Hey Puerto Escondido… we need to talk
You have a bit of a reputation. Yeah Puerto Escondido, I’ll admit it… you’re name proceeds you.
Was I a little intimidated when I came to meet you? Yes, I was.
Were my expectations high when I arrived on your shore? Yes, they were.
Were my expectations met and surpassed?
Yes. Yes, they were.
You are a wild one. Wild surf, wild people, wild parties. Just flat out wild.
If I’m going to be entirely honest with you, I think that you’re a bit too wild for me. The routine of mojitos for breakfast, a sleep for lunch, beers and rum for dinner, party until sunrise and repeat is not easy to maintain.
I know you’re thinking that I’m the wild one but I’m not. It’s not me… it’s you. And you wanna know how I know? Because I can’t keep up and I’m leaving, while your crazyness will continue long after my visit becomes a distant (and blurry) memory.
The party lifestyle that you promote only became evident to me when I looked back at my photos. I always seem to be just grabbing a quick drink. Or having a couple of beers. Or a cocktail.
Or an eye-opener in the morning and nightcap before bed. Or breaky beers, a liquid lunch, dinner drinks. Or shots at the bar.
Or playing a drinking game.
Enough about me though. Let’s talk about you.
Some of your locals are… how shall I put it? Industrious? Yeah, that’ll do. Industrious. Everybody seems to have more than one job. Everyone seems to be in the middle of advertising one of their services when they interrupt themselves by advertising another.
Example: Tour guide.
He wears a polo shirt to advertize his tour company. He offers surfing lessons, fishing trips, whale watching excursions, snorkeling, scuba diving etc. Straight forward, yes? No.
“No thank you mate”.
All of a sudden he produces a menu from a back pocket and he’s claiming to be a waiter and trying to drag you into his restaurant. Confused? Keep listening.
“No thank you mate”
“Well, yes but…”
“I get you nice girls”
Drug dealer and pimp are added to the growing list of services offered. Finished yet? Not even close.
“So you like to party?”
“…” *holding 2 beers at 11am, it is difficult to deny this.
“I’m a DJ at a club in La Punta, I can get you in for free, no cover charge”
At this point I walk away but I have no doubt that if I hung around I would be offered to have my house painted, laser eye surgery performed, fortune told, stock advice given, shoes shined, trip to the moon, unicorn rides, nuclear weapons supplied…
Let’s just call it being industrious.
And hey, why must you do things just to prove me wrong? It makes me look silly. This is an area in which I require no help.
No sooner do I finish telling Zihuatanejo that I am a big tough Aussie who isn’t phased by big surf, rip tides and strong currents and you come along and call my bluff.
When I saw the rescue jet ski, complete with trailer, looking like it was on loan from the set of Bondi Rescue or something, I was concerned. Nobody was swimming because the waves were pretty big but luckily I had been drinking all morning so my confidence was sky high. There were a handful of surfers getting tossed around by the waves and my logic was that surfers would be surfing in the safest spot and therefore that is where I should swim.
Unfortunately my logic is about as reliable as my spanish.
So, thankfully I didn’t need to be rescued but it was a close call. Like, very close. I did receive a pretty stern lecture from the lifeguard when I eventually washed up on the shore. Well… I think I did. I certainly deserved one. But I guess for all I know he could have been asking me directions to the bus station or offering me unicorn rides.
Don’t get me wrong, Puerto Escondido, I had a blast! I’m simply telling you my reasons for leaving so that you know. From what I can gather, you aren’t the type of town to care. You’re just out for a good time. You gave me a good time. I thank you for that. But it’s time to get real and start looking for a serious town. A town that can offer me more than just a good time and cirrhosis of the liver. After all, that is what I’m looking for isn’t it?
I’m heading to a bigger city that doesn’t have the distraction of beautiful beaches. I’m heading to Oaxaca, arguably the cultural capital of Mexico. I’m ready to swap bars for art galleries, coronas for coffee, surf beaches for ancient ruins, sand paths for cobblestone roads and nightclubs for colonial churches. It’s a big step, Puerto Escondido, and I thank you for nudging me in the right direction (and throwing me one hell of a send off).
If you get around to reading this, in between drinks, I will almost certainly be gone.
Stay cool Escondido.