- Look at this handsome hippie!
- Wait until you hear him play
- Where is he from?
- Haha obviously!
Karleen tapped on my shoulder. Her emerald eyes looked yellow in the night. We hugged in silence, then caught up on our lives since Playa el Tunco. There was a different energy about her. She looked wiser, more nurturing, and more attractive. I was happy to see her, and eager to see her again.
Over my years of travelling, experience had taught me that to be productive on the long run, I needed three things in a place. Beautiful surroundings, a fun sport to stay sharp, and good people around me. Mazunte was a tiny hippie town located between two cliffs, with access to the beach. Karleen and Penelope had come here to stay. And the locals were proud of their little paradise. They called it “Pueblo mágico”.
The sun burnt hot as soon as it rose, making it impossible to stay in the van. My business needed me to stay still for a few weeks and get shit done. So, I started looking for a room to rent.
On my first visit, I met James and Sally, a lovely couple enjoying their morning coffee on the shade of their porch. James was from the UK and spoke in a low, almost shy voice. His accent and rich vocabulary coupled with his tone made him sound sophisticated but not arrogant. Sally’s energy was much higher. She was cheerful, outgoing and friendly like a true Texan. James and Sally were digital nomads who fell in love with Mazunte. The room next to them was available.
I finished my morning visits and headed to El Arquitecto, a beachfront hotel to meet Penelope for breakfast. The DJ was playing electro jazz, giving the place a smooth morning vibe. Penelope was the friend I knew in Mazunte. She looked lighter, tanner, and happier than a few months ago. She’d been staying in Mazunte for a month now, and urged me to visit Punta Cometa, a secluded beach beyond the western cliff.
We were on our last bite when a shirtless man sat at the table next to us. He was tan, barefoot and beyond handsome. An Adonis hippie with a belt of bamboo flutes around his waist. Penelope knew him. The DJ played a new track when he stood up, faced him and took a flute out of his belt. He played short jazz riffs and turned the song into a call-to answer between its sax and his flute. He was incredibly skilled, so good he made the original track sound better! The whole El Arquitecto crowd applauded him. He bowed gracefully, put his flute back and returned to his conversation.
Penelope approved of the room I’d found. I returned to close the deal, brought la Chichona and set up my new home. Later in the afternoon, I bumped into Jade on her way to Punta Cometa for the sunset. We tagged along and hiked the steep cliff before a long walk down to the beach. We found a spot, I laid my towel and cracked a beer.
Jade went exploring and came back with new friends. It was such an eclectic crowd, from all around the world. There was an acupuncturist, an architect, a mentalist, a yogi, and a soldier. The mentalist performed mind-reading games to perfection until the sunset stole everyone’s attention. People from all walks of life had gathered spontaneously to contemplate beauty in its purest form.
Jade and I left the group to check on Leonard. It had been only 24 hours since his morphine shot. We found him in El Arquitecto with his guitar. Leonard liked blues. He led and accompanied, played rhythm and soloed. I drew out my harmonica and sat next to him.
We were jamming when the Argentinian flutist stopped by to watch. I invited him to join us. He bowed, gave me a shy smile and took a flute out of his belt. He blew a few notes to check the key and then found his spot. His playing added an Asian touch to our blues. Every note he blew fit perfectly between Leonard’s chords and my riffs. We wrapped it up and heard Jade’s cheers and people clapping. I looked up in awe, with a smile clinging to my ears. Leonard had recovered. The Argentinian smiled, bowed, and walked away.
Back home, I found James and Sally enjoying a drink and a smoke on the porch. I shared with them the moments, the people and the incredible experiences that happened randomly that day. James and Sally exchanged a knowing glance and smiled. They understood.
Here creativity seemed to flourish. People appreciated beauty and spontaneity ruled with an invisible handle. The city life escapees, the misfits, the wanderers, all gravitated here. Drawn by the same instincts, we all listened and heard, the wind whispering between the cliffs.
Mazunte... Pueblo mágico.