House sit? On a private beach? At a yoga retreat that hasn’t opened yet? There are calm rock pools to swim in out of the crashing surf? The work part is to walk the dogs on the beach and feed them and the cats? OH, YEAH! So after concluding our house sit in Chapala, we made our way across the large landscape that is Mexico. Our visas were to expire before the house sit concluded, so we needed to get to Guatemala for three days so that we would have another 180 days in Mexico. On the way, we stopped in to visit the current house sitter and see our future new digs.
After the destruction that was Hurricane Carlotta left most of the poor village of Puerticito with only shells of homes, La Joya Yoga Retreat didn’t look too bad. It was mostly cleaned up, though many repairs still needed to be done and the sand road was barely passable in several areas. We spent an hour or two out there with Fiona looking at and experiencing the place we planned to live for the month of August. I won’t go into great detail, but the place was a bit more rustic than we were prepared for, though our pictures make it look perfectly beautiful. The website got me prepared for upscale rustic, but the hurricane took the upscale out of the picture. But the real kicker, the thing that made us back out of the deal, was the oppressive, wet heat. We’re from Texas and experience many 100+ F days every summer, but it was nothing compared to the soppy, wet heat on the southern Mexico coast in summer. The retreat had no fans except over the bed, and that would be mostly blocked by the mosquito netting. Daytime, with surprisingly little breeze coming off the water, there would be no escaping the heat, not to mention the salt and sand that would be sticking to you in the muggy air combined with copious amounts of sweat. Still, we gave it a couple days before even mentioning to each other that we were waffling. It’s the beach! Surely we’d warm to the idea and all would be fine; we’d already committed to the assignment.
So we went back the half hour into the “big city” of Puerto Escondido to stay a few days and enjoy the surfer vibe and beach life. We had stayed the first night in Hotel Rubi. We couldn’t resist, since it was a nice inexpensive place sporting the name of our former charge in Chapala – if you’ll remember, the lovely Rubi.
Alas, the Hotel Rubi was a bit far from the beach action, so we moved to the last hotel on the surfer beach, La Playa Zicatela, to the Papaya Surf Beach Hotel. It was cheap, about $30 a night, and right across the road from the big crashing waves. Most definitely not a swimming beach but great for surfing, many waves creating the tube surfers love to catch – but it comes with an undertow.
The early mornings on an open beach were very nice. The waves usually didn’t start getting high till the sun was well up, and the beach was never crowded. Lovely. But HOT.
After about 11:00, the heat would get oppressive and we mostly stayed in our room since it had an air-conditioner. Once we tried taking our computers to this beautiful bar on the beach under a thick palapa. We enjoyed the sound of the waves and the atmosphere, but the heat got to us by about 12:30 and we had to retreat to our room, hot and grumpy. That was when we were convinced we could not take the house sit and had to back out. There just weren’t enough pluses at the retreat to be able to survive the heat. We proved we just aren’t beach bum material. Luckily, it’s a place where it was easy to find someone quickly to fill our spot, so it worked out for everyone.
We loved our stay in Puerto Escondido, mornings going to breakfast and evenings going to dinner. The food was good and inexpensive, and the energy of the surfer beach was invigorating. We shopped a little for beach clothing and explored the area. One morning as I sat alone on the beach, one of the many local starving stray dogs came over and parked himself a couple feet away. He was so pitifully skinny. He would watch as people went by with their plump, happy dogs taking a morning jaunt, but nobody loved and cared for him. Glenn joined us for a minute, and then we walked to breakfast. My doggie companion must have known we’d be good for a snack, because he followed us to the restaurant and stayed nearby. We put some leftover refried beans and eggs in the two extra tortillas, and Glenn gave them to him across the street. Stray dogs don’t have a good life in Mexico.
There is a wonderful cement walkway that winds its way around the coastline to the different beaches. We decided to walk it one evening, and it took almost an hour. Beautiful! The sign at the end says “A Possible Dream.”
Here are the rest of the pics – click one to see a bigger version or to start slideshow mode…
[slickr-flickr tag=“puerto escondido”]