Growing up in Mexico, weed was a general overarching topic of discussion. Some hated it, others feared it, I just simply did not understand it. Honestly, at the young age of 15 I was simply curious. So, I did what I do best, I convinced my parents that it was a good idea and, together with three friends from school, went to explore the misty mountains of Oaxaca.
Some days later, in the late summer of 2005, we reached Oaxaca city at the base of the Sierra Madre mountain range. In that moment, the city was undergoing an aggressive overtake by the state’s teacher union, which meant our stay would be brief and interesting. We bought mezcal and left the tent-covered city on a van speeding through the windy and guard-rail-free road to the Pacific. And through a benevolent act of God, we arrived safely in San Jose del Pacifico.
We checked into some wooden cabins, up the hill from where the van left us. The owner was very friendly and offered us grass and some food. “Just 50 dollars worth of mota,” we naively said. He came back with more pot than I had ever seen in my life (and likely ever will see again). It grew naturally in his lands and he had simply cultivated a few branches for us. It wasn’t very strong, but we must have smoked quite bit as we ended up looking for traces of Maria Sabina.
We were told to go further up the hill to meet a local healer, Doña Cata, a 70-something year old woman living in a hippie mountain community. Upon arriving we were greeted with joints and some home cooked mushrooms – which we initially did not want, thinking that they could be magical. Her French helper told us of Doña Cata and how she had left her native Spain to travel through Mexico. Upon reaching Oaxaca, she realized there was nowhere else for her and never went back. She told us our fortunes and in her presence, we sang to the tunes of a guitar and some bongos and listened to stories from the mouths of seasoned travellers.
After a few hours, we decided to get back to the cabin and spend the night admiring the stars and our strange existential thoughts. The next day we left to the beach…towards beautiful Mazunte.
And the rest is history.
Now, I dedicate this playlist to those moments of confused bliss 🙂 and welcome recommendations