Our friend Galen, also known as Tangerine Huge, arrived recently from San Francisco. Nicole and I know Galen from our camp at Burning Man, the common theme between us all. It is amazing and exciting to have someone come visit us here, not only to share this world with someone I know but also to validate its greatness. Having such a momentous experience with no one to share it with is always difficult; its amazing because you know you are experiencing something greater than yourself, but it is also hard to believe that it is happening to you. You can never quite explain it in words. So having someone along for at least part of the ride is wonderful.
I surprised Huge at the airport, carrying two Tecates and my video camera. Security stopped me from filming, so we went outside and got to work on the beers. Sitting outside the arrivals hall by the highway, drinking beers and catching up, was a fitting start to what is surely going to be an epic visit. We continued buying beers throughout the afternoon, as we slowly made our way back to Yelapa from PV. Taxi to Viejo Vallarta, bus from Vallarta to the small fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan, water taxi to Yelapa. We just kept drinking and were both feeling good when we finally arrived, breathless, at our house on the hill above the pier.
Hungry for more booze and some food, we descended carefully into town. After a couple of quesadillas at Ramonas, we bought three bananas, a mango and a pineapple to throw in a blender with some rum. The resulting fresh fruit daiquiri was interesting – perhaps a little too pulpy, not enough ice and one too many bananas. But it didn’t matter, its paradise, baby. Nicole arrives, group hugs ensue and more disbelief at the fact that Huge is actually here in Mexico. Solid.
After more food, we find ourselves on our roof looking at the stars. The moon is rising, and we notice a bonfire on the main beach across the bay. It is not that common to see bonfires on the beach here, as its summer. Even so, the population mostly consists of middle-aged gringos and Mexica families, so there are not many beach fiestas here. We had to check it out.
Arriving with more fresh rum drinks and beers in hand, we realize that we have stumbled upon quite a party. Earlier in the morning, during my Spanish lesson by the beach right before leaving for the airport, my Spanish teacher Pegge noticed a bright red boat flying into the bay. “They’re not from around here,” she said. I watched them pull into the bay, and laughed when I heard them all screaming in excitement as they flew by. Definitely careless, they looked like they were here for a good time. Turns out these were the people with the red boat. They came all the way from Sayulita, a legendary surfing spot north of Vallarta. A curious mix of younger and older, white and Mexican, girls and boys, there was an interesting vibe. Interesting in the sense that we couldn’t quite figure it out. The energy was all over the place. A loud, tan 20-something white guy introduced himself to us. Gabriel. Nicole realized they had met before, when she was here in February. Gabriel slurs: “We’re just chilling, partying, doing some ecstasy and coke. Let me know if you need anything.” He winks subtly, as the bonfire twinkles in his cloudy blue eyes.
In hindsight, this seems like a cliché line of some thrasher tale, The Beach gone wrong. A group of travelers arrive at this seemingly innocuous beach fiesta that turns to insanity without any notice. Orgies, murders and robberies are bound to occur.
At the time, we all just couldn’t believe that this was happening on Huge’s first night. I have been here for over a month now, and there has never been a party on the beach. What is it about Huge? It seems that the party follows him wherever he goes. I had forgotten how much fun it was to hang out with him, because he was capable of anything. It was good to have an accomplice in Yelapa, someone to be in the moment with. Even though I’ve had “fiesta que loco” every weekend in PV and savoring my weekdays in Yelapa to recover, I had always wanted to party in Yelapa. I was thrilled to party here in my temporary hometown.
Suffice it to say, we had a blast at our homegrown version of the Full Moon Party. It was an eclectic energy, with crazy people with random tastes in music (psytrance to Latin ballads to hardcore rap), but it was one for the ages. Epic indeed. And a fitting and wholly expected manner in which to begin yet another Burning Man reunion.