Monday, March 1, 2010
La Rosa de las Barras
In January, we held our first annual fundraiser for the Mazatlan Membership Library. It was held in the courtyard of the Art Gallery across the street from the Library and was a great success. We had hoped to make enough from the sale of tickets and the raffle to purchase a much needed air conditioner - we actually made enough money to purchase the unit and also to pay for the electricity needed to run it over the summer months.
We had several wonderful raffle prizes and I was lucky enough to win one of the 'biggies' - a 2 night stay at La Rosa de las Barras, a beach front lodge in the small fishing village of Las Barras de Piaxtla, located an hour north of Mazatlan. We were originally given the use of the Casa Buena Vista, a little two story house, but the day before we were scheduled to leave, the owner, Gail, contacted us to ask if we would mind staying in the Beach House instead. The Beach House is twice the size, and is located directly on the beach. No suprises on our answer to that request!
We left on Tuesday morning and had a theraputic 2 day visit. Gail offers the free use of bicycles, surfboards and kayaks and we could also have made arrangements to hire a boat to go fishing. The area is also home to hundreds of species of birds and is an excellent choice for birdwatchers. We opted, however, to just relax and we didn't do a great deal other than explore the village and the beaches. We sat every evening and enjoyed the sunset, then moved inside to prepare dinner and then back outside again to eat it. We spent time reading and played endless games of dominoes. I also took a lot of pictures, 222 to be exact! It was blissful.
So, to share our trip ...
Las Barras de Piaxtla is on the coast and can only be reached by travelling a dirt road, a very rough rutted road I might add! An advantage of being forced to drive at no more than 20km per hour however is the opportunity to really see what you are driving past -
Loved the cows, the huge cacti and the beautiful little shrine!
La Rosa de las Barras was very easy to find as the village is fairly small and Gail's directions are excellent. The abridged version is as follows:
"Go under the bridge and turn right at the emergency phone onto the dirt road across the cattle guard. Go west back over the highway bridge and turn left at the large chicken farm. Continue on the dirt road about 5 kilometers following the signs to El Mirador Restaurant and Las Barras."
The small beach front Resort is amazing. Gail has built and developed it on her own and has done a fantastic job. As well as the 2 story house we were originally going to use (the Casa Buena Vista) and the Beach House, there are also 4 little Casitas, all with queen size beds, ceiling fans and airconditioning. Although the Casitas are basically one room and a bathroom, they all have private outside seating areas and several even have small cooking areas. Gail is an artist, and has done all of the mosaics and stonework herself, as well as the cabinet doors in the kitchens. She has also done much of the very decorative painting. Very impressive!
The beach in front of the Resort is the smaller of the two in town, but was endlessly entertaining.
I love Mexican sunsets!
We watched with the men who dive for oysters one afternoon around 4 as they were unloading their catch. They had been out since about 7:30 that morning and came back with approximately 350 Kilos of oysters. That is a whole lot of oysters!
There are actually 2 beaches in town and the other is where we found the fishing boats.
We noticed on another visit that the boats were used by more than fishermen!
On one of our beach walks we stopped off to explore the lighthouse. Mike climbed to the top, but I chickened out about half way up - I'm just not good with heights and the stair case was the open circular type and I just couldn't do it. Mike said that ladder at the top would have finished me off, so to be honest, I was quite happy to just look at the pictures when he got down. I'm just glad I remembered to hand him the camera before I made my escape.
The pictures will follow. However, it is now time to finish unpacking the suitcase and to shake the sand out of just about everything. I'll be back soon, after I get the laundry started. I do also want to sort through the seashells we collected.