I say this now sitting on the couch with joyous glee on my face, a belly full of fine dining and legs which just will not stand up anymore today.
Our day in paradiso (paradise), kickstarted at 7:43am, when I rolled out of bed heading for the bathroom. As I darted across the hallway half expecting everyone to be lounging about reading books and sipping on coffee.
Instead I learnt that I was the second person awake on this fine morning and that my wife had been awake for the last 52 minutes or since 6:43am. “Please repeat that for me. I thought you just said it’s 7:43am?” She smiled then winked at me. And back to bed I went. Only this time I grabbed my book and green Nalgene bottle then took a seat on the rear patio.
Not even two minutes after settling into the chair did recognize the wafting smell of garbage burning in the air. Gathering my things I went back indoors and sat beside my wife. “Is there something wrong outside,” she says with a knowing grin.
“Nothing’s wrong. Just figured it’s a good morning to sit next to you and away from that Sunday Korean scent outside,” I responded. Followed by, “what time is aquafit?” “Its at 10am. We leave at 9:45am.”
Peeling open the James Lee Burke novel called Cadillac Jukebox to page 179, I began reading again.
Twenty-something minutes later the wife began chopping up vegetables and asked if I would like a 2 egg omelette. “Yes, please,” my eyes and head never leaving the pages I was involved in.
After breakfast everyone quickly changed and out the door we went. Ten-ish minutes later we arrived at Xneunda Raquet & Fitness Centre in Playa Chahue. We were introduced to the instructor as I hoped into the pool and began swimming laps to warm up.
Honestly, I’ve never been to an aquafit class before and after 60+ minutes of moving, jumping, kicking, punching, squishing, splashing and pressing in the water I had burned off the morning breakfast and felt energized for the day ahead.
Our aquafit setting was outstanding amongst the cobbled pathways, red and yellow stucco courtyard, old Miztec decor and serene palm trees swaying about.
Out of the pool we climbed everyone mingling and drying off, when I learnt the instructor is from the neighboring town back home and works part-time at the local leisure centre.
Back into the Fiat 500, we climbed headed for Cafe Huatulco for a juice, coffee and breakfast treat in the plaza in Santa Cruz.
Upon our approach the sun beat down upon us about 11:48am, “wow! I sure am hungry,” I stated to everyone within ear shot, as I lifted the menu reading and trying to interpret what I might have for second breakfast.
My order consisted of una tamale espinicas, una quesadilla con chorizo, et una cappuchino huatulcoco (a spinach tamale, a spicy sausage quesadilla and a cappuccino) then the other 3 people ordered.
First came out our tamales wrapped in a banana leaf. My wife not knowing what a tamale is? Awaited with inquisitive eyes as I unwrapped my tamale. In the end I explained to my friends how a traditional tamale is made. Everyone tasted it and were surprised by the deliciousness of the mild flavours. Tamales were followed by the beverages and finally our main dishes. Everything was succulent.
Back at the condo, everyone took a dip into la picina (the swimming pool) to cool off before heading upstairs to change and get our things together for the adventures to Copalita Archeologicale Heritage and La Bocana.
Cramming back into the car we escaped east towards the only ruins in the local area. We were surprised that our friends had never been to the site. It’s ruins date back to 1000BC to 900AD. And are said to be part of both Miztec and Aztec heritages. Upon our arrival about 1:35pm the gates were closed. The local security guard stepped out with a pamphlet handing it to me as we read the schedule of hours, Tuesday to Sunday 830am to 530pm. “Thanks for stopping Tony. At least we tried. Let’s go to the beach.”
Spinning around he turned that miniature automobile and back down the road we went 4 minutes to the exit to La Bocana. Pulling up there were two options. Restaurant on the left or right of the semi circular drive before the very long, very dry beach with only 3 people on it.
What we learned is La Bocana is where there is a very strong surf and an extremely dangerous undertow or ripcurl which has swept out a handful of tourists and locals to their deaths.
Even with this knowledge in mind, I grabbed my snorkel kit, doned on my rash guard and headed towards the rock outcroppings to the right of the beach in the hopes to see some sea life activity.
Instead I found the surf to be too strong to float in, zero visibility and several rocks with callused shells creating a difficult area to stand in. My hands slammed against a half-dozen large rocks and I may have stepped onto the backs of a couple of dive bombing blue crabs trying to duck into the water instead of being nabbed by an awaiting White Morph’s beak.
Climbing out of this rocky ocean side surf pool of danger I stood on the beach catching my breath when some other tourists approached asking if I could see anything in the pool? “Nothing but silt and a handful of rocks to beat up the bottoms of my feet,” I said, followed by, “there’s a really strong undertow in that pool. It pulled me over a couple of large rocks which is why decided to get out.”
Thirteen minutes later and bored with the small chat which sometimes comes my way with other tourists, I ran off along the beach getting away from the rocks and out towards the thundering surf. Twenty-two-ish minutes later I had some surf photos and enough of the lonely surf as the snorkeling just was not going to happen this afternoon.
Back under the thatched seaside restaurants outdoor sitting area, I stomped out the sand and enjoyed towelling off in the warmth of the white sun drenched towel. Two gulps and the 500ml water bottle was empty. Explaining the surf situation to my wife she pulled off her t-shirt and headed for the water.
Upon her return we all had another beverage then packed it in, to head for Lolo’s Cliff side Cafe for a margarita. Reaching the hillside cafe, I read over the menu and spotted a beverage called “Dirty Monkey” and thus I asked what it is?
In perfectly spoken English he said, “it’s banana liquors and chocolate sauce over ice.” “Gracias por favor, una mas. (Thank you one please).” “Danada (you’re welcome).”
The dirty monkey took 7 and a half minutes to drink. It is the perfect beverage to have while watching the surf roll in and out at the top of a hill overlooking the deep blue ocean below.
Back at the condo we all took a brief shower and climbed into the pool. I began swimming laps. The wife started performing an aquafit routine. Tony jogged in place and his lady, Nancy shot the breeze with some friends all hanging about inside the pool. Ten-ish minutes later Tony clambered out and headed up stairs than he went to the local car wash to spruce up the Fiat for tomorrow’s road trip to the coffee plantations near Pluma Hilado. Nancy and the wife disappeared twelve minutes after him in order to get ready for our dinner reservations at 7:00pm. And I waited ten minutes after they departed to ensure I would be the last to shower.
By 6:48pm everyone was famished. Tony returned with the Fiat smelling like a new car inside and out. We tumbled into the car and down the Cruz del Mar hill into town. Tony magically maneuvered us around, through, in and out of Monday night traffic until we were parked in front of Grillo Marinero.
Seated at a table near the front door our fishing pal, Gabby, arrived at our table. We introduced Gabby to our gals and ordered a beverage. He departed and brought us drinks, maize (corn) tortillas as an appetizer and I asked him about the 6 choices of Habanero sauce on the table. He pointed to one saying it’s best as there are no chemicals in it and asked if I would like some of the house Habanero sauce? “Gracias amigo. (Thank you friend).”
The wife ordered garlic style shrimp and salad, Tony and Nancy ordered the chili style catch of the day red snapper and I ordered the garlic trio of snails, shrimps and octopus with salad.
Full of seafood dinner we paid our tab, thanked our friends and went for a stroll around the town, down past the plaza, saw an in session outdoor mass at the local Church de Guadalupe and decided on a night-cap back in Santa Cruz at Cafe Huatulco.
Around the plaza we wandered back to the Grillo, waving to Francisco and stepping into the Fiat. Thirteen minutes later Tony pulled over and parked outside of the Santa Cruz plaza. Wandering through the plaza we searched for an elegant evening table and read the menu. Everyone ordered ice cream with the exception of my wife who also ordered an espresso to pour over her ice cream.
With our ice cream paid for Nancy wanted to go dip her feet into the ocean. We walked down the promenade onto the beach and down to the awaiting waters. Our feet stepped into the chilled waters, everyone pointing out various stars and constellations as we were dragged kicking and screaming in our heads that we didn’t want to return to the condo! Especially after such a long terrific day and in wonderment of what tomorrow may bring.