20.06.2009 – 23.06.2009
Wadley 1: Pharaoh’s Song
One last stop for gas and I was again sailing alongside a majestic strip of Sierra madres through the sacred desert the Huichole Indians call Wirikuta. There’s a train rail that runs the entire length from somewhere South and all the way up to Texas.
The sun was intense but not quite boiling hot yet. Just a cool breeze, clouds that looked like white cotton candy suspended in sticky blue syrup.
It’s always a bit of a challenge to find Don Thomas and get a room key. Sometimes he’s napping and refuses to still until finished. Or, he’s tending to his goats in the corales. Or, he’s gone off for a fresh haircut and stroll in a nearby puebla.
Don Thomas, though missing several random teeth (likely due to his belief that Coca Cola is actually good for you) is 70 years old and as strong as a tough billy goat! This time I got lucky. As soon as I pulled up to Don Thomas’ casa, I noticed him sitting under a mesquite tree near-by. We had a brief exchange as he tried to explain which rooms were available. I prefer a particular room that’s near a mesquite tree so I can hang my hammock and chill out in the shade after a long hike in the desert.
He tried to warn me about something but I couldn’t make out what he was trying to tell me. It sounded like it was something about a crazy person with a drum.
Road my bike around the railroad tracks to meet Don Thomas at the small adobe compound where were greeted by a tall thin black dude with long rasta dreads and a wild look in his eyes. He introduced himself as Pharaoh and spoke about 120km per hour.
Every time I come to this place there’s a brief time I ask myself “Why the Hell did I come to this place? It’s filthy, hot, dry, and everything’s crumbling in disrepair. And this madman chattering on and on about how he knows everything about the endocrine system, homeostasis, training at high altitude, playing drums, how most people are stupid about there diets, etc.
Don Thomas just handed me a key, shook his head and quickly shuffled off leaving me to fend for myself.
Really just wanted to get settled and start chillin’ in my hammock instead of discussing the genius of Gershwin, Bilderberg Group eugenics conspiracy, and the health benefits if royal honey. So, I interrupted Pharaoh and said I was going for a Coke and asked if he wanted one. He looked horrified and said I hadn’t heard a word he’d said or I wouldn’t have asked a runner such a ridiculous question.
I told him I did hear everything but was making a little joke. Not about ME going for a delicious Mexican Coke, because I was indeed, but about bringing him one too. He didn’t think it was funny and muttered something about the endocrine system, diabetes, and darted off to his room. It seemed my little joke did nothing to break the ice, but at least I was now free to have my first Mexican Coke of the trip.
When u got back from the tienda with my Coke, the sun was really beating down and so oppressive I had to lay down for a bit. Something about the intensity of the ultaviolets in this region at mid-afternoon can really rob you energy. Or, maybe my endocrine system didn’t like that tasty Mexican Coke after all.
Laid there in my adobe room trying to will myself to get up and hang my hammock so I could be swaying blissfully in the shade of that lone mesquite tree, but couldn’t move. My room was right next to Pharaoh’s and I could here him playing guitar and singing as if he were right there in the room with me. Oh great! What luck! I was too exhausted to flee, so I had no choice but to listen.
Wow!!! This guy is really good! An excellent singer with amazing voice control and one of the better guitar players I’ve heard. After a few tunes, I managed to get up and hang my hammock. Pharaoh then stepped out of his room with his drum next. Since the guitar work and singing was so good, I was curious if he’d be able to maintain that level on the drum.
Again, WOW!!! Such sophistication! Such range and genius composition! I generally don’t even like listening to monotonous drum beating as all. And, when I see a freaky hippy pulling out a drum or guitar, my usual inclination is to make tracks pronto. However, due to a cane sugar induced endocrine system failure, I was forced to give this guy a chance. And this trippy hippy delivered like no other.
I’d considered moving instead of having to endure what could have easily turned out to be a painful and awkward onslaught on my ear holes, but thanks to diabetic-inducing Mexican Coke I discovered you really can’t judge a hippy by his twitching eye and natty dreads.