|morning view at Ranch Cerro Largo in San Agustinillo, Oaxaca|
Mario Corella and his cliff-top paradise above the beaches of San Agustinillo stayed with me – as did our email exchanges from 2009, my last and only other time visiting the coast of Oaxaca. Mario is a high-spirited Mexican yogi/painter/former flight attendant from a town called Hermosillo in the north. He claims to be the first non-indigenous Mexican to settle in the part of the coast where he built his artfully designed eco village on the hillside – a settlement where one enjoys outrageously beautiful views from almost any location. Being a man of fine taste, he also fills his house with beautiful and charming Zapotec men who run the kitchen and pretty much everything else – yet more sparkling jewels.
|the tree next to my house|
My visit coincided with the nights leading up to and night of the full moon, and just avoided the onslaught of Semana Santa or Easter week travelers. Someone as dynamic and generous as Mario tends to attract interesting visitors – I had just missed Mark Ribot on my last visit in 2009 -- but I had the particular good fortune of being there among some sweet and talented Canadian musicians seeking refuge after performing at SXSW, a Norwegian reality television art director, a nutritionist from Chico, various Mexican yogis and philosophers, and the most awesomely irreverent English woman I’ve ever met.
Ranch Cerro Largo is the kind of bubble that holds you in a comfortable and unconstricting embrace; I was, however, lured outside the peaceful enclave of hammocks, twice daily meals and morning yoga classes to discover the village of Mazunte just down the road – a relaxed hippie town named for a particular type of crab, and home of a turtle refuge as well as a flagship store/workshop for environmentally friendly cosmetics opened by Anita Roddick of The Body Shop. With one of my new ex-patriot friends, we experienced a perfect sunset and moon rise at the Punta Cometa, which is claimed to be both the southernmost point in Mexico – and is also one of a handful of places from where one can see the sun both rise and set. We swam in gentler waters without the fierce undertow of the beaches further east, we drank beer and ate fish tacos at a dusty roadside taco joint, and rode winding roads by the light of the moon on an orange imitation Vespa.
|Obe, the tall Spaniard of Mazunte|
|Punta Cometa - sunset, moon rise|
|Playa de San Agustinillo|
|Hil and Mario and a couple friends in the background|
Back in Guanajuato, I enjoyed yet another traveler community in Alma del Sol, where I have a home. Patron saint of artsy gringos from the Pacific Northwest, Hugo assembled a group of mariachis on the rooftop of Alma to serenade a woman celebrating her 75th birthday. We mixed perfect margaritas, and later Hugo and I synthesized the last days’ experiences in the printmaking studio in Marfil.
From cliff tops and roof tops, watering the seeds of our experiences, we watch them grow.
|Templo de la Campana, Guanajuato|
|sunset from our roof in Guanajuato|
|Mariachis de Santa Rosa on our roof|