A paradise called Mazunte

24 Nov

The taxi left us in the main corner of Mazunte, a small beach town on the Oaxaca state, on the  Mexican Pacific coast.

We had thought about  staying there just one night and then proceed towards Puerto Escondido, but we ended up staying for 6 instead. Reading below you will understand why.

All of us were so excited to have arrived in such a magic paradisiacal place: a very wild place with few people, many dogs and unfortunately thousand of mosquitos, that would be the only nightmare during the entire stay at Mazunte.
There is no way to be safe from them, they kept devouring us, especially my legs and ankles.
My travel mate Jeremy , from NYC told me that his granddad once had  told him to marry a girl who would be mostly bitten by mosquitos, probably for its evident sweet blood characteristics. I don’t know if I should consider it a good thing though.
We were all so relaxed, we spent a lot of time laying on the sand  considering ourselves so lucky   to have decided to travel together and enjoy that dream place.
We had just meet up, but we got along together well. Sometimes it’s difficult to share 24 hours a day with other people, but it all run smoothly with them.
During those days I had the chance to be on my own ( few people can resist the sun like I do ) but I enjoyed listening to Mannarino, an artist discovered through a lovely guy met in London just before to leave for this trip.
He told me it would have been a good company for my trip and it actually was. During my long bus journeys it was a great way to feel home.
It has been funny to listen to Mannarino when walking in the crowded streets of Manhattan, in the car while driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, wandering through the Colonia Roma in Mexico City, on a hamac in Mazunte and so on.
It’s amazing how music can be the soundtrack of your life, trip, loves and friendships.
During this trip I have also listened to the XX a lot, Devendra Banhart, Feist, LCD Sound system, RHCP, Jovanotti, Lykke li, Giovanni Allevi, and many others.
One day at the Posada del arquitecto’s cafeteria I listened to a song from Zoe, a Mexican rock band and I adored their song called “Sone”. (I used Shazam to detect it and I immediately bought it on iTunes, listening to it thousands times a day.)
When not on my own, I enjoyed my travel mates company and magical sunsets in Mazunte, especially an afternoon we had lovely chats drinking mojitos oaxaquenos with mescal.
One day we all walked through the jungle up to the top of the mountain and arrived to Punta Cometa for sunset time: a small mountain that juts out from the shoreline, also called “Cerro Sagrado”, in english Sacred Hill. It’s the southernmost point of the state of Oaxaca and an important stopping place for migratory birds and whales.
We enjoyed the sun getting down in the sea from there. Magical.
I loved Mazunte and its surroundings. Before the mid 20th century, this place had nearly no population, the area was isolated and not even accessible by other means than boats. It started to change when a market for sea turtle meat and eggs developed in the 70’s, and when the first curious travellers started to arrive in this beautiful place.
Nowadays it is still mostly a rural village and its architecture based on the use of natural materials only.
The first night we stayed in a two floors cabana with swing beds and basic but cool decoration at Posada del arquitecto: a place recommended by Diana, a lovely girl I had met through Andres in Cholula.
It is run by a smart and funny italian man named Guido, “the architect” ; he arrived at this magic place as a visitor in the 80’s and decided to settle down by building many of the eco-friendly cabanas made up of palm fronds, adobe, bamboo, shells stones coconut shells and wood.
Many other Italians immigrated to Mazunte in the 80’s. This is the reason why you can often listen to italian people talking at the posada.But surprisingly, there were no Italian tourists.
One of the Italians settled there opened a small take away pizza that I totally appreciated, since I was getting a little bit sick of corn tortillas and tacos: his focaccia with rosemary had nothing to envy to the ones I like eating in Campo de fiori in Rome.
An afternoon, while having a delicious fresh orange juice at the beautiful cafeteria of the posada, I met a funny guy from Brescia, in the north of Italy. He was also named Guido,  he was there on his own as well: he had decided to go to Mazunte since it was a place where his dad wanted to come before to die, and that he was actually Guido (the architect)’ s classmate. I was fascinated to hear that story; there is always a reason for our trip, sometimes might be sad and sometimes funny, but i am curious and excited to hear them all.
It was soon time to sadly say goodbye to my travel mates Martin and Jeremy, who headed  towards Mexico City.
Even if I love the beach life, I still consider myself a city animal and there were some things I was missing, most of all an Atm to withdraw some money: in Mazunte there is no place where you can pay by credit card nor a cash point; so if you need it you have to drive 30 minutes to Potchula.
I took a ride to Potchula from Olga, a lovely and smiley girl and her boyfriend Jacob, a funny swiss tall guy: a great couple that both me and Soo had previously crossed at the Barefoot Hostel in Mexico City.
A coincidence. Isn’t it bizarre that with all the places and hostels you can visit in Mexico, it was already the second time I bumped into the same person in a different place miles and miles away from each other?
Guido took us to see one of the most beautiful and virgin beaches in Mexico: Mermejita. We also met a funny guy from Alessandria, Matteo: he was living in Mazunte working as a jolly wherever he could and enjoying life.
We took beautiful pictures of the sun going down while leaving beautiful orange colors in the sky until the moon would replace it with its beautiful stars.
 We laid  on the sand taking a look at the stars until late hoping to be lucky enough and see shooting ones.
Me and Soo enjoyed the stories and explanations about constellations given by Guido. He seemed quite informed and passionate about the topic and he tried to show us bizarre images in the sky that we often couldn’t see.
It is nice how sometimes we see different things from the others, and as it happens with people, sometimes I might see special things in a person that for a another is just an ordinary one;
We returned to the posada quite late, just on time to get a shower and get rid of the sand spread wherever on the body; we joined Guido again, who invited us out for dinner at an Argentinian restaurant. A  pretty good one.
Among the nice people met in mazunte there was Andrea, a nice naval captain from Milan, who had come to Mazunte to visit a couple of friends who were opening a very beautiful posada in Mazunte called “Oceano Mar”.
I had the chance to visit the property even if it was still with works in progress.
A special thanks goes to Martino, a nice guy from Milan and one of the hotel owners; he took me up there in that stunning spot with his crazy motorcycle: i think I had never been on such a precarious mean of transport, but I enjoyed a lot speeding the likewise precarious streets of Mazunte.
The posada had stunning views on Mermejita beach, provided with  a nice pool overlooking the ocean, decorated in a stylish and refined Italian touch.
This hotel has just 5 rooms, a bar and a restaurant with a wood stove; it is situated in the middle of the jungle in a priceless peace; I was so grateful to Martino until that moment, but even more when he  prepared for me a Lavazza coffee with the typical neapolitan moka. It was one of the simple habits I have to admit I was missing a bit.
I wish Martino and his nice and friendly business partners  the best of luck for this great project.
On our last night we went with Andrea to  another beach town just beside Mazunte, called Sant’ Agustinillo.
On the way to that little town we finally had a natural coconut. We first drank its milk and then a young girl cut it for us in small pieces. While walking we saw a lovely hotel called Pan De Miel, one of the few proper hotels in the area with higher starred service and with an amazing pool on the ocean.
We had  an aperitif at a popular nice beach bar called Mexico Lindo and took many pictures ( as usual)
That night it was the first day of the popular annual international jazz festival of Mazunte.
 The owner and chef of a local italian restaurant called Cangrejo Azul prepared a delicious lasagna that we had just on the sand while enjoying the concert.
We had to leave  Mazunte, but we couldnt’ without delighting our favourite treat,  the “Chocolatin”: a delicious pastry prepared by lovely young guys who opened the first bakery shop in Mazunte, called actually “la primera”, in spanish ” the first”. No other bakery had ever opened before.
It is definitely one of those things you cannot miss in Mazunte: the smell of “pan relleno” and “chocolatines”,  wrapped in a red checked cloth and carried in a basket by beautiful and smiley girls: one of the most desired and awaited moment of the day.
A big congratulations goes to the bakers, a funny skinny mexican guy and his austrian girlfriend.
The bakery is situated beside another important spot in Mazunte, the “cosmeticos naturales de mazunte”‘, a community enterprise dedicated to making high quality make-up that is 100% environmentally friendly.
This business began about a decade ago with the sponsorship of The Body Shop and the Mexican federal government. It definitely worth a visit to enjoy the amazing natural flavors.
We enjoyed our last chocolatin at the Primera bakery while waiting for the collectivo that would take us at the bus stop to Puerto Escondido. We had to wait few of them because they were always overcrowded. Finally arrived one that looked a little bit ( just a little bit) more available. We were again afraid we wouldn’t make it, but a curly blond nice guy shouted us to go onboard anyway as he would make space for us.
It began another adventure, but would leave it on the next entry.

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