In the morning and with daylight I got a chance to take a look at my surroundings. Jolanda and Leon have a few cabanas circled around a small pool with an outdoor kitchen, surrounded by fruit trees and a garden. It's really lovely.
View from my veranda.
I made myself some coffee (first time using my stove on the trip) while taking in the sunshine and the beautiful surroundings. The place was full with the group from the previous night and we spent the morning telling stories and relaxing. Then it was off to town for brunch and the beach.
The next few days were an exercise in relaxation and recuperation. I lay out on the beach (and finally got some color), hung out at Jolanda's restaurant and generally vacationed in a traditional manner.
Ken and Carol are a non-stop motorcycle story resource with Ken mostly telling the stories (and Carol serving as external memory for the details) and I learned all kinds of interesting things from them on topics ranging from Carnet de Passages to the Dakar (which I knew very little about before this). The food at Jolanda's is fantastic and the company couldn't be better (well, I guess there could have been a few more beautiful women my age there... I'm just sayin').
La Manzanilla is bordered by a swamp to the north, and that swamp is full of gators. Randy and I made a small trek over to see them. There's a “preserve” that charges 10 pesos to get in, with the proceeds going to maintain the beach and protect the gators. Some of the gators were huge (over 12 feet long). After a visit to the gators we got some of the best fish tacos I've ever had (especially once you get the chipotle sauce on them) at a truck on the corner of the main street.
Crocs (not the shoe).
As we're basically heading to the same place, it made sense for Randy and I to travel together. This arrangement will last for the foreseeable future. I think this trip will be even more fun with good company. Before Spencer and Mary left they invited us to their house for New Year's Eve and we decided to head that way on the 31st. They have a house across the street from the beach in Manzanillo and I could not think of a better place to celebrate the coming of the new year.