One month into the Mexico Surf Safari and there hadn't really been all that much surf. There was some safari, but it had resulted in one of our two stallions being sent to the wrecks after only a week. However, as New Years approached, it looked like the game of hide and seek with the surf gods was over.
Playa Chica was the first beach we stumbled across after our Christmas fiasco in El Oro and boy oh boy was she a doozy. It only took a few minutes there to know we had found our spot. We rocked up at sunset to some pumping waves, plenty of driftwood for constructing a camp, and a whole field of coconuts to feast upon. Over the first few days we launched into a beach clean-up activity (in which we either scavenged logs for building huts or burn them on the nightly bonfire).
By the time two weeks had passed in the beach, the days started to blur into one long continuous taco, surf and sand filled haze. However, there were some standout moments to be sure. Lachie and Scott’s pounding at cards is one that comes first to mind.
Lachie was used to taking a beating after the year he’d endured on the motorbike, and in 24 years, all Scott has to his name is a handful of 'participation ribbons'. I guess what I'm trying to say is, they were at least somewhat ready for the absolute walloping that they received in 500 from Eleanor and I. For those who don’t know, 500 is an excellent card game that sorts the wheat from the chaff. And with a final tally of 10-3, we were pretty sure who the chaff were. Funnily enough despite all their confidence, within a day after their devastating loss, they managed to forget that the game had even happened.
Some approach a new year and plan for things to be different with new goals, fewer mistakes and possibly the hope to achieve something their parents would be proud of. We approached 2019 hoping everything would be exactly the same. In this regard, we can at least confirm that none of us will be making better decisions in 2019. Thanks to Mexico’s very lax approach to fireworks, we brought in the New Year by almost burning down our camp with fireworks. Despite the close call, the only victims our ever decreasing brain cell count was Harry’s homemade bivvy and toiletry bag. Way to take one for the team Haz, on ya mate.
After our luck with cars in Mexico so far, we hoped that things might change in 2019. Some might be surprised but during our first two weeks at the beach, the Blazer became more reliable. In fact, you could almost know with certainty that a 2km drive to the village to pick up drums of drinking water would result in a breakdown of some sort. Whether it was the radiator, starting motor or left phalange, a walk home was somewhat inevitable. With this in mind, we decided it was time to part with our beloved and go separate ways. Unfortunately for Spliffy, this probably meant the wreckers.
She might have seen this coming, as the morning she was going to be dropped at her new home, she refused to even give a cough or splutter. The soon-to-be owner knew he wasn't buying a brand new car, but it's still a bad sign when you rock up at their house without the car and ask them to come to the beach and see if they can fix it before they take it. For some reason, he still bought the car, and we had successfully sold it for a quarter of what we bought it for, only a handful of weeks later…
There were plenty more memorable moments at the beach, such as when I punched a hole through my surfboard or Lachie ate a tablespoon of chilli sauce. However, more memorable than any of those was the addition of our small and furry team member, Fish. We picked up Fish shortly after NYE, after finding her all alone on the side of the road. With similar hobbies to us such as sleeping and eating, we got along fine. However, she never did take to surfing.
The surf was great and the weather was even better. But that’s not what made Playa Chica so special. It was time spent doing nothing with three of my best mates, and Scott, that made it so great. It's not all that often that you get to spend three weeks living like beach bums on a remote break in Mexico. Living off coconuts and under driftwood shelters felt like we were a bunch of castaways, but with a steady supply of canned beans for tacos. We checked the surf from inside our sleeping bags, cooked every meal on the fire and held our own private party each night.
But all good things come to an end someday, and we regretfully had to start making our way back to Mexico City for the next leg of our adventure. With a quick detour to the birthplace of Tequila first of course.