While I intend to write a lot less this year, I have some things that I’d like to get out. Mainly, finishing up the details of the trip when Priscila came to visit.
So what transpired in our last day in Sámara was both incredibly awesome and hilariously awful. We had finally decided, since we had spent an extra day in Sámara, that we would charter a boat down to Mal Pais, spend the day there and then travel on to Montezuma. Priscila had managed to find a guy with a fishing boat who does trips up and down the coast (with a business card and everything!), but he could only take us to Playa Manzanilla, a little farther north up the coast. No problem. We’d just catch a taxi from there.
The morning we were leaving, we meet the guy and a female friend of his on the beach. It struck me as funny, the two of us standing there, carry-on luggage in the sand, about to get in a fishing boat to travel to our next destination. Totally cool. And this would be yet one more method of transportation in getting around the country for this trip. So we pushed off and in a moment, Sámara was out of sight as we looked at the south side of Isla Chora.
The coastline in this region is absolutely stunning to look at from over the water. We would travel by boat in a later part of this journey and I entirely recommend this mode of transportation for getting up and down the coast. Just fantastic. And something fun during this trip: about halfway there, the captain stopped the boat and let us jump in for a swim. Nice little memory, that.
Back in the boat for about another 30-45 minutes before we pull up to this gorgeous, gorgeous beach. Virtually deserted with only one little restaurant/bar. Almost invisible, hiding behind trees. (And this is the place we are to go, apparently, where we can get a taxi.) The captain pulls as close to the shore as possible without docking, Priscila and I disembark with our bags and get on the beach. Priscila and I wave our goodbyes to the captain as he begins to motor his way back to Sámara. That was cake. Totally pleased to have arrived in Playa Manzanilla.
We walk up to the restaurant, Priscilla calls out, and the owner of the establishment, Carlos, comes out. Another conversation in Spanish, this one slightly tense, which is quickly translated for me accompanied with a look of, “You’re NOT going to believe this.” As I was listening to the conversation, I sensed that Carlos wasn’t pleased. And that is precisely what Priscila translated to me. More specifically, “Not again.”
We weren’t in Playa Manzanilla. We were, in fact, in Playa Coyote, a long way north of Mal Pais. The boat captain, for reasons we’ll likely never know, dropped us off in BFE. And it wasn’t the first time this had happened. And this is why I’m not going to give you the boat captain’s name: obviously, I can’t recommend his boat transport service. Let me just say that if he actually WAS listed as a business on Trip Advisor, I would totally give him a 1-star rating. (YOU HAD ONE JOB!)
Thankfully, the situation was so laughably absurd and this was already such a grand adventure that neither of us were stressed. This was just another little mini-adventure. And too, Carlos was just a super nice guy and we was great fun to hang out with. Pulling out family photos, telling stories. Fun. So another great time hanging out with a complete stranger before eventually figuring out how the hell to get to where we were going. And we did finally work it out and THAT was another adventure all to itself. More on that later. For now, here are some shots from this portion of the trip. All of these are found within their respective galleries.
As I said, the beach is just spectacularly beautiful. Playa Coyote is just about as remote a place as it could be (which is why getting out of there and onto our next destination proved to be tricky). My first thought when we got off the boat and looked around at the beach was the actual movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio. It seemed the exact sort of paradise one might like to find on some mysterious map. And never tell anyone else about it.
The “woman” in the photos was handmade by Carlos.