Just an average Sunday afternoon at the Palapa
29 March 2010 | Mazatlan, MX
Last week I was sitting in the Palapa having a cold Pacifico and waiting for Norberto to bring me my carne asada when I notice this guy walk around the corner of the palapa. He was older and dressed in all black wearing a leather jacket, a shell neckless, and one of those French beanie things. He looked like something out of a Hemingway story and I could tell he would be interesting to talk to. I had just gotten there and was sitting alone watching Mike and Melissa throw horse shoes. So this guy walks over to the table I'm at and asks if he can sit down, I say sure and he sits, orders a beer and starts telling me about being here 10 years ago on his wooden boat Fiona. We talk for a while about how it use to be, a lot of it I remember from when we first got down here in 2004, and how much it has changed. About this time Mike from the boat Narwhal comes over and asks the guy if his name is Don, he says yes and they get to talking about hanging out in some of the same anchorages up in the Sea back than. So Mike asks him what he's been doing over the last 10 years and the guys tell us how he is living in a little town south of Mexico City with his 35 year old girl friend who works for the UN and how he is building a couple of houses on the beach in Costa Rica for him, his kids, and his grandkids. He goes on to tell us how he and his girl friend rode a motorcycle the length of South America a couple of years ago, the ride that is in the book The Motorcycle Diaries and how he was riding an old Honda goldwing home from visiting his grandkids in the states. We start talking about motorcycles and riding when he tells us to wait right there as he has something to show us. He leaves and comes back in a few minutes with a folder of pictures and news articles from Mexican and South American news papers with stories about his trip. He goes on to show us some unbelievable pictures of the Andes and glaciers and him, his motorcycle and his girlfriend, who is drop dead gorgeous. By this time we have been talking for an hour or two and he says he needs to get back on the road. He gives us his e-mail address and an invite to visit him in his home. He then picks up the tab for the beers we have been drinking for the last couple of hours and we walk him out to his bike and watch as he gets on and rides off. A really good afternoon. Oh, by the way, did I mention that he was 72 years old? Yep he was. And you ask why I bum around down there it's not just the boat drinks, cheap beer, and great tacos but the people you meet, sort of like living in a novel. A good afternoon indeed.