A trip to La Barra

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Posted by Jared from (?) on Monday, March 18, 2002 at 17:50:10 :

A monday morning trip to La Barra Potosi

We thought we had it all figured out. Both of us had been down the road by the airport that leads to Playa Larga and along the oceanfront to La Barra. I had driven it in a rented car last year and Tony had been down it to the beach also.

So we caught the combi van to the aeropuerto at the sitio across from Glob's cafe (6 pesos) and had an interesting ride to the airport via the old route. When we arrived and asked to be let out right at the road, the driver complied, but asked us with genuine concern where we were going. "La Barra" we say. "No, No" he keeps insisting. We keep insisting that we can. He drives off shaking his head and returns after dropping the remaining folks at the airport and picking up a few others, to again try to convince us that we couldn't get to where we wanted from where we were.

Minutes later an airport cab stopped. Same conversation...again a concerned insistence that no truck would be by to take us to the beach and eventually La Barra from there. He offers to take us to La Barra for 300 pesos. "No way", we insist. 200 pesos he drops to. Again we refuse. "100 pesos to Los Achotes", he continues. "Thats where you get the truck". Well....OK, he's got me convinced and I offer to pay for the trip. we pile in and are driven back to the highway and down it about 10 miles to the tiny settlement of Los Achotes, which is indeed, where the trucks more or less regularily (when they are full) drive the 5 or so miles down the red dirt road to La Barra.

The "cattle truck" that takes you there is a beat up old pickup with wooden benches in back and a wooden roof held up by high open stake sides. There are a few of them that shuttle people and supplies back and forthto the small beach and lagoon community of La Barra. It cost 9 pesos.

When the truck filled up (we were the only gringos) , off we went, finally on the right road and having the "cattle truck" experience we were looking for. It's a bumpy, dusty, interesting fifteen minute ride through the small town of Los Achotes then through a series of small farms, passing donkeys and carts loaded with produce. The mexican ladies in the back with us were chattering away together and giving us warm, shy smiles.

The truck dropped us at the road that leads to Laura's B&B, a dusty little road that leads past a few small tiendas and simple houses, about three blocks to Laura's absolutely enchanting small establishment. It's not on the beach, but we'd stay there in a flash.

Unfortunately Laura was on a shopping trip to Zihua and we sadly missed her but the maid (?) gladly showed us around. I got some very nice pictures which we plan to use to remodel a guest bedroom after.

Walking back toward the beach through the small, simple little community, my wife and I both agreed that to live in such a quiet peaceful place would be something we could do, and just might try to set in motion next time.

Back at the lagoon end of the beach we passed through one of the many enramadas that line the beach, then strolled over the HOT sand past most of them to one near the end where we gratefully sat ouselves down under the shade and ordered some cool ones. After a few refreshing drinks and a liitle tableside shopping from the beach vendors we ordered a small lunch of guacamole, quesadillas and fish strips. I had one of my favorites, a whole fried snapper with rice, beans, salad and a side of french fries. Absolutely delicious.

After lunch we were led over to the lagoon by a smiling young boy (the brother, we assumed, of the waiter), where we took a half hour trip around the shallow, red dirt stained, mangrove lined lagoon. The mangrove trees drop their arial roots everoutward into the lagoon forming a thick interwoven barrier, cut into in various places with tiny little cavelike channels, just large enough to allow one of the many small fishing canoes to pass through into the shady depths of the mangrove jungle. There were lots of white egrets and one very large heron we seen in the trees. The trip cost 50 pesos per person. It wasn't exactly a real exciting tour, but an interesting experience nontheless.

We made it back to the enramada, where we had left some of our things, had another cool one, then made our way over to the spot where the trucks are sitting for the ride back to the highway. A short wait and we were off in a mostly empty vehicle.

Back at the highway we were able to quickly catch one of the frequent ordinary busses the go between Petatlan and Zihua. Cost...6 pesos. An interesting ride that we took a couple of times and that I will write some vignettes about later.

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