Monday, October 5, 2009

The Road To Aticama, Part 4

Welcome Back Readers,

AT that time Pacifico beer in Mexico was cheap. Really cheap. If I remember right, a case of 20 bottles was about 3.50 usdollars. I bought two, tossed them into the back where hot and humid gringo hands put them into the propane fridge and off we went - down a thin strip of twisting road, headed due west. It was around 4 in the afternoon and I figured we had plenty of time to make it to the coast in time for sunset. Little did I know!! Years later I found out that it was only 50 km (about 30 miles) as the the insect switchbacks but it took forever it seemed to leave the high mountain cedar forests of Western Nayarit. To this day I have never seen a road that has as many twists and turns as the road from Tepic to Matanchen Bay. After an hour or so, while still going down, the climate changed. It became Hot. Hot and sticky and the trees and foliage became very junglely like. Before long it was a small green tunnel passing through endless miles of turns and potholes, growing more narrow all the time. Tiny villages appeared like ghosts of Spanish treasure caravans long gone filled with big smiled locals still wearing Old Mexico about them. Still no ocean and it was getting dark. No level ground or wide spot in the road to stop. We were getting apprehensive. This looked more like the deeps of Africa than the modern world of 1980. Finally we decided to stop and make a bit to eat so we pulled over in a clearing on a cleared ridge, stopped the car, got out and there in front of us in the near distance was a sight that I will never forget - the afternoon sun breaking golden over the ocean in the near distance!! It was tropically, primordially, amazingly beautiful. To excited to stay for even a moment we hopped back in Jezebel and pushed her to the limit (about 30 miles an hour) and raced towards the coming sunset. 40 minutes later we popped out into a village named Santa Cruz. It was getting dark really fast as we pulled into the small square. No one to be seen. There in the corner was a restaurant and I bravely asked, in my broken spanish - "Donde es la playa". A middle aged, mustachioed brown skinned man answered - "Dude, you guys look like you are a long way from anywhere". This was Robert Brown and he would become an important fork in the road of my life in times to come. "The beach is straight down that little street, you cant miss it". The last rays of the sun were setting over the southern end of Matanchen Bay as we turned the motor off, the sand beneath our wheels.

It was timelessly beautiful and I felt, deep inside, that I had finally found home!


Check out ThinkMusic for some heart strings music that really expresses the moment - leaving one culture for another for me.


  1. I luv the way you describe your adventure...makes you feel like you're there.

  2. This is a very well written post, Fran. I'm w/ Vicki - I can visualize it all.