Rock walls, stone roads, sturdy rust homes mimicking the sweltering heat. Gentle, moist breeze defying the heat. Huts and haze. Occasional dust storms, very mild ones. Driving through narrow nameless alleys, losing your way in a dubious area – the finest way to experience your heartbeat. That unexpected combination of desert and water with cacti standing tall next to even taller palm trees, getting along. Endless chains of purple bougainvillea brightening up the already vibrant milieu, nourishing my soul. Splendid views. Pulsating local music that never dies down except for a few hours perhaps deep into the night. Bawdy contests for the spring break crowd. Alcohol flowing like a free-spirited river. That lingering smell of tacos being fried. Azure, pristine beaches. The pit of the ocean turning emerald, which is when the spectacle approaches the sublime. Baking myself the color of dried red chilies… or dark chocolate. Working twice as hard to walk on the sand, the grains getting deep into my shoes, sending a tingling sensation up my soles. That flat, wet land between the sand and the water – the only place where it’s easy to leave your footprints, easier to walk in someone else’s. Watching the seagulls do the same, perhaps oblivious to the notion. A pelican pecking a beer can like its life depended on it. Devastating stories from the recent hurricane with barely any evident signs. Those narrating the stories – composed, seemingly healed. Languid days filled with salsas, serranos and siestas. Exquisite art. Warm hospitality. Endless water therapy. It astonishes the mind how a few days in a new locale can shower you with so many intangibles.