I have been away. I have been on a beach writing. I have much to catch up with. The stories of Zipolite will not come at a usual pace, and most will not read like my more familiar “Trip Report” format. I’ll probably just use the material like salt and pepper sprinkled into my list of other free range wanderings. This is the first, a haphazard #1, in a series.
At About Sunrise:
DF has run off to a yoga class with a new acquaintance. I don’t follow instructions well. Keep me out of a ballroom dancing class. I stay behind to my own devices.
I take my sarong down to that gentle slope which falls to the waves, where they hit the beach.
The sarong sits in a bundle in the sand. I listen to the surf, eyes occasionally close.
I take notice of my thighs. They’re still tight from yesterday’s sprinting. I think that I’ll just let them rest, today. I read somewhere that that is best. Never do too much, without rest, at least at first.
Yoga is a simple state, just being, the body and here and now.
I squat and sit long enough to feel the burn run up my back, like a warm plate-like shell. Gently, I do a little twist and then a little more. My head moves, directing vision down to one end of the beach and then the other.
Waves pound, the sound is crashing thunder out there, but a surfer makes it into a curl. I quietly congratulate him. A grin appears from my perineum up. Kundalini rising.
I note that the feet are a bit sore, stiff and swollen. Running barefoot on a full tilt, mushing through the deep sand without showshoes, it is all a new workout. It is a good meditation to just sit and caress feet and ankles. I search out their malady, they tell the hands, and then I squeeze. I have happy feet.
A similarly happy butt melds into the deep sand and contours perfectly. The sarong keeps it free of the sand’s errant grains. Those fat hard wooden chairs that are everywhere have done their best more than once to flatten me out on this trip. With those, I’m supposed to bend to them and compensate with my body’s cushion. This very natural cushion is accommodating, sustainable and giving. There is comfort to indulge in.
The sand is welcoming. This whole place is welcoming. The air, the heat and temperature welcome a naked body, seduces it actually. Garments are forgotten on the beach, natural is not a word to read about, or intellectualize, but a whole experience of being. One more time, “this whole place is welcoming.”
I slip into the ocean as the fan of a wave goes out. There is often the initial contrast, spontaneously described as “eek”. DF and I have learned to say “eek” in anticipation of it, like a friend’s greeting. We know that bite will soon lead to our natural relationship with earth, air and water. There may be another “eek” when that deeper wave slips, or slaps up to the chest. Here, the body rapidly makes its adjustment to the coming comfort and joy.
The Ziploite surf kicks my body around. I feel like a child riding daddy’s knee. I don’t know what to expect next, but it will entertain. It is a ride from a divine being. It seems to love me and I am love, too. Safe, but not too safe. I trust it, as a child trusts that parent.
After a while, DF returns. We’re both hungry. On the way to the thatch ceiling of the yoga studio, she had found a new restaurant to try. My sarong finds another purpose as we walk through the hotel, where the deep sand ends, onto the cobbled concrete street and then venture to where the pavement ends and a soft cool sandy loam begins. Happy feet are exploring their world without shoes.
The little road winds through a formerly more jungle-like place. There is the sound of construction, and people making a living. Among the bouquet of various native plants, the scent of fresh wet concrete being mixed crosses my nostrils.
There are taller trees and a sign hanging across, which let us know that we have arrived.
The kitchen building is up front, not large, maybe twice that of someone’s western expansive home. We walk through the opening, which is a path next to the building and into what is as a courtyard. It is shady from various trees. There are two walls, one on each side. They are the bare bricks of the neighbors two story interests. It is nothing more than a clearing. More of those square hard flat seat and simple chairs are scattered around those simple tables. They are arranged in no particular order, or consideration other than, “This is nice,” “There is no tree growing here,” “Oh look, this is like a little room.” It is laid out kind of like one of those playhouses that kids make in a forest with no walls. Each table has a small patio of rough adobe brick under it. A heady jazz, like some New York bistro, snakes through the vegetation. That’s enough.
Out of a small folded menu attempting sophistication, I find a Oaxacan breakfast of eggs and some of those delightful black beans that are indigenous faire. DF, in keeping with her morning of healthy yoga exercise, attends to a heaping bowl of granola, yogurt and fresh fruit. Pineapple and the melt in your mouth papaya are generously shared with my joyful taste buds.
I reflect that people will tell us that the food is good somewhere and we find that it tastes more akin to a Denny’s. Familiarity is often a criterion for “good.”
The morning’s adventure begins out of the fence at the rear of the restaurant property on another dirty soft road for happy feet. We soon discover a plethora of signs in the shape of arrows nailed to a tree. They are pointing in every direction. I half expect one to say, “Tucson 2031 Miles.” Each is for a hotel, or yoga studio, but it is generally the entrance to a whole new world, the new, the higher end, the expensive, the overpriced.
The dirt conveyance has an authentic air about it. Concrete posts with barbed wire drive out the old life of open-air buildings. There are the tumbled remains of campesinos block huts. I figure exploitive speculators have taken the land, making the once owners feel rich.
We wonder up a hill to lookee-lou a new construction with an outlandishly tall thatched roof and stone swimming pool. Extravagance is moving into the sleepy beach town. Everywhere, we have been meeting friends, old and new who have been coming here for decades. They tell of the good ol’ days, when “none of this was here.” They conclude with, “Enjoy it while it lasts.”
We wander up a steep hill and back down on a meandering little road. I see no one and unwrap the sarong, freeing my senses to the air around me.
My bare feet are getting a workout. I decided yesterday, that there is little need for shoes, but for the heat of the sandy beach for a couple of intense hours during siesta. My feet love barefoot. I feel just that much more naked and natural and unencumbered, in the blessing of my moment.
However, the heat is coming. We arrive at the asphalt of the main road into town and it discourages my exploration. Feet literally can burn to deep blisters on man-made surfaces made for shoes and tires.
We return the way that we came. We take a shortcut through the grounds of the Almendra Hotel, through their outdoor restaurant and straight to the cool sand, where it meets the water in the sun.
I stand there in the sand with my kilt on my arm. My hand is out, ready to collect DF’s clothing. We’re eager to return to our nudity. It is the most that we have had on for days. DF is actually wearing underwear! If it ain’t right, then it’s wrong, I figure.
Undressing is like coming home, a cool dip in the sea, and then a fresh squeezed orange drink with mineral water as I sway in a hammock and just listen.
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