After parting ways with my new friends Paola, Marina and Moshe, I headed my way to my last destination, Puerto Escondido. Around an hour drive by bus, which a kind old lady guided me to, I went on in search of a hostel Paola had told me about. This was another in a group of run-down, worn-out, dirty, sandy, quaint hostels to scratch off of my bucket list of “living life while hippie”.
My first impression of Hostal Mondala on Zicatela, so as not to confuse it with the one on la Punta with a pool, was not great, but it certainly was an upgrade to my last. Thankfully though, the people were colorful. When I got there, I was sort of threatened by the group they seemed to had already formed. So instead of socializing, I decided on an excursion of the beach, and sat down by myself reading while trying to get a tan, my first real attempt since Zipolite.
On my way back, I started a conversation with one of the Mexican girls there, and soon enough I became fast friends with several of them. The group was a diverse one, and with their wild stories it turned out that my two-week escape, had no legs compared to their months-long journey. One Israeli boy, with shaggy hair, had been traveling around the coast of Mexico looking for the best weed, I mean waves; a cute boy from New Zealand had been working his way up from South America for about a year; a girl from New Jersey who on her way to Mexico, met two Argentinian brothers somewhere around Central America, hitched rides together on trailers and pick-up trucks all the way up to Oaxaca. If only I had met them earlier, and hitched on myself.
With them, I got to watch the Australian surfers ride the waves at 5am. Practice on baby waves in Playa Carrizalillo. Swim in the Laguna Manialtepec, and see for myself the effect the mix of salt water and sweet water create, called bioluminescence. Dance out the nightlife at bars drinking away to flavored drinks, and sit down during the day smoking, drinking mezcal, and just having conversations with these new people, who opened my life to a different universe. And in those conversations I realized, different as we were, we all had one thing in common: we needed to be found.
So reading up on comments from people on other websites, I discovered that there are not a lot of people happy with the places I went to. And they might be right to a point, but the state of these places did not bother me at all. I guess I owe it to the fact that my time spent there, be it with myself or with my new friends, trumped everything else. It’s as this quote I found the other day that says, “no place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be,” it’s not, everyone is their own world, and with it comes their own experiences and their own points of view. What YOU are searching for is not necessarily for everyone else.
So if comfort with your own friends is what you are looking for while traveling to any destination, by all means go to an actual hotel with room service and a TV; but if what you are looking for is the experience, the adventure and the new friendships with people of all walks of life as lost in life as you are, I would pick a beaten-down trailer in the middle of a rotten-smelly field every time. Whatever the deal is, my 13-hour drive back to Mexico was worth it, and I would definitely do it all over again.
(The trip was in 2014, pay no mind to the date on the pictures).
Where to eat: Playa Kabbalah / Gringo Burger / La Olita / El Sultán
Places to visit: Playa Carrizalillo / El Adoquín / Laguna Manialtepec
Fun night: Palapita Bar / Bar Fly