Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Surf and Turf

I’m here to say that not all pizza is created the same! La Mediterraneo makes extremely good pizza. The other pizza place actually made us a pizza with hot-dogs and deli ham on it. Seriously? Oddly enough the hot-dog-pizza place is always packed. On Halloween it was packed with goblins and scary brides.

I’ve mentioned it before, I’m sure, but Puerto Escondido is a surfing town. Surfing is the pulse of this community. The cafes are open early and packed with people getting coffee and pastries. If the surf is good then the town is empty. The night-life in this part of town is non-existent. Everyone eats super late because it’s too hot to eat earlier, but then it’s off to bed. They have a party scene over in Zicatela for the foreigners, which is where the best waves are. It only cost 35 pesos for a taxi. Heads up, that’s not a swimming beach. The northern beaches are for swimmers because they’re in bays.

We are going to language school at a language/surf combo called Oasis. We are learning the Spanish language, but there is definitely a surfing language. 

They talk a lot about the Mexi Pipe Warrior (the ultimate surfer, or Roger the owner of Oasis), the olas (waves), the kook (doesn’t know the surf rules), the snake (wave thief), and wave hog (tries to take every wave without waiting in the line-up). Joe starts surf school Monday :)

We walked all the way to the locals market. What a crazy scene! I couldn’t buy anything… I was too overwhelmed. Buckets or birdlegs, crickets, tongue, and things I’ve never seen before. Joe bought some peanuts. The noise alone was enough to make me run out with my tail between my legs. I guess I prefer the beach, where you can watch the fisherman prepare the fish right there and then they cook it for you. I haven’t been able to convince myself to try the octopus yet. Ironically the locals cringe in disgust when you mention eating turtles, like they are some sort of household pet, but see nothing amiss with chowing on some poor octopus!

There’s a park near our home. It’s almost entirely cement, which is a treat in the jungle. At dusk it’s pretty crowded. Right now it has a carnival being set up to celebrate the day of the dead. We were cutting across this park the other day, and I was once again thrilled with the way Mexicans do family. Maybe they can’t afford video games, or don’t have good enough reception for TV in their houses, or maybe the house is just too blazing hot, but in the evening they are outside… together. As we entered the park (I wish I’d taken photos for you) a group of about ten teens were practicing a traditional folk dance. The girls had their big-long skirts on, the boys were in surfer shorts. The center had three families, including mom, playing soccer amongst themselves. One group even had a whistle. We kept moving. On the far end was a group of five young men taking turns break-dancing! We stood there and watched for about twenty minutes. Really, they were very good. One guy could even spin on his head! And then we rounded the corner and found a random shrine,

We made it to Zicatela for Joe’s (known here as Pepe) birthday. We wondered around for half the day until we were bored and came back to our part of town. The Rinconada just feels better to us. That side of town seems more touristy. The beach is absolutely enormous! The huge waves break right on the sand, so it’s super dangerous with a strong undertow. The surfing is done at the southern end of the beach at an area called La Punta. We took a taxi straight back to Puerto Angelito to avoid the hike :)

While sitting on the beach we noticed a boat loaded with passengers drifting towards the rocks. The captain kept starting the out-board motor and going forward about twenty feet, only to have the engine die again. Back they would drift. The attention on the beach grew. Locals began to walk towards that end of the beach. Twenty feet forward, twenty-five feet back. Tension mounted as we were sure we would be witnessing a boat wreck against the sharp rocks. The passengers huddled together with their life-jackets clutched close. It is a strange thing to watch a tragedy about to happen, and be helpless to intervene. Finally the captain got the motor running and off they went on their tour of the cliffs nearby. I would’ve jumped ship and swam ashore!

I’m a little surprised by how many international restaurants they have here. Italians are the leading group of immigrants here, followed by the Spaniards. An excellent little restaurant near us is called Relish. The owners are from a small city near Venice. They are so nice and the food is yummy… except they have a habit of turning a sandwich into crunchy bruschetta on both sides. Too crunchy. I just eat the inside, which is very good.

The ultimate dining experience is at the cliff-side restaurant, Espadin. The view is incomparable and the food is delicious. We splurged and ordered separate plates. I got the Mole Negro (chicken with the famous mole sauce), and Joe got a hamburger (it’s hard to say why he does this-but that’s Joe). He had 2 Bohemias (delicious dark beer), and I had an Argentinean Malbec… all for under 30 bucks. If you’re here, you must try this restaurant. If nothing else, you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset.

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