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Friday, December 09, 2011

Punta Perula, Bahia Chamela

Along with Punta Mita, Punta Perula is now one of our favorite anchorages. It too is a small beach resort (even smaller than Mita) at the end of a road far from the main highway. There are a few hotels including the Playa Dorada at the eastern end of the beach. Anchored out in front of the hotel their internet reaches Nakia for a very reasonable 50 pesos/day or 75 pesos/week. Normally we would be tucked into the western edge of the beach for protection form the swell but conditions were calm enough to stay the night here last night.

We actually arrived at Isla Passavera on Sunday after an overnight sail from Mita, and we came the two miles to Perula on Monday to do some shopping. We looked like rookies when we blew a surf landing and ended up with wet butts and a dinghy full of saltwater. It was simply impatience and bad timing, but we were experienced enough to have all our belongings in a dry bag. We drained the dinghy and walked into town to see what was new since our last visit. We noticed a few houses, RV parks, and the Playa Dorada which we didn't remember from the '07/'08 season. There's a tsunami warning siren in the town square. Our favorite tiendas were open but a number of shops had their doors closed. There's a nice new cafe and dive shop on the corner of what we always referred to as the "nursing home." A Frenchman and his Mexican wife are running the business, both speak excellent English, and they offer Wi-Fi at the cafe.

M/V Lazy Days told us about road access to town from a protected cove with a small sand beach if we wanted to avoid doing another surf landing. We had made it off the beach just fine with our shopping and John had even done a solo round trip without incident on Wednesday. But yesterday we decided to check out the road for hiking opportunities. The cove is a bit rocky but we found a narrow clear approach into the beach and pulled the dinghy high up off the sand. We set off past a ramshackle abandoned house to a single track, dirt lane leading to a large warehouse type structure from which came sounds of sawing, hammering, and a loud radio. We walked away from the warehouse towards town and I finally got a closer look at the RV palapa visible from the anchorage. I've admired this for years as it's a pretty little clearing halfway up the hillside with a nice view of the beach. On it sits a full sized RV under a thatched "car port" surrounded by close-cropped green grass, shrubs and flowers, and a barbed-wire fence. We've never seen lights on at night or people there, but it's obviously well tended.

From there we followed a fork in the road that ended up taking us all the way out to the open palapa visible by boat as you round the point to enter the bay from the north. This was very intriguing because the workmanship was lovely with rounded edges and river rock detailing on the concrete foundation, and a built-in concrete double bed under the round thatched roof. It's completely open-air and the "yard" surrounding it has been cleared. There's nice rock wall along one side of the "driveway" with newly planted bougainvillea and (already dying) trees. It has gorgeous views of the ocean with beach access to a lovely cove from the rough road leading to the point. The major drawbacks are the distance from a paved road, no water, no electricity, no sewage, etc. - but it is breathtaking!

We were thrilled to be able to walk the entire length of this road without the usual "Propiedad Privada" or "Prohibido" signs preventing us from going farther. Things are still very green with flowers and butterflies to entertain us along the way. We never found the cows that left their pies for us to step around, but we did catch a glimpse of two coatimundis scurrying off into the dense underbrush. Their tracks were everywhere on the dusty road, but even so we were surprised to have actually seen any.

One of the crews we met on the Blast arrived late Wednesday and left before we got back from our hike, but we should see them again in Barra. Mazatlan shrimpers have been anchoring for the day and leaving before sunset. A small Navy boat appears to be taking a break here. John suggested I bake a cake for them so we took that over yesterday morning and thanked them for their service. We were very aware of the fact that we were two foreigners coming alongside a military vessel, unannounced, in a small boat, bearing foil wrapped objects as we approached. Never would have happened in the U.S.

Except for the green ocean water full of organic stringy stuff (not conducive to swimming) we are loving Mexico again!


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