Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting Settled...

In one direction it’s vacation casitas and rustic cabanas. In the other direction, there’s a handful of two story vacation villas, in various stages of completion. In every direction, but west, there are coconut palm trees.

In the west, the ocean lives. It rolls and breaks at one point, but is otherwise relatively flat. During the day, mellow waves steadily deposit woody bits of the inland along with all sorts of plastic refuse. It collects in piles that cover the beach. In front of enramada Illianet’s, to clear a path to the beach, they rake the wood in long piles and burn it throughout the night, giving the dark sand an even darker charcoal black finish in the morning. Here we talked to Mario, the short, stout, gruff overseer of the new two story casitas behind Illianet’s about renting the top floor with a gorgeous oceanview for the next week after making up our minds that it would be worth the extra pesos to spend the rest of our vacation in relative luxury.

When we return from a trip to Xtapa to get cash, I detect Mario’s grumpiness softening to something like indifference. He makes a point to introduce us to Humbert, who we talk into renting us boards for $10/day starting in the morning. That night the sun sets and cows, one burro, and ponies (real wild ponies! after some heated debates, even Nic had to eventually agree, these are wild ponies.) graze beneath the coconut trees.

Adjusting to surf time

We stop at Barra de Nexpa to take in the pounding surf. Only a handful of short-boarders are attempting the rough, muddy wave. The rest of the town is deserted. Up and down the beach, empty palapas that should host throngs of sunny, euphoric tourists stand, dark and unwelcoming. Without the distraction of lively people, it’s eerie and strange. We leave promptly.

The next stop is another small beach-side village. The magic wave we’ve heard about fulfills all stories and peels down the line for minutes on end. It’s mind-blowing. We greet two surfers. They happen to be from Bellingham, WA. They drove all the way down and are “stuck” until their van get’s fixed. How long have you been here?

Saltwater bloodshot eyes look at us. What day is it today?

He asks the question like one might ask you your name. With casual indifference, because it doesn’t really matter whether you respond with “john” or “joya”, it’s a mere technicality. I have a hard time remembering. Jen and Eric left yesterday the 22, Sunday.

Nic chimes in with today’s Monday the 23rd.

We look at them, eagerly. As they look at eachother, assessing time that's come and gone between morning beach swells, high tides and afternoon siestas.

Five weeks? We’ve been here five weeks.