Punta Mita

Words: Adam Johnston
Photos: Cristina Dunlap

Mexico: the unwanted neighbor, the forgotten family, the unknowable mistress. We don’t deserve Mexico. But it is there so you go down there and you stay there for as long as you can. The wide desert below the border narrows and it feels like all coastline, a beautiful curve wrapping round the globe, open to an ocean and a sea.

To the American with 40 hours and 2 weeks there are certain place names that blend together – Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama – to create a sort of soft vowel poetry that call forth visions of long low cruise ships and tall sweet drinks, girls in bikinis running on the beach and other escapist motifs. Mexico’s coastline is sketched with words so pleasant a child could have crafted them – Cabo, Cancun, Puerto, Punta – the language of Lorca now easy and accommodating, made palatable to American tastes like a nice cold can of Tecate. Hecho en México. Sabor con carácter.

So a quick trip, the lazy days of a tourist at the well worn edge of the big blue world. The good buzz is stilled, the light softened, the waves washed out. Raymond Chandler wrote that giving up the life of a lush forces a person to see the world differently – you have to get used to a paler set of colors, a quieter lot of sounds. Bienvenidos.