Monday, January 12, 2009

Life's a Beach

I am not a lover of beaches. They bore me. Yes, they are pretty good places to go for mariscos dinners. But they have sand, which is often scorchingly hot, and the damn stuff clings to you on your feet, legs and other unwanted places.
See this photo? Admit it, it's incredibly boring after a few moments of fond gazing.

Coconuts could fall from high up in the palms, injuring you to the point of becoming a total vegetable, finishing off the job of dulling your faculties; or even, dead. Agua de cocos is a highly overrated drink, with a wishy-washy taste of soap, and the concept of ¡Cocos Fríos! is highly relativistic.

Beaches often have mosquitos. Some have jejenes as well. Jejenes can make evening strolls along the beach (while having meaningful conversations with your loved one) into a Jell.

Hammocks are bad for the spine. They are also hazardous in terms of flipping out, especially when hung over concrete floors. It's no wonder that the Mayan civilization declined, with hammocks in which to make whoopee. (There were some other aspects, involving perforations with sharp spines, but I'll skip over that.)

Do I have to mention sunburn? O.k., I will.

The last time we stayed at a beach was in February, 2007. We stayed at Quinta d' Liz, run by Luis, a very nice guy, with two charming and sexy assistants of the female sex. I will admit, it was nice to have my morning coffee, toast
and jam served by the cute, mildly flirtatious helpers in their swimwear.

After that highlight, the day went downhill quickly, as the sun rose higher and began its inexorable burn of pale güero skins. By 11:00 a.m., the sand was too hot to to walk across in bare feet, unless you'd studied firewalking while with the Peace Corps.

Most of the day we spent under the shade of a palapa, or in our humble hut. Fortunately, there was a powerful fan. If that didn't cool us off, we could go water ourselves under the unheated chorro de agua coming out of the shower. That felt pretty good. I think it was seawater.

One day, Susan and I drove over to Ixtapa (a development of modern, air conditioned high-rise hotels, featuring all amenities, scorned as "Plastic!" by true Mexico travelers seeking The Real Mexico Experience), to which I longingly gazed upward, thinking of air conditioning, a swimming pool, room service, swim-up bars and especially freedom from nightly enshroudment in mosquito netting. Alas! We were only there to visit the U.S. Consular Representative for paperwork, not dally in luxury. No Carlos 'n Charlies' for us.

Back at Troncones, I futilely sought luxury. I made the mistake of signing on for a massage at a New Age-y resort up the road.
I really should have known better, but the sun had addled my reasoning. That turned out to be highly less than satisfactory; no: irritating! It was also absurdly expensive. I don't want to discuss it.

That was followed by dinner with our friends at a well recommended restaurant in an Eden-like resort, in the "Uptown" part of Troncones. That was a bust in several ways, as the restaurant was dealing that night with another, large party of diners to our neglect. The hostess was rude, the service was irregular, and the food was just passable.

The most satisfactory meal we had while in Troncones was makeshift antojería on the
side of the unpaved street. The food was tasty and the price was right.

O.k.; I admit I don't "chill" well. (God, how I dislike that use of "chill".) Some people are born to the hammock and the palapa, the caressing of susurrous wavelets as they walk along the littoral, but not me. I prefer walking the calles of México, D.F. or of Oaxaca. Yes; I'd rather be in Xalapa than under a palapa.

In conclusion: "Cada Loco Con Su Tema".