Thursday I attended a lecture at the library about Amaranth…a nutritious plant the Mayans and Aztecs cultivated until the Spanish arrived. The Catholic priests didn’t like this worship of the plant so they chopped off the hands of any Indigenous person caught eating it and then ripped it all out and replaced it with wheat. Now there is a movement on to bring it back in order to restore malnourished children and adults in the villages and throughout Mexico that weren’t eating properly or didn’t have access to a good diet. It has lots of protein , vitamins, and minerals. I use it in my “Nutola” for breakfast and mix it in with soups and other dishes…like sesame seeds.
|Amaranth on my 3 Kings Cake…and I got one of the Baby Jesus’s|
I had lunch at Biznaga before picking up my laundry on the way home.
This morning I packed for my trip to Zipolite Naturist Beach on the Pacific side of Oaxaca. I take a Collectivo Van 6 hours through the Mountains to the shore. They have been building a superhighway for years but the money disappeared and it was way over budget so now maybe two more years before the trip can be done in 3 hours on the new toll road.
A nice couple gave a lecture at 5 pm at the library about what the Conquistador’s parents ate on the Iberian Peninsula in the late 1400’s early 1500’s. They culled recipes from testimony given by witnesses and those accused of heresy during the Spanish Inquisition. What they ate determined they were not Catholic…example Meat during Lent or Friday’s, no Pork (possibly Jews) etc. So neighbors or cooks that worked for some would be called to testify. They only found 6 cookbooks and three were Arabic. All 6 had no measurements, or methods of cooking …only ingredients and that changed when the Food arrived from the New World.
Today is Saturday and I’m off to catch my collectivo for Zipolite. I was there 15 minutes early as requested but we never left until 1/2 hour after the appointed 10:30 time. The trip was OK but after stopping in San Jose…a quiet little “hippy”: village know for it’s magic mushrooms, we took on 5 new passenger hippies that filled the van…then a couple hitchhikers that were returning to repair their broken down car…so people were now sitting on each other’s laps. Not mine. San Jose was an attractive place and could have been Santa Cruz California in the 60’s. Names like Sativa, Heven, Cloud Paradise, and nice Organic or Vegetarian Restaurants that gave it a nice comfortable friendly feel. The hippies were all friendly too. One person with pink hair was being held by her lesbian friend with blue hair, to keep her upright. I thought she had palsy but a bad trip on Mushrooms would be more like it…this was around 3 pm. I thought of spending the night…next time.
The trip to Zipolite was a different route than to Puerto Escondido with MORE sharp jagged mountains and switchbacks then I’ve ever experienced in my life. I shouldn’t have ate the spicy Mexican bag of disgusting Chip-olitas…loaded with saturated fat, sugar and ????. I was getting nauseated but finally arrived at the stop in Zipolite. If my Spanish been better I would have stayed in the van while he drove the last passenger to the beach area where the hotels were. I started walking with my bag in tow until I hit sand. Then carrying my bag and suitcase I trudged through soft sand until my ankles hurt then stopped a while…about 6 times before hitting the beach areas with paved road again.
Not having a reservation but being reassured by all those expats in Oaxaca that I would have no problem getting a place for 150 to 300 pesos top, I started knocking on doors. I did have a reservation for an A/C room on the beach for 800 pesos a night…6400 for the 8 days $380 …more than my months rent…I thought I could do better. 1st place La Zipolita Playa, wanted 500 pesos with a fan…the sun was setting and so was I…I moved in for the night and started searching for another.
I came to Brisas Marina and met the owner, Daniel Wiener, about my age with a daughter in Newport Beach. He showed me another room with a fan for 250 pesos. I paid for next day…cutting my expenses in half then had dinner.
I walked down to the beach area where nudist were getting there morning sun. No one was lounging on the beach…just strolling it. I tried another hotel but again…800 pesos for A/C…I decided to leave in a couple days and plan the trip for December next year. I noticed a bare breasted bald lady relaxing in one of the hammocks they have for guests.
I paid Dan for 2 more nights. He said they didn’t encourage nudity in the hotel but I could take a lounge chair down my the beach if I liked. I then relaxed over coffee next door at “A Nice Place On The Beach”…really. It was so comfortable I had some granola, fruit and yogurt while reading Bill Bryson’s fascinating book, the “Summer of ’27”. I was changing gears and enjoying it.
I decided it was time to get some sun and laid in an Adirondack chair and basked for 15 minutes then took a walk along the water’s edge down and back to the end of the beach. Few nude people were laying out or strolling down the beach…but not many. I came into the town and bought some water and mixer to take to my room where I took my fourth COLD shower in 24 hours.
I can’t believe I’ve only been here a day…time slows down while counting the waves. It was 4 pm and Happy Hour. I walked down to Sativa, an attractive secluded hotel just down from me.
|Really Rough Life|
It appeared to be closed but a pleasant Mexican woman greeted me and gave me their facebook address as they had no business cards. A room was 300 pesos but they had a nice bar and pleasant area with hammocks and lounge chairs. I ordered a Bailly’s on the Rocks and read while watching the people go by and the surf come in. The bartender was rolling a joint from the biggest bud I have ever seen. He never flinched while the lady made the drink. I asked if I could smoke mine there and he looked at me and replied…of course.
Later I saw a group of 4-5 guys sitting on the curb with everyone passing by…while they passed the pipe…then passed out on the sidewalk? I returned to be close to my place.
Sitting here with my second XX beer y Mezcal listening to Reggie music and watching the pelicans dive for fish in the surf while the sun sets AND nude people strolling by on the sandy beach as the sun sets...reminds me of Cholla Bay in Puerto Penasco. And It is OK to smoke a joint! I am at “Nice Place On The Beach To Be” That is an appropriate name.
A nice restaurant across the street caught my attention with both a Continental menu and a Sushi Menu. It was packed last night when I had Pescado Mediterranean at an Italian restaurant.
I wanted to try the Hummus, Felafel’s, Sushi…but settled on the Pescado with Mushrooms in a wine sauce which was excellent.
While having dinner in this outdoor cafe …they all are … two Mexican couples sat with a BIG black man. Unusual to see that in Mexico…or any black man for that matter. The couples were chatting and laughing in Mexican and he seemed bored…no drink or even coffee. They would be looking at their cell and sharing but when he looked over , they didn’t offer to show him. He didn’t talk to them but did laugh now and then…I just figured his Spanish was bad and he had no interest or understanding of what they said. I understood that …so invited him to join me to be polite and have a conversation in English myself…he declined and said he was here to visit with his friends . I asked where he was from …Chicago..of course. One of my favorite cities. I told him I was from Buffalo but living in Oaxaca when he admitted he was too and had coffee at the Zocalo . I only go for wine in the evening but never saw him in Oaxaca…so will look for Ron to have a conversation with when I return. He was a very friendly and nice man. The others seemed to take offense for interrupting their gathering and I tried to apologize but their looks were not friendly. I think I insulted them.
|…and the beach!|