Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter 'off the grid' in Arroyo Seco

We're back in Arroyo Seco for a length of time, after a hiatus last winter while Michael wrote his book, The Fracking War.

The river between El Tecuan and Tenacatita
During our absence this past year we had the usual questions about the viability of living in this little surf village ---- the kind of fantasies that can go either way. Either projecting its absolute perfection, or focusing on the scorpions, the dirt, the lack of amenities.

The surprise this year was opening the gates to the property, standing in the palapa, looking out on to our oasis and once again seeing seeing the dream when we leveled the lot and poured the first concrete footer.

We've now been here enough years that the children that took our English classes the first year we lived there are now waiting tables and working at the new beach restaurants. And graduating from high school, having children, getting married. Our neighbors' son is almost done with his three-year program to become an auto mechanic -- and has arrived home with a cherry-red Mitsubishi Eclipse, which he occasionally now loans to his dad.

Last week we dusted off our Honda 4x4 quad and headed down to the still pristine beaches where my cousin and friends have rented a house for the month. We've started a Zumba class on the beach and we're working on one in town for the locals. We're patronizing the local beach restaurants, still astounded that we have options for times when we don't want to cook.

The beach at El Tecuan, south of Arroyo Seco
The road from the Highway to Arroyo Seco is paved --- no longer the 3k washboard into town. And the phone and electric poles in the middle of the road have been moved to the side of the road. Feels very grown up.

The town now has two internet cafes but the signal is so slow that it's almost impossible to download our emails, much less respond. We can have internet at our house but it's about a two-hour drive to pick up the DSL box so we're forgoing it for this year. And there's still no cell service in the village. I'm surprised to find I'm enjoying the disconnect.

And the beaches! Still remote, still pristine, still magnificent. Not very swimmable because it's open ocean, but we have a few swimming holes we can get to by quad. And it's always a good excuse to ride down the beach.

Bottom line ---- yes, we're still crazy. And we're still crazy about Arroyo Seco.

Cooling the feet after Zumba in La Manzanilla,
Tenacatita Bay