Trip report Day 5. part two. Visit with Laura.

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Posted by Dee from MN from ( on domingo, enero 26, 2003 at 02:14:43 :

Jim goes off to scout out Laura’s house alone, as I can’t wait to get in the water. (Did I mention he prefers to admire seawater from a short distance rather than actually submerging himself in it?) The waves are big and fun to play in. The big ones can really pick you up and slam you forward, but we are told swimming is safe here, as long as you don’t venture too far out for your abilities. Jim has found Casa del Encanto, in the little town of houses across the road leading into the parking area of the restaurants.

But Laura has gone to the beach. Sure enough, in a little while, Laura shows up.

She explains that it often takes her a long time to get anywhere, as it is customary to greet friends and neighbors in the village and stop to chat as they go about their day. She is able to get cooperation and support for her projects from La Barra’s residents by involving them in the decision making, and such informal casual contact is the primary way to get necessary business done.

We really enjoy our too brief chat with Laura. It is heartening to hear of the progress in the betterment of education and health conditions in her community. The Children’s Library Project and its new building is a wonderful step forward. Laura and her organization also have plans which involve the village of Barra getting ownership of beach land along the bay, in order to stop ecologically harmful over development which would disrupt and harm the lifestyle of the villagers. Hopefully these projects can get the funding and support which they deserve. I hope that Laura will continue to keep us informed on her progress and
tell us of ways to help so that La Barra can remain as simple and beautiful as possible in these changing times. Any help is appreciated. If just one group of day visitors brought with them one new book a day, that would be 30 new books for the library in a month! Every donation is important and appreciated. If you can affort to be really generous, Laura has some encyclopedias in mind that she would gladly take special donations towards.

Laura was also a wealth of information on local people and custom. As a former anthropology major, I was interested in learning that there is a split in the community between the families that fish the ocean, and those that fish the lagoon. We also heard about why Roberto might not show up with his horses on any given day (no, I’m not telling, you’ll have to go and find out for yourself.) If you want to talk books or literature, she can do that too. Too soon, it was time for her to go and finish her rounds. She is truly the good will ambassador of La Barra.

The day went too quickly. Lunch was delicious, one order of grilled shrimp, and one order of fish fillet a la plancha at 60P each.

The shrimp were small in size, but a very generous heaped plate of the freshest and sweetest Jim had ever eaten. More lazing in the hammock after lunch, then swimming and beach or lagoon walking. Our taxi driver showed up promptly at 3:30, and so we reluctantly packed. We asked the driver to stop at Laura’s bed & breakfast, Casa del Encanto, so that we could have a quick look-see for a return trip. Laura had gone off to Zihua, but her helper and one of the guests gave us a tour of this unique and lovely little house. I especially loved her upstairs “blue bedroom” and hope to stay there sometime.

Back to the taxi, and as we are pulling out onto the road leaving La Barra, who do I see, but Roberto , finally arriving with his horses! Too late to even go back for a picture. Oh well, next time!

Back at our room, the maid has left another of her unusual towel creations. So far we have seen a couple of different swans, then a snake (!) and now this cute little man.

We leave about 20P on our dresser each day. The first day, it was untouched, so I left a note the second day. She then left the note, so I could re-use it one more day before it disappeared. After that I just left the money under one of the flowers saved from the towel arrangement. The last day we left 200P along with all the small change we had accumulated.

Supper was at Pollo Loco. You get great flavored grilled chicken, a big grilled onion, rice, coleslaw and tortillas for only 35P per person. This is a place to come when you’re tired of fried food or rich sauces and want just plain homestyle cooking . Walked back to our usual internet spot, then around town to see if any of the restaurants had breakfast before 8AM. None of the regular ones along the main streets did, although I’m sure there should be some small ones back by the market area. We plan on going to Isla Ixtapa for snorkeling tomorrow, and everyone on the board says to get an early start. Time is starting to run out for us. Only two more days til we have to go home.

Day 6 to follow.

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