Monday, November 17, 2008

Rincon De Guayabitos

We returned from our first trip to the Pacific coast since our arrival in Mexico.  Pictured above is the beach town of Rincon de Guayabitos (corner of the small guavas) located about 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta.  I had never been to a tropical beach before.  We were used to Maine beaches and the ankle-numbing water temperatures.  November seems to be a popular time for people here to make the five plus hour drive to the coast because the climate has cooled from the summer heat and humidity and the high season has not yet begun.  We went with our friends Steve and Sue and Jeanne and Paul.  Here we pose on the terrace restaurant of our hotel.  
The drive down was fairly easy; a high speed "cuota," or toll road, took us most of the way from Guadalajara.  I knew we were getting near the coast when I could see banana and coconut groves, and tall palms everywhere.  We had arranged to stay at a largely Mexican resort, in fact we were, for most of the stay, the only gringos there.  The hotel is very reasonable, about $350 USD for four days with all meals and drinks included.  It was about half full of middle class Mexican families on vacation.  It was quiet at night, and the food was very Mexican and very good.
The beach  experience was somewhat different.  first of all, the water was about 80 degrees, very different from our "normal" ocean experience.  The waves are gentle at this beach and the water shallow.  We could sit under the shade of the palapas, shown in this photo.  We did lots of reading and relaxing.  We walked up to the fancy end of the beach and saw where most of the gringos stayed, in a fancy resort of the west end of the beach, not our style.  
We took a drive to some other beach towns north of Puerto Vallarta, and I could see that the close one gets to PV, the more fancy and expensive everything is.  

We also saw some wildlife on beach.  There were many exotic birds.  I really found the graceful frigates beautiful,  but my favorite were the pelicans:

On our last afternoon, Steve arranged a boat ride to the big island off the shore.  I chose to stay back, not wanting to risk my chronic problem with sea sickness.  But the rest of the gang went and, unexpectedly, had a chance to view a couple of whales.  Pixie photographed the one below:

Pixie is a BIG FAN of the beach.  In Maine she would endure the cold, wind and horseflies to "enjoy" a day in the sun.  Here she discovered how wonderful a tropical beach can be.  We will be making this a regular destination, I can see.  

Since returning, Steve and I are busy making preparations for the big birthday bash for Pixie and Susan Barr.  Pixie turned 60 on November 10, and Susan turns 65 on the 19th.  We are hosting a party at our house for 50-60 friends, with a Mexican buffet and a guitar trio.  I'll be sure to include photos in the next entry.  

I'll end this entry with a new poem I wrote after attending the Day of the Dead festivities in Chapala, about looking at the photo on one of the altars.  

Your Sepia Face

 Your sepia face stares soberly at me

From another day, distant from this evening,

Adorned with marigold blossoms

And relics of your time among us,

Which proves to me that you were here

And lived to taste the sour fruits of life

And cried sweet tears for love of those

Who remain, remembering your presence here.


And as I gaze at your framed, faded image

On your vibrant altar, fragrant with breath,

I imagine my family, now long gone

Who live largely forgotten, no color enveloping

Their likenesses with warm, living flowers,

Photographs which remain, unexamined, vaguely recalled,

In a dark box waiting for those who knew them

To pass into the obscurity of memory themselves,

Rendering them forever unremembered.


You are lucky to remain among the breathing

A bit longer, perhaps to remind us all

To look into your sepia face

Reflecting our humble fate.  

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