against us and ran to take shelter under a ledge. It was time to head back and watch the sunset from a piece of beach where we weren't likely to lose a shoe …or a toe.

Mittie Babette Roger is from Louisiana but lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University and authored the book It's Better to Visit the Shaman Without Questions to Ask. She travels the world volunteering to help disadvantaged children and promoting Blue Iguana Tequila to empower serious drinkers.

1 comment:

  1. ... I like the photo, because is very beautiful, and interesting..!!!