I pulled back the morning dew dampened, nylon motorcycle cover on my bike and could see that everything was where I had left it. We were on the road by 8am this glorious morning, enjoying the gentle sweeping curves of the road that were sprinkled by the morning sunlight eager to make it to La Manzanilla. We hit several choppy dirt sections where the road works was full on. Kev and I started seeing if we could get all of the roadwork hombres to wave to us as we passed through. It was a fun game that kept me smiling and eager to get one up on Kev…which I did! "I got a wave from the guy on the digger in the ditch, did you?" I radioed Kev. "Damn, missed that one!", he replied…Yeah you can bet I was grinning! :)
We were notified that there was no petrol station or bank in La Manzanilla and filled up in the town prior. The turn off to Coconuts was the same entrance to Los Angeles Locos, a monitored private pebbly road that let us up and around the mountain towards the steep off canter down hill dirt driveway into Coconuts. Wow, I would hate to ride this wet I thought. Just a little rain could spell a bit of trouble for us getting out…but at least we made it in! We were told to honk when we arrived, so I honked my horn and Alejandro magically appeared at the wrought iron gates. Yes…Alejandro….Ale, Ale, Ale..jandro a very nice hombre, with a name that is a lot of fun to say! …ja ja ja
Alejandro helped us unload the bikes and led us down the garden pathway that opened up onto beautifully manicured grounds overlooking the ocean…Wow, what an amazing sight…what an amazing find! Alejandro showed us up to the Mint Julep where we quickly settled in. We had an open air kitchen, shared a comfy living area with a cat named Taco, and a open aired toilet and shower that overlooked the ocean and jungle. The bedroom was enclosed with large windows facing out towards the open living area and spectacular view beyond. I peeled off my sticky sweaty riding gear and hung it up in the outside dresser, rinsed off in the open air shower and changed into a skirt, t-shirt and thongs. Ahh… that feels much better! Now that I am trying out, a four season suit to ride in…the warmer weather can make the suit feel like a sauna at times. Kev and I packed our day pack with our kindles, headlights and bug spray and headed down the Saltillo paved staircase. "How far is La Manzanilla town from here?", I asked Alejandro. "See that town in the distance, that is it, about 8 kilometers away", he replied "About a 40 minute walk, or you can ride a bike when the tide is out", Alejandro said. "Before you go, let me show you where the iguanas are", he said. Kev and I followed Alejandro over to the next property. He slightly dismantled and pushed down the barbed wire gate that was at the entrance of a bridge over a brackish river. Kev and I stepped over the barbs and onto the bridge. Alejandro pointed out several huge colorful iguanas resting on the limbs of the mangrove trees above the river. He also spotted a 3 meter salty awkwardly basking on the steep muddy banks of the river. As soon was the croc felt our presence he immediately plunged into the water and kept an eye on our doings. Fantastic!
Kev and I headed off down the beach towards the small township of La Manzanilla. We did not realize that Coconuts was this far from town, but really enjoyed the walk…I think that we will be doing this daily which is awesome! As we walked by the colorful beach umbrella studded sandy restaurant fronts we are keeping an eye out for Jolanda's, a restaurant/bar that or Aussie friends Ken and Carol frequent. We find Jolanda's, kick back order a drink and wait for our friends. Ken and Carol eventually show up, surprised that we finally have arrived. We watch the magnificent sunset then spend the balance of the evening enjoying a meal, drinking and visiting. Later that night we caught a cab back to our tree bungalow excited about all of the new information we had absorbed from our friends!
Taco is curled up on the couch as I saunter from the bedroom. I am enjoying him hanging with us. I grab my ground espresso coffee and little percolator, fill it with the bottled water that Coconuts has supplied us and brew our morning coffee. Before leaving Jolanda's last night, Kev and I picked up a few groceries from the dusty little market across the street….8 eggs, a nice hunk of chorizo sausage that I pointed to where I wanted the hombre to cut, a couple of tomatoes, 2 avocados, 2 onions, 4 limes, 1 cucumber, and a small block of cheese…just enough for a couple days of brekky and nibbles. I made up some salsa fresco, chorizo, eggs and avocado and we enjoyed our brekky watching the morning bird life buzz the palm tree tops. Taco also enjoyed his eggs!
Today we walked back into La Manzanilla with finding a place to stay first and foremost on our mind. We have paid for 3 nights at Coconuts, but it is not practical for us to stay longer. Kev and I consulted with a couple of vacation rental/real estate businesses, visited several properties and made an executive decision. We would rent the house in town that was only available for 2 weeks, even though we were hoping for 4 weeks. Our housing choice places us one block from the beach and main street, across the street from the town Vet, includes a lap pool, a secure garage, a washer and dryer, weekly maid service, bottled water, is close to the Spanish school, has free wifi and air-conditioning in the bedroom. All this is still in our budget….Unbelievable…now to celebrate. I must admit that I will miss Coconuts with the odd baby gecko in the shower, their night chirp and pushup dance of bigger geckos, Taco the cat, the beautiful manicured flowering gardens, the fantastic beach views, open aired showers, colorful tropical butterflies and hummingbirds, and the forced 8 k walk into town!