Friday, October 21, 2016

Arrival at Puerto Escondido

Just kidding, this wasn't our plane!
I try to write an honest blog. Sometimes that means I’m writing about my emotional response to our adventures. For example, my first impression of Puerto Escondido was excellent. As we came down the stairs of the plane we were greeted by several very good-looking Latinos. For Joe who had to carry our heavy carry-on bags down the steps… maybe he had a different picture :) The airport here consists of one small open-air room and luggage conveyor belt. Everyone said "Bienvenido" and acted as though they really meant it. That’s something that has stayed consistent here, the sincerity of a greeting. We stepped out of the airport to see a guy holding a sign with “Joseph” written on it. So far, so good.

My second impression was, wow it’s hot and humid here! We were dropped off at the school (Oasis Surf and Spanish Lessons). The owner gave us a ride to our temporary lodging for two nights. Then we will move to the room Joe wanted, but wasn’t available yet. It’s hard to describe this little complex. It’s mainly a grouping of family dwellings connected by a center courtyard of cement and mango trees. Our little room is in the upper corner… on the sunny side of the complex… heat rises. Upon entering the room, which was quite warm, she informed us that it didn’t have air-conditioning. Heidi wasn’t happy :) I commented that at least we’d have an AC in the next more permanent room they were providing. She looked confused, like maybe it was an inside joke. The poor thing didn’t understand that I’d had a grand total of one hour of sleep on one of the three planes we’d been on since the night before. I wasn’t tired, I was exhausted. Thankfully our room has an enormous fan.

We changed to swimsuits and went to town for a plate of chicken tacos. “Town” consists of one street about the length of a half a mile lined with shops and restaurants on the shady side. Puerto Escondido is somewhat broken into three parts; the lower beach level surfer zone with lots of pubs and shops, the central part with the grocery store and hospital, and our part which is on the bluffs. This is the quiet part of town and October is the slowest time of the year.

We had a teenage boy named Wilber point us in the right direction for Playa Carrizalillo. As the crow flies we are close to the beach, however I’m not a crow. 175 very steep steps awaited us (It reminded me of Patrick’s point north of Eureka, or Chichen Itza). Remember I’ve only slept an hour at this point. Once we got to the beach, we found Wilber and ordered a beer. I was blazing hot and had the beginnings of a heat-stroke headache, so I jumped in the ocean. After a couple of hours of trying to not sleep in the beach-bar, we returned to our sauna to sleep. I woke up miserable and wondering if I was going to survive.

With quivering legs we got ready to go out to dinner. Pizza at an open-air Italian restaurant restored us a little, but it still wasn’t pretty. We slept like the dead under our monster fan that night. I woke up refreshed and ready to face our first day of school. Our teacher is an adorable petite Chilean lady named Javi. She is perfect for us. After three hours of class and a frappaccino, we scampered off to Playa Manzanillo with a slower decent through shady trees. This is even more of a family beach than the other one, and we went to the marina side. I loved how the women would walk out into the water holding onto each other, that way if one falls they all fall. They get in to about knee-deep and sit down. 

After an hour of getting doused by the waves they crawl out like they’re going to be sucked out to sea. Mind you the waves on this beach are tiny. Children are walking in and out around them. It’s really comical to watch and very consistent amongst the ladies over thirty. By the way, the majority of the Mexicans go in the ocean with their clothes on, especially the women… we’re talking shorts, shirt, even jeans!

We returned to our sauna-room for a siesta and then decided to try to find the lower section of town… in the dark. We failed. We finally gave up and climbed back to our bluffs amidst a lightening show. The humidity had become oppressive and we were beginning to dread another hot night, but I am here to tell you that our area of Puerto Escondido is much cooler than the lower part and has a nice breeze.
We had dinner at a little Spanish restaurant with a terrace to view the lightening and listen to the thunder. So far (11:00 at night) it still hasn’t rained. The owner of the Spanish restaurant told us this is much cooler than September was and nothing compared to May. Note to my readers; if you don’t like the heat, don’t come here between May and September.

Well I close for now. I’m sitting outside in the co-op kitchen listening to Joe snore in the hammock next to me. Time to wake him up and try to get some sleep in our horrid little room for the last time. 

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