I wake the next day kicking myself for having been so paranoid. This is a beach. It’s not a drug farm. The people who live here subsist on fish and fruit like the islanders do in the Caribbean.
A man walks up the next morning while I brew some coffee. He shouts a very welcoming buenos días and shines a silver-plated smile. I wave my hand and walk up to say hello. There’s no automatic rifle on his shoulder. He’s shirtless, wearing flip-flops, and carrying a fishing net. He’s just here to fish and seems excited to see my bike.
We trade a few words in Spanish before he leaves. I get the idea from his gestures that he was one of the men from last night. They were surprised to see my bike and didn’t want to disturb me. They weren’t searching the woods as I thought; they use the headlamps to attract fish at night.
Imagine that. Each of us was surprised and nervous to see the other, and they were just out hunting for dinner.
What to do with a semi-private beach, three days of water and food, and (now) not a care in the world? I keep to my plan and stay. Not much happens on the beach. People fish and swim. Occasionally a sailboat travels the horizon. I sit around a lot, staring off into the beauty of it all. Every day, I take a nap.
The hours of the days pass as surely as the wind blows. I wave to people if I see them. I talk to them if they talk to me first. In a hunt for palm fronds to shade my tent, I learn that walking through the woods is a new experience here. These woods have critters I’ve never seen before. A ten foot long snake as big around as my bicep and strong enough to be upright and looking me in the groin gives me a start! That’s not the kind of snake I chase down for a photo. When it slithers off one way, I pretty much bolt in the other direction.
After that, I decide to stick to the beach where the critters are crabs and birds.
This place is a secret little paradise known only to the locals and maybe a few other intrepid motorbike travelers. It deserves some respect for being as awesome as it is. I do wish the locals respected it as much as I do.
Their piles of litter have me wondering about the kind of people who live and play here. Who brings a store’s worth of plastic and glass to a place like this and just leaves it behind? Do people expect this trash to disappear on its own? I do my part and collect as much of the litter as I can. I pile it up in the very center of the encampment with the hope of burning it before I leave. I can’t possibly take it with me on the bike. I would need an entire truck to collect the plastic bottles alone. But because of the constant wind, I decide to cover the pile instead. I don’t need to burn down an entire farm to save the beach from some litter.
Trash in Mexico is a thing I have to accept. It’s everywhere, and the people here don’t seem to care. I can’t be the tree-hugging foreigner who tells them their way is wrong. They won’t care, and my words won’t make my stay any better. For now I’ll keep my mouth shut and voice these frustrations online. I hope the people of Mexico clean the place up in time. Their country is worth so much more than the world credits it. If Mexico wants to change the opinion of the world, collecting all the trash would be a good way to start.