Sunday, December 16, 2012

Melaque, 24 years later

By Rob

In my 3rd year of engineering school I took a semester off to go sailing in Mexico.  I had met the owners of the Formosa 50 named Climax at Avalon harbor in the Channel Islands as they were making their way South.  We hit it off and when the opportunity to join them came up I jumped on it.

Mom and Dad were a bit freaked out and thought I may never return and complete my last year of school.  They were cautiously supportive and we kept in regular contact via the Ham radio.

During the 5 months aboard I traveled from Cabo to LaPaz then across to Mazatlan and as far South as Zihuatanejo.

One of the places where we spent a lot of time and I have fond memories of is the town of  Melaque.
This town is just north, across the bay of Barra de Navidad.  In the last 24 year Barra has become a  destination for vacationers and boaters .   Melaque has changed some but remains a quaint working class town on the beach.

What has changed:
  • Bungalows - All the hotels in town call themselves Bungalows.  I haven't seen this anywhere else in Mexico but in Melaque there is a Bungalow for rent on every block.
  • Expats everywhere - You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Canadian.
  • Beach square moved - There used to be a town square right on the beach.  I think this prime spot became a Bungalow.
What hasn't changed
  • Soccer teams training on the beach - The soccer teams are very active in Melaque and they train on the beach every day.
  • School kids play in the waves - After school lets out the teachers bring the kids to the beach to play in the wave and goof off.
  • Fishing from shore - The local fisherman throw cast nets from the beach.  There is skill required!
  • Massage and Nail places - Not happening in 1988
  • Victoria Beer - The local brew is called Victoria.   I bought a few yesterday and honestly didn't like it that much.
BTW, I did return to school and aced my last year of engineering school.  I lost track of the S/V Climax and wonder how far they got down the coast.

Now I feel some sort role reversal, with Nancy and I on Shindig, I see a little bit of myself in some of the young crew that came down on the Baja Haha.

Skilled fisherman throw cast nets

I think is where the beach square was back in

Margarita time in Melaque

Canadians enjoying the beach.  Shindig in the anchorage.
A view of the anchorage from a palapa restaurant.

I don't remember massages in town (1988) - but Nancy is happy about this

Crazy awesome ribs at Tacos Scooby.  I love Scooby Snacks.

On the Melaque bus

Fire in Barra.  Never did find out if this was a controlled fire at the dump or not.... We could see the flames from 3 miles away in Melaque

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