Our plan for today was walk down the hill and into the local shopping market to purchase
- 2x snorkel kits
- 2x sunscreen bottles
- 1x sunglasses
Then make our way outside to catch s taxi to a nearby beach called Bahia Maguey. This particular beach is about 2 miles from our condo in Santa Cruz. It sports a large U-shaped bay with plenty of calm waters good for paddleboards, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling.
Standing outside the local shop we first wandered over to the recycle trash cans and ripped open our newly purchased snorkel kits (mask & snorkel) out of the plastic cases. Next we dismantled the sunscreen bottle wrappers and headed over to the taxi que.
“Hola amigos (hello friends), taxi?” said the driver standing outside his yellow and white cab. “Si (yes),” we answered in unison. The driver opened the front and rear doors of the car then meandered around to his side, he whistled and waved an arm at the other awaiting taxi cab drivers for someone else to take his place upon our departure from in front of the store.
“Tu Bahia Maguey,” the wife said holding the map given to us yesterday from the condo receptionist. “Que (what)?,” asked the driver.
“Bahia Ma-gu-ey?” she repeated. His face twisting in puzzlement and wonder of where these two tall foreigners wanted to go.
Pulling the map out of her hands, I showed the driver on the map, the words: Bahia Maguey.
He chuckled to himself once and exclaimed, “Bahia Mauey,” with a friendly grin, then in English to us, “do you speak Spanish?”
“Un pequeno (a little),” I replied. Then from the backseat, “Muyo pequeno (very little).” He laughed and corrected her, “mucho.”
From our experience thus far some locals like to use “mucho” for a lot, and some of them like to use “muyo”. And no one likes us when we use pequeno and mucho or muyo in a sentence together. They all correct us every time.
Thankfully the locals around here appreciate our “trying to speak their language” and give us a break as well as free lessons whenever and wherever they can. Which we have found very helpful in our learning and remembering of this new language.
For about fifteen minutes we drove west through the town of Santa Cruz, onto a two lane asphalt roadway passing several street signs such as 40kmph, Playa Calcutta, Militar Navel, Playa Entrega and No parking. Further up the road we came across people riding mountain bikes in the mid morning sunshine. We estimated the temperature to be around 33 Celsius. As we watched the cyclists struggling along the pathway slopes. Also in assorted spots along the road it would change over from an asphalt road onto cobblestone or slate stone impeding the driver to slow to a crawl along these sections.
Also during our taxi venture he drove over several speed bumps at a top speed of 2kmph. And if you took them any faster than 2kmph it would destroy your front bumper and under carriage and more than likely leave you destitute on the roadway. We didn’t come across any other vehicles during our entire drive to the beach parking lot. So if you were destitute it may take a while to get assistance from anyone.
Upon arrival at our destination, as the taxi drove thru the parking lot there were several local proprietors walking alongside the taxi asking us to join them at their beach side restaurants for lounge chairs, umbrellas, beverages and food.
As the taxi stopped, I leapt from the front seat leaving the wife to handle payment with the driver.
“Hello my friend… I am Antonio. What is your name?” “James.”
“Welcome my friend. James why don’t you and your lovely wife come to my establishment? We have lounge chairs, tequila, umbrellas, cerveza (beer) and nice view of the bay.” “Thank you. It is a kind offer, and we will decide once on the beach.”
“Are you sure, my friend?” And before I could politely decline again, my wife says to Antonio, “No gracias (No Thank you).” And we kept walking through the parking lot with the others who were arriving at the beach for the day.
As we separated from the requests of the proprietors to join them and situated ourselves amongst the locals, a younger guy approached asking us to join him. Which is when my wife says to him, “why are you only asking us to join you? Why are you not asking all if these people here,” as she waved her hand at the throngs of Mexican tourists.
Wandering along the beach we looked for lounge chairs to the far left of the bay near what seemed to be the designated swimming area. The wife spotted a restaurant with chairs and a table. “What about this one?” she asked me. “It works for me.”
As we pulled our chairs together a young man appeared with a menu asking about drinks? We ordered a beer (cerveza) and a pina colada.
After 17 minutes lounging under the umbrellas, I pulled out the grey mask and snorkel, adjusting and fixing it together. Standing up and stating the obvious that I was headed for the water. Not more than two steps past the umbrella the heat smashed my already deep red skin. Stepping back under the umbrella, I stooped rifling through my bag in search of my rash guard. The wife eyeing me over the top of her novel. “Can’t forget this,” I stated aloud pulling it over my head and then spraying a coat of sunscreen across my exposed limbs and back of my neck.
Gliding over the hot beach sand towards the water I went with each giddy step. My hands pulling the mask strap onto my cranium as I situated the goggles into place and stuffed the snorkel tube into my mouth as I chewed into the plastic mouth guard. With three giant steps I found myself in about four feet of ocean water, when I plunged into the refreshing cool bay swimming in the direction of the shore line in search of seal life.
Some 45 minutes later I returned to my lounge chair where I had an awaiting Victoria cerveza, the wife and her book draped in the scorching sun, working on her vacation tan. About as soon as I had removed the rash guard, drapped it over the lounger than she set her book down, pulled out her snorkel kit and prepped herself for a journey into the bay.
“The best location is out near that big rock sticking out of the surface. Good coral. And about 20-meters depth,” informed I, as she asked for a spray of sunscreen on her back and legs.
We repeated this for the next 2.5 hours, enjoying the Sunday afternoon of, snorkeling, swimming, adult beverages, beach side people watching, sun drenched napping and reading our books, until approximately 2:45pm.
As I packed up our gear into the day bag, the wife went to pay our tab. A walk about the beach and back towards the parking lot. “How was it?,” inquired I. “It was enjoyable. I really like sharing the beach with the regular tourists instead of foreigners. You?,” came her response. “Not bad. And fairly good snorkeling too.”