Day 33: Coco Loco in Puerto

Overland miles: 2997 Tacocount: 48 Days without Tea: 1

After our horrific week of food poisoning, still nursing our stomachs, we were in dire need of some r and r, and to be as far way from a taco, or any maize-based food stuffs, as possible. The place we chose for our sloth-like convalescence was Puerto Escondido, a palm-fringed beach town on Mexico’s pacific coast, where we could do precisely sweet F.A.

Home for the next five days

Home for the next five days

Puerto is known for being a Mecca for surfers from around the world and this was apparent as our night bus rolled sleepily in to town, winding its way slowly past guys, and some girls, making their way back from a morning surf on Zicatela beach. As total non-surfers (in fact I can barely swim a length of a swimming pool without getting out of breath), we were rather like fish out of water compared to most of our fellow travellers, who all seemed to own at least one surf board and have ridiculously bleached blonde hair and taut stomachs. When you’re used to being surrounded by short, dark skinned Mexicans and the odd European gringo, suddenly finding yourself in a place where everyone looks like they’ve just stepped off the set of Home and Away is a bit of a shock, especially to Jovian who’d got used to being one of the taller people in most places we’d visited!

This is not Jove

This is not Jove

However, not being able to swim or surf proved to be the perfect recipe for our recuperation. An average day went something like this:

  • Wake up around 9 am
  • Stroll the 50 metres or so down to Dan’s Deluxe, the cafe run by the owners of the cabañas (palm thatched self-catering cabins) where we were staying
  • Eat a leisurely breakfast, taking full advantage of free coffee refills until first caffeine shakes set in (I’ll leave it to Jovian to fill you in on some of the breakfasts we feasted on in a later post)
  • Pull on swimming costume, make sure Jovian slathered in Factor 30, pack trashy novel and head to beach bar
  • Lie on sunbeds, sweat off all the suncream you’ve just applied
  • Order fruity drinks worthy of starring roles in Wham’s ‘Club Tropicana’ video…

A couple of our favourites included the Coco Piña – a fresh coconut and pineapple drink laced with local rum, generally garnished with some kind of garish tropical flower…

We went loco for Coco

Jove enjoying a Coco Piña

…and the licuado, Mexico’s version of the fruit smoothie. After experimenting with lots of flavour combinations, we both agreed that mango and banana was definitely the best blend. In comparison to smoothies back home, licuados come in humongous glasses and are practically a meal in themselves – a double bonus as it meant we didn’t have to leave our sun loungers to eat lunch and saved money in the process.

Licuados – just one shake for lunch is all you need

The rest of the day would continue in a similar vein…

  • Return to cabaña and lie in hammock, fend off mosquito attacks with liberal application of 50% DEET
  • Wait for other half to cook meal using the well-stocked private kitchen provided
  • Eat dinner, lapse into carb coma as body reacts in shock to ingestion of solid food
  • Knacker everyone’s bandwidth by watching TV shows on iPad until ready for bed
And so, after repeating the above prescription for five days, we finally felt back to our usual selves, ready to face the rest of the country with renewed vigour and an immune system equipped to defend 99.9% of evil bacteria lying in wait at local restaurants along the way…
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