Capricho del Rey continued ... plus Owen's book...

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Escrito por Laura desde ( el día jueves, 05 de abril, 2007 a las 20:01:07 horas :

En respuesta a: Re: Capricho del Rey escrito por Laura desde ( el día jueves, 05 de abril, 2007 a las 11:10:19 horas :

Ah... Rob mentioned Owen Lee! -our beloved friend and icon who can be found at his pristine paradise at the end of Las Gatas beach where his memoirs are available for purchase.

Owen Lee was once a young bohemian who knew the early days in Greenwich Village and the West Bank of Paris probably sitting at a table near Jean Paul Sartre and the likes and sipping absinthe. He fell in love with the new magic of deep sea diving and that led him to a series of adventures and accomplishments too long to list here (but including the writing of a diving manual still considered by some to be a bible of diving and years of corroboration with Jacques Cousteau).

Of importance to our Capricho del Rey story is that Owen's last great adventure (I say 'last' because it still continues) began with a fateful trip from Acapulco into Zihuatanejo Bay in the days when practically no one who didn't live there knew of it (That is excepting Dona Elena Krebbs, Timothy Leary, Carlos Castaņeda and Lady M & family of course).

Owen traveled with his new wife and his good friend Marshall Allen (already mentioned wealthy New York adventurer who later became a close friend and partner of Arnoldo Verboonen). They traveled in an odd boat - I was once told it was a Chinese Junk. Is the plot thickening?

There was a convergence forming. Probably one of those vortexes. Owen and his wife and Marshall Allen decided to remain in Zihuatanejo on that trip having fallen into the spell. One can imagine how exquisitely beautiful it was then in every way. While student demonstrations were raging around the world, they had found peace (and love too)

In fact there followed years of legendary peace and love gatherings and happenings with a once in a lifetime blending of local fishermen and foreign adventurers. Arnoldo Verboonen was the local guy who happened to speak English having spent a year at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco as a legal 'Brasero'. He had a talent in the kitchen and became renowned as host. His restaurant on Las Gatas Beach (Chez Arnoldo) became the gathering place and his candlelight dinners on the beach became legendary. Friends arrived from many countries and shared talents in the kitchen. Some studied at the Cordon Bleu and similarly respected places for food and hospitality and they exchanged information. They became friends and lasting parts of each other's lives. They ate, drank, danced, dived, and laughed together through the years. This was all before Ixtapa.

Owen found a way to purchase the incredible point at the end of Las Gatas beach (Do get his book!). Strong friendships formed between some of the blended group including Arnoldo Verboonen, Marshall Allen, Owen Lee and others. Visions of combining talents arose. Arnoldo had the property, talent in the kitchen and unrivaled charm as a host and Marshall had the money and host charm of his own and Owen had the 'Beach Club' besides his own endearing personality and knowledge regarding ecological protection. So was born the 'Capricho del Rey' concept.

The idea was to create the most finely designed beautiful structure that would blend so harmonically with nature that you wouldn't even see it. It would have advanced infrastructure so as not to contaminate in any way (including a well designed French drain absorption septic well able to accommodate its use safely). It would have 6 bungalows with the finest traditional Mexican architectural motifs blended with local vernacular motifs such as high palapa roof, stone arched doorways, the finest ceramic losetas... truly stunningly beautiful.

The restaurant/bar would have the finest kitchen seen anywhere between here and Europe and it would be a gathering place for locals and foreign visitors. The only access would be via jungle trail or boat. The Beach Club at Owen's would incorporate diving and education about ecological protection. The happenings would exclude no one and great feasts would continue bringing rich and poor alike together exchanging stories, foods and good times. It would be like nothing that could happen anywhere else on earth.

So they built it.

To be continued... (PS I invite anyone who lived that era and participated in those feasts to tell their stories... Grace? Anyone out there...?)

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