The airline cancelled our flight. The choice was on the beach in Zipolite, or cooped up in a hotel in Mexico City.
We’ve got an extra day in Zipolite! We weren’t ready yet, so says the cosmos. The lesson to learn is about surrender to what is and trusting in the divine hand of grace doing whatever it will. Well, through rearranging a slew of reservations on a phone/internet system that wouldn’t cooperate in my Spanish and dashing the class that DF was to take that Sunday, it was figured out that accepting was the best tactic. I’ve been stranded in much worse places than this paradise.
The extra time, well spent, is sure to work out correctly.
In the afternoon, after life calms in a warm sea of salty foam and we succumb to heavy goblets of naturally fruited mineral water, a peace overtakes our sense of propriety. We figured the extent of our expenses and the associated left over pesos and resolve to make the best of the last of this retreat. We head barefoot across town in sarong wraps, then down an alley to an office to arrange reservations for our cab ride the next morning.
That same alley leads to the beach. We quickly strip off our coverings at the edge of the sand. It is a ceremonial end to the hassles caused by the airline. From here on, we have only to enjoy ourselves. Even the bags were packed yesterday.
The heat of the day is on, so we have to dash through the thick dry sand before our feet blister. Just around the corner, we arrive under the shady shelter of someone else’s umbrella. We then leapfrog, shade to shade, across to the bar that we had stumbled upon two nights back.
There is an amiable owner of a guitar working here, who generously allows anyone to borrow it and play. This foreigner named Rick, tells us that he has had the guitar’s servitude throughout Europe and South America during his errant vagabond journey.
It is a tough rugged instrument and my fingers haven’t been on guitar frets for a couple of weeks, but I get through a satisfying set of songs from memory, just to enjoy the meditation of it all. DF has wandered off to the lounge chairs with a glass of smooth local mescal. She enjoys the passing of the waves, which she claims are calmer here. She has found that they are relaxing and give the world peace.
When I join her, she suggests that it is time for us to try the waves to determine their level of tranquility. We grab hands and then make another dash over in the soft sand to the relief of the cooling waters. Dang it if they aren’t more serene here! The gentle surf is relaxing, as we cool to comfort.
We dash back to the bar before the blister, pay and grab the left behind sarongs as just stuff. Again, a dash back, hand in hand, to the soothing newly wet surface at water’s edge. It has been our preferential route across town, a sort of nude bypass.
The window on the florescent green wall has become a familiar symbol of home away from home.
The hammocks and soothing fruit drinks are our strategy room as we make a plan. The next step is yet another skinny dip…to compare…in the waves near the hotel. We leave every possible thing behind us to immerse in this time with the sea. These waves are calmer, too, for now.
Back at the hammocks strategy ensues, “I’m hungry, How about you.”
“Sure, I’ll eat.”
We have two restaurants that we haven’t tried left on our list. DF takes a shower, as I finish a chapter of an Edward Abbey book. We stroll arm in arm, sauntering on main street Ziploite with purpose. For the moment we have a mission, no matter how simple the task, it is ours to accomplish.
Arranging ourselves at a comfortable cushioned set of chairs in a slightly more pricey corner restaurant, we order, lean back and wait. There is no fast food in Zipolite, only slow food. Slow to order, slow to be prepared. The check must be asked for, before one forgets and unintentionally does a dine and dash. There is just no hurry. One must drink Mojito and watch the people meander by. The girls are coming out dressed up for Friday night. It is a runway of beach casual fashion, draped onto many of those who were previously properly attired for this beach. They have freshened up with a shower.
People come and go, as vendors set up their street stands for the evening. The main drag is more of a walkway. I see a nice jeep with mud that has been up in the hills. A young prosperous looking driver looks serious as he pulls up, turns and then backs up in the tiny spaces in-between stalls and restaurants.
Another young man walks out and climbs in from waiting at a corner market. Three times now, I have been solicited to buy marijuana on that corner, as I passed. I’ve told them that I don’t care about mota. I watch a curious interaction unfold, as a uniformed policeman walks casually over to the store, grabs the iron bars and hangs through, just to say hello.
An odd looking fellow across the street is taking pictures, or looking at his phone. I’m not sure.
The two mota solicitors, who often sit out front, say something to each other and walk away casually in different directions…who knows what is going on? The officer wanders into the store and it closes for the day. A box is delivered. Not minding my own business, it all seems quite normal and casual, like watching any other interaction on this street.
Dinner comes. The pescado wrap is delicious, the papas delightful.
It has been a longer meal, a savored meal. The preparation and the usual pace have caused us to miss most of the sunset, but we’ll still get enough of it, watching naked from the beach. We stroll down an alley for the beach again.
My kilt is quickly wrapped up in my armpit, DF’s light short dress is stuffed into her small purse.
There are plenty of walkers out tonight. Most are taking the time to stare out at the peach sky and rich blue waves of twilight. Dogs chase each other, or their master’s sticks. Frisbee, soccer balls, surfers on boogy boards. Some are still absolutely bare on the beach, while others vary in covering as the transition plays into night.
A squadron of pelicans in formation glide past.
“Which way shall we go?”
“Haven’t been down that way in a couple of days.”
We wander past the hotel and toward the rocks around Shambala. The surf is up. We count 21 people out on boards, the record number. Simple points of fact and tabulation are entertaining in our mood. It is just beautiful and romantic in a rich sense of life.
The large rocks are being pounded by the surf, the evening tide is in. It is getting dark.We watch the waters roll in and break over the usual barriers and wash into surprised people sitting on towels. We make fresh tracks in a newly cleared beach.
The softer sands dry, as our feet press down. We see that the moister runs away from them, squeezed out.
We walk dry for a few steps and then a stronger wave slips up and splashes upon our bodies, awakening us with a pleasant chill.
The water is pounding our accustomed walkway, so we turn and try out another path. There is a higher end restaurant on the other side of the outcropping of dark stone, where they place candles on the jagged natural shelves. At tables,Tiki lamps in a row, burn orange.
The peach in the sky gets to be a deeper orange like a mango and then Mexican papaya, and then the deep blue of the back of a Swordfish. The moon above the hills to the west is approaching a half, like a luminous bowl. Here on the beach, a hundred people are dining, each table with its own flame in a glass bubble.
We walk on.
This smaller beach is a cove. The hillside is populated by thatch roofs of palm leaves. We come to the end, a rock wall there. On the other side it is being pummeled by white foam. Water shoots up ten and twenty feet, wraps around the outcrop and slaps down on the beach. From there, the waves roll out like carpet rushing towards us.
We promptly store our belongings safely on the beach above and walk down to enjoy the wave’s process. The warm unpredictable water is at our feet, to kick and sink into the sand, to be pulled and then, not. With nothing between us and this environment it feels primal, real, closer to the force of nature. Each sound of flush, or swoosh may be accompanied by a light spray. The raw energy of the crashing wave so close, the awareness of the intricacy of the turbulent air is that much closer. The world is very much alive with all of our senses piqued.
Arm in arm, we stand, we hug, we experiment in play. There is a moon shadow of us and the pattern of a coconut palm nearby. The fan of the waves creates a fresh dance floor every few moments. We begin to dance in the moonlight. It is our ritual, we quietly sing, “Dancing in the Moonlight” together, as we gently spin and embrace.
We stroll back next to the ghostly white of waves, toward the distant lights out in the darkness. We are getting closer to the people dining and enjoying cocktails in one hundred orange lights. Our nudity is just a part of this place as we pass next to the glow from the tiki torches. We hear someone playing a medley of popular tunes on a clarinet.
After we pass the dining area, there are four lounging mattresses in white sheets glowing in the night. We lie down next to each other, a usually intimate situation. Tonight, we are bare and natural in this place.
The angle is perfect to watch the stars, the constellations in the Milky Way and that orange moon. After the clarinet stops, we talk about Zipolite. How I might rent a place and spend several weeks here next year.
A group of about twenty, a party, is gathered around a glowing green hula hoop on the beach.
The walk back takes us next to Hotel Nude. This is a day of “last times that we will.” Walking into the bar feeling lovely naked and ordering a drink must be done one last time. We do.
Someone is playing romantic Latin songs on a guitar. Our drinks come.
Rudely, wired speakers begin to blast music. We must leave for a quieter spot, there is no romance and peace here. Further away, off on the beach, there are more lounge beds with mattresses. These are suspended with ropes which swing. It is another white mattress on the beach inviting us to try it out.
Eventually, we go back to the bar to pay the bill. A group that is there are dressed, unlike the Hotel Nude. A couple of them are snickering at what is an oddity to them, people naked in a bar. There is just the right tune playing. I gather DF and we dance once again. Ballroom moves, swinging with disco. We do it well. We do it so that these people see nude people doing normal cool things. It takes the oddity away from us. They are watching us boldly dance and not so much naked. We are now more than just perceived out of place. Their perspectives are changed. No more snickering from those hidden inside the textiles. Score for the cause, we made change and we had fun doing it.
Romance on the beach, romance in the stars, romance on our balcony and looking out of our room’s little wooden windowsill. This is Zipolite….
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