After the comfort of Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta Sam and I were ready for some adventure. We decided that we were going to head down the pacific coast all the way to Ixtapa through the states of Jalisco, Colima and Michoacan. The beaches are less developed in the state of Colima and Michoacan coast is so undeveloped it is called the “lost coast”. We set off with plans to meet up with some new Canadian friends we met, Sarah and Wilson, who have the best dog EVER named Ace! He is half wolf, half malamute and boy does that dog draw crowds.
The road from Puerta Vallarta south is stunning with over grown tropical jungle spilling onto the white sand coast. It is also covered in mansions and resorts. This area of Mexico is very built up, and even though it is tastefully done, there are not a lot of ways to enjoy this area unless you are lucky enough to stay at one of the ritzy resorts or own a villa. As we left Jalisco and entered Colima, heading out to our planned meet up camp spot at Playa Tenacatita, Sam and I saw a raicilla (pronounced rice-see-a) distillery and had to stop for a tour and taste. We first heard about raicilla from a German named Franz in Baja that loved it so much he wrote a song about it. At the distillery we learned that raicilla is made from green agave plants, where tequilla is made from blue agave, and it is considered the great grandfather of tequilla. It tastes just like a good tequilla too.
When we told the man who gave us a tour that we were planning on camping at the Playa Tenacatita, he gave us some bad news. He told us a year ago a Mexican millionaire bought about 40 acres of the land around the stunning bay and hired over 200 armed private security guards to keep people off the beach (they were only allowed to stay certain hours), he wanted it all for himself. In Mexico, the beaches are free for all the people to use, so I was really surprised about this. Apparently his brother is in local politics……
We headed to the beach anyway because that was where we were going to meet Sarah and Wilson and we were indeed stopped by armed security guards. It was a stunning beach, and it totally pissed me off that one person could try to take it away from the town, the people of Mexico and visitors. We could not stay and it was getting dark, and in Mexico, driving in the dark is not something we ever want to do. So we created a plan B and ended up at the most depressing campsite of our trip so far in Melaque. Safety over beauty.
The silver lining was that the town ended up being a really fun, very Mexican beach town. I loved hearing all the kids scream lobo (wolf) as Ace walked down the street with us. At one point in the town square he was getting pet by three little girls at once, he was the best ice breaker ever.
All night the four of us talked about finding that perfect beach to camp on the next day over hot bowls of pozole, and then the rain started. It was the kind of rain you get in the tropics that makes you want to build an ark and start collecting animals. There was not going to be any beach camping for a while. Crap, we needed another plan B……….
Author: Song of the Road
We left our jobs in San Francisco to drive the Americas from Alaska to Argentina and beyond.