- What was that?
- I don’t know…
Waves have their temper. Zipolite was cruel and powerful. Every surf session felt like jumping in the ring against an angered Mike Tyson. Landing a blow was a miracle. I got my ass kicked every time and walked out with souvenirs. Even the best rides only lasted a few seconds. Zipolite commanded perfection, nothing less.
Roger’s death changed the vibe in our little neighborhood. Ken and Darcy left to visit their children and Chefi took some time off in the mountains. Karleen was my only company, and she too was going a 3-week silent retreat. I wanted to return to my little paradise, and surf with cool people. I found there was nothing worse than being alone in the face of adversity. I needed cool travel buddies, new nakamas.
My friend Penelope was in the lagoon of Chacahua, a hidden gem in Mexico. “There is nothing but the beach here, I love it.”, she said. The lagoon was only accessible by boat, so off-grid it had no cellular reception. Only locals and surfers ventured there. Penelope spent her days reading and sipping coconuts from the hammock. Surfboards started populating on the beach. A swell was coming.
The wave in Chacahua was perfect for beginners I heard. A mellow, long, and forgiving wave; Zipolite’s total opposite. Karleen couldn’t surf in Zipolite. Chacahua would be perfect for her. “I would stay next to you and help you in the water, don’t worry” I said. She was excited. We packed the essentials and drove to Chacahua, to enjoy our last days before her 3-week social suicide.
The boat to Chacahua felt like travelling back in time. We circled around mangrove islands populated by birds and humble fishermen. The lagoon flowed into the sea, creating strong currents around the sand bank. We looked for a cabana along the beach. The ocean was pumping.
Karleen and I warmed up together and paddled out side by side toward the peak. We were chatting when I saw a wave coming. I didn’t think twice, turned around and charged it. The wave unfolded so perfectly it carried me all the way to the beach. No wipe outs, no bruises, no pain. Chacahua was mercy to Zipolite’s tyranny. Drunk on adrenaline, I paddled back, wave after wave.
An orange dusk closed the session. I walked back to the cabana with a dumb smile on my face. It was then I saw Karleen, and realized I’d completely forgotten about her! She wasn’t impressed. We had a quiet, awkward diner and went to bed early. Surfing is a selfish sport.
The next day I hung out with Penelope and her friends. We had the same humor and got along so well I invited them for a surf trip. I showed them pictures of paradise. Surfing a wave alone would make any surfer drool. We agreed to meet and leave from in Mazunte in two days. One guy was dating a small, energetic, and overexcited French surfer named Chloé. She heard about paradise and wanted to join us. Chloé was too talkative for my taste but her boyfriend was cool. So I said yes.
We returned to mainland. Karleen went to her retreat and I started planning the trip. If the conditions stayed good, we could go back to paradise. Good company, a comfy van on the beach, and a prime wave for ourselves…my idea of happiness. The forecast looked promising for the entire week. Penelope’s friends were cool and la Chichona brought me back safely. Everything was well in the world.
On D-day, I was having coffee with Penelope when Chloé texted me. The guys cancelled. No heads up, no explanation, just a shy apology from Chloé. She was still coming but now I wasn’t sure. I was expecting to travel with funny guys, not a random mouthy. She was not my best option, but she was the only one. A falta de pan, tortillas…
Chloé showed up on time, with a backpack and a surfboard under her arm. She was cheerful and super excited, and we had not even left! “Trust me, you’ll get along” Penelope said. We said goodbye and headed out of town. As we passed the speedbump, we heard a loud BANG! Chloé looked at me puzzled.
Fuck! Here we go again...