I am not one to complain. If you read here regularly – dummy up!
Tuesday was a splendid morning as nearly all are here in Puerto Escondido. Monday night we had agreed to go to the Carrizalillo cove for the day with Anita’s brother and his woman. We have not spent much time at the beach while enjoying immensely it surrounding us.
At the west end of the Puerto beaches is Playa Carrizalillo, which has Pacific Ocean sand (the best kind) and cobalt blue water edged in light green with tropical conditions and luxury housing atop nearby cliffs.
This 300 meter wide beach is on a small bay.
There are no vehicular roads to this beach. A 167-step, stone and concrete, footpath descends a steep slope. This is a recently installed rock stairway. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk to there from the town; and then a bit of effort to climb down those stairs. A water taxi ride from Playa Principal is another option for accessing Carrizalillo; however perish that thought we need the exercise!
Anita and Harvey headed down the stairs – circa 2007
Probably the greatest attraction, even beyond its idyllic setting is calm water. Most of the water along the coast here about is cautionary – people drown here, quite often actually. Less than a year ago a number of people were swept away just on a walk way – so you might imagine the trepidation one can have regarding ‘getting-in’ the turbulent sea.
Just to the east is the twin beaches of Puerto Angelito and Manzanillo, between which are a small rock outcropping. These are on a sheltered cove, making it safe for swimming, with Manzanillo having slightly more surf. Angelito beach is full of family-owned small restaurants located in palapas (open-air thatched structures (palapas).
Both these beaches have water that varies in color from emerald green to turquoise blue.Puerto Angelito tends to be crowded and frequently invaded by huge tour buses loaded with visitors. Playa Manzanillo is quieter as there is no road access On this day there were many buses unloading tourists – but not the kind that go to the gym and are looking to top off that tan on their svelte bodies – not that type indeed.
So because of the many steps our little Playa Carrizalillo cove is usually not over crowded – we like that. The trek down and back availing a more peaceful beach scene is worth every step – who needs a stair stepper when we have this opportunity?
Most of the 300 meters is occupied with industrious little restaurants that serve beer and fried fish tacos at their recliners and umbrella sun-protected chairs. There are a few patches of sand available for those with their own towel, umbrella, snacks and libations. The category the Calypsos fall under.
In as much as we were with Anita’s brother and his woman we parked next to them at their convenient seating sponsored by Rosy. She has Bohemia beer for 25 pesos; the best beer bargain on Carrizalillo beach. I arrived first. Rosy’s waiter tried to run me off – but he wasn’t getting through to me, so over came Rosy. She explained my umbrella next to her setup was not acceptable (albeit legal).
Rather than argue I assured her we were planning on buying lots of beers and fish tacos from her – what’s more there were even two lounge chair dwellers in our group – not to worry – in fact, Anita and I would buy without even using the facilities; just set up near them.
Satisfied with my answer Rosy went back to her wooden shack. The waiter brought us a menu.
All good so far. I mean it was a beautiful setting, moderately occupied and we were ensconced. The water temperature was tepid. I was reading, “The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World.” By Chris Guillebeau (I have since finished said book – not recommended).
What could be bad at a scene such as this? The Mexican bathroom scene, that’s what!
Here is the deal, before we even discuss the conditions: The price to enter the out-house facilities was 5 pesos. This being the highest ‘so you have to relieve-yourself’ fee we have encountered in the country.
WHY, when you have a wonderfully idyllic cove with cobalt blue waters rimmed by emerald green and the finest sand, would you charge a high rate to make available facilities that might keep people from peeing in the ‘pool’? Talk about penny wise and pound foolish – there you have it!
Mexican’s are not famous for good public bathroom conduct for sure. But you can imagine when it comes down to shelling out a half of buck or just wade out to about waist level and empty your bladder in the big pool – I mean come on there are thousands of gallons of water out there – millions upon millions actually – next land-stop southward is Antarctica. Disgusting!
Having consumed a few bottles of Bohemia, we made several trips to the loo; the plumbing is not as sturdy as whence one was young(er). We saw very few make the trek up the path to the facilities – even though we were there at the beach most of the day. We saw a number of beer jockeys that one had to assume, after consuming all that beer, were finding their way to the Pacific to make space for more beer. DISGUSTING.
Then let us take a look (please don’t – you will not like it) at the high entry fee facilities themselves – oh my! Disgusting fly havens.
One rather proper German woman turned around, walking away muttering, “I just can’t do it.” To no one in particular – but totally understood.
There is a new highway being constructed between Puerto and Oaxaca City. It is said the time for the trip will be cut to less than a third the current rate. This will avail access to our beaches by many thousands more each year. Business will be great and the tourist trade will flourish. Perhaps by then someone will figure out how to better deal with the beach bathroom scene – but probably not. Stay Tuned!