Wednesday, January 03, 2018

touring costalegre -- grab bag

OK. So we have taken Robin to the mountains. To the beach. Out to sea. And to the salt pits.

East, north, west, and south. What else can there be to do when a visitor comes to town?

Well, there is Barra de Navidad itself. And, even though a wag once said (with some justification) that "the place looks like what Six Flags would build as a Mexican village," there are activities to be had in town.

I like to take guests across the lagoon to the town's major resort hotel -- Grand Bay. Or whatever name they are using this week.

There is nothing particularly outstanding about the place. Rooms that would not be out of place in a Holiday Inn. Pools that are -- well, pools. And some rather pedestrian food. (I make that last comment with only one reservation. I had the best breakfast I have ever eaten on the veranda three years ago. The experience has not been replicated.)

What the Grand Bay has is a view. Lots of them. Of the lagoon. Of Barra. Of the full circumference of Navidad Bay.

When walking the streets of Barra, it is easy to miss how the hodgepodge of buildings add up to a coherent whole. But it does. Order out of chaos.

The nice thing about Barra is that you never know what you might encounter. One day, it is boxing between pre-teens in the plaza. The next, it is nativity on parade. (Admittedly, the type of activity that may be a bit cloying unless you have DNA in the game.)

And then there is food. Probably, Robin's most memorable meal was the chicken molcajete at El Manglito on the lagoon. If only because of its exotic provenance. I felt the same way with my first -- in Mazatlan.

I have lived in this area nine years now. When I first arrived, I was told I had to go to the bar on the top of the Alondro Hotel to see the sun set over Navidad Bay. But I never went.

For two reasons. One, it was a bar. Two, because people said I had to.

Robin had been there with my sister-in-law and brother when they were all here last January. So, I swallowed nearly a decade of high dudgeon, and went.

Of course, I had a good time. The views of the town complement the view from the Grand Bay.

But, the real reason for going is to see the sunset. Even though we went there most of the nights he was here, what we saw mostly were overcast skies.

However, we were rewarded on a couple of nights with the free show that makes Barra a place to remember.

In truth, the bar is not a very good place to enjoy the sunset. There are too many buildings in the way. The malecon offers non-obstructed views, and has been my choice for sunset views for years.

So, there you have it. A few activities to divert your guests while they are here. Or, they could do as my friend Leo did: spend their time floating in the pool while reading whatever it is they like to read.

And that is the real answer. Instead of telling people what they will enjoy, let them find whatever fits their needs.

There are plenty of choices.

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