It’s certainly been a quieter week for Los Tres Amigos, a week more spent trying sooth the soul rather than exercising our desire to explore the very best that this world has to offer. I can’t say I have minded the more downtime filled week though, probably because I have officially managed to change the colour of my skin to a shade that can’t be classified as being anywhere near red or pink, but it’s been fun nonetheless. I’ve still got lots to show and tell though, so be prepared to once again wish you have no current responsibilities, a little bit of dosh, and have already booked a flight out to Mexico where you can forget your previous lives ever existed.
Day one was a complete right off, so I won’t even bother trying to excite you with the details, but the week quickly got more interesting, as in the early hours of the next morning, about ten o’clock, the squad decided to motor back down to the East Cape in once again, releasing the beast from its cage and letting it run wild to the faultless beach of Nine Palms. Although I had the intense constant pressure of entertaining the huge truck with my music, that included the judging Simon Cowell character that is Alec, and the sly but slightly less scary El that could only resemble Louis Walsh, the journey was a much nicer and less dramatic one compared to our last disaster of a trip the last time we came in the truck. This meant, even after we had carried out the necessary war against La Comer and come away with the winning spoils of war that included beer, a load of beans and a pizza for me, we were al parked up by the waterfront by mid afternoon, so Alec and El could get straight out to surf whilst me and Benj watched eagerly over a couple of not-quite-cold-enough ones. The highlight of the afternoon, for me anyway, was getting to climb up on top of the campervan using the dodgy ladder, which has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember looking at big campervans and their ladders and wondering what on earth was up there. As it turns out, there’s not a great deal that would interest the average Joe, but I’m lots of things that really aren’t that, so I absolutely loved fulfilling my childhood ambition whilst failing miserably at tying the tarp onto the top of the truck. The evening was also extremely enjoyable, mainly due to my love of everything small and mini, especially when it comes to food, and because of our weird decision making when it came tortillas, that resulted in the four us eating the next best and up and coming food on the planet… mini fajitas (patent pending). It was only after at least ten little tortillas had been filled with way too many beans, far too much salsa, and some overflowing veg that we could class ourselves as full, and only after we had recovered from the messy and difficult operation of consuming said fajitas that we could realise quite how enjoyable that meal was. Or at least I could. However, the fun didn’t stop there, as during our compulsory ‘monging’ out procedure, carried out around the fire, a bold and brave Aussie politely requested if he could join us ‘pommies’ for a bev or two, so we politely welcomed him into the circle and spent the night desperately trying to laugh at his perfectly typical Aussie vocals. He even said ‘sheila’ for fuck sake! It was class from the top bloke.
The next day was a classic East Cape day, starting with me unintentionally drunk courtesy of my new mate gourd that apparently still had a lot of pisco in it, and ended with me still slightly intoxicated, but this time in a more intentional and suitable manner. My unusual experience led to a rather strange morning spent fairly unconscious in my chair, with my only movements being the short but treacherous walk to my chosen spot for pissing, which I did an embarrassing amount of times, passing the same eagle eyed and bemused campers. We all managed to have a productive few hours though, as I just about managed to break and fix my sunglasses whilst Benj and Alec attempted to fix another broken fin on the legendary Pinky the foam board. I’m also glad to announce that I did manage to shrug off the intoxication and the resulting hangover in time to get out into the water and actually do some surfing, which turned out to be the best session for both me and Benj in our short but turbulent surfing lives. This was due to our masterstroke of tactics that even an evil genius would be proud of, which involved only paddling out a reasonably short distance to minimise effort, fatigue and pain, and then wait for the first wave that was now fairly small by the time it had got to us and ride it almost comfortably back to shore where we were safe from any potential battering form the next wave, and could simply wait for the set to end, and paddle back out when the coast was clear (no pun intended). This created a seriously fun game of surfer ping pong as we bounced back and forth from the beach, and gave us a real insight into how fun being a beginner can be, so much so that I briefly considered dropping my place at university and heading back to the foundation class in primary school, as well as doing grade one again on my trumpet, and signing up to a football summer school along with all the other toddlers. That was a lot of thinking whilst trying to stay afloat on my board, and this inevitably came back to haunt me, specifically when I was being towed against my will by my evil board, whilst being attacked in the face by the salty water and pummelled by the wave that had engulfed me. I managed to make it back to the shore with only minimal amounts of sea life in my facial cavities, but I quickly began to regret my earlier thoughts once again, as a pretty girl had apparently really enjoyed by embarrassing amateur antics, leaving me with the regret that I had never been forced against my will to surf as a child. I knew of only one solution to this particular dilemma; take the piss out of myself until she is under the illusion I’m not mortified one little bit, and my trusty tactics actually seemed to work, as we spent the next 15 minutes or so small talking our way out of surfing. Perfect.
We still had a fair bit of afternoon to go though, which predictably provided me with the perfect opportunity to have a nap, get extremely sun burnt in the process, and then finally resort to a solo kick about and a beverage. The highlight of the day actually came from Alec though, surprisingly beating the shock of me actually entering the water after already being in during the same day, and stemmed from his admiration and slight crush on the a particular surfer and his ‘insane’ board and the tricks that he/it was doing. I kid you not, this wise man who from what we can see, from the gobsmacking picture of him on wave that was five times taller than him, is an absolutely incredible surfer, had actually turned into a super fan, and after meticulously planning out his first move, and then eagerly waiting and praying for the surfer to come past our truck, he intercepted the board and fulfilled his desire to hold the sacred tool. As i happened though, this ‘revolutionary’ board was nothing more than a small kids ‘foamy’ that cost no more than a ‘party’s worth of beer, and yet allowed for some seriously cool backwards action and 360’s on some huge waves. Alec has now ordered said board. The last action of the evening was of course dinner, which was once again a pleasurable experience of fitting as many ingredients possible into an item of food that just couldn’t live up to our appetites, but those burgers were the shit!
Day four was a whole different kettle of fish though, pretty much down to one little thing, and to be honest, that one pretty major event was the only thing to happen that is worth really telling you about. I believe you must know the post expedition drill by now, where we stressfully pack up the broken tent after nursing it back to life, and fill the truck with all our necessary shit and then make the long quiet journey back to civilisation, followed by the equally as painful unpacking that involves cleaning the grotty coolers and salvaging what’s left of our food, and then finally settling back in with a light session of what I like to call ‘ridicule Matt for his amazing music taste that everyone else thinks is crap’. It was all pretty standard, up until Lian offered me my first cup of tea in at least two months, and then took us out to abnormally posh restaurant for an abnormally amazing dinner courtesy of an abnormally generous. Lian. In my view, the food didn’t top Manny’s one pound tacos by that bigger margin, but the amazing French menu, coupled with the jungle paradise that our table was sat in, made for a delightful evening and a nice change too. Normal service was soon resumed though, as once we were home, we cracked open a Ballena, or as you would know it, a big bottle of beer, and enjoyed another instalment of Alec’s impressive movie collection.
The last action of the week came on day five (6 and 7 were just recovery time), when we headed off to the city of San Jose del Cabo for a more alternative kind of exploring, and when I say ‘alternative’ I mean upmarket, as Lian decided to raise the bar yet again and treat us to a day and night living the life of a well off American middle class family of tourists, complete with a posh breakfast on the seafront that redefined the boundaries of what a ‘full english’ is capable of becoming whilst also reminding us of the outstanding capabilities of modern technology, specifically wifi, followed by an afternoon and night at a posh hotel that provided free towels, free shampoo and free bottled water, all of which we made full use of. And this was all in return for a simple lift to the airport. Hell of a woman, I’m telling ya.
We spent a large portion of the day burning our asses off whilst watching El try and avoid and defeat the few controlling and stuck up twats that were trying to dominate the wave and sink El as they did so, something that Lian in particular didn’t take too well, especially as the three of us on the shore were well and truly at the sun’s mercy. I however, took my mind off the pain by clinging onto the hotels wifi and manipulating it in order to FaceTime my parents, but my pain relief didn’t quite go as it had planned, as the stress and frustration of waiting for the screen to in-freeze for the 50th time only made my core temperature plummet even more. This all led to a very quick getaway once El had given up and surrender the territory, and we quickly checking in at the nice hotel, and stood next to a huge REAL parrot and of course trying to get it to talk. It wasn’t long until we had tested out all of the hotels features, including the showers, TV’s and the swimming pool bar, which unfortunately wasn’t open but we were pretty good at pretending during our half an hour of classic water competitions.
Soon it was time for dinner, and the restaurant that El found kept up the high standards of living that we had been ‘forced’ to adhere too for the previous eight or so hours. It wasn’t just the incredible food that made the meal such an occasion though, although the four magnificent dishes that came on sizzling hot plates and included three whole fish that still had their ‘googly’ eyes so they could death stare at me, and a wide selection of Mexican food that came as surprise to me, desire being called the ‘Mexican combo’, was all absolutely incredible. Instead, it was the night’s entertainment that made the evening such an event, as due to the Mexican customary ‘personal’ performances that diners get here, we were gifted with our very own performance by a fantastic four piece mariachi band that even let us choose the kind of song we wanted to hear. Even after the excitement of that Mexican serenading, our dinner continued to reach new heights courtesy of the drunk table next door to us who were lucky (and smashed) enough to bag themselves TWO traditional compositions that gave the heart, and my meal, a rollercoaster ride from a calm and relaxing love song to an energetic and skilful fiesta. It was as we were handing over ever last bit of cash we possessed to the fantastic band that I concluded the meal couldn’t possibly get any better, but then out of nowhere, a.k.a the kitchen, came a barman with a performance of his own, using alcohol and fire, my two favourite things. As it happened, this artwork was actually done for me, as I had ordered a Mexican coffee, which of course had tequila in it, but instead of merely handing me a nicely made coffee that he had prepared earlier, he produced five minutes of skill and precision by pouring flaming alcohol from one jug to another, and doing this made times without any mishaps or burnt down buildings, making that liqueur coffee taste even better.
Surprisingly, the night actually didn’t end there, despite our extremely over-aged stamina, as El had got us three a triple date with some American girls that were nearby on holiday, using an ‘undisclosed’ method of communicating with strangers. Therefore, after a long period of ‘umming’ and ‘arring’, during which time we had walked back and forth down the hotel road a fair few times in an attempt to psyche ourselves up for the long walk ahead, we decided to sacrifice a drinker and drive to the beach where our future wives lay in waiting. The directions took us to a dark and dead beach way off the beaten track, a place that just felt like the location for a robbery or kidnapping, and certainly not a place for a good bit of flirting. We sat and waited for further instructions, preparing for the first in our little Nissan. Suddenly we heard someone approaching, ‘Was it Cartel?’ , ‘Was it the United States federal government intercepting our vehicle before we could carry out the huge drug deal of millions of pounds worth of cocaine?’ I thought to myself, and just as the body came to the window, I prayed for the first time since primary school assemblies that it was neither of the above and was just a petty thief that wanted the shitty truck. However, my mind and pants were soon out at ease, as Benj opened the window to a lovely young girl that just wanted to meet some Englishmen. As it happened, the so called ‘triple’ date was actually a classic Mexican tailgate party, with a bunch of lads, a huge truck, a fuck load of beer, and numerous joints dotted around the place. They did have a table though, which surprised us all in terms of their preparation and ingenuity towards the party life. It was fun night nonetheless, mainly spent with Malika, a Canadian/Russian that loved football, Vladimir Putin and cigarettes, meaning me and her slightly clashed over two of the three categories, but we soon got passed the Russian politics and Russian fags, and the four of us entertained ourselves with the sea, salsa dancing, and beer, whilst the Mexicans prayed on the other Americans. It was interesting night that’s for sure, one that really gave us an insight into the life of the young locals and their addiction to Tacate light beer.
And that was all the week had to say for itself, apart from obviously saying Bon Voyage to Loan the next day, and then 6 hours or so of errands the following day, leaving Los Tres Amigos feeling very positive and refreshed after a really nice week of ‘Mexicaning’ (not a word but it should be). It has made it difficult to pinpoint a shout out for the week though, so I’m going to have to award it to a previous winner, Mrs Lian Hayes, who once again has blended into our travels and made them a whole lot better, leaving us with yet another horrendously difficult task of thanking her enough, but I’m sure we’ll think of something. Who ever said travelling should be done without parents ey?