Saturday, March 14, 2015

Barra de Navidad

Arriving in Barra through the narrow channel and spying the Grand Isla Hotel & Marina feels like returning home again. With our seasonal travels, we meet many of the same sailboats (and captains and crew) from same time last year.  
Staying at the docks of the Marina is like being a living part of the whole resort whose beauty is significantly enhanced by the boats and water.  Sound a little biased? In addition to integrating into the hotel guests' daily rhythms, the boaters have their own little community.  There is a daily cruisers' Net, dock parties, group dinners, and even some music jam sessions.  Also, the "French Baker" offers fresh croissants, baguettes, quiches and gourmet breads daily via his little motored panga, arriving before 9am to the marina first, then the neighboring anchorage. While we didn't indulge every day, it was fun hearing the frenzy of radio call outs to the French Baker. Almond croissants and baguettes are the most popular menu items. Other sailors choose to be in the nearby anchorage, which is just a short dinghy ride away.  All of us then access the town of Barra by either calling a water taxi or our own dinghys to the Hotel Sands, which is friendly to cruisers.
Being in Barra for 20 days gave us some breathing room to relax a bit more.  With the friends from Camp Tenacatita, we had lots of fun together and weathered a few rainy days with marathon card and game nights.

We were also waiting for our friends Katie and Mike from Pangaea to catch up with us.  Once they arrived, it was a fun week playing tour guides, showing them around both the hotel & marina area, and our favorite places in the towns of Barra and nearby Melaque.  

Sunshine on the Marina and Grand Isla Hotel in Barra de Navidad

The local fishing pangas near the entrance to the town of Barra 
View from town of Barra across to Grand Isla 

Girls Night Out:
Getting Dressed up to watch the Academy Awards

A typical street scene from favorite coffee (w/ Internet!) spot 

Valentine's Dinner at Antonio's in hotel
Colorful chicks for sale in the streets of Barra

 "Roadkill Chickens" for sale in Melaque
Clean Clothes from the local Lavanderia
(always a happy occasion aboard Shindig)
Our Hotel Room with a View 
It was hard to leave Barra once the weather window opened up, but nice to know we'd be returning in a month after the next adventure south.  Hasta Pronto!

View of the marina from the hotel
Shindig and others were on the Left most Dock

Pool Time with Katie and Mike (SV Pangaea)

A swell music jamming session on Shindig
Bob (SV Nirvanna), Katie and Nancy 

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