April 1, 2010

Semana Santa comes to Arroyo Seco - and brings beach volleyball

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - Holy week in Mexico (Semana Santa), and the week following, are vacation time for virtually everyone in this nation and, of course, they flock to the beach up and down the coast.

This year, the influx of people in Arroyo Seco has been less than in year's past. But still, our rancho has seen a marked increase in vacationistas, roaring motorcycles, and tents on the beach. Beer sales are brisk, too.

Several local families have opened up restaurants - just for the vacation period - and are doing a booming business in the evenings. The Admiral and I are declaring a moratorium on our cooking and are going to sample food around the village.

But today, just how much the normal routine has been disrupted hit me when the trash pickup guys didn't show up to haul off our basura... I suppose that means I may have to head off to the dump myself, or see if the composting garbage in my three garbage containers can make it another week.


Vacationistas in the surf at Arroyo Seco
Vacationistas in the surf at Playa Grande

We were sitting under a palapa by the laguna, enjoying ceviche Wednesday with neighbors Chena and Chon (and their extended family) when an amigo roared up on a moto and announced that there was a school of fish off the beach. Immediately, virtually everyone piled into a pickup truck and headed out to the south beach, where a fish called a Forel (sp?) was in abundance. The group pulled in a few, and local fisherman sold what they had already caught.

We watched some fisherman launch their small boat through some impressive surf, too, reminding us of when we did the same in years past, except usually with a powerful outboard motor strapped to the back of the boat. These guys had plastic paddles and made it look easy.

I expect the featured meal at lunch (and dinner) today in the restaurants will be Forel, cooked six different ways. And it probably will be delicious.

Cleaning the Forel
Cleaning the Forel

Fishing off the rocks
 Fishing off the rocks

Besides eating and chasing fish, some villagers broke out a volleyball net, putting it in place in front of our amigo Luis' restaurant on Playa Grande. (We are headed there for lunch again today, I think, provided he has shrimp as well as Forel on the menu.)

The volleyball got very spirited for about an hour and would have continued much longer except for the arrival of puesta del sol (sunset) and, perhaps even more important, a rising tide that started to edge across the sand volleyball court. Sand is one thing. Four inches of water, another.

Pink Flamingo CEO Laura Warner and surfer-dude and amigo Julien teamed up for several matches.

More games on tap for this afternoon, after lunch.

Volleyball team
Laura and Nena team up

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