Day Three - Relaxation
Dad went out fishing and then surfing. When Mom had returned from her long morning exercise walk with her friend, she accompanied me and Phil as we waded across the river (the water was waist high and cold in the river!) to watch Dad surf. He had gone around the point to get better waves which seemed to be what most of the surfers were doing. As we walked over, we passed a surfer who was bleeding from the head because of a surfing injury! This was not the only time we saw this type of injury at Ticla so I am glad Phil did not decide to try surfing here.
We found a log to sit on and watched Dad surf while basking in the morning sun. After about half an hour, Phil and I decided to take a walk farther down the beach. It was rocky where we were, so we wanted to get to the sandy part of the beach so we could more safely go for a swim. Mom decided to head back to the campsite so that she could get together with some friends for yoga, so Phil and I walked to the very end of the beach together. Where the beach ends, there is a cliff and Phil climbed up to explore. I climbed up just a few feet, not all the way, but the view was beautiful from that height.
We came back to the camp after our walk and hung out in the hammock for a while and read. It was very relaxing and the weather was nice and warm.
Later, we had a snack of guacamole at the restaurant in our campground, and then walked up to town to use the internet to email and let Phil's mom know we had made it safely there. We hung out some more and later my parents grilled pork tenderloin for dinner with salad and toast. They say that they usually become the envy of the other campers at their campgrounds because they eat "real" food (as opposed to canned sardines and such) and I can understand why. Dinner was delicious!
Day Four - Day Trip
Phil woke up early and went fishing on the beach with my Dad. The evening before, they had spotted a fishing hole in the ocean and put a stick in the sand-dune to remind them the following morning where it would be. Mom and I woke up and took a walk on the beach (with mom calling out exercise moves and tips like "Suck and Smile" which translates to suck in your stomach and smile while you walk, despite what it might bring to mind otherwise) and we joined the fishermen to see how they had done. Unfortunately, they did not catch any fish so we had to go to the taco stands for dinner... (and we promise this was not sabotage on Phil's part since he doesn't eat seafood!)
We decided we wanted to see some other beaches in the area and we had heard from the other people in the campground that the beach at Maruata was great even though Mom had not been impressed with it in the past when she had been there. We decided to pack up and drove our vehicle back up to the highway to head South to some different beaches.
We first stopped in La Manzanillera. The beach there reminded me of the beaches in Cabo San Lucas. It was very pretty and the big rocks on the shore were remniscent of the ones we posed by just a few years ago. We did not stay much longer on this beach because we were anxious to get to our other destinations.
Next, we drove farther South to El Faro (which literally translates to "the lighthouse" so there are more than one El Faro beaches in Mexico). We had a nice time at this beach. We arrived and there was basically nobody there yet which was great.
We took a swim in the ocean and then Mom and I decided to lay out and do some reading on the beach while Phil and Dad went snorkeling. While they were out in the water, a bus load of people showed up at the beach and the beach got super crowded, which was to be expected since it was a Sunday. These people had obviously been to this beach before because the teenager and 20-somethings of the group quickly climbed up on the rocks in the water and as a wave would come through between the rocks, they would one at a time jump off the rocks into the water below. All of their friends and family in the water closer to the shore would cheer them on each time. It was pretty fun to watch, although I figured it had to be kind of dangerous if it was too shallow to jump into the water before the waves came through...
Soon thereafter, the ice cream truck showed up! Similar to an ice cream truck in the US, except it was a jeep and it drove right onto the beach!
We all mused at first that this guy must be money laundering or something because there was no way an ice cream truck could bring enough revenue in to be able to afford a brand new Jeep in Mexico, but then as over 30 minutes passed and every single person on the beach (other than us) had purchased in ice cream cone and the line was never-ending, we realized we were very wrong and this ice cream business was quite lucrative actually!
We also entertained ourself on this beach by playing with a golden retreiver who had come with 2 people who were staying back at our camp-site in Ticla and picked a spot on the beach right next to us. The dog was so well-behaved and loved to fetch anything. Phil and Dad got roped into the stick-throwing but it was relentless after a while when the dog couldn't get enough. It was cute, though, because the dog would bring the stick right up to our chairs, and when we didn't pick it up, the dog would pick up the stick and actually lean it up vertically against the legs of our chairs so that we didn't even have to lean down to pick it up and throw it. Wasn't that thoughtful of him?
We ordered Limonadas and a plate of Camarones de Ajo for lunch and ate and drank on the beach and under the palapa, although the plate of food was kind of weird in that the shrimp needed to be peeled when they arrived at the table, shell and little bitty legs and all. I wasn't expecting this and it kind of made it less appetizing. But I ate it anyway, and my mom helped shell and de-leg the shrimpies like good mommies are supposed to do for their daughters.
Next we got back into the car and drove to Marueta. This is where we kind of got lost, although it turned out to be a wonderful thing! We drove into town and there was this big new building that was not there last year, so my parents did not have any recollection anymore of how to get to the beach. We drove down one street but there was lots of construction and rebar in the road on one side while the other side was torn up with piles of bricks. We turned around and drove down the next street over, which was a dead end. We went down a third street which led back to the first street. We had not yet seen a glimpse of the ocean! So we drove back to the closest road to the highway and turned down it, which led us to some sort of landing strip for airplanes, again not the beach. So we decided to go around the other side of the building and take a new road. We decided to follow the car driving ahead of us just to see where he led us, and it actually led us down a dirt road toward the beach! We found a camp ground and turned off to the side of it and I decided to just get out and see what the beach looked like before we left altogether and headed back to our camp. We walked up over the sand-dune and saw the most beautiful beach!
From the top of the sand-dune, the beach sloped down and rested between tall rock cliffs on either side, so the water was crystal clear and the waves were not too big. The ocean just rolled in and out so it was perfect for swimming! I stripped my cover-up off and ran into the water for a swim! It was wonderful to see a beach that was not rocky and easy to enter/exit. After my swim, I just laid directly on the sand and sunbathed. Phil and my Mom decided to go over to the rocks to the left of the beach and it turned out that there were caves that you could walk all the way through to another secluded beach just like this one! They came back and told us how cool it was so we all went to take a look for ourselves. It reminded us of two years ago on our trip to the Virgin Gorda where we were able to explore the caves.
On the right side of the beach there was another set of rock caves. The only other people on this beach were some older Canadians and we asked them if the caves led anywhere, but they had not yet entered them. We learned that they did go through and we were able to find yet another gorgeous and isolated beach! This was such a cool spot that we decided was our favorite beach of the trip and would love to return to and spend time camping there. But it did not have any good waves for surfing, so my Dad wasn't as enchanted as we were.
After enjoying Marueta we decided to drive down another dirt road and we ended up at a dead end road. We got out of our car and walked up to the beach over the hill and found that we were on the back side of the part of Marueta that my parents had been to before, where there was more of a surf spot. We ran into our neighbors from the campground who had been out surfing there. As it turns out, they drove straight through the road construction to get to this beach at the spot where we turned around due to the piles of rebar and construction materials in the road!
That evening, we had dinner at 2 taco stands in Ticla and went to sleep after a long day of beach-going and driving. Count: Taco Stands #5 & #6.
Days 5-10 to follow; stay tuned. This is where I stopped writing in my journal during the trip so the remainder of the posts are bound to be less detailed and shorter entries!