January 11, 2009

Watching tourists getting too close to the crocodiles

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - Our trip to the big city - La Manzanilla - included driving out past where the crocodile lagoon spills out almost to the beach, where we went to check out a screened in room that was offered for sale on the La Manzanilla message board.

We thought the screened room might make a nice addition to some of the other temporary structures already in place.

But as we drove up, I thought for a moment I might get to file a story with Reuters, the story Mexico City Bureau Chief Alistair Bell has told me to be alert for: "Tourists Eaten by Huge Crocodile."

Couple checks out crocodile
Getting a little too close

Getting croc in focus
Watching the camera, not the croc

We stopped and chatted with the young couple in the top photo, who seemed quite surprised that we were at all concerned. They asked where they could buy some fish heads to throw to the other crocs swimming in the water. The Admiral diplomatically suggested that feeding the crocs is not a good idea.

In addition to the lunker getting all the photographic attention, several other crocs were lounging near the water's edge, a few feet from the path. The water in that part of the lagoon - right behind Valentina's Restaurant - was swirling with croc activity just below the surface.

Crocodile closeup
Is this where I pick up lunch?

We returned to Arroyo Seco with three new large hamacas, which will serve as sleeping quarters for some of our guests in February. We bought them at Linda Mandala's, where the folks who make them come annually to sell the hammocks and chairs. The hammocks are soooo comfortable, I might even sleep in one on a hot night, provided we have our mosquito netting in place. The weave on them is very tight, so after a nap, you don't look like you have slept in a waffle maker.

Admiral at rest
Admiral checks out the new hammock

Although the palapa floor isn't done, we did have our first mini-fiesta on it and then traversed the street to Chez Chena - Chena's taco stand across the street - for dinner with our Tenacatita friends and neighbors Mario and Sharon, nephew Nate and his mom Beth and special guests, the Maestro (of our current shower and bano project) and his son Antonio.

As I write this, the Maestro and Antonio are out chipping concrete and working until noon - on a Sunday - before they take a couple of days off to return to Sayula to be back with their family.

Chez Chena opens most Thursdays thru Saturdays from about 7 p.m. until people stop ordering.

After we inhaled about 35 tacos and retired back to the palapa, Chena stayed open for another two hours.

At Chez Chena
After dinner at Chez Chena in Arroyo Seco

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