First Friends/First Swim

Monday June 17

I slept like a rock for about 5 hours, tired as I was, but I woke up at 2am, then again at 3, and 4 and 5. I remember thinking that time was beginning to slow down, at last. The sun rises down here a bit before 7am now as we approach the solstice, and the morning birdsong was beautiful. I always so enjoy new previously unheard birdsong. The sounds massage the soul as few things can.


The temperature was warm enough to not warrant any clothes, but I put on my shorts and shirt nonetheless for this first morning in Puerto. When I went outside I noticed it had rained during my sleep, the grass and the bushes were wet. In this high humidity it took most of the day for the puddles on the deck to evaporate even as they became exposed to direct sun. I love it.

After making my morning coffee and oatmeal, I sat on the patio and marveled at this place. Again the feeling of living in a dream washed over me, due to having looked at the photos of this place so many times before coming down.

Sheila came over about 10:30 with Anthony the groundskeeper and introduced us. She spent some time talking about his son who has just finished his first year of medical school. Anthony does not speak english, and I do not speak spanish, so she repeated for him what she was telling me. Her Spanish is of course excellent, yet she sounds completely American when speaking english. Impressive.

At 1pm I walked across the street to her home. She purchased the lot and built it when she arrived in 1993. To say it is lovely would not begin to describe it. There are 3 floors and a palapa, which is all the local building codes allow, she explained with a somewhat sarcastic smile. The first floor is the school/work area, the 2nd contains the living room and kitchen, the third is her bedroom and former office (now a guest room), and the fourth is the palapa, an open on all sides grass hut type of room used for relaxation and entertaining. She then showed me her “Swing Set”, now a “Crow’s Nest” and her neighbor’s new addition.

It turns out there are no setback requirements in Mexico. So you can build right up to your property line. She did, and now the next door neighbor who has added an illegal 5th floor part of which is actually extended out over the roof of Sheila’s house. It blocks Sheila’s palapa’s view to the east completely.  2 weeks ago when she saw what the contractor was doing she called the building dept. and got them to suspend construction activity until the matter is resolved, but meanwhile the walls are up and there is concrete droppings on Sheila’s red tile roof. Amusing.

After the tour we went to lunch, at which she introduced me to Craig and Judy, a couple from the Bay area who are much like my good friends Bonnie and Max, together forever and never married. They had stayed at the La Casita en al Acantilado twice in the past year, and have now moved to Puerto Escondido to retire permanently. They are one happy couple I have to say. They purchased a yellow VW Thing to bring down here as their vehicle of choice. Perfect. I hope they will be a source of much good information for me as I research my moving here come January.

We were also joined by Gina, the local tour guide, who took a few pictures of us at the restaurant. I will try to get copies and post them later.

I was back at the Casita at about 3pm. I was ready to swim. It was hot, so hot, like a sauna hot, except with huge humidity. I love how that feels. I got out my swim trunks and grabbed a beach towel and walked the 10 minutes to the bottom of the cliff to Playa Manzilla, threw my pack on the sand and waded in.

Author: RJMS

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