San Pancho Festival de Musica

Sunday in Lo de Marcos. Yes, still here. Certain places just seem to get their claws into you and pin you in one spot. I started the day with a long swim. First out around the rocks at the point then across the bay to the north. Drying in my chair afterwards, I watched the parade of people marching down the beach to set themselves up for a day of sun and sea. The mild spot for swimming is at the far south end near the point, so families trudge along the shore hauling everything they need for a portable fiesta; chairs, tables, five gallon water jugs, barbecues. Not a light load by any means. And don’t forget the food! It’s a full on parillada right on the sand.

Michelle, of Michelle and Roger, had her inflatable SUP out front and I asked her when she was going paddling and she said after cleaning up a bit at camp, so I asked if I could join her, then it was time for Cali to have a well needed bath. The day was warm and she actually seemed to enjoy the washing part. She always loves the drying part but usually shrinks at the sudsing up and spraying of the hose. I even got my bike half way washed before Michelle showed up and we grabbed the boards and paddled out in front of the boats.

We went out past the far patch of rock reef about a half mile out then turned left and headed south down the coast. Past Playa Venados and the fancy houses and continuing as far as I’ve yet to go on my own. We both agreed it was good to have company to be more at ease getting around the corner and out of sight of any possible assistance should it ever be needed. It was a great paddle and a good hour and a half of exercise. Thanks Michelle for letting me invite myself along.

Lewis and Sue invited me to tag along into San Francisco tonight for the 20th annual music festival. It has been a big three day event and tonight’s the final night. Awesome! I spent the rest of the afternoon packing things up and getting a bit more ready, readier? for maybe hitting the road tomorrow. But don’t bet the bank on it. We pulled out in their nice big pick up truck and drove down to San Pancho in time to catch the first act at six. I wandered the vendors to see what was going on in the plaza. A number of other members of the Paraiso family were sprinkled in among the crowd.

The first act was a Flamenco group that really had things in sync. Fantastic music. I watched from the side of the stage as they went through their set. With two stages opposite one another, the music never stopped. As soon as one would finish, the other would start up for their 45 minute set while the other stage got reset for the next act up. Inevitably, some acts are going to inspire you more than others and I took a walk during one act and got some food over in the food court area. An Argentine choripan, a traditional sausage served on a roll with a sauce of oregano, garlic and other herbs, sort of an Argentine pesto. The people watching was top notch. Should have thrown the hair into a man bun to camouflage myself within the local crowd.

Local kids, a boatload of gringo seniors and just a hodge podge of music lovers with a Bohemian edge and mellow vibe. The highlight of the night for me was when I saw Checo Ruiz doing his sound check on the big stage. Remember this guy PJ? Gypsy Rumba! Now they are the Checo Ruiz band? They busted out a set that got everybody up and moving. Gypsy Kings, originals, Falmenco stuff and a few stray musicians hopped up onstage to join their amazing trumpet player to make a three piece brass section. Fun and entertaining as always. Full energy.

A few other acts after them then the night finished strong with a big band playing salsa tunes. The big front man layed down the lyrics and the entire crowd rose up to dance, even guys with walkers rose up out of their seats! From where I sat watching, it was easy to differentiate the native Mexican dancers from the gringos some of whom, I have to say, were giving it a good attempt. But the fluid motion of some of the people dancing, I think you almost have to be born to. Four dancers jumped up on stage and put on an exhibition in how to salsa. A fun finale to a great night in the cool, gentle breezes of San Pancho.