Monday, March 12, 2007

Oaxaca...shhh don't tell anyone...

Don't tell anyone, but I've found a secret piece of paradise. Americans don't come here because they think it's "dangerous" (it's not now, but don't tell them). I'm in Puerto Escondido (meaning Hidden Port in Spanish) on the Oaxacan coastline, and it is gorgeous. The waves are so high and the undertow so deadly you can't really swim here, but you could spend hours just watching the waves, watching how they glow blue at that certain moment when the sun hits before they crash, and wondering what tsunamis must feel like (ok, maybe that's just me and my paranoid daydreams).

I spent the previous couple days at a smaller beach called Mazunte. It's got what the Lonely Planet calls an "old time hippie vibe". I agree, most the men on the beach looked like Jesus reincarnate with their tanned skin, long beards and hair, and ragged swimsuits (a.k.a. loincloths, you could say). I'd met a girl in the Oaxaca bus station and we shared a $25/night room high up on the sea cliff with an awesome view of the ocean. We were lucky to be there the weekend of the Spring Equinox Festival to see live bands and dancers in the plaza. And we became friends with Manuel, a sweet lisping grocery store owner who once lived in Miami.

Mazunte is home to a lot of giant sea turtles, and today I took a boat tour (5 people in a speedboat) to watch them swim around. These things are HUGE, just the foot of one is the size of 2 Bucko and Pigs combined. For those of you who are not "with it" on the family pet history, Bucko and Pig were our pet turtles when I was in high school.
I took the above picture at 6:30 am in Mazunte. I must admit there was one slight hinderance to the whole paradise concept---the roosters. I usually enjoy sleeping to the "sounds of nature", but you would think the roosters were in bed with you if you didn't remember closing the door real tight the night before. They started at 4.30 every morning, and it never failed, there was always one next to your room.

In Oaxaca city I drank my first shot of Mezcal. Mezcal is like tequila, but better (?) or using a different plant (?)---Ok, I know, I should really do my research before composing these blog entries. The waiter asked what flavor I wanted. The choices were (I kid you not) scorpion, worm, some other disgusting creepy-crawly that I can't remember, peach, apricot, and some other fruit I can't remember. Hmmmmmm.....I chose apricot. The waiter brought my shot and told me to do it with lime and a pinch of some powder in a little dish. I asked what the powder was, and he replied, "Chili con gusano."

I confirmed, "Chili con qué??" (chili with huh?)
He confirmed, chili with worm.

Attempting to be a good sport, I also ate my first worm powder that night. I know, what a wuss, I ask for your pity just for a little worm powder. But hey, I'm a vegetarian.

New Oaxaca pictures are up!


Moe: said...

Swimming with sea turtles? Don't they bite?

Awesome entry. Sorry about the roosters, though I know what it's like. I used to live next door to an auto shop that had roosters. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Shannen said...

*Hey Moe!*

They DO bite, they have mouths like evil teridactyl beaks, the boat guys caught them and held them still. Don't know how correct that is ecologically, but it was only a couple minutes.

So you know well what it's like to sleep with roosters in bed with you. I think the auto people must have been from Mexico. They love roosters in this country.

Anonymous said...

Yes, vegetarians should not be eating worms...that is meat! That is what I think...but just a minute while I finish my hamburger.

Beautiful picture...I'm sure you just love those what time do they stop making noise...or do they?


Shannen said...

*Hola Mom!*

I bet you voted No on the worm-eating poll while eating that hamburger! HA It's not fair...

The roosters seem to sleep for a bit between 8pm and 4:30am. Either that or I just notice them in the morning.

Hope you win big bucks this weekend!

Anonymous said...

If you're not a Vegetarian, Roosters are not a problem, it's like Breakfast coming to you.


Shannen said...


Breakfast in bed??

Ravioli said...

Chili with Gusano??? No no no, thanks but only chili for me hahaha, maybe I will try a little bit worm but with many beer after. I do not imagine the taste hahaha...

Shannen said...


Or you need many beers to try a little worm, ha ha! It only tasted like chili...pretty hot!