More than a travel odyssey, you’ll spend months in a hidden ghost town, almost lose it all, find love and melt down on the beach, experience unprecedented kindness and meet a shaman.
Ride along with the trials and tribulations of two young friends engulfed in the unknown—intentionally wasting time on a haphazard hunt for high adventure and a meaningful existence.
A great weekend read with a heavy dose of cultural significance, this novelette clocks in at around 14,000 words but you’ll definitely get some mileage out of Diablito. Hopefully it’ll be shared and inspire you to take your own trip—an escape—and discover more of life’s simple pleasures.
This is a story that must be told and the first of three parts.
"Royal of Fourteen is named for 14 Spanish soldiers that plagued the area for its silver, though this legend is questionable. They were finally killed, the price of silver dropped and the mines abandoned. It was later reinhabited to become an isolated, primitive tourist destination for local Mexicans, hippies and spiritual seekers.
Fresh out of Spanish class, Slade talks our way through the steep stone streets of the tiny village and around past the last of the adobe houses. We see the large crucifix atop an old church in front of el panteón, the cemetery. In front of that sits a large, purple school bus—windows covered in tie-dyes—overlooking miles and miles of mountains and desert. We stop in awe of the morning view.
A single golden key is hidden in the gas tank door just like Anders had scribbled on his map. We climb into our new home and fall asleep, staring at eagle feathers dangling in the breeze, Grateful Dead logos and geometric patterns drawn on the walls of the bus with a Sharpie."
"I sit quietly, almost wanting it to happen. I don’t even respond. I want it to happen. The day progresses, everyone sobers up and no one dies that night.
Thankfully Kenny is shunned by the whole village, disassembles his tent and packs to leave. We say goodbye in joy as he bounces down the road to town in my beat up useless car. He leaves Mazunte in shame. I put all my belongings in Prudencio’s bedroom and we go on about our lives on Survival Island. I have money now and the sweaty beast has left the beach.
A new group of travelers is spotted a couple kitchens over—French Canadians, two girls and two guys. This is our beach. We watch from afar and get to know their habits."
"Millions of stars—billions of stars—fresh green grass and plants cover the steep mountaintop. We see some orchids and it feels like we’re on the moon itself. Four or five white pygmy goats baaaaa and scatter up and over the edge, running by saying hi. We’re checking everything out and spinning around in circles and riding our water bottles around “GIDDY UP! Yeeeeee HA!”
Falling to the ground near a bush I stretch out to rest. Lalo does the same far away.
Take a deep, deep breath.
I’m staring at the moon and feeling the grass, feeling the leaves of the bush. The ground suddenly shifts downward and sinks into the dirt about three feet. A spiked iron fence rises out of the grass around me and big, red roses arc over into my view. The sides of the depression in the dirt are clean and straight. I realize I’m lying inside my own freshly-dug gravesite."