Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beach Party

We're back from five days at the beach. This time around, we hit the less-visited areas, beginning with Puerto Angel. Much is made of the nudie hippie druggy yoga scene around Zipolite, but all we saw ere tall waves crashing on an open stretch of beach. We dined on on fresh grilled fish at a Frenchman's restaurant, swinging in hammocks under the stars while sipping margaritas. Nutella crepes for dessert.

The first couple days we hung in Puerto Angel, at a small beach called Playa Panteon (cemetery beach). This spot was pure old Mexico, with Cordelia's small hotel spilling onto the sand. The waves were gentle enough for Max to swim there for hours. We skirted the rocks and managed a swim to a sand bar and cave hidden in the boulders a little way out from the shore. Max shined with the accomplishment.

A tour of nearby beaches allowed us to snorkel at Playa Estacuhite, where I spotted the same blue glittery fishes Jenny, Steve and I found in Zihuatanejo 13 years ago. It felt like Jenny visited me, or at least sent a sign. We went to the more remote Playa Boquila, rough, cool and just swimmable enough on a turbulent day to feel challenging but not overpowering.

Onto a new beach town, San Agustinillo, the favorite of many. It was gorgeous, of course, a stretch of sand with boulders, tide pools, crashing surf, and the requisite line of palapas, hammocks and surfboard rental spots to provide entertainment, food, cocktails and shade. The drawback was it no longer felt like Mexico. Lots of European tourists and businesses owned by non-Mexicans, the latter which is my least favorite aspect of traveling in supposedly hip places. It's lovely to get the veggie food, yoga options, alterna culture, but the locals do not get as much of the tourists' money in this model.

Mazunte on the beach felt the same way. Luckily, locals use the beach, surfing it, swimming it, playing soccer on it, jamming on bongos by it, so it doesn't feel devoid of Mexican people and culture. Mazunte in town felt more Mexican, with the women running the natural cosmetics shop (partially started with a grant from The Body Shop to discontinue the killing of sea turtles and consumption of their eggs and move the economy toward a conservation model) and a beautiful ecological reserve devoted to the life of sea turtles. Onto La Ventanilla Beach, wild and hot, and lined with lagoons you can tour by non-motorized boat. We stopped at an island and drank from coconuts chopped open by machetes.

I could go on, but I think I'll conclude with Geni's poem she dictated to me about the beach:
Green water.
Blue water.
Green, green water.
It's a turtle.