Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Paradise on the Pacific: 2008 edition

"Maruata: Paradise on the Pacific"

On January 6, The Day of the Kings in Mexico (El Dia de los Reyes) and the last day of Navidad, we sat eating fish with Warry (see the archive from 2006) under our awning decorated with the green battery operated Christmas lights that Mary, our friend, house sitter and cat nanny, gifted us with before we left Ann Arbor. We were listening to the PKO Ensemble playing Christmas music through the iPod and van radio. The frequency the transmitter chose to broadcast on was 89.1 fm, WEMU! (Sherry was off seeing ex-officio daughter-in-law and grandson off on a plane from Guadalajara.)

We are camped underneath an almond tree, and every once in a while one of the fruits, a little bigger than a golf ball, will hit the ground or bounce off the roof of the van and startle us. Good thing they're not coconuts! We are surrounded by four huge coco trees, which give us lots of shade and keep La Gitana cool. Earlier this year Warry paid some of the local kids fifty pesos (about five bucks) to scale the trees and knock down all of the coconuts that might be a problem. They didn't get them all, but the van is parked so hopefully any that fall won't hit us.

Maruata's "resort area" is a collection of slab-sided cabaƱas and palm thatched palapas scattered along three beaches and connected by a meandering maze of trails and dirt two tracks. A creek which at this time of the year can be easily forded, separates the beach area from the main village, which is made up of similar huts and outbuildings with a few cement block tiendas arranged around the town plaza and extending up to the highway. Thirty years aso there was no highway here, and electricity only arrived 12 years ago.

Horses, burros, chickens, and pigs wander more or less freely around the village, along with the buzzards, egrets and other exotic fauna. A few years ago the "presidente" of the village decreed that the pigs were a nuisance and stay on the village side of the creek, but evidently someone forgot to tell the pigs.

Don Elodio, our host, is 89 years old. His horse died, so he no longer mounts ever day to go manage his herd of a dozen or so cattle. In fact, Warry says he does almost nothing, but he guesses when he gets to be 89 he probably won't do much either. As it is, Warry, former commercial fisnerman, steelworker, restauranteur, with one armed paralyzed, goes fishing every day, with mask, snorkel and wet suit, often far out to sea, and almost always returns with two or more fish. He gives most of it away to the villagers, and in return they stop by with baked goods and other local commodities. Warry came in two days ago with a giant Dorado, one of the biggest he's ever gotten. The local kids call him Neptuno.

Another resident of our campsite.

Maruata is considered a "special spot" by Mexican hippies and new agers. One night we climbed "sunset rock" to see the sunset, and were lucky enough to see a whale lleisurely swimming by, obviously feeding because he was blowing and trumpeting frequently, all the while accompanied by this flute player.

Every time we visit Maruata, we stay a little longer and it's a little harder to leave. If we ever drop entirely out of sight, you will know where to look for us.

El Dedo of Dios (The finger, or as Warry claims, the toe, of God).

Love to you all from the Fotogypsies!

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