Oh how I miss Mazunte. Of all the places I travelled in the world, Mazunte will always have a special place in my heart. Maybe it was the chilled out lifestyle, the nutty people I met, or sleeping in a hammock and waking up by the sunset every morning, but Mazunte was different to anything I'd ever experienced before. Here's my next short story from my time in Mexico
|What a playa....Mazunte|
Photo by veisto
If you were an artist and a client
asked you to paint a picture of paradise, what would you draw? Maybe a gorgeous
creamy beach with crystal-clear waters in permanent sunset, or a livelier one
with house music pumping out the packed bars all day with free booze and
barbeques, a simple nudist beach, or maybe there would be no beach at all.
Unfortunately, Victor was no artist, I
hadn’t asked him to draw a picture of paradise, and he was Argentinean. What
would my father say about trusting a man from the same country as Maradona?
Blocking out memories of the Hand of God, along with my stereotypical
prejudices, I jumped on a bus to Mazunte like Victor had suggested.
The trip down from
Oaxaca was a mere six hours through the mountains, but it felt much longer. The
driver must have come from the same driving school as the nutcase that took me
to Monte Alban as he was up to similar daredevil antics. He steered close to
the edge, whizzed in and out of vehicles on blind corners, and scared the mezcal
out of the passengers.
Maybe the drivers were
trying to frighten gringos from coming back. I imagine their conversations in
the pre-journey bar.
‘Hey Ricardo, how many
gringos today?’ asked the barman.
‘Only four, a quiet day,
you should have seen their faces as they got off the bus; white as worms. We
won’t be seeing them for a while.’
‘Ah Ricky, you’re too
tough on these guys. Look what happened to Juan; if you’re not careful, you’ll end
up like him down the bottom of a ravine. God rest his soul.’
‘It’s where I belong.
There’s no other way to go. Gimme another mezcal I’ve got time for another
before the return trip.’
I was grateful when we
stopped for a toilet break high up in the mountains. Mist drifted past and rain
drizzled on my face. Locals welcomed us by pointing to a couple of small
restaurants and a wooden hut selling packets of crisps, sweets, and soft
drinks. After the helter-skelter ride, I felt queasy so stayed clear of any
food and took some photos of the cloudy views.
‘Where you heading
mate?’ I asked the only other gringo. He was leaning forward slightly and
resting his hands on his thighs.
‘To Mazunte, what about you?’
‘Same.’ Ed was from Portsmouth, a tall and
stocky lad in his early twenties.
‘Bit of a nutty driver
eh?’ I said.
‘Yeah man, I’ve been on
a few mental journeys but this guy’s a proper road hog.’ Ed’s face was a pale
shade of green.
‘Don’t worry; it’s all
downhill from here.’
‘But that’s why I’m
Ricky must have decided
that it wasn’t his time to go. The downhill journey was just as nerve wracking
as the climb, but we had less life threatening moments. We arrived in Pochutla,
a boring town worthy only for catching a bus to the beach destinations, and
pushed through the taxi drivers as they pulled on our rucksacks.
‘They’re not shy here,
are they?’ Ed said.
‘Nah mate, a bit rude if
you ask me. Let’s get a bus or something.’
Instead of getting a
taxi we went for the cheaper, and friendlier, option and caught a small truck
with MAZUNTE - ZIPOLITE hand written on a wooden board nailed onto the front.
To start with just Ed
and I were in the van, but as we drove through the town locals jumped on so we
ended up hanging off the back; like free spirits as the wind blew our hair.
As we got closer to
Mazunte I could smell the Pacific Ocean. I had not seen the sea since I started
my travels and was excited about finally chilling out. The driver let the
locals off now and then, but watching them waddle into the forest like little
hobbits was strange. Where did they live? I thought I’d been living a simple
existence in Oaxaca working at the bus station, but they must have lived on the
By the time we turned
off the main road, all the hobbits were gone and the driver dropped us off in
Mazunte. The main street was a thin road dotted with hostels. One supermarket
was on a corner with a straw hut internet cafe opposite. A bunch of signs for
hostels pointed up a sandy lane heading towards the sea.
One sign caught our eye
– Einstein’s Hostel, Sea View.
‘So that’s where he’s
hiding,’ Ed said.
The sandy path felt hot
as we wandered along, past trails diverting off into the hills, until we
arrived at the beach.
On first impressions,
Victor’s idea of paradise was similar to mine. A cove hid the beach away from
the rough ocean and cabanas lined up until the small rocky cliffs at the end.
All that was missing was the free booze, barbeques, and the nudist section, but
that would come later.
We were both ready to
run and dive in the cool sea after the stuffy journey, but we heard a conch
Labels: beach life, best beaches in the world, life in mexico, lone travelling, Mazunte, Mexico, where to live in mexico