Our one night stop turned into something more than we ever expected!
January 8 - 12, 2023 Playa Cerro Hermoso, Oaxaca, Mexico 🇲🇽 What a traumatic way to start the new year
Larry picked this beach because it was only about two hours away from Zipolite and would break up a longer drive.
We left Los Mangos RV park and Gypsy didn’t hesitate. She was ready to move on.
I snapped this on the drive. I love skulls.
We arrived at Playa Cerro Hermoso about 2:30. We checked out a restaurant at the end of the main road that had camping. Larry didn’t think he could maneuver the trailer into their small lot. We walked down the pier to check out the beach but decided to find another spot. This restaurant had a few cats, a dog and a baby goat. That’s a lot of animals running around.
It did have a nice beach and a lagoon at the end of town.
This is where we ended up for the night. It was a no name restaurant and they said we could pull power and just give them a tip to stay… whatever we felt like paying. It looked great for one night.
We let Gypsy out right after we set up. She went under the truck for a while and returned to the trailer when she heard a dog. We ordered an early dinner at the restaurant and hung out under the palapa in the heat of the afternoon.
We got a colorful sky but the sun set from the pier or the other end of the beach.
Gypsy wanted to go out in the middle of the night. She usually does this when there are dogs around during the day. She comes in at daybreak. When Larry got up around 7am. Gypsy wasn’t at the door. I went on a 2 mile walk on the beach. We wanted to leave at 10 am. So we all still had plenty of time.
We hung out at the restaurant and 10 am came and went. No Gypsy. Well this is not convenient at all because we wanted to be on the road by 11am. We decided that Gypsy wanted to stay another day. We headed out on a walk around town. We hadn’t planned on doing anything here…. cuz it was going to be a one nighter!
It was a small village of about two main streets with a handful of small connecting streets. Very Mexican… no English speakers besides us. Lol
Larry found trouble right away at the lagoon.
He walked into the bush to get a closer look at a Croc! Smart guy…. The croc hopped into the water and swam away. Larry was 8 feet away before he took off.
There were many restaurants along the beach that each had these small cement pools.
Menu at one of the beach restaurants. Lots of pescado!
Well, the sun came up Tuesday morning and no Gypsy.🥲 This concerned us both. Larry got up before the sun to walk up and down the streets looking for her. I got up with the sun and instead of walking the beach, I walked the roads too. I called for her like I do for hours! I literally walked 8 miles in 5 hours before it got too hot.
Then I decided to take this picture around the village and ask everyone if they had seen my cat. I offered a 1000 pesos reward. $50 US I would have paid more. A super nice lady at the mini super store was so helpful. We spoke through translator. She took me to a yard by her store and showed me 2 cats and 5 kittens. Nope !🥲 Then she took a picture of my picture and published it for the community. Immediately folks were texting her that they had seen the cat. I got hopeful. She got her car and was going to bring me to where the cat was seen last night.
We drove out of town, picked up a man with a machete and his wife. We continued to drive for 3 miles…. My cat would never have walked this far…. Or would she? We got out of here car along side the road at the lagoon filled with crocodiles. We called for her. Looked in the bushes and under some abandoned irrigation pipes. My hopes were failing and I had to walk back to town. I called for her the whole way back. Just before the bridge into town, a car stopped and asked me about “mi gato“. They seemed to know something so I hopped into their air conditioned car and went to a restaurant on the beach. No cat but they said we could park our trailer at their restaurant. I politely said No and gracias. I spent the hot afternoon under the palapa by our trailer. I was so sad. Larry suggested that we should resign ourselves that the cat wasn’t coming back and that we should leave. I couldn’t consider that and I couldn’t talk to him. I withdrew into myself and my own thoughts. I had so many ideas and scenarios. What could we have done to prevent this?Where was she? Is she scared? Does she have water? Is she trapped inside a building and can’t get out? Did she really walk miles out of town? Did she hop into a car and was she driven away? Did she get eaten by a croc? Did a stray dog kill her? Any many many more thoughts I felt so bad. This on top of the depression I’ve been having was just too much! I’m was crying constantly. I walked the beach when it cooled down to cry alone. At nights, we slept with the screen door open. I slept like I did when my kids were small. I listened with my best mom ears for anything….. I hopped up many times in the middle of the night to call for Gypsy. I even fantasized about her returning. How that would look and feel. I sent out energy and prayers. I got very little sleep too.
I haven’t felt this sad ever. I felt like I connected with the universal sadness of everyone who has ever lost a pet or has a child that is missing. The sadness in my heart was so huge. I decided that I didn’t need to go anywhere anytime soon. The parking lot at the beach restaurant could be my home indefinitely. Larry could leave me there if he was ready to go but I didn’t think that would happen. He didn’t speak of it but he was as torn up as me. He said things like, “that stupid cat and I guess she wants to stay here”. I couldn’t believe that the cat would just leave. I texted some friends and talked to his brother Gerald. Everyone was concerned and said they would pray for us and the cat. That made me cry too. I thought about the missing kids and their parents and how they would feel. Oh God!! This whole thing was so hard.
The sun set as I was talking to Gerald back in Hague, Saskatchewan and Mac. Mac said his cat was gone for a year and a half….. am I staying here for a year and a half? All I could do at this point was take it day by day. Gypsy had been gone two nights and two days. I went to the store again to talk, (through translator) to my new best friend. I never got her name but she was so kind, concerned and personally took this on as her new job. Something interesting happened when we were in front of her store. The lady that had supposedly saw my cat out of town came by. My friend said she was the one that would find my cat. I believed her. The other lady also had on a shirt with exactly the same material that my shorts were….what a crazy coincidence! If I wasn’t so concerned about my cat, I would have taken a picture but I did feel like all these things were charged with magic.
Wednesday night, Larry and I walked through town again. We had whole families come up and ask if we found our cat yet. The communication barrier dissolved as I could hear and feel their concerns for us. This community was so kind! A friend suggested we put out some of our dirty/worn clothes and Larry even put out her favorite chair. We hoped the smell and familiarity would bring her back.
On our sunset beach walk, we had two dogs come with us. They sat with us for 20 minutes to see the sunset. They wanted to be petted and insisted Larry pet them by putting their paw on his arm when he stopped. I felt these dogs were reassuring us and comforting us. I believe this whole community knew we were in pain and worried.
And then, at 4 am in the morning I heard a tiny meow! I got up to see Gypsy standing on the stairs!!! I let her in and woke Larry up! He didn’t believe me and I made him get out of bed. We were both so happy and relieved!! Why were we so blessed and others were not? I still can’t stop thinking about all the lost pets, children and missing persons. This has been a pivotal experience in my life. It helped me cry through so much pain that I’ve been experiencing lately. I believe this had to happen, as unpleasant as it was. It was what I needed to shift some thoughts that are holding me back from healing my depression. As I was suffering, I reached out to many of my good friends and they all were there for me. They have always been there but I’ve been afraid to ask for help. I had a village of Spanish speaking folks that went out of their way to help us. I am so grateful to everyone that helped me through this time. I feel like with the support of my friends that I’m ready to address the pain in my heart and to really heal. I don’t have to always have a smile and a happy face. It’s ok to be sad, feel sad and to share my sadness with the people who care for me. And I am lucky to have many friends that really care. You know who you are!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!💕😘
This is the sunrise the morning Gypsy returned and we packed up to leave. It was a beautiful morning! Larry paid the restaurant owners generously and let them know the cat came back. We stopped at the store on the way out of town. Unfortunately my friend wasn’t there.🥲 I wanted to thank her personally. I gave the 1000 pesos reward to the young man to give to her. I told him, through translator that I would like the money to go to any children that put out effort looking for the cat or for the school. I want them to know how much it meant to both of us! And now the traveling team is back on the road!!