There are certain things about a place that you discover have ingrained themselves deep in your psyche. I find those mental triggers are more often in the realm of smell or sound, a scent of vegetation, ocean or even something vaguely malodorous that immediately grounds you in your surroundings. A certain bird call, dissonant piece of farm machinery or in El Pequeno Paraiso, I take an odd pleasure in hearing the veggie wagon pull up singing out his inventory or the Global Gas truck winding through the neighborhoods with their iconic honk and chant of “gassss, Global Gas” looking to refresh the propane bottles of anyone who is running low. When I take Cali out to the beach for a morning walk and the air is cool, stepping across a section of sand where an incoming wave has just receded, I feel the sensation of warmth radiate up through the soles of my feet. An odd but thoroughly enchanting feeling. This must be what the sensation is for rich folks with the luxury of heated flooring.
I’ve been a little slow the past few days still recovering from a cold and not sleeping the best. They say it’s a common turn of events as you get older, but I don’t care to look at it that way. Last night was really my own fault. I couldn’t put down “Water for Elephants” until I had read it to its completion at a little past two a.m. Days are finding a rhythm. Lots of beach time, riding the bike into town for tacos and a grocery or two. I pedaled out to the main highway that leads to Puerto Vallarta to get some pesos from the ATM at the Oxxo speedy mart on the far side.
The owl to scare the birds away
My go to veggie stand
As I was rolling home at ten o’clock, I saw that Sahuayo’s was open and bubbling up some fresh and tasty carnitas. It was earlier than I would have thought for tacos, but I’d only eaten a piece of bread this morning and the aroma drew me in. Although they have the best tacos in Lo de Marcos, I find it hard to gauge when they are going to be open. Mornings and lunch it seems. My personal assessment that tacos in the a.m. is odd was quickly dispelled as the place filled up. The taco master was kept busy the whole time I was there with people seated and a steady flow of patrons coming in to buy the carnitas by the kilo and take it home. So Good! I had two tacos de carnitas and uno de lengua. That will hold me for breakfast and lunch. At 15 pesos each, about 79 cents, you can’t go wrong.
I needed to burn off some calories so I extricated the Walden from the lower compartment of the RV and went out to surf with the crew out front. It was a stand up guy and one local who wasn’t looking too aggressive. I had to make some phone calls and by the time I got to paddling out, a crew of the young local hot shots were jumping off the rocks at the point and into the line up. Another guy on a SUP joined them but the vibe was pretty mellow and I still managed to catch maybe four or five okay waves. The wave here is pretty soft. The structure of the reef has the wave roll forward rather than spin down the line to the left. You could call it a left but I’d almost dub it a ‘straight’. I milked a few, constantly pumping and wiggling to maintain some forward momentum and avoid getting stranded.
I lounged and read on the beach then went out for a body surfing session in the shorebreak. Next thing I know, my friend Alan is out there with me. Cool. I hadn’t seen him since Chacala. He’s been wandering around checking out beaches and ranches in the jungle. We agreed to meet up for dinner and he headed back over to his camp two doors down at Parota. At dusk, Alan came over and we rode the bikes into town and toured around. We decided to go bold and have dinner at Mr. Ribs, the most gringo looking of the big new restaurants in Lo de Marcos. A kid was busy barbecuing ribs and chickens on a parilla fired with a really fragrant wood. The ribs were good, but I fear the garlic is going to stay with me for days. A decent band was playing out front. Jean Claude, my next RV neighbor, came in with his family that they retrieved at the airport today. The place did a lively business, but not quite my style of dining.
Dominos dominate at the plaza
I grabbed my sheets at the seemingly always open laundry then we sat on the curb at the paleta store and had an ice cream before I headed home to free the hound and put on the overly scented sheets. If you’re sensitive to strong cleaning products, beware in Mexico. Some tenters were setting up in the spot recently vacated across the way and they rattled around getting situated and sipping beers until after midnight. Dutch guys, I think, with their young daughters. I closed up the windows, put on the A/C and putted around inside. I keep claiming I’m leaving but it’s been hard getting out the door.