Monday, October 19, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Part 11, Sidetracked


'Evening Friends,

If you look at my blog's main photo, on the right where the big mountain in the far distance hits the blue water curve of the bay you will find Santa Cruz. The gleaming light colored tower on the cliffside in the foreground is our place in Aticama. Not so far apart, right? You would think so but sometime distance has very little to do with how far apart things are. This applies to geography, people, musical notes - even ideas.

Even today, if you look in the right place you can find 'Old Mexico'. In such a place time often slows down almost to the hover of a bright red humming bird taking a long sip above a blossom's honey pot. Back at the camp along the point 'Manana' was surely setting in big time. We decided to mount a mid day beach exploratory mission at low tide. Heading north we walked over some spectacular beaches and low cliffsides, stopping for a rest at a little waterfalls flowing out of the jungle directly into the ocean. So cool. Surreal. Further on we heard sounds of construction from a clearing just inland a stones throw. People were busy building a small house near another small house. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was the handy work of a young married couple - a tall German looking sandy haired man from Austria and his strikingly beautiful and tall Mexican Wife. Things were unfolding along my personal Fate's trail before me. These people would become of part of my journey through the years to this very day, but at that time our interest was diverted by a most unusual hotel looming before us.

The Hotel Delphin. Big Chunk Of Concrete Jutting Out Into The Ocean. Odd Angles. This was ground zero of The Gringo Trail in Los Cocos Beach. The ghosts of Bogart and Burton were drinking whiskey on the second floor watching us approach through the underbrush along the ocean. The cliffsides here were short and sandy, no more that 6 0r 8 feet above sea level. Laughter and Mexican Juke Box music was inviting as the big restaurant shade in the heat of the afternoon. More badly painted shiny wooden table and chairs. I noticed that most of the legs had been repaired. We sat down and an ancient woman with a giant 2 or 3 teeth left smile glided to our table. The view as fantastic. She introduced herself as the owner and we ordered Pacifico Beers and fish tacos. The beer was as cold as any cold beer was ever cold in all of history.......

We were floored with the expansive view. This old edifice of constantly falling apart and being rebuilt sublimity looked Mediterranean, looked airlifted from Rio. It stuck out like a concrete thumb into the ocean. We asked about it and the story reads quite like that famous NorthWest Book - 'Sometimes A Great Notion'. No one remembers exactly when the Hotel was built but at that time Los Cocos extended out into the ocean perhaps 100 more feet than that first day we sat there. The ocean is fearsome in the winter and literally tears the shore line to bits, loosing a few feet every year. So, after the grounds in front of the Hotel disappeared leaving only the rocky foundation, the owners began pouring concrete. Lots of it. Year after year. Sometimes the same area, others at the far end until finally it became a well defined peninsula.
Rooms in front above the restaurant were 10.00 us dollars a week during the slow season, which was most of the year. Hippies, poor locals and travelers rented the cheap rooms along the sides.

One room was open in front. I took it for a week.

Salud

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