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Mexican Surfing and a Volcano

Written on: Monday January 14th, 2008

A journal entry from: Camping Mexico


Alayna and I woke up the morning of January 10th, 2008 at Barra De Nexpa, otherwise known as Rio Nexpa, just a few feet from the crashing surf. I proceeded to make coffee and tea upon my awakening and was overcome with the sensation that we were on my parents? sailboat back in the North Channel of Lake Huron in Ontario. The temperature, wind, and smell all contributed to setting in which if we closed our eyes it was very conceivable that we were in the cockpit of Bliss. We have decided this morning that indeed we will try and make our annual pilgrimage to the sweet water sea in which our boat sails.

We have both been adjusting to our journey southward since we left Alaynas family on the 5th back in Barra De Navidad. It feels like a vacation has ended, this would be a vacation within a vacation, as our travels are much different from what we had been participating in back in Barra. Dinners out, drinks at sunsets, lounging around with everyone, and laughter amongst the group made our stay in Barra one to remember. The feeling was accentuated when the two of us immediately proceeded inland to Colima city for a night and a visit to the volcanoes there. The coast has a much more soothing and comforting feel that the interior does, although the interior we visited was extremely scenic and beautiful.

Over the last week we have been making our way slowly along the coast towards Ixtapa where we meet Alaynas parents on the 19th. The Mexican coastline between Manzanillo and Ixtapa is full of famous surf breaks. I have had the opportunity to surf at Pascuales, La Ticla, and Rio Nexpa during this time.

Pascuales has definitely been my favorite surfing of the trip. The set waves were overhead when I arrived and there was about 40 people spread out along the beach. I thought that I would not get many rides as the quality of surfing here is much higher than back home, however, everyone catches waves regularly which means there is a high turnover at the peak. The town of Bocca De Pascuales is nothing impressive, several restaurants and dingy hotels with room for camping line the beach. The usual Mexican beach front palapa restaurants are abundant and empty as usual. The town of Tecoman (sp?) which is only a few minutes drive away has a Soriana where we were able to get all of the food we needed.

Futher south, at km 183 of Mex 200, is the town of La Ticla. The camping here is ideal and very nice for surfers. We camped on the beach just in front of the river mouth for 30 Pesos each amongst surfers from B.C. and the USA (you must specify United States of America here because Mexico is the United States of Mexico therefore the US does not satisfy the Mexicans). La Ticla is a great spot and I am sure to return on short surf trips in the future. There are many peaks to take off at and the waves is sizable and fun although not as powerful as Pascuales.

We have come to a town called Troncones which is mostly owned by gringos. There are few places to access the beach from the main road here, almost all of the property on the waterfront has been snatched up by Norte Americanos and little is for public use. Alayna and I drove north along a single lane dirt road to a beach called La Salidad through palm groves, rivers, beaches, and farms. When we turned the corner to come into a little Pueblito (sp?) (small village) we were confronted with a large Coke truck. Coke seems to be the only brand which has permeated the remote Mexican coast. The truck and driver are guarded by a man with a fully automatic assault riffle incase some of the indigenous people feel the urge to grab something from them.

We camped on the beach here at Troncones last night and were greeted by some friendly people from back home. Mitch has been here in Mexico for 12 years now (back to Canada three times the whole time) and has offered us a good deal on some accommodations in town. This afternoon, after sitting poolside, reading a book, and taking Alaynas surfboard in to be fixed Mitch took us to feed a crocodile which lives in the lagoon behind our place. Frozen chicken was the meal being offered and Champion was glad to swallow it up with little hesitation.


It?s Monday morning, about 8:15, and I?m sitting poolside in my bikini with my new best amigo (a kitten named Gorge) sipping peppermint tea. You could say I?m quite content.

Last week we decided to detour from the coast for a couple of days to head up into the mountains nearing Colima City. En route to the city we made a point of locating the El Salto water fall, which boasts two 10 meter drops into a pool which then flows downstream where the water has cut sharply through the rock leaving two tall cliffs on either side. For a small fee, we jumped in and floated downstream in the most beautiful fresh water we have encountered on this trip. I can only liken the temperature, cleanliness, and clarity to the water in the North Channel. However, there was a massive open pit mine just a kilometer away, and of course I had to make a comment to Colin regarding the where abouts of all the acid mine tailings?floating down this river, perhaps? I sure hope not.

We spent the night camped out on the outskirts of Colima City, and woke early the next morning as we were headed for the most active volcano in Mexico; the smoke and lava spewing Volcan de Colima, and it?s inactive, snow-capped partner the Nevado de Colima. We were teased by the Volcan de Colima that night as it was smoking and letting off some steam while we ate dinner.

Surprisingly, there is a road that winds up the volcano to about 3500 meters. At that altitude the geography changes drastically, and Colin and I felt more like we were in the interior of BC than in the interior of Colima. The pleasant smell of the pine trees was a nice taste of home.

We met an inspiring (and indefatigable) Mexican named Pepe, who was 73 years old (you?d never know). He was an Olympic gymnast, and professional tennis player (top in the country). We hiked the 5 km route to the 4000 meter lookout point with him and later exchanged email addresses :)

We experienced one of the most poignant wildlife sightings so far on trip last night as we walked home from surfing along the beach. Right there at our feet were roughly one hundred baby sea turtles scampering along the beach, (running for their lives more likely) headed for the ocean. It was wonderful, and something I will never forget.


From Colin DL on Jan 14th, 2008

Looks like the fun continues. Do you plan on going past Puerto Escondito? SP?

From CJ on Jan 15th, 2008

It's hard not to miss mexico.... the surf and weather looks great. keep the photos coming. nice barel for ya hey!

From Kristin on Jan 15th, 2008

If you can get to Puerto Escondito do it, it's an amazing spot. I'm sure you're both really needing beautiful beaches right now...or not. Great pics of the Valcano. Can't wait for the next post.

From Deb & Jere on Jan 25th, 2008

Great to read of your continuing adventures! Cold and snowing here in Montana, sometimes we wonder why we came home...