Tropical beaches are amazingly similar - white sand, blue sea, palm
trees. If you are in Mexico, add a few palapas and hammocks if the
place is inhabited and not yet "developed". Either way,
the photos on your computer all start looking the same and they all
look like ads. What is startling, however, is the Pacific Ocean which
is never the same. (This only counts as an insight for someone who
grew up on the dependable beaches of Long Island and lived on the
even more consistent Mediterranean.) The Pacific is more than half
the world and geologically unstable. A distant storm, an earthquake
or volcano many leagues under the sea, thousands of miles away, can
send large swells on a sunny, windless day and knock you off your
feet or get you running for your surfboard.
On our first visit to Agua Blanca, Jorge Guerra and Rosa Arreola and
I went to that part of the beach that is open sea and waded out to
a submerged sandbar where we played monkey-in-the-middle with volleyball.
Then we walked to the rocks where tidal pools form and little children
splash in a few inches of calm water. A few weeks later I stood where
those children had played and was pushed over backwards by waves rushing
in between those rocks that took the sand from under my feet. This
time the water was so cold that we didn't even attempt to enter the
waters not trapped by the boulders.
One eats well in Agua Blanca. Not cheaply, but well. On our first
trip, we had lobster fresh from the sea for 120 pesos at the furthest
restaurant from the rocks. It was superb. The next time we tried one
of the restaurants on the main strip of around a half a dozen eateries,
most closed on a weekday, and had equally fresh oysters, 100 pesos
a dozen. We even saw oysters in the water. Agua Blanca is also very
hygienic. The bathrooms are on the other side of the road from the
beach in cement structures. Everything is new, including the large
house (or small hotel?) being built there.
A smaller, more secluded beach can be found in Puertecito. The attractions
is a rocky cove, a small restaurant and, as we saw, the possibility
of camping under the trees. But the 3 km dirt road is not gentle.
It was a 45-minute drive and there were no oysters, because the sea
was to rough for the oystermen, but a good time was had by all. It
was a Sunday, there were a fair amount of people, including folks
from Puerto, and there was a kind of relaxed, party vibe. We got there
at noon, went in the water, played dominoes - we had brought a set
with us - while we waited for lunch, and then took naps in the well-used
hammocks. Then another dip and more dominoes and conversation with
other visitors and with some local children.
The sea was as frisky as it had been in Agua Blanca, but it was a
lot warmer. The tide was just starting to come in and we could wade
out a fair distance as the waves hit us from left and right. I got
hit hard in the stomach by a wave in two feet of water and there is
a strong rip tide. Towards sunset, the waves got bigger and a group
of surfers appeared from Puerto.
The turn-off for Roca Blanca takes you through the village of Cacalote
and then through a wooded area. One unusual sight is the fiscus trees
that grow around, and eventually consume, the coconut palms. Roca
Blanca is also famous for its evangelical mission center, affiliated
with the Victory Bible Institute of Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you reach
the mission, you've taken the wrong turn for the beach.
Getting there: The turn-off for Agua Blanca is at the 172 km marker,
on Highway 200, going east towards Pochutla, 30.6 km from Puerto.
The one km dirt road to the beach is in excellent condition. Puertecito
is a few kilometers before the Agua Blanca turn-off; the 3 km dirt
road is rather bumpy. The turn-off for Roca Blanca is 37.5 km from
Puerto heading west towards Rio Grande. The 2 km dirt road takes you
through the village of Cacalote.
Sol de la Costa, May 2008