We hung out with our new biking friends for a couple of days on the beach while our bodies recovered. When they decided to move on, Wolf and I decided that we would spend a few days in Puerto Escondido and surf. We signed up for a five day lesson, so a few days turned into nine. The surfing was fantastic and Escondido (sans punk ass Australian cool kids) was relaxing. There was a bit more variety of food there than Puerto Arista, the sunsets were incredible, we had a fat hotel room overlooking the ocean, and we made friends with an Italian bar owner named Vera who fed us copious amounts of mescal whenever we felt like gettin’ a little loose.
So, here is Escondido explained in a three part ‘list-o-lessons’ format.
Section A: Surfing
Surfing is, umm, hard. Wolf and I both got up on our first tries and we got a little better than that, but not much. What we learned from surfing, in order of items learned:
1. Waves are powerful. So powerful, in fact, that salt water actually moves from the mouth to the anus as if the digestive system is in a straight line.
2. Jellyfish don’t have to be seen to be felt. And not as in, “I didn’t see the jellyfish that stung me.” That statement would imply that ONE jellyfish stung and maneuvered away quickly to avoid detection. This was more a case of feeling hundreds of stings all over the body and in a panic slapping the skin as if that will help, of course only making it worse. The instructor then follows up with, “The jellyfish are everywhere today…pica mucho no? Don’t worry my friend, they are harmless. You can’t even see them. Paddle, paddle, paddle, PADDLE, PADDLE!” What an asshole.
3. Dropping a surfboard from six inches above a hard surface causes damage that is not proportional to the distance traveled. Nor does it please the surf instructor who has been warning of the dangers of neglect since the first day of the lessons.
4. Repairing a 4 inch gash in a brand new long-board does not cost as much as one (from the U.S.) would expect.
5. Getting cocky on a surfboard while trying to impress the one topless girl on the beach who isn’t watching anyways is not always a smart idea. See lesson #1.
Section B: The worst day in Puerto Escondido
It was in Escondido that Wolf and I came to terms with the fact that we would not be doing much biking after leaving there. The distances that we needed to cover with the time allotted for exploration in Peru and Bolivia were just too far. We decided that the most prudent thing to do would be to, gulp, send our bikes home and continue in the conventional ‘backpacker’ way. Here’s what we learned that day:
1. A place that is great for a vacation is inversely ‘great’ for getting important shit done.
2. You can haggle in Mexico to get a lot of things that you’d like cheaper, but that also means you have to haggle for trash, like cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes are a rare commodity in Mexico. If cardboard boxes are part of a business’s day to day operations, they immediately incinerate said boxes or the boxes just mysteriously disappear. Especially if they are larger than a shoe box.
3. The following questions CANNOT be answered at the post office: “What is the largest package you can send?”, “What would a package weighing approximately 20 kg cost us to send to the U.S.?”, “What time do you open in the morning?”, “Would you mind going to fuck yourself?”
4. In a place where obtaining materials for a certain activity is near impossible, one should investigate the practicality of said activity BEFORE spending half a day obtaining said materials. For instance, if you are in a place where, say, large cardboard boxes are impossible to find, you should find out that shipping bikes from Mexico to the U.S. will run approximately $500 per bike BEFORE collecting 185 tiny boxes, buying 18 rolls of packaging tape, and balancing all of these materials on your head while walking all over Escondido in the 102 degree, god-forsaken heat. Just sayin’. At least the boxes were easy to get rid of.
5. Vera the Mescal girl is a good person to visit after this day.
Section C: Luche Libre means Mexican Wrestling in Mexican
1. Sitting in the first row of a Luche Libre bout is dangerous. Especially if you are a blond Danish teenage girl with large breasts.
2. Danish girls wear dangerous weapons on their feet.
3. Sitting in the second row of a Luche Libre bout is dangerous. Especially if your are sitting behind a blond Danish teenage girl with large breasts.
4. Plastic chairs cut flesh when broken in many pieces.
5. Wolf should be a Luche Libre wrestler.
Bonus lesson #6. Mexican Wrestling, aka Lucha Libre, is fucking AWESOME
If this section doesn’t make any sense to you, please pay special attention to the wrestling pics in the following gallery.