It’s flat. So I sit, drink a Balinese coffee and listen to the flirtatious conversation between two middle aged Californians at breakfast. The southern Cali twang is unmistakable and unusual next to the more common Aussie accent. Bali is to Australians what Mexico is to North Americans…good waves, a cheap holiday, contrasting culture, and white-skin preferential treatment.
With this in mind, let’s turn to Unstuck Travel’s own Mexican contributor for his perspective.
Mexican Pipeline Dreams
By Israel Vazquez
After a swift check-in at the hostel we stepped outside and crossed the main street that stretches parallel to Playa Zicatela. A few palm trees interrupt the half-a-kilometer long straight of restaurants separating el adoquin – pavers, aligned into a limestone road – from the legendary barrels. We sat in front of them to attend the sunset.
Firewood and freshly cooked seafood, up-beat salsa music and the crisper, true refreshing beer – yes, coronas taste better here – out staged by a palette of red, orange, gold, pink and indigo on Puerto Escondido’s sky. Sunset was followed by delicious fish tacos, more cerveza and a game of dominos. At night the closeout barrels, bombs of compressed air, thumped to no avail and rattled the town asleep.
For the next few days we surfed great waves – angry three footers – and eventually checked out the colourful early-season nightlife. We felt in paradise, but still had in our heads the awful publicity against Mexico in the media.
I found that there aren’t thugs attacking tourists or anyone else. Law abiding citizens aren’t scared of living normally, and domestic tourism has not dropped down. The drug cartels are gun-fighting over control of multi-billionaire-business in the US and other nose-powdering countries. It is an imported problem whose most casualties are located around God’s punishment to Mexico: its border north. This clearly does not mean the country is a no-go zone. Which country is free of violence these days anyway?
The seasoned traveller learns that the best trips are for whom best assimilates the culture. Thus, abiding by the rules, customs and laws abroad – even if they are different – is necessary. I noticed that Puerto locals were, though a bit rough, decent and kept composed even with cheap party and fun on tap. We behaved to suit, had a great time in Mexico and met great people from everywhere.
But surely bad could happen to those visitors who blatantly look for trouble and/or insist on being loud, obnoxious even disrespectful.
For everyone else there is plenty of beauty, even in the most treacherous of oceans.