You CAN go back

Barre de Navidad -> Manzanillo -> Boca de Iguanas

Collectively (and independently) we’ve all decided that we have had enough of Barre De Navidad.

We take a quick stroll around town looking for desayuno – or just coffee for God’s sake – but there is none to be had. Town is quiet and peaceful.

Speed check out of the Bel Aires has us back on the road headed south to the port town of Mananillo (*not* to be confused with it’s prettier cousin La Manzanilla to the north).

Manzanillo is a commercial port and also a port of call for big cruise ships. The centro is compact and attractive for a big city, with houses built on steep terraces extending up the hillsides.

We shop for a bit amongst throngs of tourists buying trinkets made of shells and plastic and most likely made in China. A very strange scene. Manage to sample some tamarindo candy which I can honestly say is one of the few things I’ve every tasted that I just couldn’t stand.

Drive back to La Manzanilla for lunch. Lots of houses for sale in both this area and Boca de Iguanas – some very cool houses, too.

Filete de pescado served in the empanizado style on the beach and some reprovisioning, we decide to do what cannot be done – we decide to return to Boca de Iguanas to recpature the magic.

It’s every bit as good and deserted as the first night. A few languid hours are spent on the beach followed by a few hours in the water riding some crashy, brutal waves.

Boca De Iguanas -> La Manzanilla -> Barre De Navidad

04.03.2006

Sun salutations with yoga on the beach followed by cool showers. Slow start. Off down the coast to La Manzanilla for breakfast of huevos rancheros.

Cute little beach town – not as big or tourist oriented as Tenacitita which by comparison seems like a shanty town erected for the sole purpose of eating and drinking on the beach.

Continued south to Melaque where I was actually able to get a data signal – first time so far in Mexico. (NOTE: data access ended up costing me a BUNDLE).

After resupplying, headed south on to Barre De Navidad, a complete gringo party town on a small spit of land. At the very end of the spit is a pedestrian walkway providing stellar vies of the ultimate beginner surf wave.

Grabbed a room at the Bel Aires hotel then out for PM beers on the beach. Ended up watching the sunset from the rooftop bar of the hotel talking with the general manager Javier.

Finally headed out for dinner. Sample Lava Pot, a spicy stew pot concoction served in a steaming hot lava rock bowl and a local speciality. Really good.

Awoke at 3 to sounds of bad tunes than at 5 to garbage trucks. Although BdN is a cute town, I don’t think I need to visit again unless visiting the awesome looking hotel across the lagoon on Isla Navidad…

S, S, and I unanimously agreed that a second night in BdN would be a mistake. So onwards…

Perula to Boca De Iguanas

Up early for a long walk to the end of the beach at Perula. Lots of interesting hotels, bars, etc, but very empty. Tourist season is closing down.

Picking up my email – lots of small issues to deal with but nothing major. Work mode now officially off.

Spent a few great hours body boarding and body surfing some small surf then jumped in the car to continue our journey south on the coast.

Stopped briefly at Hotel Carreyes (a Starwood Hotel) naively thinking that we could stop in for breakfast.

We were DENIED entry (could it be our dust-covered Tsuru rental gave us away as people who couldn’t even afford breakfast there?). Thus began the jokes about being VIPs traveling incognito in a rented Tsuro. From the spots on the road where you can see into Carreyes, it looks *amazing.

Stopped in at Tenacatita, a small primarily Mexican day spot filled with bars and restaurants. The small bay to the north harbors some great secluded camping and snorkeling opportunities. It’s a beautiful area albeit a bit trashy.

Camped now at Boca de Iguanas. The town itself is almost non-existent, consisting of just a few servicios. The beach itself is beautiful. Had a nice afternoon session with some head high, violently crashing waves.

Shared a simple dinner of aguacate, tomate, limon, tostadas, and cervezas watching wave after wave roll onto the beach, nearly empty of people.

La Manzanilla lies perched on a hillside at one end of the bay, the other blocked by a craggy cliff marked with a shrine in a small cave. Some fishermen happlessly cast nets into the surf as the last light ekes away. Camping at the very end of the beach with thuderous surf scouring the cliff in the background. Tomorrow – La Manzanilla.