Shade & Burning

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mex. What didn't make it into the last story was exactly where I was staying in Mazunte. First I headed up to this spot called Posada Arquetecto which has a palapa for hanging hammocks overlooking a huge, beautiful beach. It was still on "high season pricing" (Dec. 1 - Jan. 15), 50 pesos a night (5 bucks) which seemed to me at that moment to be ridicules. Plus there were some Chilangos up there pumping los punchis punchis (techno music), so I said forget it and went across the street.

Juan Carlos is an insane but mostly harmless gringo carpenter who has made his home in an RV about 30 yards from the beach sand. There's some convoluted story, but he's "just watching over the place."

Enter Maura. She's from Holland, speaks five languages, is a little over forty with a great tan, blue eyes and dark hair. Lucious eyebrows. A tired look in her face, probably from living away from home for too long. I met her on a collectivo (pickup truck full of people going between towns) on my way back from the regional hub Pochutla (ugly, dusty shittown). She seemed nice but eccentric, we didn't talk much.

Turns out she's staying with said Juan Carlos. Let's just say I don't think she pays rent. She was my "in," though, when I went across the street to ask JC if I could hang my hammock under his mango tree for 30 pesos. They said sure, and tried to upgrade me to this cool old Airstream trailer out behind the RV, but I'm crazy for hammocks. Nevermind the mosquitos.

The next day (yesterday) I woke up to explosions. No big deal, but the birds flew away anyway. JC was off building a wooden deck. Maura is also, like him, insane. She just got blown out of Honduras by Hurricane Gamma and is again in Mazunte where she lived for four years previously. She explained many things to me, including how she only gardens with a knife, and I could not figure out if she was trying to get in my pants or not. Turns out she wasn't. Alls well that ends well.

Last night, all night bus to San Cristóbal, heart of Zapatista country. But now my hour is up at the internet café. I gotta pay my six pesos and go.