Big Waves, Big Crocs and Big Poker Tournaments

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca Mexico. 3rd - 23rd October 207.

Our flight from Amsterdam to Mexico City took 11 hours. As we approached we noticed snow capped mountains out the window. We hadn't even landed and we were already learning new things. Another thing we learnt when we landed was that Mexico City is over 2200 metres above sea level, you don't notice it that much but every so often you realise that your really out of breathe. After spending the night in a local airport hotel, and spending $20 each on a fairly average buffet breakfast, we made our way back to the airport for our flight to Puerto Escondido, home of the famous surf break "Mexican Pipeline".

We had booked into a hotel called Hotel Aqua Luna for three nights, but when we got here we loved it so much we didn't end up leaving. We have spent our entire three weeks in Mexico right here. After constantly being on the go for the last four months in Europe we felt like a holiday. No driving, no finding new accommodation, just relaxing by the pool and surfing. Our room had ocean views, a small kitchen with fridge and plenty of space. Our hosts, Clive and Adriana, along with the always smiling Corelle, looked after us like we were friends from day one.

The best part about staying here has been all the people we have met. Jake Stone, a kid from the Sunshine Coast, Glen Thurston and Matt Lackey are three professional body boarders who were shooting some footage for a surf movie they were making. Glen's brother Bryce does all the videoing and MikeyT from California was there taking photos. All these guys were great fun, especially Jake who kept us in stitches and Glen, who liked to smear his entire upper body in aloe vera. Glen's also quite competitive, so when someone mentioned that the record for underwater laps of the pool was 6 he decided to challenge it. He made eight but failed to surface, having passed out underwater. Clive was luckily on hand to drag him out and revive him. We've also met some cool people from the USA, Spencer and Shaun, and a crew of Israeli body boarders, Michael, Eden, Kirril and Mor, aka Mini me.

There's a lot of different animals around here that you don't see much at home. There's heaps of dogs, including Bali, Clive and Adriana's dalmation, chooks, a turkey, horses, a big hairy tarantula, fluoro green iguana's, goats, brown pelican's, a bull, and last but not least, a crocodile. The first day we got here we went for a walk to the beach. A small crowd had gathered up the beach and as we approached they waved us away from the water. We weren't sure what was going on until a dark shape surfaced on the shore thirty metres in front of us. An eight foot croc was swimming around the surf where I was planning to surf the next day.

The wave known as Mexican Pipeline wasn't at its best while we were here. A lot of waves close out and it never got all that good while we were here. Every now and then there is a screamer that comes through that shows some of the waves potential. I got one on my birthday and pulled into a nice wide barrel. Every ten to 15 minutes a freak set comes through and everyone scrambles to get under them. I didn't make it once and after taking two on the head the third wave broke my board clean in half. That was the last time I surfed out the front. After having my board repaired expertly by Miguel, I spent the rest of our stay surfing the fun waves on offer at La Punta, a walling left hand point break at the end of the beach. Mandy sat on the beach, filming, taking photos and making friends with the dogs that seemed drawn to her.

The bi-weekly poker tournaments drew up to 15 players from surrounding hotels and is fast becoming a feature of a stay at Aqua Luna. One guy from San Diego, Micah, is particularly obsessed with the game, not only playing the game, but also commentating, dissecting every hand and discussing options each player could have taken and the effects these would have had on other players etc etc. He loves it. I hadn't played all that much poker but I went OK. Three seconds, a fourth and a fifth and one eighth. Just couldn't break through for my maiden victory. Mandy played other card games and pool with some other friends we made from WA, Sam and Kaz. We met a lot of people here!

We took a taxi to another beach called Playa Carrizalillo, a small tree lined bay to the north of Puerto Escondido. There's a good wave here for people to learn to surf and we spent a few hours here watching tourists from all over the world take their first waves and get the stoked feeling of standing on a surfboard. Pretty funny to watch too. As we were walking home a live eight piece band was playing Mexican music and a couple of fellas were dancing and waving us to come in. I couldn't resist and started laying down some of my moves for them. I think they were more interested in getting Mandy up there with them but she wanted to get a few photos.

We've had a great time here in Puerto Escondido and will miss our sunset beers from the top floor deck overlooking the beach, all our new friends and the relaxed days round the pool.

Tomorrow we fly to Costa Rica for a month.....
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