I am unpacked but still sweating for this Outsidevibes Weekly Update. This past week was mostly a relaxed one, with only a few hiccups, like me finding out that giant red ants invaded my backpack, but other than that Emma and I have spent most of the week getting a feel for our area of Puerto Escondido.
We are staying on the small surf area of Zicatela, which has a completely different vibe than the main city of Puerto Escondido. We are literally less than a minute’s walk to the beach! The area we are staying at is so quite and relaxed. Zicatela where the big waves and main surf break are, so swimming is mostly dodging waves, but the beach is fantastic.
Our Airbnb has been good to us so far, its nothing fancy, we have a bathroom, bedroom area, fridge and coffee pot. Rent is cheap, it is newly built and quiet. Yes we have come up with some interesting ways to cook with the coffee pot.
This past week Emma and I spent a few afternoons in the northern part of Puerto Escondido, at a nice hostel/co-working space. The WIFI in our Airbnb is pretty much non-existent. Currently I am at the co-working space, to do the Outsidevibes Weekly Update, Song of the Week and some other work. The co-working space is not too expensive for a day pass, which is great by me! Getting up here isn’t bad either. It has gotten us out of the house a bit. It’s about a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb to the main road and then we hop on a Collectivo for around 20 minutes to get to the co-working space.
If you are wondering, Collectivo’s are an inexpensive taxi and the main mode of transportation to get to and from the outskirts of town into the city. They are converted pickup trucks that have a tarp covering and benches in the box for people to sit and a couple handles for others to hang off the rear bumper when its busy.
Unfortunately they have been busy quite a few times. On my second day in Puerto Escondido I had my first experience, since my Thailand Tuk-Tuk accident, of hanging off the back of one. Lets say my palms were sweating as I hung onto the bar, my anxiety was high and my heart was beating fast. Now though, after a week occasionally doing it, I get shaken up only every once and a while. I am getting more used to it, sorry mom. One memorable night this past week, Emma and I got our first Collectivo when it was fully dark outside, which was scary. I was hanging on the outside, standing on the rear bumper, inside the box there were 13 other people plus 7 in the cab. We only went to get groceries but ended up getting stuck on one at the busiest time of day.
On a better note Emma and I have found our favorite restaurant in the city and discovered the local Oaxaca pizza cuisine called Tlayuda. We also both started surf lessons this past Monday and Emma started Spanish school. We booked two weeks of private surf lessons from the hostel/surf school across the road from our Airbnb. Monday was my first time ever surfing and I had a blast. After going over the basics at the hostel, Emma and I were loaded into a minivan and taken out to the smaller, beginner beach of Playa Carrizalillo. We both got up on every wave and handled them well. Coming back from the lesson we were excited and ready to do it again the next day.
The next day’s lesson was not cool at all. Somehow we were put in with a group of 5 other people and unbeknownst to us taken just a few minutes walk down to La Punta, the main surf break area. The waves were massive and the sets came in close and fast. There’s a strong riptide and the area was packed with skilled surfers. Emma and I each took one wave, getting the better of both of us, and instead of struggling to get past the break and make it back out to the instructors and group we headed for shore and went back to the surf school.
That was my second surf lesson, second time ever touching a surf board. I did not feel comfortable at all. I did not want to get hurt on the water or hurt someone else with my lack of skill. Plus there was only two instructors to help all of us. We talked to the guy running the school and told him strait up that we were not comfortable practicing there. We also told him that we paid for private lessons and asked why are we in with a group of 5 other people. He was super nice about everything, but waking up this morning, I had no desire to go back there or even surf with them again.
Plus side! Things went great this morning. We went back to the beginner beach of Playa Carrizalillo and our new instructor was super friendly. He put us on some great waves, which alleviated my stress from the day before. Both Emma and I are, once again, looking forward to continuing our lessons.
That’s about all I have for this Outsidevibes Weekly Update. Happy Halloween to everyone, I bet you have some great costumes planned! I wont be celebrating this year, the only costume I have is a sore upper-body from paddling and I have no inclination to try and surf hungover in the morning.