Los Zacatitos, Third Visit (!)

This post is about my third trip to Zacatitos; my second trip here and my first trip here.

That I am traveling at all is a testament to the decline of covid19 in some parts of the world.

Yes, I must like this place…as well as el yerno, Don, y la hija, Sarah, who invited me—el suegro—down! (¡And that is the last of my Spanish through which you must suffer!)

burros
Who doesn’t dream of spending a week with a couple nice burros on the ocean’s edge? {photo by Sarah}

One urban myth is the “midlife crisis”: the 45-year-old man finds himself as Dante did:

When half way through the journey of our life
I found that I was in a gloomy wood,
because the path which led aright was lost.

Or, as the Paul Simon put it, the man asks, “Why am I soft in the middle?” The man might consider having an affair but settles in the end for a red sports car, driving his way gracefully into old age. It’s a myth because it seldom happens that way. The plural of crisis is crises. The man in the gloomy wood makes momentary advances but as he looks down the road, he sees those who came before him falling off the end of the road into oblivion, while he personally feels shock waves periodically as time moves forward toward King Lear‘s “promised end” where

The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.


For me, what was it? Too many beers or too many blood clots? Moving upstream from all that, it was what my neighbor Ben said about the pandemic, particularly if one worked at home and was both at risk and living alone: it taught us to live as if we were depressed, cut off from others, locked up in our homes…shut-ins.

So it was I found myself in Zacatitos for a third time, graciously invited down by Don, who will read this and should have no doubts that he is among the most gracious hosts numbered among men.

Louis & Don with Don's compound in the background
Myself & Don with a neighbor’s large house on the left and Don’s house with a palapa (a palm roof that provides shade for the open air patio beneath) on the right. I used to sleep beneath the palapa (Papa Palapa), but now Don has built a guest house that… {photo by Sarah}

Guest house
… that is here, shown with myself and Don on the balcony, which, as it happened, had a sliding door that I closed at night to keep the sound of the surf from waking me (yes, when I told my housemate that fact, he said, rightly so, “That’s a first-world problem, for sure”) {photo by Sarah}

main house and guest house
The main house with the palapa and the new guest house where Papa Palapa found a new, temporary home.

In such an elegant setting, I alternately stayed in my room with my shock waves and strayed outside with the ocean waves.

Pacific
The Pacific, shining brightly with an aggressive surf

As for the shock waves, I took comfort with Isaiah, not a person, but an ancient text that tells me over and over again that the desert shall blossom as a garden and that rivers will flow freely; that the hills shall be leveled and the valleys raised to create a highway for the redeemed who will look for their enemies, but will find none; who, even if they are lame, will carry off plunder; that the blind will see and the captives shall be set free; that no one in the city of God will say “I am ill”; who, when they wait upon the Lord, shall mount up on wings of eagles, running and not getting weary, walking an not fainting; who will find a messiah who suffers for them only to bring them to a place of peace, quiet, and resting, close to his heart.

I also walked with the burros.

burros
I don’t think they particularly liked me but they liked the idea of a handout—later I found them eating tortilla chips from a large paper bag…so they did finally find a handout

Or looked at the variegated homes.

Zacatitos homes
Apart from the ocean, the place has charm

And gates.

And cacti.
cacti

Or Don and Sarah in their swimming hole.
beach

Which was accompanied by abandoned homes of salt water creatures.
shell

And, in the evening, I enjoyed the skyline.
skyline

Nice as it all was, it would have been much less without the people.

sarah
Sarah my temporary next door neighbor. We could talk to each other from our respective dwellings, and if I needed help (as I did to identify the Southern Cross), I could holler and she’d come over

It was these people that I one evening wanted to take out for dinner at a restaurant they liked, one that sat on the edge of Old Man’s Beach. They were surfing in front of the restaurant-hotel while I watched. If the restaurant started filling up, I was to get a table, which I did. I ordered a glass of “your house wine, red,” which I assumed to be the least expensive. It was truly the first Cabernet I actually enjoyed. So, thinking it’s cheaper by the bottle, I ordered our table a bottle, knowing that another couple would be joining the three of us later. Sarah & Don finally showed up, as did their friends. We enjoyed a fine meal, and when the check came, I discovered that “your house wine, red” was interpreted as “your best red.” Bottle: ~$100 USD. Funny, especially since on the drive over I said I’d never pay $10 for a glass of wine. The good news: I can appreciate a good wine! And so can Sarah, who also found it exceptional.

wine
Legado, Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserva 2014

Getting on our flights wasn’t hard (for me) but was difficult (for Don): we all passed our covid19 tests (a deal: $25 with results in a half hour), but there were various forms to fill out in addition to the standard paperwork. While I was drinking a latte, waiting for my flight, Don was refused entry, no matter how he re-did the paperwork, so—and do not let this become public—he did something like this: he pointed to the ceiling, saying, “Well look at that!”—and slipped around the guard to get to his gate.
view from airplane

For a rough idea of geography (which, like most images, is clickable):

map san jose del cabo
San Jose del Cabo is on the left, the airport north of that (and off the map); the house and ocean are in the detail image

Finally, a 72-second motion picture:

Los Zacatitos, MX

This post is about my first trip to Zacatitos; my second trip here and my third trip here.

Baja (lower) California is a peninsula comprised of two Mexican states, Baja California and the southern half, Baja California Sur. I spent a week at the southern end, a bit to the east of the Southern Cape, the beginning of East Cape. The nearest city with an international airport is San José del Cabo (Saint Joseph of the Cape).

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The Road to Veracruz

Why Taxis Were Invented

Flew to Mexico City for a week-long visit with only two goals: meet a friend and return home in one piece. Arriving in the evening, I discovered my cell phone failed to find a signal (guess I forgot to figure that out), but the airport internet service allowed me to email my friend, BR, who was waiting in a different terminal. For fifteen years I had known him, yet we never met in person. Over this time (over the Internet), he proved himself to be a thoughtful, honest man who worked hard, harder than I, translating a gigantic medical book. So it seemed fitting to meet him as a friend, now that I had ended the employment that brought us together.

BR is a medical doctor turned translator. He’s a smart man, often correcting problems in the English text, usually medical inaccuracies but also some grammar.

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What I Do When Not At Work (Mexico 2)

Puerto Vallarta & Spelling

Tomorrow, I leave Puerto Vallarta for a smaller town, Sayulita, to the north.

Yesterday, walking around, looking at menus, I saw this: “Pork ribs severed with baby potatoes.” The juxtaposition with “baby” made it worth pointing out to the host, who appreciated it, asking me to write “served” on his hand so he could update the sign, giving the sales for that entree a boost.

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What I Do When I’m Not at Work (Mexico 1)

Puerto Vallarta

About ten years ago a co-worker, renowned (in our small company) for violently hitting his mouse and keyboard to the point of destruction as he wrote software code, said, “Go to Puerto Vallarta. It’s beautiful and is not so well known to tourists.”

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