It was another of those mornings where I was wide awake in the pre-dawn hours with no hope of returning to my slumbers. I saw the eastern horizon pinking up, so I went outside to catch the beginning of the day. With the mountain behind us, the sun is already up before it crests the summit denying us any true sunrise. A few people were already walking the beach and it was promising to be another beautiful beach day in Chacala.
Music started thumping at seven coming from the gigantic speakers that are the pride of the small beer and sundries shop on the corner. It’s a ratty little store with a single lightbulb hanging from somewhere near the back but their sound system is top notch. I guess the logic is that the deafening ranchero beats will draw customers in to wander the aisle perusing his selection of chicharrones and chips.
Fresh tamales and hot atole. The hardest working lady in Chacala. When it’s not a wheelbarrow full of tamales, it’s a tray of home made banana bread or donuts.
Alan got up with the notion to kayak around the little island at the far south end of the bay to see what lay beyond. I hitched a ride on his wake and we paddled out from the beach passing the nice yacht that had been anchored overnight with all of its fancy toys. We swung left with a steady cadence and worked our way out towards the island.
Schools of Bonita were feeding hard on balls of baitfish and the occasional manta ray would gracefully soar past. The island wasn’t much in size but it had the waters of the point reflecting in a bumpy backwash that kept me on my toes. We continued about another quarter of a mile past a rocky spire that marked the channel that leads into a small hidden beach against the jungle covered cliffs.
A boat chartering a couple of gringos slowly motored past trolling lines behind them hoping to fight a good sized dorado or snapper. Luxury homes were perched precariously on the cliff and a nice boutique hotel is tucked into the far corner of the beach. I figured that close to two hours on the water granted me a license to lounge and that’s what I proceeded to do until hunger drove me down to Alvaro’s place for another world famous quesadilla.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of alternating between the hammock, the porch, and napping in the RV. It’s a hard life in Chacala. Buses full of tourists arrived in the morning disgorging their passengers for a day on the sand and the beachfront restaurants were doing a brisk business. Cars and minivans loaded with city slickers squeezed in every small space between campers and set up barbecues, tables and shade. It was a people watching afternoon.
I walked the length of the beach. First north into the tourist center to feel the vibrant energy. The waves had waned a bit with the low tide and the people were taking advantage of the warm water to get in a swim. Lots of screaming and shouting when each little wave came rolling through.
Then I turned south and walked the entire bay until I reached the rocky cliffs where the beach ends. There were more campers down at that end. It’s quieter and more secluded with just a handful of tourists laying out on towels. The hotel that bookends the cove looks interesting. A restaurant area, pool and nicely landscaped grounds. A vendor sat on the rocks inventorying his wares while taking a load off of his feet.
That was the extent of the afternoon’s exercise. It was back on the porch waiting for the sun to drop over the horizon. Everyone stopped their activity to stand and watch the sunset. Even the grackles seemed to tone it down for a minute or two. Another beauty. A sailboat had replaced the motor yacht anchored in the bay making a nice backdrop for the colorful display.
As darkness settled in, it was time for another foray into town to see if any new pollo or taco stands had decided to open their doors for the weekend business. Alan joined me for some street tacos at Guero’s, a totally basic taco stand on the dusty roadside. A healthy looking husky adopted us for the evening and took a nap at our feet. The tacos were decent, but the gals across the way have them beat by a mile. Cali was happy when I got back and we took a walk around the palmera under the watchful eye of a full moon.