Good for what ails you: Zipolite/Puerto Angel
Feeling unwell and riding isn’t great fun. I wasn’t in top form, and Jayne’s abdominal cramping was getting pretty bad when we left Puerto Escondido.
Fortunately, the ride to the Mazunte/Zipolite/Puerto Angel area was only about an hour. After a beach beer on Zipolite, watching old naked folks waddle past, we decided to go explore Puerto Angel. Jayne’s abdominal cramping continued, but fortunately no diarrhea or vomiting symptoms accompanied it. Just intermittent, searing pain. Halfway to Puerto Angel we received a call from Omar, a CS host offering his place in, you got it, Puerto Angel! What luck! He was stuck at the university until 9pm, so we had time to kill. Napping on the side of the road and making friends with the locals would fill that time.
While standing by Jugs, a gent named ‘Paulo’ started chatting with me, and offered his place to pass the time. We spent a few hours at Paulo’s house, where he entertained us with coffee and tried to sort out Jayne’s stomach with some garlic. Sadly to no avail.
Once convened with Omar and set up at his place, I joined him and his amigos in town for the local carnival. Jayne stayed home to try to sleep off her ailments.
The carnival was great fun, riding a ride, eating carni food and playing lots of carnival games. They’re all just as rigged as the Canadian ones, just cost a lot less to play. Needless to say I didn’t win a giant cigarette. Woe is me.
Omar madeÂ great breakfast, in return I taught Omar and some of his friends how to play Ultimate. After some throwing lessons, we split into a game of 3-on-3 box ultimate. There was a solid serving of burn in the 30+ degree midday sun, but it was a blast to play again and create some new frisbee fans. Jayne again sat out and napped on the sidelines, with less cramping but still feeling drained of energy.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in hammocks at a bar on the beach, lightly swinging while drinking cervezas until after sunset. We would later return towards these same hammocks for the night beach party.
There were tons of great folks on the beach that night. French representatives from both Quebec and France were present, and for the first time I heard a side-by-side comparison. Quebec french truly is its own dialect. I think I like France french better. With French, English and Spanish all being spoken all around, I struggled. It was great speaking a second language I was good at, but changing between the three over and over had me muddled by the end of the night, at times using all three languages in the same sentence.
As the beach party went on until late in the morning, the prospect of trying to get a ride back to Puerto Angel became daunting. The prospect of alternating between sleeping in a hammock and sleeping by the fire became the more alluring.
Jayne and I reconvened in the morning, took a siesta, then loaded up for a quick afternoon ride back to Puerto Escondido.
Jayne’s Zipolite experience:
Many people recommended Mazunte and Zipolite as nice, chilled places to spend a few days. It was most unfortunate that for the whole time we spent on the Oaxacan coast I was ill. I know that I have been lucky to be healthy for the past six months – it was inevitable to get stomach problems eventually. And boy did I have stomach problems. It started with about 48 hours of sporadic, extremely painful, cramping along with being very tired and feeling generally unwell. It stepped it up up a notch in hilarious fashion the night we headed to the beach party.
I suffered terrible FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when Phil went to the carnival leaving me behind, but I really felt awful and had been pushing through all day and evening when I really just wanted to sleep. I was pleased the next evening that I had more energy and the cramping had lessened. I felt well enough to hit the beach party we’d been invited to earlier.
Phil and I were wandering along the beach when I was struck by the sudden, desperate need for the toilet. All that cramping had decided to “express itself” with no warning at all. With barely a word to Phil I sprinted towards the nearest building. Those of you who have ever tried running on sand will know that it is not easy! I was directed towards the washroom at the back of the bar, which to my immense dismay was locked. A man standing nearby with a water truck and a giant hose saw the look of desperation on my face and tried to open the door, to no avail.
My only option was to head out into the street towards the next building. I didn’t make it. I crouched in the shadows between a wall and a parked truck with my dress hitched up and my insides exploded in an alarming fashion. Luckily there was no one around to witness this mortifying experience. I was just standing up trying to swallow my shame when a couple came round the corner. I froze, not wanting them to see me. Unfortunately it was their truck I was sheltered by, and as they walked towards me, the lady sensed my presence in the shadows and screamed an ear shattering scream! I shuffled away with a quick apology, and found that there was a block of toilets about 10 meters further down the street. Too little, too late.
Despite my uncooperative stomach, I enjoyed the beach party, meeting lots of great people. There are a lot of Europeans visiting that area, Matteo from Italy with his stunning blue eyes, Stephan and his girlfriend from France with their fun dance moves, and Arturo from Mexico with his guitar with the broken string, all made the night special and helped me to recover from my ordeal.
There were some really fabulous fire spinners on the beach too. I spent hours watching flaming hula hoops and poi spun by daring and talented dancers.
I feel like I didn’t really get the opportunity to fully enjoy the Oaxacan coast, especially Mazunte as we didn’t ever end up stopping there. I guess I’ll have to go back some day!