Trip report Day 5. part one La Barra.

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Posted by Dee from MN from ( on domingo, enero 26, 2003 at 02:07:01 :

Quick trip down to Casa Cafť (where else?) and we both have their new breakfast special of a large toasted bagel with cream cheese and jam, a small fruit plate and coffee Ė breakfast for both for only $50 P. total. Since we only have 3 more vacation days left, we decide to splurge on a cab to La Barra de Potosi, and forego the more interesting bus and cattle truck ride in exchange for more relaxing beach time. I go back to our room to pack up beach things, while Jim continues up to the taxi stand at the top of the hill to arrange our ride. Even, though I have board reports of a trip to Barra costing 200 P, we canít get the driver to budge from 250 P. Well, we donít try very hard, because yesterday the first price quoted was 300 P. and with the exchange rate making the peso worth less, some inflation is to be expected, I guess. (The next day I asked a driver in El Centro what he would charge, and he also said 250P.) Considering the distance, and the portion of bad road after Los Achotes, 250P is actually a very reasonable price.

We arrange for 500P for a round trip with a pick up at 4:00 PM. The trip takes about Ĺ hour by taxi and goes through scenic open hill areas, as well as typical small Mexican towns. We asked to be dropped off at La Condesa enramada, and though the driver is not familiar with this beach restaurant, when he asks someone at the dead end of the road, it turns out we are already parked behind the Condesa. We pay him 250P and he makes sure we write down his name, Jose, and his cab number 430, and says he will be come back at 3:30 and wait for us.

So, here we are at last! And what a beautiful place to be! I hesitate to even talk about this place, because I selfishly donít want too many people here. But they do need some influx of tourist dollars, and hopefully La Barra will draw the kind of low impact tourists that do not come expecting to be entertained. This is not Disneyland. La Barra is not for everyone. If your idea of a good vacation is visiting upscale restaurants and shopping, donít bother coming, you will find nothing to do here.

A curved beach that goes on almost as far as the eye can see and virtually no people on the beach. Thank god there is very little development to spoil the view. I can see myself riding one of Robertoís horses down this beach. Iíve owned horses since I was in my 20ís and my last two finally died a few years ago of old age related problems, so the idea of going horseback riding on a beautiful Mexican beach has sentimental appeal for me. Iím hoping Roberto and his horses show up soon.

Meanwhile, we plop our baggage on a corner table under the palapa roof of the restaurant, and tell the waiter that we plan to stay for the day and will be ordering drinks and food a little later. We are the only customers so far, as itís probably still before 10AM. Jim goes to look around at the lagoon, while I unpack stuff, including the hated video camera. But I am SOOOO glad I brought it along this time. I need to tape this place, so I can re-live this day again when I am back in the Snow Belt. The blue and white crashing waves, the clouds in the sky and misty mountains in the distance, the clean long sandy beach that would make anyone feel like doing the Bo Derek thing in slow motion Ö

There are locals in the surf by the entrance to the lagoon. Some are using dip nets, some are digging in the wet sand and feeling around in the ebbing waves. It turns out they are gathering little crabs that float around in the water and bury themselves in the sand. Some guys have collected half a bucket full. I ask one guy ?Que hace con esos? And he says one word, but I donít understand what he says. Maybe they use them for fish bait, or maybe they eat them? The crabs look so cute to me, so round and chubby , that I intentionally help bury a few that wash up near me, hoping they wonít be found.

Continuing back to the lagoon, I am amazed at how clean and clear the water is. A couple of visitors are preparing to go for a swim there, out of the motion of the big waves of the ocean. I find out later that they are staying at Lauraís Bed and Breakfast. There are many kind of birds sitting along the banks and on islands in the lagoon . I would love to go for a boat or kayak tour of the lagoon. Flying in, I took this picture from the air.

I am amazed at how large and complex a shape this lagoon has. It would be easy for a first timer to get lost among all the curves and islands. The place where we are is in the crook of the bay in the upper right side. But the kayaking will have to wait for a return trip, today we just want to enjoy the beach. A couple of groups on an organized tour, are loaded up into canopied boats that hold about 20 people each and they take off into the lagoon.

(part 2 to follow)

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