On The Road Again 6. . .

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Escrito por Idaho Red desde (dsl-189-164-138-10.prod-infinitum.com.mx) el día miércoles, 07 de enero, 2009 a las 12:37:21 horas :

Ever since we arrived back on the Nayarit coast at San Blas we have found that time has slowed down to a crawl. Not far South we located a wonderful resort on the beach (cliffs) at Miramar, called Paraiso Miramar. Bungalows, apartments, camping Y RV hookups are all available in a park-like setting. Huge native trees, remnants of a Coco plantation, working orchards y banana crops, historical buildings included. Walking distance away is Santa Cruz and several good palapa restaurants for endless seafood!

Nearby, North of Los Cocos, is the small ejido community of Aticama which was celebrating 73 anos since it's founding. Parties in the square, rodeo outside of town, fireworks for all to enjoy. Another nearby town, 5K inland from Santa Cruz is El Llano, voted as most Tope riddled town on the coast. Must be 7 or 8 topes in no more than 1K of distance; a tope for every vendor set up alongside the road of course. However, the Poinsetta trees in town surely make the holiday season colorful.

A nearly perfect beach for swimming is a little further South at Platanitos, also served by numerous restaurants with plenty of parking y services. Watch out for crowding by nationals on Sunday or holidays. On down the road a bit is an agricultural community of Zacualpan which the highway passes thru. Small zocalo with the requisite church in the center of town, all in all a peaceful village going about daily life. Not so peaceful is Las Varas just down the road where you re-connect with the major highways. Busy with lots of commerce, at least one bank in downtown, also an ATM at the OXXO on the highway. Good resource for stocking up on groceries or pesos when in the area, downtown was a fun shopping experience with plenty of eating opportunities.

After a couple of weeks in Miramar, where we celebrated Xmas with newly made friends at the resort, it was time to mosey on down the road. After a grueling journey, must have taken at least an hour to cover the distance, we landed in Chacala. What a jewel, with a questionable future, but a jewel none-the-less. Perfect swimming beach, (some days even produced nice small waves) plenty of restaurants, and friendly outgoing locals equate to a fun time by all. However, they do roll up the sidewalks at dark and not much happens for evening activities.

Chacala is a favorite day-trip destination for tour busses from the central highlands and certainly fills up on Sunday with the crowds of families enjoying the beach. There is a good population of expats and cannucks in town for socializing if you tire of conversing with the locals. New Years eve was a blast, literally, with competing fireworks and music going on til way past midnite. The locals seemed to be a little slow the next morning, easily taking until noon to wake up and begin the day of dealing with the 'cruda.

Unfortunately for Chacala, a developer has acquired a huge chunk of land which covers most of the valley and at least 1/2 of the beach frontage. Their first action was to fence the entire area and lock up all the camping areas that had been used for years by snow-birds to hang out. Also a casualty was parking for the tour buses, we saw at most 20 in town, down from reports of as many as 75 to 80 a day in years past. Business owners report a major drop in business from campers as well as day-trippers, but are hopeful the new development will offset the losses with new growth.

Reported in the press are plans for 3 hotels with at least 80 rooms each, and supporting businesses. This will result in a major change in the atmosphere of a formerly tranquil, out of the way, beach retreat. I'm sure the condos will follow along with all the other planned improvments. The area fenced in is several hundred acres and at least 1K of beach front. One can only hope the developers have a conscience (sp?) and care about the community as much as their checkbook! By comparison, the same thing in Zihua would be like fencing off the entire bay front from the hill B4 Catalina all the way around to and including Los Gatos.

We plan to move on after 10 days or so, somewhere South again, we will see what Guayabitos and other areas have to offer. Until next time, Vaya Con Dios, Rojo

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