Sometimes it’s time to go, not for a weekend or even for a week, but get-out-of-town-as-long-as-you-can-afford GO. This was one of those trips. Brandy and I rarely have these trips. As travel is part of my job, we usually get a few hours to see new places, experience new cultures, and try exotic food. It’s immensely fun but it’s usually not restful and there’s really no time for a recharge.
So after traveling, working, and being inundated by all the stimuli and challenges of living in an urban environment, there comes a point when we want to get absolutely away from everything and press the OFF button on life. Our last trip like this was 6 years ago to Prince Edward Island, Canada. This time we headed south to the village of Juluchuca, Mexico to stay at a remote eco-resort, Playa Viva.
We scheduled all 10 days of our vacation at this location. Its top features include no telephones, TVs, or communication devices of any kind in the rooms. On the whole, huge plot of land this sanctuary resides, there is only 1 place to get WiFi internet access. Guests refer affectionately to that small corner of the commons area as the “internet chairs.” The place is gloriously and wondrously disconnected from everything (even the power grid). Think about it. For 10 whole days we had no idea what has happening in the world. Fantastic!
Day 1: Poo, Bugs, and Fleeting Sleep
Our first day was a travel day, and we arrived at the resort with two other travelers Mario and Christine. We had a wonderful meal and then settled into our room for the remainder of the day. Our room was the Private Casita.
By private I mean private to other humans but as you can see from the pictures, the rest of the jungle has a perfectly clear idea of what’s happening.
When traveling to a resort of this kind, there are a few things one must get comfortable with.
- Take the time right now to read the sign in the last picture. That’s right, your used paper goes in a basket, not a bowl. It’s eco. Get used to it hippy.
- There is no inside. It’s all outside. So when a grasshopper chirps, you hear it. When a cicada decides to sing and 1,000 of his cousins join him, you embrace it. When the whole forest decides that tonight they’re going to have a concert to show you that the 4:30am cargo train horn from DC to Philly can’t touch the ceaseless echo of the swarm, you remember you brought ear plugs.
- In the middle of the night you will have to pee. You will not be able to hold it. When you leave the fortress that is the mosquito net, you are done for. Baring a mason jar, I highly recommend having pants and a long sleeve t shirt nearby for emergency runs.
- It’s hot. Sleep naked.
The first night’s sleep reminded me a lot of what it’s like the first night you’re out hiking. You hear everything and you don’t get much sleep, but unlike my hiking experiences I wasn’t starving, I wasn’t on the ground, and I didn’t really fear a rat running across my face in the middle of the night.
Day 2: Glorious Morning and Wondrous Nothing
The next morning I awoke to no alarm clock, I did not stumble to the shower, and finally I did not drive down the expressway like a zombie drinking milk and eating cold cereal from a bag.
I awoke to the rising sun, I stumbled over to my bathing suit, and I plodded across the sand and fell headlong into the ocean. GOOD MORNING!
The rest of the day cycled between food, ocean, pool, books, and back again. It was a wonderful cycle of getting absolutely nothing productive done. What a dirty word at a place like this. Productive. HA!
Stick around for subsequent posts where we visit a farm with no electricity, I destroy my feet, and I display my inability to play soccer.