Paraíso

Of course the wonderful upside of it being so quiet here is we get full attention, the pick of tables in the restaurant at any time of the day or night, chatty friendly staff, choice of beach beds, and the opportunity to change rooms to experience the delights of being both on the beach in a cabana and up in the tower in a luxury suite. Alas, our two lovely German friends have left us, choosing to take a 12-hour bus-ride to Mexico City, which from what we’ve heard is a terrifying journey through the night on switchback roads (at least as far as Oaxaca). They even hand out dramamine as you board, so you can imagine the lurching and swerving en route. The seats barely recline and the on-board toilet gets incrementally more pungent as the journey progresses – there are rest stops but apparently budget-conscious travellers prefer to save themselves the five peso charge. No thanks. So we’re left with the other ‘stayers’ – among them the solo travellers we mentioned earlier. The moody Viking, who (from what we’ve now glimpsed from his lit screen at night – no shame) spends his time cruising on Grindr – lots of furious profile-checking and swiping going on over dinner, but no action seemingly. There’s a Mexican who has his mobile attached to his face who chats and takes hilarious selfies, like yesterday, setting up his mobile on a tripod, running in front of it onto the beach, whipping his shorts off, jumping and wiggling up and down, then back to the phone quickly pulling his shorts on. Odd behaviour for a beach such as this… leave them off I say.

Did I mention there are dogs everywhere here? It seems to be a thing all over Central and South America. Some are part of the hotel family, some wander in and become family, whilst others are their own family, living on the beach and fed by locals. They all look healthy and fit and are all friendly (one was purple with iodine to treat some skin ailment or other). They’re around your feet in the restaurant and occasionally en masse they all howl to the sky – as if triggered by some sound we can’t hear or perhaps even a tremor we can’t feel (or the singing of the lovely if tuneless teenage girls who like clockwork turn up to serenade us at about 9pm). It’s rather hilarious. And very cute to see the dogs dig themselves a cool trench in the sand to curl up in.

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