Riding some of
the busses in Mexico, you do what you can to be comfortable. Here's
Billy in the back of the bus bracing himself against the swerves the
bus takes, holding his GPS to mark anything of interest along the
No doubt, we're
in the tropics here, and banana plantations are everywhere. If you
look closely at the banana palms you will see that the bananas
themselves are bagged with white or blue plastic bags to keep
insects and birds from eating the fruit.
Over bridges and
rivers, and around the coast, the scenery is tranquil and soothing.
This is the bus
we took from Tecoman to San Juan de Lima (32 Pesos each), much better than the
little klunker previously. As you can see from the itinerary on the
windshield, this bus continues onto and through other beach towns we
will see later.
We dropped the
boys off with our luggage at an ocean view restaurant/bar/hotel
while my girlfriend and I checked out hotels.
After viewing half-a-dozen
hotels, most of them broken down, in need of repair and charging
anywhere from 150 Pesos to 450 Pesos per night we came back to the
boys with our somewhat
news. However, while we had been gone, Billy negotiated with the
Bella Vista to get us a second floor
room with a view and air conditioning for only 250 Pesos a night!
We had this
swimming pool and and the ocean was only meters away. This photo was
taken from the upstairs restaurant, and there is a seaside
restaurant under the palapas you see on the right.
was a sweet little place with this view down at the beach. Waves
were considerably calmer than the pounding surf at Cuyutlan, but not
large enough to give one the waa-HOO of body surfing.
The restaurant we
frequented is just to the left of this palm tree in the photo. They
serve excellent Sopa de Mariscos (seafood soup) and Filete
de Pescado con Salsa de Chipotles
both too large
for one person to finish. With beverage, the price came to 200
Pesos, more than we had spent on a meal in a while. Most definitely
worth it, however.
We can also
recommend the ceviche for 50 Pesos a serving - it, too, will
feed two people.
view of the beach itself. Wide open with creamy waves continuously
lapping the shore.
These boys wanted
us to rent their horses by the hour or half-day. A great place to
ride along the beach!
This small town
currently has a population of 3,500 and has not been built up much.
In fact, there is no cell phone connection here at all, and no
internet. If you want to check your email you must go to Placita, a
15 minute, 14 Peso bus ride away.
Gringos have only
discovered San Juan about 15 years ago and you can count the
number living here on one hand.
The beach is
welcoming and wide.
This is looking
in the other direction. Stunning, isn't it?
Because this area
is not developed, there is no governmental agency which comes by and
sprays the beach for sand fleas, mosquitoes or flies. Due to the
rain this season, the little critters were particularly annoying -
nothing that assertive bug repellant couldn't help you with, but you
get the idea.
If you decide to
visit San Juan, bring
enough cash to get you through a
number of days here. The closest ATM (only two) is in La Placita,
south east down the coast. To take the bus, simply walk up to the
highway and flag down the first bus going in your direction. They
run about every half an hour.
One day while my
girlfriend and I lazed around the veranda, the boys went out
scouting around. Javier, the owner of the hotel, took them up the
coast to a private residence to discuss property values, squatter's
rights, the community in general and the future development of San
Juan de Lima. Most intriguing topics.
This is the view
from the private residence.
The coastline is
rugged and reminds us of the familiar seaside of
California, U.S.A. The difference is that so much of this surf and
sand is still undeveloped.
Can you imagine
the cost of your house with this same view in California or Oregon?
After a few days
in San Juan de Lima, it was time to move on.
our options for getting elsewhere down the beaches of Mexico and to
our next destination, we settled on a deal with the owners to take
us and in return, we would put gas into his SUV. It was a good
We wanted to stop
at a couple of beaches before we got to
Caleta de Campos, but lodging was a
question. Having a private driver solved this issue for us
completely. If we liked what we saw and found decent lodging, we
would stay. If not, Javier would take us on down the road until we
could catch a bus to Caleta.
Here's more of
what could be Highway 1 in California on the way to Half Moon Bay.
Only thing is, we're 1,000's of miles to the south!
Banana palms and
rivers, on through the Mexican state of Michoacan we go!
Finally we arrive
at a beach town we enjoy, Caleta de Campos, and Hotel de los Arcos.
How would you like to rest
here in this hammock?
prefers this one.
If you want to go
through San Juan de Lima (often marked on maps as San Juan de Alima)
and on to
Caleta, be sure to bring enough cash with you for lodging,
transport and food. If you reach Caleta and are looking for an ATM
you will need to go to Lazaro Cardenas, a large port town south east
down the coast.