March 25, 2004

Puerto Escondido: Falling Through the Looking Glass

The Puerto Escondido Beach by the Rockaway Hotel

Press HERE to see a slideshow from the Oaxacan State.

Wednesday, March 24th:
Once again I drove down a winding Oaxacan road, highway 175 to Puerto Angelo. It was not as winding nor did it reach the same heights as the highway that runs to the northeast. Still it was a chore. It took roughly five hours to traverse the 250 Kilometers. It started out with near perfect conditions in Oaxaca. At first the road fairly straight and has sections where I can let the Passat fly. But before long I am climbing. The temperature descends. Compared to the road north where I saw few settlements in the mountains, there appear to be many small villages in these mountains. For the first time since I came to Mexico, it is raining while I am driving. With the roads a bit slicker, I must take even greater care and the switchbacks take me down to the coastal plains. I drove into Puerto Angelo. Cute and small, I had already decided to go to Puerto Escondido, which was less than an hour away. The one hour drive led me by some beautiful coastal land, much of which was for sale. I drove around a bit in city. Once again due the cold I caught, I lost the hearing in my left ear. The pressure change seem to reek havoc on my hearing. Anyway, I eventually started looking for a hotel. I
I ended up at the Rockaway. The beach in front of it is good for surfing but much to dangerous to swim in. The undertow is severe, the wave break at more that 12 feet, and the pounding roar of the surf is ever prevalent. The Rockaway has a series of small grass cabañas with cement floors and most of the amenities one could desire at the beach - including a bar, a pool, food, and little grocery store.
It was happy hour now, and I felt the Mad Hatter enter the scene. Yes, I must have fallen through the looking glass. The crowd slowly grew, it was primarily Americans and Canadians over the age of fifty. One might describe them as aging hippies. The men most wore long hair and ponytails. One on the elder statesmen, a self-proclaimed retired medical marijuana grower had a beard that reminded me of a ZZ-Top bandsman. The women were only slightly more conventional. But still they had that look of aging hippies. Some said the night before that magic mushrooms had made their way to some of the group. I found my self chuckling and loving every minute of it. Jeez, am I an aging hippy. No, I was always to left for that - but still it was a pleasant, easy-going life style.
Before long, dinner was served. What a dinner it was too: fish and shrimp stuffed in two giant cannelloni. It had a delicious taste. I guess they serve only one dish each night at seven o'clock. It varies from night to night. Many of the people at the bar come from all about the town to eat and drink the ten-peso beers and the twenty-five peso two-for-one happy hour mixed drinks. After dinner, the live music by the Argentinean rock band cranked up. They played until ten. People danced, especially Peaches. She was really into it. The bar close when the band stopped. Many of the patrons head off home or to other bars. With a day of hard driving, a lot of good food in my stomach and a half-a-dozen beers in my gut, I called it a night.

The Rockaway Pool, Bar and Patio

Thursday, March 25, 2004:
My goal was to just take it easy. I really have not had a day of doing absolutely nothing since I left Minnesota. I walked down to the beach to watch the surfers, and eat breakfast. Even the roiling sea along this coast seemed to easy the beast in me. In the late morning I drove in to the center of the small town for more decongestants. And then I looked for a beach to swim at. I took the smaller and slight less beautiful beach called Puerto Angelito, because it was easier to get to. Unlike the other beaches, this one is filled with Mexicans. I swam and lay on the beach for an hour or so. Then I returned to my hotel to lay by the pool and listen to a book, drink beer and swim a bit. The same crowd from the night before came and went and the afternoon progressed.
The evening led most of the crowd from the night before and a few new faces to me. There was even a guy, Jerry, from Minnestrista. I did get many of their names and will remember them for years to come.

A Few Regulars at The Rockaway Hotel
rockawayBar.jpg digger-crow.jpg peter.jpg

Posted by bill at March 25, 2004 11:19 PM