Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to the Beach

Josafat's girlfriend came down for the weekend, and along with another friend Wilbur, we decided to go to the coast. I was sooo glad for a break from Tlapa de Comonfort. It would be a decent working-class town, but 7 months without rain, a few tons of dust, intense heat, and 50,000 honking cars makes this Pacific Northwest girl crave water. The closest beach is a mere 80 miles away- but it took 4 hours to get there on horrible roads. I never get motion sick, but the constant jostle in the truck almost made me nauseous.

It was all worth it though when I saw the sparkling expanse of the Pacific, almost a Carribean turquoise. It's a beautiful coast- Guerrero is the same state that boasts Alcapulco and Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo. Those places have been heavily developed for foreign tourism, but there are still a handful of spots here that are for national tourism. Nothing fancy, just lots of seafood palapas along the beach, and a few Mexican families. Next week for Semana Santa (holy week) these places will be packed when city folks make their mass vacation exodus. Here you can still sleep on the beach, or in the restaurant hammocks as long as you buy food there at some point. The next day, although they weren't officially open yet, our restaurant made us coffee, and then set to work grilling a big red fish- a hauchilango- in adobo chiles, cloves, garlic, a little bit of mayonnaise, and who knows what else. With fresh tortillas and beans it was heavenly.

From there we went farther down to an estuary where Josa said they rented kayaks. It was so stunning, a river running alongside the ocean with only a small strip of beach separating them until they merged together in big waves. Behind that was a jumble of jungle plants before giving way to the distant mountains.

It turned out they no longer rented kayaks. They had skiffs, but they were sort of big for 4 of us, and we didn't want to disturb the serenity with a motor. There was one decrepit fiberglass canoe designed for 1-3 people. We decided to try it, carefully balancing our weight and praying we wouldn't tip over. The boat was about as thick as tagboard and I thought for sure something would happen, but the afternoon passed without incident as we paddled around the maze of sandbars and up the river to small beach embankments. We saw a bunch of fish, and a kazillion birds. Wow, I have never wanted a bird field guide so badly. There were lots of colored crane-egret types, sandpipers, maybe grebes, bright zippy little birds, one that looked like a wood duck-cardinal cross, just so so many.


Dorian Grey said...

Nice writing, who are you there with? How long have you been there and how long are you staying?

ElizaBeth said...

You make Mexico come alive! I too miss it and wish I knew it better than I do - a measly three weeks on the southern coast was enough to tell me it was in my top 5 favorite countries but not much else. And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!