Art by Tom Swanson

Blog: Wanderlusting

5/2: What would you do for $120 million?  Floyd Mayweather  was guaranteed at least that for his boxing match with Manny Pacquiao.  The two competitors are amazingly skilled and the bout had been built up for years…  The actual payout that I heard was $250 million for Mayweather and $150 for Pacman.  However the fight  was terrible.  Boxing is (imo) a beautiful sport, a science, and a test of character; it’s something I watched with my dad from the time I was young.  But this ‘superfight’ basically buried the sport for me. How people could earn so much for doing so little when the time for action came was beyond me.  Like many places around the world that paid the $100 pay-per-view fee Banana Beach was packed but it was fairly quiet at the end of the match and we left fast. 

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IMG_12705/3: “Don’t you think it’s crazy, meeting so many people who are connected somehow,”  Jurgen asked me in the rancho.  We were speaking of travelers who knew each other.  Yes.  But at the same time, I think there are only a few people who really get off the beaten path while the rest of us go hostel to hostel, retreat to retreat, country to country in a somewhat predictable pattern.  We may end up in out of the way spots sometimes but we’re usually on our way to the next known spot.  Most of the people I meet are northern European or North American, with a fair number of Argentines and a smattering of Aussies, kiwis, Brazilians; it’s rare to meet Africans, Indians, or Asians. Mostly I meet (basically) white, middle-class, first worlders.  Someone somewhere could compile the real numbers i.e. how many people from Europe and North America are traveling to the spots I’m likely to go to.  As a general rule we aren’t spending time in the all-inclusive resorts in Cabo but you know where to find us if you scratch the surface a bit.  

This piece on wanderlust came across my Facebook newsfeed and I liked some of the opinions:

5/11:  Leaving Casa Zen for 24 hours was a good investment.  Casa Pampa was 20 meters away and provided me with a little a/c.  Sleep at home in Casa Zen was defined by waking up sweating then trying to sedate myself sufficiently to last a few more hours in the stifling air of the room.   Thick walls of the building’s bottom floor stored up the day’s heat and released it through the night.  The dorms upstair were better because they had a roof vent which promoted for the natural movement of  warm air flowing out to draw cool air in through the windows.  But I like some privacy, so I was generally found thrashing around in my own room. When the bed had dark sheets, large patterns of dried salt were visible in the day from the previous night’s sweat.  My spirits were pretty good but energy levels were way up and way down.  It to the point where I was stacking multiple drugs on each other but getting little results, just side-effects, mostly.  In the weeks leading up to going to Playa Grande I’d been giving serious thought to reentering the business world.  By the time I was in Playa Grande there was a well formed outline for an app that I wanted to develop and I was beginning to pitch it to people since it would need investors.  A friend would develop it for me if I could get him hired before he took another job.  It was exciting but made it difficult to turn my brain off when it came time for bed.  My more intense side had served me well when I owned a shop but it had crept into the app project: As I’ve written before, “death to all who oppose us,” had been my motto at the shop and it was printed on a sign above the door as you exited my office toward the cash register.  This type of focus didn’t promote good sleep so I took refuge at Casa Pampa to recover some of the lost hours, napping in the day and going to bed early that night.

5/13: Ready for commitment is what I was.  Beny, an Israeli friend, told me his place was up for rent and I was basically on the look for something, facing the fact that STCR was likely the place I’d spend at least part of the rest of this year.  It was hard to imagine life in STCR somewhere other than Casa Zen.  I’d stayed at other places over the years but I love this place.  And staying here meant seeing the friends who worked there, hearing the crazy, crazy laughter of the women who keep the place clean, and being immersed in an atmosphere that promoted so many connections.  The number of friends I’d made in this hostel is silly.  But I needed a couple of things the place was lacking so I broke the news to Julio, the manager, and he was understanding.  Good thing Beny’s apartment defines the east border of Casa Zen’s property…

5/15:  Up to Vistas Olas with Julio and some American ‘girls’.  Lonnie had been visiting for the day and was just taking off when the manager of the hostel came to me in a bit of a rush. “Hey, man, we’re going to Vistas Olas and we’ve got 2 girls… 2 girls’.  Ok, I had my doubts but he assured me it was just for sunset.  It turned out he was drunk and feeling extra social.  I felt little need to be there except but his gesture was appreciated so I made the effort.  The spot is a restaurant connected to a hillside infinity (with a bar at the level of the pool pool facing west with an expansive view of the Pacific; off the south a bit I could see a pack of 20 or so people cramming around the take of Sunset Reef.   The view of the wave was outstanding and a pair of good binoculars made it even better. The wave was forming large open barrels and the riding was excellent aside from a few people who were obviously out of their league.  That’s where I should’ve been, not sitting next to a pool of people who were drinking.  Lesson learned.  Those waves reminded me that a moto with a surfboard rack on it could get me around to the various breaks.  We got back to the hostel around 10.

5/18:  Beny had heard about Pavones when he lived in Israel and he only had a month left before returning home.  I watched the swell forecast for a day or two and we made a pretty quick decision to go.  A shuttle took us 1/2 an hour to Montezuma, then a speedboat to Jaco.  There was lots of swell rolling across the ocean and we were drenched in minutes.   Since I’d been down to Pavones, the decision to go fell to me.  I felt somewhat responsible for our success since it was Beny’s first mission there and I’d said the forecast would likely produce something decent.  Pavones needs strong energy coming from a specific southerly direction to do what it’s famous for but the I was banking that it was getting enough to work.  We had hours of driving ahead, so we grabbed a quick meal after picking up the rental car and rolled out of Jaco.  Check another famous landmark town off my list.  I wasn’t interested in cocaine and/or whoring, so I felt no need to explore the town and we drove south. 

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Snickers has come up with it's own refrigerator for hot climates.  It sat next to the cash register for impulse buys.

Snickers has come up with it’s own refrigerator for hot climates. It sat next to the cash register for ‘impulse buys’.

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