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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Las Hadas, Manzanillo

We're living the high life at the formerly isolated resort made (in)famous by Bo Derek's debut in the 1979 movie, "10." It's now surrounded by condos, luxury homes, and more hotels but it's still very beautiful, even if it's not as posh as I imagined it. We joined friends for dinner at an Italian restaurant overlooking the Las Hadas marina and I felt overdressed in a very simple frock and sandals. Maybe the hotel guests are ordering room service and the restaurant was filled with people who had driven in from other, more casual, resorts.

The Tuesday after Christmas we pried ourselves out of the Barra lagoon mud to motorsail to the Manzanillo bay area. Our first stop was a small bay called El Carazol just inside the northern point where you turn in to enter the larger bay. Although it's not very well protected from the ocean swell this has always been a favorite spot of ours. There is nothing onshore making it secluded and quiet - no crashing surf (or at least not the rumbles of thunder we could hear outside the Barra lagoon), no barking dogs, no roosters crowing, and no yells from panga fishermen netting bait fish at dawn. There are one or two pangas which quietly set nets on the reef at sunset and pull them in at first light. And there are snorkeling pangas and day trippers in small boats who come in to snorkel the same reef which is being fished overnight. But it's mostly peaceful and we had a nice, if greenish, snorkel ourselves one afternoon.

On Thursday we motored a few miles across the bay for our first ever visit to Las Hadas. We've been put off by the exorbitant dinghy dock fees in the past, but we decided to pay the price for the convenience of staying dry and having easier access for provisioning. Currently the daily fee is 200 pesos (something less than $20) or 800 pesos for a week. This includes access to the hotel pools, beach, gym, and discounts for several of the restaurants and bars. The best part is that you tell the dock master the number of people you want on the "pool pass" which she issues to you. So we said we wanted ours to be good for a total of six people and now we can invite our local friends to visit us here. We're not normally pool rats but we'll take advantage of swimming in clear water, lounging on chaises with nice big hotel towels, and ordering drinks from the pool bar now and then.

We're looking forward to having a good view of fireworks around the bay from the anchorage tonight. It'll be a miserable night for Ziggy but I'm sure he'll find a deep dark place in which to hide until it's over. It will probably be well past midnight until the music and fire crackers taper off so we plan on having a quiet New Year's day!


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