Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hasta Luego, Mexico

I'm trying to think of a way to begin this post that isn't melodramatic, but failing miserably. So I guess I'll just go with this:

If then my fortunes can delight my friend,
A story fruitful of events, attend:
Another's sorrow may thy ear enjoy,
And wine the lengthened intervals employ.
Long nights the now declining year bestows,
A part we consecrate to soft repose,
A part in pleasing talk we entertain;
For too much rest itself becomes a pain.
Let those, whom sleep invites, the call obey,
Their cares resuming with the dawning days
Here let us feast, and to the feast be joined
Discourse, the sweetest banquet of the mind;
Review the series of our lives, and taste
The melancholy joy of evil past:
For he who much has suffered, much will know;
And pleased remembrance builds delight on woe.

That's from the Odyssey, an epic travel story to be sure, but one which clearly pales in comparison to the adventures had by yours truly at Viva Robusto.

Why all the drama? In case you didn't already know, tomorrow is our last day in Mexico City. After 10 long months of travel, we're finally flying back home to Portland, Oregon.

It's been wonderful and horrible, epic and boring, blah blah blah. I can't do any justice to our experience in this forum. All I can do is post some more pictures and make a few comments. Meanwhile I'm organizing and condensing my thoughts into a taut, hilarious 80,000 words that will hopefully become a book.

With both our friends (Jenny and Karyn) arriving in Oaxaca, we spent the last few days there in quiet reflection for our upcoming beach time.

After a particularly horrific night bus ride (that was supposed to be the less curvy of the two available routes), we arrived in San Augustinillo.

We didn't have a reservation, but by pure luck we managed to get two affordable rooms in a very nice beachfront location.

Liz was impressed by our color coordination.

Although the surf was pretty rough, it was a mellow, picturesque beach.

The 2nd best pizza we've found in Mexico, which, as a country, has the 2nd best pizza in the world. That we've found so far.

Our game of frisbee was cut short when I jumped onto some kind of rock or sharp piece of wood with my bare foot. The cut was surprisingly small, but my toe now has a sizeable lump on one side. I think I may have broken it or caused some kind of bone spur.

Liz and the girls took a boat tour out in the ocean early one morning to see dolphins, turtles and manta rays. It sounded cool, but I knew there would be puking involved so I decided to sleep in. I won't say who did and who didn't, but two of the three of them puked. On the plus side, they did get to see turtles having sex.

And a downed drug plane that for whatever reason has been left untouched for years. That's so "Lost."

Another day we headed to a calmer beach so Jenny and Karyn could surf and boogie board.

This is why I retired from such activities.

Afterward we made our way up to a beachside restaurant for ceviche and cacahuates (peanuts) with fresh lime and chili. So good, and so messy.

Another beachside dinner.

Another boat tour, this time to check out the turtle reserve in the neighboring town of Mazunte.

They also had a small pile of baby crocodiles.

Coconut meat with lime, salt and chili. I wasn't around for this snack but I am told it was excellent.

Next stop: Puerto Escondido and the "Mexican Pipeline," a popular surfing spot for more than half a century.

You can't swim there without a board, so we made sure to get a spot with a pool.

The dangerous waters.

Relaxing at the beach is actually pretty hard work. Sometimes you gotta take five.

Our last evening before Jenny and Karyn went their separate ways.

Puerto was kind of touristy, and the beach wasn't particularly nice for sitting on, but we did get some killer sunsets.

After Jenny and Karyn moved on, we spent another day or so in Puerto before heading out to our last beach destination. I'm not sure if I should name the beach we visited here on the internet or keep it a secret. It wasn't my favorite beach in the world, but apparently it's paradise for surfers. Kind of an unknown spot with great waves... a place where you can get two long sessions in every day without fighting any crowds for position in the water.

We enjoyed our time there, but it was a little bit rustic for my taste. We stayed in a sand-floor bungalow right on the beach and I didn't shower for 6 days.

Liz actually slept in a hammock right on the beach, which has been a dream of hers for a while. Every morning at dawn she woke up just long enough to take a photo of the sunrise.

At least there were several cute puppies around during the day to keep us occupied while most people were out surfing.

The food was a little bit of a weak point, unfortunately. It's pretty much all seafood, which sounds great, until you consider having it three times a day for a week. The "restaurant" at our cabanas was pretty reasonable and served decent pescado and filete; I just got tired of it after a few days.

The one time I sought out and found a taco stand that served beef ended in unspeakable tragedy, but I won't elaborate on that now. Instead, here's a picture of the tangy charred fish al ajo (with garlic) that we ate most of the time.

One of the wandering vendors, selling everything from toys to tamales.

If you want a beach to yourself, this is the spot to visit.

My finest hour. Nursing a Fresca the morning after drinking too much of the local mezcal.

Liz's bed.

One of the girls that "worked" at our cabana, pictured with one of the puppies.

Their baby, eating filthy sand.

Back in Puerto, one last magnificent sunset before our bus ride back to Oaxaca.

That's it for photos. We have a handful more that are still on the camera, but our camera finally died completely, so we haven't been able to take many in Mexico City.

Our next post will be made from within the borders of the United States! Until then...


pedro said...

This blog has been great sir. I'm glad you did it, even though I still maintain that you are faking it and also I hate you so bad.

welcome back to the oosa!

Nomadic Matt said...

going home is always bitter sweet. but you at least have a great experience to remember and probably a desire to get back out there..

Great photos. Glad you had time to put them up.

The Countess said...

I envy you! And I almost got lost when I saw the food and the wrestling mask, I'm itching to go now seeing you had a great time.