KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
Where did the time go? It’s been a month since we arrived in Manzanillo and already it’s time to move on. I remember telling Audrey I didn’t know if we could manage to spend a whole month in one place without feeling too restless. I imagined that we would be inclined to take several side trips away from the beach to break the monotony of sun, sand and surf. And now we found ourselves with only one day left and there was no question, it would be a beach day for sure.
Audrey had long suggested that we take the bus past our usual stop at Le Tablao, and instead get off at the Santiago Beach Resort and walk through the development to the beach. The resort is home to many condo owners and is a gated community, but the guards on duty don’t stop foreigners entering on foot. We decided to make the resort part of our last beach day as it would mean walking along the beach south towards our usual haunt.
It turned out to be a great idea because by the time we reached the beach, the tide was going out and the beach is particularly shallow at this point. I was delighted to see that the little water left on the beach, after a wave broke, acted as a perfect mirror and I was able to capture a young girl admiring herself in the water as it receded from her feet. A little further on, I came upon a little girl and her brother trying their best to master boogie boards. As I came closer, the little girl climbed on her board, set her stance and waited for the next little wave to arrive. She was so intent on surfing and looked so cute, that I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of her.
As I continued along, I couldn’t help noticing how the sun was reflecting off the sand on the beach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beach like this one, there are three distinct colours of sand. There is the usual light brown sand but here it is mixed with black sand, evidence of ancient volcanic activity in the region, as well as what looks like flakes of gold. These flakes sparkle in the sunlight, especially when they are tossed in the swirling water. I took a photo in which you can clearly see the dark and light sand but it’s difficult to see the golden specks. What a pity!
Just before we arrived at Le Tablao, I noticed the remains of an earthquake-damaged building. There are buildings throughout Manzanillo that remind us all of the 7.2 quake that occurred offshore on October 9, 1995. There was extensive shaking that resulted in forty deaths and injuries to over one hundred people. There was severe damage to buildings and the nearby port. The earthquake set off a small tsunami that impacted two hundred kilometers of coastline. The town of Manzanillo was flooded to a depth of two meters in most places. I had heard of the earthquake shortly after we arrived in Manzanillo and I have to say, I was relieved that there hadn’t been another one during our stay.
The remainder of the day was spent relaxing and working on the final touches to our tans. This really was futile, as it is only Audrey who is headed back to winter weather where she can show off her trophy tan to all the pale faces back home. Anil and I are headed inland to visit other cities in Mexico and I very much doubt any Mexican will be impressed with my darker complexion.
There was time for one last meal of chicken fajitas at Le Tablao. We love eating here because it’s one of the few places that serve their meat dishes with rice. Beans and guacamole seem to be regular side dishes, but Anil misses eating rice on a regular basis. While we were eating, Nico came by with his tray of silver jewellery. I had purchased a ring from him when we first arrived in Manzanillo and Audrey and Darlene McClelland had made several purchases of their own. On this last day, Audrey decided to buy earrings and a bracelet as a Christmas present for her daughter-in-law, Kristen. Nico was very happy because business has been very slow thus far in December. It seems the economic crisis has hit the tourism in Mexico too; there are far fewer foreigners than in years past.
As the sun set over the hills at the end of Santiago Bay, we packed up our things for the last time, washed the sand off our feet and said goodbye to the staff at le Tablao. Audrey was a little sad to be leaving the beach but she knows she’ll be back again to her favorite place in Mexico. Anil and I are heading to Chile and Argentina in the New Year and have sun and beaches to look forward to in the months to come. This was more time than we’ve ever spent on a beach before, and we enjoyed our time here more than we imagined we would. Perhaps we’ll be back again too.