Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Barra de Navidad

We found Barra enchanting.  After a short, one hour sail from Melaque, we arrived at the channel that leads to the Barra lagoon.  Many a boat has run aground here so Doug was especially careful to watch our depth and stick to the advice other cruisers had given us.  We saw the luxurious looking hotel which sat atop a hill off to the starboard side and some docks off to the  port. We stayed close but not too close to the fishing traps that were marked and popping above the water.  We saw restaurants at the lagoons edge and couldn't wait to try them. 

After finding the perfect spot at the back of the lagoon, near our friends on Ceilydh and away from the Pacific, it's swells, and wind, we relaxed in the cockpit for an hour or so while Chandler rowed over and reunited with Maia on Ceilydh.  Reunions are always so wonderful!

This was to be our furthest point south and we knew we would stay for a week or two so we wanted to take it all in and get our bearings.   We soon saw pangas racing around us and quickly learned they were water taxis or the local "taxi aquatico" service.  We decided to give it a whirl.  Off the boat we went, adventurous spirits in tow.  Maia joined us as we explored this new town, ran into Maia's parents and grandparents at dinner, explored the unique shops Barre offered and overall had an evening unlike what we had experienced at other anchorages on the mainland.  This place promised to be fun!!

Our panga driver dropped us at the municipal dock for taxis.  It felt like we were in the South Pacific arriving at a tiki hut.  (You cruisers in the South Pacific are laughing right now knowing that comparison is weak).  We were charged 50 pesos per person per ticket for a round trip.  We had been told the cost for taxis was "inexpensive" but as we all know, "inexpensive" is a relative term!  We did the quick math and realized we would be paying $15 - $18 dollars USD a day for transportation to and from town for the four of us and that's if we wanted to get off our boat only once a day.  We would reevaluate tomorrow.  Tonight we were ready to splurge a little, having not spent much money since leaving Puerto Vallarta.

As we started to walk through town it hit us...this place had charm.  It felt totally different than other ocean-side beach towns.  Store fronts were painted with colorful paintings, shop vendors offered items that we hadn't seen in Mexico before, like the guy who sold India import skirts, light fixtures, and wall hangings.  The cafes looked like they could almost be fashioned after a Van Gogh painting.  Take a look at our view...

Good R & R music blasted out of here most nights and although we never went in
we would dance down the street as we walked by!

This surf shop almost looked like it could have been in the U.S.

Sofa seating...on the sidewalk!
Lights hanging outside shops helped create a beautiful ambiance at sunset.

Store fronts were boldly painted and lit to draw people in, something not seen at many restaurants along the coast.  The glow around this restaurant was certainly enticing.

Even tiny eateries like this one emitted it's own share of colorful creativity when attracting customers.

Rey Momo or "King Momo"...obviously king of the surf scene for anyone wishing to rent a board.

The kids were equally as impressed with the shops and their wares.

Chandler and Henry acting as gourmet cooks

Chandler and Maia doing the same
 Needless to say, we enjoyed our first evening and the ensuing days in Barra! More fun to come.

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