our journey through the Mexican state of Michoacan, from
de Campos we got up early, took a shower, finished packing
and headed out to the main road to catch whatever bus was going north. As
luck would have it at 8:30 we boarded a first class bus on its way
to Tecoman for 125 Pesos per person.
coastal scenery continued, taking our breath away. These unspoiled
beaches were astonishing.
At every turn in
the road, nature packed a punch. We marked this one on our GPS for
a future visit. The name of the beach? We have no idea!
extends as far as the eye can see. No hotels, no suburbs, no palapa
Every once in a
while, there would be hints of humanity.
After Five hours
of driving through coastal glory we arrived in Tecoman just
in time to catch the second class 1:15 Bus to Manzanillo for
31 Pesos per person. Over an hour later we're in Manzanillo,
just in time to take the 3 o’clock bus to Melaque - another
44 Pesos per person.
5 pm now when we arrive in Melaque, and although travel went smoothly, we are pooped.
our gear and quickly stopping by a hotel to look for the friends we are
to meet, we have no luck. So we hit the road, walking, searching for a
place recommended to us by a fellow body surfer whom we met in
All we have is
the name of the hotel, San Felipe, and of course, no
reservations. It's quite a walk and we check out several rooms as we
trod along, beginning to wonder if it is a mistake to try and find
this place. San Felipe Hotel seems out of the way and far
from the center of town - which is perfect if you want to be away from the
We finally make
it to San Felipe and tell Linda, the owner, that a friend of Felipe’s sent us
here. She shows us a room on the top floor, and what a view! Another
one for the record. How did we get so lucky on this trip?
We bargain for
the price, since we can tell the hotel isn’t full… and we get it for 300
Pesos a night!
We are right on
the beach with the waves crashing audibly below, and from our room
we see a series of little swimming pools cascading by the
hotel restaurant on the ground floor.
After cleaning up
we go out to find some food. Walking a couple of blocks and to the
left we find Langosta Roja, a seafood place here in
town where it seems all the Gringos eat.
We finish a fine
dinner of dorado and puerco milanesa and begin to
hunt for a local panaderia to buy some pan dulce for
the morning. On our way home, our friends, Gloria and Ray pull up
behind us in their car! What a surprise! It was going to be our #1
mission to find them in the morning, but instead, they proceed to
take us to a party in motion at the cliff side RV park a few blocks away.
and dozens of people are dancing and carrying on. I was looking
forward to getting some sleep and an early bed time, but I could see
that this was out of the question now…
Bruce on the left
is playing the 'Gut Bucket Base' made with a box, some heavy string
and a broom handle. He has literally worked
his fingers to blister state (notice the Band-Aids on his right hand) while
with his left he works the broom handle to stretch or loosen
the string. All of this movement gives the Gut Bucket a surprising
range of base notes and added remarkable musical
dimension to the live guitar and singing that veteran musician Rod
This was just too
After rockin' and
rollin', shakin' and bakin' for the good part of the night, the next
morning we are up early, meeting our friends for breakfast at a
popular hangout in Barra de Navidad named Bananas.
The goal for today
is to have margaritas on Tenacatita beach, and shrimp
quesadillas at La Manzanilla. A full day of beach living planned ahead!
A short pit stop
at a tiny beach cove along the way...The simple, quiet life.
And off to
Tenacatita for margaritas! Another spectacular beachside view...
How can you beat this? Tenacatita is known for its excellent snorkeling,
and you can rent gear from the restaurants.
the area, we take a short side trip to see the Mexican caimans and the
ice cream vendors working side by side. I don't know that I'd be
walking that close to the water, myself... But maybe this vendor has
a deal worked out with the local 'gators. These beasts are fast and wild and
this picture was taken from the safety of our car window. There was no fence in
this area to stop them from straying for a meal, and we certainly
weren't going to tempt them!
The caiman, a
smaller species of crocodiles, populate a large section of southern
Mexico, Central and South America
La Manzanilla, not to be confused with El Manzanillo,
a much bigger, more populated beach town. It's sweet here with
gentle rolling waves and the peace and quiet of nature.
Billy and I
stayed here at Aceves with friends several times in years
past. We rented rooms with a mini kitchen and bath for about $5USD
per night. Now, these same rooms go for $35USD a night! Hmmm.... I
wonder if he'd bargain down a bit...The Gringos have discovered La Manzanilla, thus pushing the prices higher.
Boutique hotels with panoramic views are further up the surrounding hills.
This - right here
was our single day's goal: The famous shrimp quesadillas in La Manzanilla.
quesadillas served with rice for 60 Pesos a dish, and they are so rich
and delicious, that the plate can be shared between two people. That
and a bowl of fresh guacamole with chips and a margarita or beer...
and the day's complete!
If you have never
traveled up the
west coast of Mexico before, you may find yourself
enchanted for life.