Tenacatita – a beach to remember


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-02-2009

After we finished school at noon, we all took off for the much touted “Tenacatita Beach”, about 30 minutes north of Melaque.  We arrived to find a beautiful beach full of little restaurants in the sand.  The cove was smaller than Melaque’s and the beach was very calm.  Out in the distance were mountains which added to the calmness of the water.  Andrew and Helen took off snorkeling while Ken went off to fish.  The girls went running into the warm blue water and I sat, IPOD and book in hand, under a huge palapa, just taking in the beautiful view.  When Andrew and Helen returned from their snorkeling expedition, they were full of stories of rays, colorful fish and coral.  I went for a walk which turned out to be my favorite beach walk so far.  I couldn’t help taking pictures of the amazing scenery.  I found this beach to be much more peaceful than Melaque as there were few houses and just as few people.

On our way back, we stopped at a distillery for “Raicilla”, an alcohol naturally derived from the heart of the agave plant.  We learned so much about the simple, almost caveman-like process and then visited the lovely “tasting room”.  Oh boy, does this drink punch a wallop!!  You get a little buzz from a mere sip!!  We bought a bottle of the concoction (US$30) and we plan to have a lot of fun finding recipes for it!

All in all, a day well spent!  We can’t wait to return to this paradise on the bay.

Barra de Navidad


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-02-2009

Barra de Navidad is a 15 minute walk along the beach from Melaque.  It is a more upscale town than Melaque due to its proximity to the “Grand Bay Hotel”.  Check out the hotel’s website at:  http://islanavidad.com.mx/  It trumps any hotel I have visited so far in my life.  We took a small panga book to the dock of the hotel and then walked along the paths around the hotel.  The marina is home to million dollar yachts and security was evident. 

We toured the lobby (over the top with the marble and fresh flowers) and then the kids decided it was time to hit the pool.  The pool was actually a series of pools joined by beautiful waterfalls and small slides through little tunnels.  It was the most beautiful pool I have ever seen and the kids were anxious to jump in!  Just as the kids were preparing to get in the pool, we were greeted by a man who resembled someone from the Love Boat show.  He told us it would cost US$20 per person to use the pool.  What??  Are you kidding me?   We decided to save the $180 (the off season price to stay at the hotel for the night) and take the panga boat back to Barra Navidad for lunch.  Happy we made such a wise financial decision, we had a wonderful lunch on the beach which included a few cervecas! 

The beach at Barra de Navidad is geared towards surfing and Andrew was anxious to give the waves a ride!  He jumped on the $50 surf board Ken bought in California (gotta love Craig’s list) and took off.  Not long after being in the water, he stepped on what might have been coral and got a nice size gash in his big toe and was marooned the rest of the day.  Poor guy! 

After a couple hours of hanging out on the beach, we went into the heart of the town for the 2nd annual Chili Cook Off!  YUMMY!!  There were about 20 different chili chefs, all vying for our attention!  We also had some great salsa, chili dogs, margaritas and more cervecas!   Boy, sure does seem like we eat and drink alot!  Admittedly, we do enjoy the food and beverages of Mexico!

Andrew entered a raffle for a small kayak so Ken and Andrew stayed at the Cook Off, awaiting the results.  After they found out they were losers, Ken and Andrew decided to ease their pain and go out for a “Taco Crawl.”  This is such a guy thing!  They went to three different vendors, having two tacos at each place.  The big rule was that you had to try different meats and you were allowed to repeat.  They had a couple tacos of unknown origin (don’t even want to think of what it was) and came back, stomachs full to the brim!

Fun day in the sun!

Melaque, our first week


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-02-2009

After a big city stop in Puerto Vallarta, we were looking forward to our next destination in the sleepy beach town of Melaque.  Whenever we told people we were heading to Melaque, they exclaimed, “Oh Melaque.  You will love it!”  Our drive was 120 miles but took more than 5 hours as we could only go about 35 MPH along the curvy mountain roads.  It was tricky maneuvering our big rig through the tight cobblestone and dirt streets of Melaque but we managed!  We reached Melaque in time to hook up and relax for lunch. 

The best thing about Melaque is its location.  We have a wonderful beach in back of us and a huge lagoon in front of us.  We are on a peninsula of sorts and it is heaven.  The lagoon is home to many crocodile and lots of iguana.  In the near distance are groves of coconut and palm trees and in the far distance are mountains.  Andrew and Ken went fishing and caught a “jack crevalle” (never heard of the guy) and we enjoyed it for dinner.

 When we arrived, Andrew’s 13th birthday was the following day so we were preparing quickly for his emergence into teenage-dom.  (YIKES!)  Many of his requests for this special day included food (he is such a foodie!) and we had a fun hamburger BBQ on the beach with our Canadian friends too.  When in Mexico, it is absolutely imperative you have a pinata for any celebration (at least that’s what everyone told us) so we felt obliged to follow the suggestion.  In the late afternoon, we took the big honking pinata to the pool area, loaded it with candy (much of which turned out to be quite strange tasting), put a blindfold on the birthday boy and let him go for it.  Roch held onto the heavy thing and kept it moving, just to keep Andrew on his toes.  Finally, he hit it just right and the candy flowed.  A little Mexican girl ran over and started helping herself.  It was pretty funny! 

For Andrew’s special b’day dinner, our family went to the “Salamander” which is an outdoor restaurant in the middle of a tree filled courtyard.  The tall trees were lite up by small white lights and we were serenaded by two Mexican musicians.   The kids and I even did a bit of dancing to the melodic music.   Our dinners were superb and Andrew’s special b’day dessert (candle and all) was quite special.  

The RV Park ( Laguna Del Tule ) is walking distance to the town of Melaque.  There are many wonderful little restaurants and a lot of great street side taco and tamale vendors. There is a little store just outside our RV park that has almost everything you could need in a pinch, including french bread made daily.  We’ve made it a habit of getting a few rolls first thing in the morning for breakfast.  The shopkeeper also make tacos every few nights. At about 7PM, people come to the street outside our RV park, glass of wine in hand, and enjoy her homemade tacos.  We plan to do this one night soon!

That’s it for now. . .Ken is making appetizers of pablamo peppers, plantain bananas and melted cheese to celebrate the end of our school week!!  Adios!