Tuesday, January 11, 2011

forbidden fruit

So, there I was in my truck.  On my way over the hill from Melaque to visit the beach at Cuastecomates.

I don't get over there very often -- even though it is a short drive.  I used to take Jiggs over because the waves were easier on his aged legs.  Now, I need to have the same concern for myself.

On each drive over, I noticed a small dirt road that leads off into the hills toward the west end of Melaque's beaches.  I knew there was a view point up there somewhere.  I have seen the photographs.

But, in the two years I have lived here, I have never searched out the road.  On that day, it was calling my name.

There was no sign.  And nothing about the road distinguished it from a small logging road or the driveway to a farm house.

If I have learned anything in life, though, it is to not prejudge an adventure by its beginnings.  Robert Frost's well-traveled couplet is true for all road warriors: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--/I took the one less traveled by".

My guess about the road's destination was correct.  Not that you would know it for the first kilometer or so.

I knew I was climbing because of the grade of the road.  Gentle, but definitely climbing.  As if I were gaining altitude from a Laredo airfield. 

But how high I was, I had no idea.  There was a narrow fringe of jungle on the down side of the hill that obscured the view.

And then, in one flash, it was there.  All of Melaque.  Stretched out from the west end beach to the laguna on the east.


This may be a good opportunity to talk about my current home town a little.

Melaque is actually three villages in one.  Melaque on the west (residential, but with most of the palapa beach restaurants), San Patricio in the center (the business district), and Villa Obregon (my village -- almost entirely residential).

And you can get a feel of the difference in the beaches that stretch around the bay.  The beach at the bottom of the photograph is commonly known as Chicken Beach.  The waves are gentle.  It is where most of the waders spend their time.

As the beach curves around the bay, the nature of the surf changes drastically.  Not gentle swirls there.  The surf slams on the sand hard enough to be called Beach of the Drums.  If you need several layers of skin sandblasted off of your body, this is the place to go.

With my binoculars, I could pick out landmarks that I see daily.  Including the Greek Revival house I thought of renting last year.  Before my sense of good taste recovered. 

I could just imagine kidnappers sitting up on the hill picking out a house whose resident might have something worthwhile to offer up in ransom.

Or I could simply replay the Scarface clip that Felipe sent me as a perfect match for the house that was not to be.

But the view point was a great spot to see for miles.  I imagine the sunsets up there are spectacular. 

If you walk to the other side of the large parking area, you get a panoramic view over the Pacific.  Just the place to take a loved one for a romantic evening watching the colors of the sunset.

From the number of empty beer cans and used condoms littering the area, I would guess it is used regularly for that purpose.

For some reason, I thought the road would end at the view point.  But it continued down the other side of the hill.

Then I remembered, there is a small beach at the end of the road Playa Cuastecomatito.  It can be reached either by the road or by boat.  Or, as I was to be reminded, only by boat.

Someone has started constructing houses in the hills.  The road is well-graded with a stone drain.  You can see a photograph of the improvement at the top of the post.  (I know that should be a photograph of the road up the hill to the view point.  But it served its purpose.)

Well, someone was constructing houses.  It appears the whole thing is now on hold. 

There is a large gate across the road to the beach and there is a similar gate that leads to a hill top lot.  Both gates indicate the property is protected by dogs -- dogs that apparently were napping for my visit.

Both main gates, a side gate, and the locks for each of the gates have been posted with stickers.  The construction is closed because the proper permits were not obtained from the municipality.

I asked around to see if anyone knew the details.  No one seems to know why the project was closed down.  But the consensus is that the dispute will be resolved with the exchange of an adequate number of pesos.

Even so, I would like to see the beach.  It now has the smell of forbidden fruit.

And, like most forbidden fruit, the getting will undoubtedly be less satisfying than the wanting.  I hear the beach has only one redeeming quality -- it is remote.  There is no shade, and what you want to have, you must bring in.

Even so, I would like to see what is there.

And that is the spirit I am trying to develop.  If I want to get out to see Mexico, I need to start looking around my own back yard (or Melaque's back yard) for adventure.

My trip up the hill was a perfect example of rubies to be found in the saddle bags of donkeys.


Sparksmex said...

I have gone up to the 'Mirador' with the intention of viewing a perfect sunset and was surprised and disappointed to see the sun go down behind those hills where the construction is. To see the sun go down over the ocean the best place is still Barra

Teresa Freeburn said...

that view of melaque is spectacular! chicken beach would definitely be my style, just like chacala. they have a gated community there that keeps people out of one of their little beaches-they even have guards from what i've heard. sad. some of those people rarely come out of their gated communities. oh well, to each his own.

bracing for snowstorm this afternoon. they've been building it up like a hurricane, be prepared, have lots of food and supplies so you don't run out. according to the forecast, at first we were supposedly getting 6-10 inches, but now it looks like it will be a lot less. only time will tell.

keep exploring and enjoying all the new areas you venture out to find. still wishing i could come down for a visit but it will be a while.