• Jan

    Journey from San Jose in Costa Rica to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico


    The first time I heard about Puerto Escondido, the surfing paradise by the Pacific Ocean in Oaxaca, Mexico, was during a visa run to the Thai-Burmese border. Mexico was still unknown territory but destiny shuffles its cards in funny ways.

    A few months later, serendipity, the art of being in the right place at the right time, had sent me to Central America to work in a communal project that turned out to be little more than castles in the air. Sitting at the bar of a popular backpackers hostel in San Jose in Costa Rica, feeling sorry for myself and wondering where to go next, a nearby conversation caught my attention. Three guys were chatting enthusiastically about the November festival in Puerto Escondido. Closing my eyes to focus on their conversation, I heard them talking about Zicatela´s Beach International Surfing Tournament where apparently they were participating.

    When I returned to my room, I found about the Puerto Escondido November bash: A new “Miss Puerto Escondido” starts off the festival. Puerto Escondido Hotels are packed with a mixed crowd of surfers waiting to face the Mexican pipeline, anglers looking forward to their best catches in the Sailfish Tournament, and Mexican culture lovers from all over the globe.

    It seemed the perfect place to get rid of my Costa Rica blues, find a new path and a new timeline. As uncertainty was vanishing from my mind, I enjoyed my first uninterrupted sleep in months. Costa Rica had been a step in the journey and I was looking forward to move on.

    Puerto Escondido Hotels

    Two weeks later I arrived in Puerto Escondido and heaven opened up again. What a wonderful, easy and laid-back destination! I thought I could easily live here and found myself funning around again with every shopkeeper and taco stand attendant in town. San Jose was disappearing in the mist when I spotted one of the guys from the San Jose hotel inside a scuba diving shop. I was in such good spirits that I went over and let him know his part in bringing me to Puerto Escondido. Amused by my story, he invited me over to watch the surfing tournament that was starting the next day.

    Surfing isn’t theater and no rehearsal will save you from nature´s temper. Not very skilled with waves, I was quite taken by the mastery the contestants showed, and my friend was an expert from my point of view. Expert or not, Zicatela´s waves have sent put many a surfer into a wheelchair and one can feel the Adrenaline in the air. My friend came out of the ocean in one piece but with a twisted ankle.

    He didn´t want to hear about going to a hospital and asked me to drive him to “his medicine woman in Oaxaca” instead. We drove the hundred and sixty miles from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca, meandering through mountain roads. When we arrived to our destination in Oaxaca, a suprisingly youthful old lady greeted us. Dogs were barking around our Jeep, hens and ducks were happily running around in the yard and her place exuded joy from every corner.

    My friend got out and hugged the old lady with great affection. Once inside, she hardly looked at his ankle. She went to her kitchen and came back with a steaming sachet. Then she explained to me that it contained herbs and a secret traditional ingredient. Probably Arnica, I thought to myself, no mystery here, madam.

    My German discretion didn´t allow me to do anything but smile though. Then she turned around and, shaking her head, pointed out how Arnica had been wrongly used in Western medicine. Then she asked me if she could be of any help. I answered I had no health problems as far as I knew. The old lady simply replied: “Well, next time you follow your heart, don´t forget to take your head with you. And you´ll sleep just fine.”

    Author: Oliver Weickardt
    Villa Experience Mexico (Luxury vacation Rentals)

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