An agreement got made in the Big Blue Ocean between myself and Big Jim. We agreed that I was ready to blindly go where so many white men have tried to go before; Out on my own, to find my own way. Looking back, the shield that he had graciously provided by allowing me to oversee his hotel in the GringoLandia section of Puerto Escondido was a beautifully orchestrated eye opener. I’ve been coming here for many years, each year with a different sort of set up,(treehouses, water towers, plantation estates) and each visit found me under someones wing. Big Jim, being six six, has had the biggest wings of them all. And still does. He’s a Lion in Puerto. I’m his little cub. We are both hobo surfers that is for sure.
But it was time to get off the tit even though I ain’t really truly off it at all. For instance, if God forbid I ever got myself in a real jam, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to how to make it go away. That is to say, I still need enabling, just not as much as in years past. So after a couple of trials and errors, I settled on a nice and safe concrete box in a half finished hotel, on the poor side of the highway, half way between Gringolandia, and Very Real Mexico. The owner of the hotel knows just one English word. That word is HolAron. I bought a fan, a blender, a burner, a cooler, some pots & pans, a coffee cup, a couple plates & utensils, a plastic folding table, a bicycle, some WD40, and a few other nicknack paddywacks.
Everybody I know, and/or know of, and/or associate with, be it athletically, professionally, mentally, physically, spitefully.., family, friends, fringe friends and the like, past and present readers and haters, and the rest of you, whoever you are, I am finally certain that by now you can’t help but wonder what could possibly be happening in P.E, Oax., MX, that has me annually spending six odd months of the year (t)here.
“He’s too young to be an Ex-Pat, and too old to be traveling around aimlessly on Daddy’s dime. Does he have a senorita or two that he’s hiding away?, and is she Pregnant? Hasn’t he come to realize that he’s not going to be able to surf the waves at Main Beach like he had hoped he would when he first visited in 2005. Hmmmm. Curious if he’s running from the law? He’s probably just working on his bloody tan!”
I wrote tomorrows date on the chalk board, hopped inside a Nissan four door, and was driven off in search of a particular Country Mexican. The Indian we were going to see held the title to a particular piece of land that myself and a few others have had our eye on for the past couple of years. We brought along a translator. Spanish just wasn’t going to cut it. It was 8am on Friday, February 24th, 2012.
We stopped for tacos along side the road just outside of Huatulco. There was a skinned cow in the back of a nearby pick up truck. Talk about gnarly. We arrived to the secret estate around noon. I had been there two times prior, yet this was my first time actually meeting The Jefe. I counted five teeth in his mouth. His expertise with the machete was mind blowing. The coconut water was air temperature.
They sat and spoke. I just half listened and nodded. I was picking up some stuff, but like I said, this was country spanish. Not to be confused with country music. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. We then walked out to the point break. A pitching right hander that breaks directly in front of a jetty hip of sorts. In the summer months, this place goes off. That’s about all I am allowed to tell you.
It’s a good time of year to come visit Puerto Escondido. The calm before the High Season. Flights to Puerto Escondido can be a bit pricey, and can incur odd layover times in Mexico City, BUT you can offset all that by sticking around awhile. Once here, your life will simplify and your dollar will pack a real punch. Puerto Escondido Airport is abbreviated PXM. Huatulco Airport(90 min. drive) is HUX. Everything will go through Mexico City. Most ALL major airlines have round trips to Mexico City. The next step is getting to Puerto Escondido. Continental is tied in with the airlines that come here. Perhaps they have package deals etc. The Airlines that come to Puerto Escondido are Aeromar(Continental) and VivaAerobus. Interjet and some other one go to Huatulco. Remember that Huatulco is 90 minutes south. A cheap taxi ride. A cheaper shuttle. A real cheap bus trip. Huatulco sometimes offers better flight times from the East Coast. From California…I like Alaska to Aeromar. You need to time the flights so that you only have an eight hour layover in Mexico City, and NOT an overnight. Maybe you want an overnight. I never do. You can probably get a round trip with all the needed flights for about $700. I would imagine that is about the cost nation wide. This place is neat. Extra Special. I would encourage looking into it. Adios…..
I am living at and managing Casa Agua Azul. It is located in the heartbeat of Puerto Escondido. A wonderful little hotel of sorts. Big and awesome apartment rooms is closer to the truth. It’s nice here. Very nice in fact. We don’t have a website, and we like it that way. You can’t check us out on VRBO and use your Pay Pal, and you’ll appreciate why. There is nobody between you and I with their hand out. If you’re reading this, Casa Agua Azul is for you.
Here’s Something Virtually Tangible. If you are part of the Facebook crowd, and I know that you are, check us out at:
Feel welcome to “Like”, whether you’ve stayed here or not. Is that cheating?
Casa Agua Azul
For a solid 72, I remained quite close to the treehouse. Chango added an amazing third story w/ an ocean view, and Bob was my uncle. With help from Jorge, we muscled my favorite single bed high up top. PapaC quickly threw together a make shift desk out of scrap, and Bob was again my uncle. As protocol, I bought a new 600 Peso fan. As protocol, Chango dismantled all the safety plastic on both sides. He brought up his homemade bamboo lamp and Ipod docking station, and once again, Roberto fue mi tio.
We played three sets of doubles and changed partners each time. Everybody won one set, while one special athlete won all three. OK so these characters are all a bit older, but damn serious about their tennis. I have this athletic trick I use on most folks that wrestle me into competitive athletics these days. Been doing it for years now. In a nutshell, I nonchalantly go about the sport at hand pretending that winning isn’t everything. And it isn’t. Or is it?
Brad and Dan drove away around 11am. They lead busy lives in Puerto Escondido. I don‘t lead anything, so I decided to stay. Rick offered up an outdoor shower, and asked if I was interested in some french toast. Music to my ears because this man was starving. I really shouldn’t say starving, but I was on fumes. One doesn’t typically need to eat as much food down here on a regular basis, yet every so often you run the tank empty because of that. There I was.
Rick is a cool guy and a good man. He’s 58 and a self professed Hermit. He looks and acts like a Jew from New York, yet he’s neither. He is from the back country of Northern BC. Safe to say he likes his space. Probably why he is a professional astronomer. Things finally just got too frigid for him in Northern Canada, and the tropics came calling. He bought himself a hectare and drove all his belongings down in a huge trailer. He hasn’t put a shirt on ever since.
I sat down at his piano and supposedly played music to his ears. He fell prey to my simple rhythms. I played Tiny Dancer, Georgia, Under Pressure, and my hip-hop version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Among many others. He just couldn’t get over it. He then went on to play some guitar and tickled some real ivory of his own. A polished pro w/ both instruments. I knew right then and there that it would be hard for him to part with Old Blackie. My mind went upright.
At 3pm he invited me to stay the night. At 5pm I ran thru the thicket, stayed high and tight to the barbed wire fence, hopped over and around some big rocks and cactus, and found myself on the deserted playa. Nobody around. Not a thing. I took real caution in the ocean because that’s what smart humans do. The shore here is a bit rocky and the surf was quite powerful. I gathered about 15 unique Unicorn shells and brought them back to the house as a stupid gift.
We hit tennis balls until sunset and then shared a beer with Mr. Gomez. Rick offered up a leftover Pork Chop with beautifully prepared carrots and potatoes. It was money. After dinner, we primed ourselves for some music collaboration. We followed that up by eating Tostitos and viewing an amazing documentary on Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. We ended the night by watching the 1969 US Open final(on grass at Forrest Hills mind you) between Rod Laver and Tony Roach.
I slept pretty well on the blow up air mattress, considering it didn’t hold a nick of air. I still managed some fitness work down at the playa early in the morning, as Rick played singles with a European guest named Paul. Paul had taken the 7am bus to Santa Elena for 14 pesos and then the 50 peso taxi from the highway. I took note that Paul showed up with an ice cold six pack. At 10am, I snagged a ride back to Puerto Escondido with some stud named Wild Bill.
I told Rick I’d be back sooner than later. He said anytime amigo.