Monday, February 7, 2011


From Tenacatita we sailed south to Melaque, a beach town in the southern part of the state of Jalisco.  It has a fairly large bay that sits next to the mouth of the lagoon in Barre de Navidad.  We arrived at sunset and dropped the stern and bow anchors to ensure a smooth evening.  We heard it could be quite a rocky anchorage due to waves from the Pacific wrapping around the rocks at the mouth of the bay.  Fortunately we enjoyed two smooth days and evenings here which allowed us to do some land exploration at the nearby town of Cuesta Comate.

Cuesta Comate is a very small village that sits around the rocky ridge that juts out from the bay in Melaque.  Wanting to explore it, we set off on foot to see how we could get over the hill and check it out.  Early in the morning we found the beach vendors were already setting up their stands for the day. We bought fresh mango - on a stick - and pineapple juice in its original packaging.  Yum!

 As we went ashore and asked directions for walking to Cuesta Comate (approx 2 miles away) the kids saw a family that had bunnies, birds, cats, and dogs and a few chickens running around so we stopped for a rest and to talk with the family members who sat outside soaking up the Mexican sun.  The senora of the house genuinely welcomed us to look at the animals and her many plants too.  We find this to be the case with almost everyone we meet in Mexico. They are so happy to talk with us, invite us into their homes, offer to feed us, etc.  This type of situation always strikes me as amazing since I'm pretty sure it's not something I would most likely do if I were living in the US and had a "foreigner" walk by my house.  This experience is giving me a number of things to think about relative to my attitude toward and response to my neighbors, regardless of who those neighbors happen to be.

We continued on our way and as we started along the main road with its many curves Doug and I thought it best to get a ride instead of walk the unknown route so we decided to stick our thumbs out and see if we could catch a ride over the hill to Cuesta Comate. As soon as we did this Chandler and Henry said, "What are you doing?" Of course their reaction came from our telling them never to get into a stranger's car so we explained how being with us and doing it in a small town in MX was about the safest place to do this sort of thing.  They continued to look at us as we blatantly broke one of the laws we had set forth.  Parenting is never black and white.  As my thumb flew up for the approaching car to see, the kids simply stood in amazement and watched.  Within a minute we had a ride.  A couple from Canada, who had been renting houses in  Cuesta Comate for 8+ years picked us up in their rented van; a far nicer vehicle than I thought we would find.  The back of a pick-up would have been more common on those streets.  Our new Canadian friends gave us all the scoop we needed about the tiny town to enjoy a few hours there.

We ate lunch in one of the five or six palapa restaurants that line the beach, while vendors -- girls and ladies selling their hand-made jewelry -- offered us their colorful creations.  Chandler bought a crocheted bracelet for 40 pesos (about $3.50 USD) and Henry played in the beach sand oblivious to the vendors all around him.

Since we now knew the road better we decided to walk back to Melaque instead of taking a ride.  It ended up being an easy walk and gave us some more time to stretch our sailor legs.  As we headed over the hill we saw a couple of cows walking up the road and then we heard car horns and then we saw a young boy herding cattle along the road, which created a traffic jam and some unhappy motorists.  Never a dull moment.

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