Posted by veronica on March 27, 2001 at 12:39:37:
Seems like La Barra is the hot spot for trip reports lately...here's one more!
After 6 weeks of intensive research (THANK YOU ROBand board contributors) my family had the vacation of a lifetime, mostly spent in a rental bungalow, Casa Puesta del Sol, in Barra de Potosi. We were doing a budget trip - I am a humble self-employed potter and my husband is a printer. Our kids are 2 boys, 11 and 17 years old.We arrived after a fairly gruelling trip from Victoria B.C. to find our bungalow and caretakers unprepared and not expecting us! Undaunted, we headed for the beach while the house was swept and the linens changed ; no problema!Barra is one of those unspoilt gems that are harder and harder to find ; I did all the research for this trip, and although I knew that I wanted the 'real Mexico' experience rather than a resort stay, I was worried about the kids would handle it. They loved every minute : Surf, enramadas, pasajeras and buses, corner stores, dogs, roosters, lizards, pigs, village life and the always friendly Mexicans.
We met Laura Kelly on our first evening(she introduced herself to us at the enramada) She was a wonderful help in advising us about stores,good places to eat and how the village works. We had brought some things for her school which we dropped off next day, having a peek at her lovely home and meeting the charming Dona Tonia.
Our rental is owned by a canadian couple and is spacious and very comfortable. The caretakers are a lovely couple and their son entertained us with his antics and beaming grin.Casa Puesta del Sol is located next to the hotel - very close but as only 1 couple were staying there while we were there it wasn't a problem! (They were happy with the hotel, by the way) A new 2 unit house is being built right in front of the current house, wqhich provided entertainment and an interesting view of Mexican construction, not to mention a slight discount on the already very reasonable rate of $300US/week!
Mostly we ate at the enramadas - La Condesa and Naiyito's. Good food, reasonable prices and super-friendly waiters. 1 night we ate at Dona Olga's in the village - delicious and filling beef tacos and chicken enchilladas, beer and pop for 4 : cost 130pesos!
We spent a lot of time in the enramada hammocks after slight sunburn all round. The kids read lots and just watched the world go by. We bought from the vendors a bit, but never found them to be pushy and they were fun to bargain with and always good natured. My husband and I particularly enjoyed visiting with a lovely lady called Carmella, who sold necklaces and bracelets and told us how she makes clay beads.
We went to Z.town for 2 nights, mostly so the kids could see the 'big city' and because our closest friends were anchored there in their sailboat : a stop on their 2 year family cruise. It was wonderful to catch up. We rented a suite at Suites la Ropa which was adequate but pricey compared to our place in La Barra! The owner, Ivan, was charming and his staff at El Pirata, their restarant at the end of Playa la Ropa, were super.
We bussed into Z from La Barra, following Dona Laura's description of travel by Pasajera and bus. What a trip! Next day we wondered round Z, dropped into Rob's office to kiss his feet(!!) and then met up with our friends and spent the afternoon relaxing on their boat, catching a taxi back to La Ropa at the end of the day.
Wed. morning bright and early we caught a bus to Ixtapa...8 people, 2 boogie boards and a surf board on a packed bus! An experience I'll never forget. Got off in Ixtapa, rented a second board and back onto another bus to Playa Linda. For Alistair, my 17 year old, surfing may have been the hilight of his trip. He got up almost right away and had a blast (perhaps snowboarding experience helps?) James, 11, was more cautios but still had fun, desite a nasty graze on his chest from the board.
In the evening we headed back to Z on the bus, once again packed and noone complained about having to climb over our surf boards. We were even entertained by a couple of musicians on board! Shopping for a few special things followed by a few drinks at Rick's bar ended the day. Our taxi back to La Barra was 150pesos - very reasonable and a lovely driver who my husband practised his Spanish with. By the way, pasajera and bus for 4 was a grand total of 52pesos!
Our last 2 days were spent swimming, body surfing and relaxing. It felt like coming home after a busy couple of days in the big city! I could have stayed much longer and we were all sad to leave the people we felt we were just starting to get to know.
Sometime I would love to come back and stay with Annabella and Francois at Casa Frida.I was lucky enough to meet them and to be invited to see their newly decorated rental house in La Barra. It is stunningly beautiful and they are a charming couple. I'm glad to see their website is up and running already - when I met them 10 days ago they couldn't tell me their rates as nothing was finalised, but the rooms are gorgeous and the property is well-situated.
We never made it Playa Calli though I wish we had as I'd have liked to meet Bernie. Next time.
Friday we were up early for a last chance to swim and body surf. Lunch at the enramada and then onto the pasajera with our bags for the last trip to the airprt.
2 Points of Practical Interest : We brought a huge suitcase full of boat parts for our friends and had no problem, despite my nervousness. Green light at customs thank goodness!
Also I had a letter from my kids' father , notarised etc. which no-one was interested in! Mind you, if I hadn't gone to the trouble I would have needed it for sure - sod's law!
That's all folks,but if anyone needs advice/info/help I'd be happy to respond, as so many of you did for me.MUCHAS GRACIAS AND HASTA LUEGO - Veronica