Playa Blanca...White Beach
After two days of adventure and exploration, we decided to take a "day off" and stay around our resort. After our morning coffee and pastries on the balcony, we set out on a nice walk down the beach. Marea (our resort) is situated somewhere in the middle of Playa Blanca, a 9-mile beach of pure Pacific sand, so a walk on the beach is lovely and long whether you choose to go north or south. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of this amazing natural setting, so different than what we're accustomed to.
The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent reading, lounging in a cabana on the beach, cooling off in the pool, and soaking up sun. Hearing we had two inches of snow on the ground at home made us even more determined to fully absorb this little early burst of summer! Today I actually finished a book I've been trying to read for almost two years. "Eat, Pray, Love" was not the most gripping memoir I've ever read (obvious by the time it took me to get through it), but I did find parts of it interesting and thought-provoking. I'm still glad it will no longer be sitting on my nightstand, reminding me that I don't spend enough time reading.
In the late afternoon, we decided to check out the nature preserve across the street which is owned by Marea. We were quite impressed to find a lagoon that is surrounded by rich, green foliage, and teeming with birds of every sort. Normally they allow kayaking on the lagoon, but the water level is currently low, so they don't want to risk having guests get their kayak stuck and ending up in the water with the alligators. Okay by me! There is a swinging bridge which brings you to a lookout point, from which we saw a huge flock of white pelicans. Then we climbed to the top of another lookout tower to get a view of the ocean to the west, and the lagoon and nature preserve to the east. One of the desk guys, Mauricio (the same guy who rescued me and my bike the day before), walked with us, and told what he knew about the area.
One piece of advice I had read on the Zihuatanejo transportation web page was that if you find a taxi driver who speaks English and seems to know the area, get his name and personal phone number so you can call on him again. I decided to do this on Tuesday night when the taxi at the airport came to our rescue and brought us back to Marea. This turned out to be a great move. We now feel like we have our own personal English-speaking driver, and we were able to call Antonio this evening to give us a ride down the road to "Chula Vida," #1 of 2 restaurants on Playa Blanca that I could find on Trip Advisor.
(Side note: my phone is working again! After 24 hours on rice in a sealed container warmed by the sun, and tapping a small bucket of sand and salt out of the ports, I turned it on, and it seems to be working fine! I immediately downloaded my photos and then backed everything up, just in case it doesn't last. Whew!)
Back to our evening...we really loved Chula Vida! We sat near the beach, and had very individual attention throughout our meal, as two young men together took our orders and served us. We enjoyed a complimentary plate of guacamole and chips and ordered margaritas and an appetizer of Tiritas (a Mexican version of Sashami...yes, that's raw fish!), which we both found to be delicious! Then our main entree, a grilled fish combo platter was served. It included tuna, mahi-mahi, octopus, and shrimp (and maybe another fish or two), rice and grilled veggies. Every morsel was very tasty, and we had so much we decided to bring a few pieces home for breakfast in the morning. At the end of our meal, our waiter asked if we would like a shot of their very good tequila "in the house." We said, "sure!" assuming he meant "on the house" (which he did). He served us our shots with a squeeze of lime, and he was right...they did have very good tequila! Back home, we would have been hard-pressed to find a meal like this, and if we did, the cost would have been prohibitive. But here in this Mexican paradise, the whole meal, including tip, came to about $45 (USD). Excellente!
Having eaten out all of our meals this week, we've experienced what the tour guides refer to as "Mexican time." We never feel rushed to place an order, we're given ample time to finish each course, and after our meal we often wait 20-30 minutes (or more) for our bill to arrive. We're rather enjoying "Mexican time" and feel Americans would be wise to slow our lives down just a little, rather than always dashing from one thing to the next. Here, we have time to savor, to enjoy, to just be in the moment.
We took in the sunset. We watched a couple of dogs chasing each other on the beach. We let the warmth of the tequila seep through our bodies until we felt mellow and relaxed. And when we finally felt it was time to leave Chula Vida, we called Antonio, our personal driver, and he brought us back to Marea. Ahhhh...such a nice day!