I’ve been playing the waiting game with FedEx now for over a week – waiting for customs to release my laptop and send it to me down here in Puerto Escondido…but of course with all things MEXICO, it’s about despacito, a common theme whilst being here as you know. Hey, I don’t mind, as long as it arrives before we head off again on Saturday. Annoyingly, FedEx sent me the wrong forms to complete, for business use instead of personal – five forms in Spanish legalese, which first required a loose translation on Google Translate (not ideal) to try and wrap your head around what was being asked, which gives you an overly dense and clumsy interpretation of legal compliance, and confusion as to what or who was the legal representative required to sign the documents….me or a local notary? Anyway, lots of running around and time wasted.
I know, first world problems I hear you say, but it’s very frustrating and is now cutting it rather fine. I’ve been told delivery could be Friday but if not, I guess I’ll either have to stick around until it arrives or run up and down the coast in cabs. Not ideal.
Talking of cabs, they’re rather interesting here in that there are no seatbelts, no aircon (in this climate!) and no meters, so you agree on a fixed price when you get in which is always 50 pesos (A$3.60). The roads are in terrible condition with ‘topes’ (buffers) to slow down the ever-speeding erratic traffic, not that there’s much traffic, invariably other taxis and collectivos for locals, basically a large ute with a loose covered top and some flimsy bars to hold on to, but back to the roads….They are massively pot-holed, requiring drivers to carefully manoeuvre around, often side-ways, like a crude ballet! In La Punta where we are, the road gives up just off the main road and becomes a sandy or even rocky pot-holed track, making it quite tricky for cars of any sort to negotiate. Actually, it’s quite charming and reinforces the idea of being rather remote. It slows everybody and everything down to a crawl….and here’s that word again….despacito. To get a cab here you stand in the middle of the ‘road’ next to a sign that reads ‘have a cold beer while you wait for your taxi’ as one eventually sidles up and off you go.
Anyway, what to do in the meantime….in La Punta there are some cute cafes lining the ‘street’ and plenty of beach bars and restaurants, all open air and covered in palapa (thatched dry palm fronds) that reach low down for shade and have an open bar – or basically a piece of drift wood that serves as a bar, stocked with every conceivable type of liquor. The sand is incredibly hot under foot but there are plenty of palms for shade, just watch your head as the coconuts thump to the ground – but even that’s ok, just lop the top off and drink – or, depending on the time of the day, have that special ingredient added to make a Coca Loco 🙂
Lunch is invariably guacamole (of course) followed by some pescadillas (fish tacos) and a plate of ceviche, washed down with a cold cerveza or two all for A$20 (for two). The ocean here is rough with a strong undertow, so swimming, as tempting as it looks, is for the confident only. There’s one ‘salvavidas’ (lifeguard) across a vast stretch of beach-front who occasionally strolls along telling the hapless young tourist or two not to go in. It looks so inviting though and with 30-degree water on a 35-degree day, really quite hard to resist. Even the safest of beaches such as Carrizalillo are challenging as the beaches here rapidly drop away, so from paddling on the shore line to being over your head in water is often just one step away with crashing surf. But hey, it’s heaven here and really, there’s only one thing to do and that’s to slow right down – and dive in.