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Early Bird gets the Cerveza or the Crabs

Updated: May 9, 2020

On moving days, I like to get an early start. Larry is usually up before me as he likes to Rise and Shine with the sunrise! We usually shoot to leave by 10am. Some days it turns into 11am if the drive looks short. Larry found a cute campsite on the coast near La Placita, Mexico called Rancho Buganvilia on Ioverlander. We have found that App to be most helpful. The drive from Barra de Navidad to La Placita is about 2 and a half hours plus rest stops. :)

The drive down highway 200D was uneventful. Thank God! I do pray, I’m not kidding. It helps me stay calm. Just before we got to our campgrounds, we saw a sign for a great Photo Op. There was a nice size pull off and we greeted the other young men there with, “Hola!”. One of the men was super friendly. He asked,” Hablas espanol?”. Larry says back, “Poquito”(a little). Then the young man started speaking english with us. He was very good. I totally appreciate it. He asked us a bunch of questions like where are we both from and where were we headed. He was meeting a bunch of his family from all over the state of Michoacan for a family vacation weekend at a beach close. Most of his family had taken the bus-ADO transit. He offered to take our picture together at the sign. Super nice guy. He told us he worked at a pineapple farm. Next, he went to his truck and brought back two lovely pineapples. He said,” Beinvenido a Mexico!” Wow!! That felt great and he was so generous too. We never got his name but we will always remember how he made us feel.

The road to the campground was not too bad. Another prayer had been answered. We got to the gate and honked our horn. Two big scary dogs (that could easily get under/over the fence) came running up barking at us. I got back in the truck. Larry made himself look big and yelled at them. It made them back down. That’s right, Larry is My Big Dog! LOL Soon a nice young lady came to let us in. She didn’t speak much English but she knew why we were there. We had a Big Shiny Airstream. We found a nice spot with electricity and sewer. The campground is perched up on the hillside with the ocean and beach only 200 meters down a trail through the massive palm trees.

We were almost immediately greeted by Brian. He knew us. It took me a few minutes to remember him from our week camping in Elota at Villa Celeste. After we got all settled in, we sat under the palapa with him at the restaurant. They had beer in the fridge that we helped ourselves to and would pay for at the end of our stay. I love when things work this way. We caught up with Brian and consumed two 40 oz of Coors. We were joined by another young couple named Celiene and Cory. Instagram:@adultgapyears. These two were from Ontario Canada and were newly married. They sold their home to travel. Celiene has family in Guatemala and they were traveling to see them for the winter. I really enjoyed them. Brian was taking them into town to get “the best street tacos'' and invited us. Sounds great! It was by an abarrotes (market) and we could pick up some stuff.

We went into the abarrotes to buy a Cerveza to have with our tacos. When we ordered our tacos, you let them know if you wanted carne or pescado and they would hand you the plate to add the toppings, lettuce, cheese and sauce. I got 2 pescado tacos and added some green sauce. Green is typically milder so I didn’t taste-test it beforehand. Larry always tries to get me to do this. I made a few mistakes along the way. We sat there eating our meal. After my second bite, my mouth started to burn. Wow! Too HOT! I had a drink of my Cerveza. I was hoping it would help. Not so. My face was on fire. I drank down my Cerveza and was eyeing Larry’s. I was definitely having an issue and it was getting worse. He noticed and offered his beer. I tried to be cool with our new friends but it was getting out of hand. I announced my problem, probably more than once. Larry ran to the store for more beer. What a guy! Finally, after 5 minutes, 4 beers and a few tears, the Hot Sauce Incident came to a milder ending. Note to self: ALWAYS TINY TASTE THE SAUCES!

After dinner, Larry and I went to the store to get a few items. I had quite a good buzz going on. Everything was fabulously interesting. All the fruits and veggies. All the nice young clerks. I found this fruit that looked like a very large kiwi. One of the girls working said it was a chica fruit (pouteria sapota) and showed me how to peel it. It was the most amazing yummy creamy sweet like caramel goodness that I’d ever had! How come this is the first I have heard of this fruit? I’m old. I should have had this before! I bought 2 to bring back to the trailer. YUM

We had only planned to spend the night and leave the next morning but we were enjoying the company and the campground was very comfortable. If we left, we would miss Pizza night which is on Sunday. We wanted to explore the beach for a day and we heard about a cute surfer beach close by. We managed a beach sunset picture the first night when we decided to stay longer.

Since we stayed, I did some laundry and Larry hung it to dry the next day. Brian told us exactly how to get to the surfer beach so we went to check it out. It is called LaTicla and Brian said they had a good restaurant on the beach. More “Fish tacos”, The road to the beach was super narrow and windy. We would have never been able to drive the airstream down there. We spent half the day walking on the beach and exploring. Not much surfing action was going on while we were there. We found a restroom which I was excited about. You rarely find public restrooms which are free. I think it might have been associated with a campground close by. We walked around the campgrounds and it was a very nice place. It’s called Parador Touristica La Ticla. They had some cute cabins/cabanas, some open-air palapas with hammocks, and a restaurant. It was a very chill place. Surfer atmosphere for sure. As we were wandering around, looking at iguanas, we heard Brian’s voice. He was chatting it up with friends that he meets here every year. He walked with us to the restaurant and we had fish tacos and beers.

On the last full day, we spent it on our beach. The beach was just a short walk down a trail through lime and palm trees. It’s an 8 mile flat wide beach with absolutely no one else on it. We spent the day walking the beach, looking for crabs and shells. I found the most amazing sand dollar. It was big and thick. I have only found the thinner ones so far so this was quite a treat. There are some amazing rock formations at the south end of the beach and we walked all the way down there. We were intercepted once by 3 stray barking dogs and Larry took care of them. Chased them with a big piece of driftwood! When we explored one of the rocks on the cliff, it looked like a narrow cave. As we walked toward it, all kinds of bats flew out!! It was very cool. On the way back down the beach, we swam and played in the water. It was a great temperature. We discovered some crazy crabs that looked like crusty rocks. They were so different and I’d never seen anything like them. We spent a lot of time with them.

Sunday is pizza night at the restaurant. We let Sandy, the owner know what we would like on ours early in the morning. Then let him know we would like to eat around 6 pm. The pizza was fantastic and I was really glad we stayed a few extra nights. We had brought some hermit crabs up from the beach earlier so Larry and I had crabs races after dinner. We loved staying at Rancho Buganvilia and will definitely come here again. It was very relaxing and easy to be here. Thanks Sandy!

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Bruce Samson
Bruce Samson
May 31, 2020

i enjoy your postings very much. I cannot find Costa Aquila or La Placita on google earth at all. Is it north or south from Barra de Navidad? Thanks

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