I was out of Paraiso Miramar by 10:30 and beating it down the rough cobblestones to get back out to the road. Google maps tried to take me down the narrow dirt road to the laundry lady but I knew better. I got turned back around and was on the skinny tree lined road out to Las Varas. This is chicken country. I saw signs advertising the grand stock sale of chickens coming up next weekend. As hard as we’ve been hunting for a barbecue chicken stand, just a few miles inland at El Llano, they were lining the roadside.
It was a windy jungle road with lots of beautiful views and dense foilage. I tried to time passing oncoming vehicles to have a some elbow room on the right, but still ended up shaking hands with a couple of bushes. The usual specter of potholes and topes, always keeping me on my toes. The rains had left a few side roads knee deep in water but the main road only had a few puddles to watch out for. A handful of little pueblos later and I was squeezing through the narrow downtown of Las Varas indicating that Chacala was only a few more kilometers up the road.
I dropped down one of the steep entry roads and took the left to reach the large grassy open beach area that is Chacala’s shining gem. I think it may have been a palm plantation in the old days with its long straight rows of coco palms. There was a nice open stretch of level grass near Alan’s camp, so pulled in parallel to the beach and set up just feet from the sand. Awesome set up.
Alan and I walked through the muddy, puddle laden street to see what Chacala had on offer for an easy lunch. Alvaro and Laura have a cool little restaurant just around the corner of the second street, specializing in the local style of quesadillas here. You select from a variety of fillings: carne asada, adobada, chicharron, costilla, birria, etc. and then Laura hammers out an oversized corn tortilla from the large ball of masa on the comala then they put together the freshest, hottest, tastiest quesadilla in town. I needed a wake up after that, so I took the kickboard out for some body slammin’, right on the sand, shore pounders. Alan came out a few minutes later and proceeded to take a beating along with me. Actually, it was pretty fun. Warm water and some punchy little waves.
There was a fair bit of activity down the beach towards town for a slow Wednesday, so I took a walk down the beach to see what goes on in Chacala. A few of the traditional beach front palapa seafood joints had some people eating and drinking. Down near the beach near Chac Mool, a group of locals were sitting around chugging beers after a hard day of work, a metal detecting guy was combing the beach dreaming of the big diamond ring, and some Euro tourists were getting the hard sell from a beach jewelry vendor. I returned along the muddy main road stopping at the grocer for some more of those puppy food envelopes that Cali seems to be enjoying.
A nice afternoon lounging on the mat watching people passing on the beach. The sunset brought flocks of gregarious grackles that roost in the palms overhead in for the night. I haven’t decided if they are entertaining or obnoxious yet. We’ll see when they are tap dancing on the RV roof in the predawn hours. The restaurants blew off loud explosives, or maybe shotguns, to drive them off. It drove them the few hundred meters to where we are where they joined the hordes of their comrades already settled in above us.
The sunset was a beauty and people all stopped in their walking to watch it’s final throes as it melted into the sea. I had spotted a couple of ladies starting to grill up some carne asada when I was at the store earlier so we walked into town and got some street side dinner. Same as Alvaro’s, every tortilla was hand made from a giant ball of masa for each taco, quesadilla or sope. Good stuff. On the salsa table, they even had a large pot of steaming pinto beans to add to your plate. Chacala has been very good to me so far