Monday, March 05, 2018

Last Chance Adventure

We had a bit of an adventure today. Barry and Leigh Vincent picked us up this morning and we headed out for a road trip up Highway 80 through La Huerta ending at our destination, the little village of Tequesquitlán. The proposed trip didn't end at Tequesquitlan, but local knowledge and many head shakes told us that we should not go on past that little town due to bad roads.

Our first stop was at a set of petroglyphs that were carved into a large rock outcropping on a dirt farm road just outside of La Huerta. Barry led Linda and I  on a short steep hike up to where we could see the petroglyphs and we took photos as we discussed what we thought might be the history of the carvings.

There are numerous carvings on very steep rock faces, causing one to wonder why a person would take the time to chisel them onto that particular surface.

Back in the car, we backtracked on the road until we came to a split with a sign that announced the direction to a local hot spring.  Barry smiled and nodded saying "You guys are going to like this." and we made the turn down the path to the springs.

We arrived and found only the caretaker at the pools. Barry chatted with him as he busily cleaned at the moss that was growing everywhere in the pool. The fellow said that the pool is extremely busy on weekends and that he was going to flush out the pond after he brushed down the sides of the pool. Our take was that he had picked up the brush when he saw us drive up and that as soon as we left, the brush would be dropped and his nap would continue. The pools looked like they had never been flushed and the trash around the walkways pointed to a lack of maintenance by the staff.

On we drove, Barry confident that he knew the way to Tequesquitlán. As we proceeded, he filled us in on the proposed adventure. The idea was to drive to Tequesquitlán where we would then follow another road down over the side of the mountains and this would lead us in the back side of Cihuatlán and then on to Melaque completing our circle. Barry had been told that there was a place where we would be able to take pictures way above the city of Cihuatlán that would show the town, surrounding farmland and the ocean. It is said to be very beautiful.

On we drove. At one point Linda and Leigh told our fearless leader they thought he should turn onto another road. They were looking at the map, but Barry assured them that he was on the right track. 

Several miles later we entered the town of Cuautitlán de García Barragán where Barry made the tough decision to stop at a Pemex and ask directions.  Within moments after the inquiry we were back on the road, retracing our path back to the location where the ladies had suggested we turn.

As we drove along the narrow and shoulderless road, there was a loud explosion and the left rear tire went flat. Immediately we stopped and assessed the damage. The tire was ruined! It had a huge hole blown through the side

At that moment a truck pulled up in front of us and two men jumped out and proceeded to change the tire and teach Barry all about how his spare tire and repair tools worked. Within fifteen minutes they were finished. We offered them money and they refused, so we gave them water and a few apples. We thanked them and they were on their way. What wonderful people there are in this country!

Our pace slowed as we made the right turn and we drove the few miles to Tequesquitlán. Barry wanted to check the air in the tire and so we stopped several times and asked directions to the nearest Pemex.

Everyone was very friendly and gave us precise directions. We never were able to find the gas station even after several tries and multiple stops at the Plaza Jardin Tequesquitlán.

Finally, we stopped for a pop and asked about the road we were looking to continue our journey upon. The store proprietor and a customer both said that the road we wanted was very rough and they advised against travel on it. With that knowledge and the fact we had no spare tire, we called off our exploration and returned to Melaque via Highway 80. Barry assured us he knew the way back home...

Our heroes at work!
Parroquia Santa María De Guadalupe in Tequesquitlán. 
We needed to go to Barra, but which way?
Sugarcane trucks were everywhere as we traveled.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Alzar Velas

I got the opportunity to go out sailing on Mangata with John. The plan was for John and me to go out and sail and then meet Linda and Beth over at Cuastemates where Beth and John would anchor for a couple days before they headed north.

We pulled anchor and motored out into Bahia de Navidad. The ocean was flat with no discernible wind. As we went farther offshore we spotted a large pod of dolphins swimming and playing about. We motored into the pod and had a blast watching them swim and jump just off our bow and all around Mangata.

After about 45 minutes we turned the boat north and motored over to the area near Isla Iglesias. We turned around and followed the coastline back down past Bahia Cuastecomate to Bahia de Navidad.

At this time the wind had picked up and so we threw up the sails and started playing in the wind.

The wind went from nothing to about 15 knots in no time. John and I had a blast and ended our day by sailing into Bahia Cuastecomate where we set anchor and took the dinghy to the beach where we met Linda and Beth.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Snorkling, Well Maybe...

The weather changed about four days ago, it went from very hot and muggy to much cooler and a bit more breeze. With this change came a change in the ocean. Since early December the ocean has been clear and warm. The weather has changed, currents have changed and so now the ocean is much cooler and cloudy.

We decided to go snorkeling!
We hired a guided tour and six of us went out to explore the reefs and rock ledges of the surrounding blue waters. The guide Danny is the nephew of my usual fishing guide Gerardo Kosonoy. He owns his boat and just like his uncle keeps it very clean and in great shape.
As soon as we climbed on the boat Danny explained about the water clarity and temperature and gave us an opportunity to change our minds about the trip. We shrugged our shoulders and said, "What the heck!"
We motored out of Melaque and North around the point. We past Cuastemates and all the beaches connected with the private resort Tamarinda. At this resort, directly below the abandoned luxury condos that were destroyed by the hurricane, we stopped at a beach where Danny said we might have a chance at seeing something in the water. 
Our Guide Danny Kosonoy.
It was on this beach, a friend had told us that we would find the beach covered with seashells. We got off the boat and onto the beach and walked. There were very few shells anywhere! The shells we found were broken and crushed by the waves. Everyone wondered just what our source of this information had been smoking the day he went onto "the beach of a billion shells."
We looked at the water and it looked promising and so when we got back on board the panga we put on our snorkeling gear and entered the water.

Did I tell you the water temperature had changed?  Well, it was very cool and the visibility was really bad. so we spent about fifteen minutes swimming and were done.
Danny then took us on a tour over along the shoreline to Tenacatita where we motored up a small stream into the mangrove forest. I did this last year when I was staying on John's boat. It was still a very interesting trip. 

From there we came home. A little disappointed in the adventure, but we had a fun day.