Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Harry, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 09:49 (2502 days ago)
edited by Harry, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 09:57

Buenas Dias autre vez mis amigos....

On Wednesday Ilana and I "Did Barra." Started with Avi's tour and combined it with a visit to the Refugio de Potosi. To quote my very particular Daughter, who has never been one to lavish praise and is especially prone to embarrassment by her accordion-playing comedian wannabe Dad.... "it was our best day of the trip so far."

I'd like to preface my review of Avi's tour with a suggestion that everyone who visits this area would do well to enjoy what he has so far produced. In my view, Avinael Cadena Banuelos is an enormous talent, and I sincerely hope that this will soon be a viable business and that the integrity of what he has to offer will continue. And this, of course will depend substantially upon whether Barra becomes more developed, and if it does - will the unique, sensitive and lush ecosystem of the Barra mangroves be preserved?

I contacted Avi by email. He responded very promptly same day. It was about a 1/2 hr. taxi ride from Madera, and the price was $250. Must have been one of the syndicated local drivers, because he had photos of both Marlon Brando as Don Corleone and Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa lovingly framed behind the driver's seat. (just kidding)

We met Avi on the beach in front of the lagoon as arranged. It wasn't hard to do. As soon as we got out of the cab and walked through a restaurant (which you more or less have to do to reach the beach) I told the mesero who approached us that we were here to take Avi's tour. He nodded affirmatively and whistled to Avi. All was ready. We were expected.

We're bird lovers. Ilana loves all animals, but has a particular affinity to birds. We weren't disappointed. The Barra teams with life. We saw 4 types of herons, frigate birds, kingfishers, and heard but didn't see doves cooing in the mangroves. We paused a couple of times to fish. Avi took out a scoop net and quickly retrieved some of the little crabs of the bay. They're small. Perhaps 4" across the back point-to-point. Cooked in soup he says.

I wished sincerely that my good friend Vancouver Tony could have shared the moment with us....Tony knows ALL ABOUT catching crabs..

Then Avi demonstrated fishing with the casting net. It's quite an art to throw so that it spreads properly. I'm sure he learned it very much out of necessity as a child... On his first toss he brought in a surprising number of herring-like little fish that are a staple food here. I gave it a go, and though I caught one or two fish , my casting technique was far from great. Totally fascinating.

Ilana wants me to tell you all about Avi's passion for what he does. She wants you to know that it was an experience like right out of National Geographic magazine.

Avi charged us $300 pesos for this experience. I gave him $1000. And it's worth all of that and more.

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We then had breakfast in a vast but empty Barra restaurant and then hopped a "progresso" to the Refugio. I think Ilana liked that ride better than anything we did at Disneyland. Back of the truck like campesinos off to work in the mango orchards....

The Refugio was very worthwhile. Your 60 peso admission helps them continue their good works. It was very interesting, though truth be told I felt myself starting to get a little woozy in the heat of the day at 12:30 pm.

Loved the place. Ilana petted LALA the hairy Mexican porcupine.


They've got a fine selection of parrots, hawks, and a funny indigenous chicken-like bird that followed us around the compound. You've gotta see Jurassic Park where iguanas rule as dinosaurs in ages past. A big old boa constrictor, and a little crocodile pond are more treats that can be a fun tactile experience for kids of all ages.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by sue in mexico mo @, Mexico, MO USA, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 11:04 (2502 days ago) @ Harry

Thanks for the very interesting trip report. I am so happy that "Sharkboy" is developing a following.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by judi in OKlahoma @, where I am, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 11:20 (2502 days ago) @ Harry

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Here's a bucket'o'crabs in Potosi ...
What a great trip you are having! Thanks for the reports.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 11:40 (2502 days ago) @ Harry

Can you say more about getting from Barra to the Refugio. Can you be more specific about how you did that?

Transportation

by Esox, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 11:57 (2502 days ago) @ Fran

Fan -- I believe you just can just take the little truck there for about 9 peso.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by judi in OKlahoma @, where I am, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 12:46 (2502 days ago) @ Fran

Can you say more about getting from Barra to the Refugio. Can you be more specific about how you did that?


Fran, here's what I like to do ...
Go to Doña Lichas for an early breakfast (#44 on Jareds map, on Cocos)
Then stand out front and wait for the bus to Petatlan. Never waited more than 10 minutes. A kid will be hanging out the door saying
'Peta Peta'.
Get off at Los Achotes. Just tell the guy 'Los Achotes' and someone will let you know. Maybe a 20 min ride.
When you get off you will easily see up the street where to wait for a pasajera to fill up for trip towards Barra de Potosi.
On the way you will be passing El Refugio on your right. You can bang your foot on truckbed to get off :-)
Or keep going right into La Barra.
For return, take pasajera to Los Achotes. Get off and go across the highway to wait at bus stop. Easy peasy, cheap and much fun.

Beautiful kids on a pasajera. I had told this beautiful little boy he was going to be a movie star or a famous brain surgeon so I needed his picture.
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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 13:05 (2502 days ago) @ judi in OKlahoma

Thanks, Judi. We've done that basic get there part many times but I wondered about how to use the pasajera to get between Barra and Refugio.

Gorgeous children.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Timmac @, Steilacoom, WA, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 13:16 (2501 days ago) @ Fran

The last couple of years there have been taxis at Barra. I was thinking of taxiing back and forth. It's probably just a bit to far to walk for those of us from the Pacific NW, as we have next to no tolerance for heat. (The road is narrow enough that walking could be pretty exciting.)My bet is 2-3 miles from the Refugio to Barra. Does anyone know for sure how far it is?

--
-Tim McNair-
timmac@mac.com

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by judi in OKlahoma @, where I am, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 13:25 (2501 days ago) @ Timmac

My bet is 2-3 miles from the Refugio to Barra. Does anyone know for sure how far it is?

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Closer to 4-5
Pic is from the tower at El Refugio

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 21:00 (2501 days ago) @ judi in OKlahoma

Shoot, that's only a couple of miles. Takes you a half an hour to walk. What a bunch of whussies! :fiddle:

@ Fran : Barra to Refugio

by Harry, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 16:56 (2501 days ago) @ Fran

Can you say more about getting from Barra to the Refugio. Can you be more specific about how you did that?

Happy to.

After Avi's tour we walked a bit into bustling ( :) ) downtown Barra and asked a lady in a Miscelenia store to call us a taxi to get us to the Refugio. She pointed out the taxi palapa next to the store and the fact of the progresso truck (collectivo) standing there waiting for a few more customers to make his trip worthwhile. I think it was, like, 10 pesos to the refugio. They picked up others along the way, so if one started walking the road back from Barra to the Refugio, a collectivo is bound to come along sooner or later. It's about 3-5 kilometres between the town and the Refugio all told.

Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Vancouvertony, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 14:03 (2501 days ago) @ Harry

Being in the Royal Navy,one knows all about crabs....little mobile itchy blackheads;-) .

Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Dave, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 16:42 (2501 days ago) @ Harry

Thank you for taking the time to write of your experience. One day soon, we hope to take a tour and enjoy the community.

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Laura ⌂ @, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 20:46 (2501 days ago) @ Harry

This is a wonderful review - well written and gives such a clear picture carrying the warmth and humor besides the beauty of the experience! So proud of Avi!! He is blossoming and working hard, but it's his love of La Barra and the incredible life we have here that fuels his sincere and creative work. Avi and his tours will only get better and better...as you say IF he is free to remain and this magical place is not destroyed.

Hasta pronto,
Laura
Casa del Encanto B&B Barra de Potosi

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Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by Sharkboy ⌂ @, Barra de Potosi, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 22:20 (2501 days ago) @ Harry

Hey!!!!! thanks again for come. its a bery good expirience to meet people.
and was a placer than you come to my tour. I love when the people learn the important of our nature ecosistem. thanks and say hello to your daughter.
nice to meet you and we are in contact sr.... :-D jejejeje iam just kidding.
see you Harry
Tours in Barra de Potosi

Harry Reviews BARRA TOUR W/ SHARKBOY

by allen @, Pacific Northwest, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 22:49 (2501 days ago) @ Sharkboy

She looked pretty cute. Not sure how much you are kidding. :)

OIGA TIBURONITO !!!!!

by Harry, Friday, February 11, 2011, 08:15 (2501 days ago) @ Sharkboy

Hey!!!!! thanks again for come. its a bery good expirience to meet people.
and was a placer than you come to my tour. I love when the people learn the important of our nature ecosistem. thanks and say hello to your daughter.
nice to meet you and we are in contact sr.... :-D jejejeje iam just kidding.


Te recuerdo siempre y oramos por su éxito y felicidad. Será un honor para enviarle una colección especial de mi música favorita selva.

Muy importante debe tener un sitio web adecuado que responda a las búsquedas en Internet y continuar su asociación con la comunidad de la junta ZihuaRob.

He intentado reservar una visita con William Merz, pero no pudo porque está lleno hasta el final del mes. Buena suerte para él, significa que lo que hace es apreciado. Aprender de su éxito y mantener su integridad y sentido del humor.

We will remember you always and pray for your success and happiness. It will be an honour to send you a special collection of my favourite jungle music.

Very importantly you must get a proper website that is responsive to internet searches and continue your association with the community of ZihuaRob's board.

I tried to book a tour with William Merz, but could not because he is fully booked until the end of the month. Good luck to him, it means that what he does is appreciated. Learn from his success and keep your integrity and sense of humour.

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