Saying goodbye to Sandy, Ellie and Kate, we set off from Rancho Buganvillias early. We planned to roll at 08.00, but it was 08.30 by the time we were on the road.
We had been warned the road was winding and narrow. It was certainly winding, but coming from the UK and New Zealand, we didn’t find it narrow. Luckily we had no holdups behind heavily loaded coconut trucks. The drive was beautiful climbing up through the forest. Creepers, flowers, a multitude of colours and a variety of butterflies. Climbing high above the beach we caught glimpses of the ocean from time to time.
Stopping for a look at Playa Maruata, we passed a sow tethered to a palm tree with 6 or 7 piglets on our walk to the beach. Fascinating for the children. An attractive beach surrounded by steep cliffs, but very dangerous looking water. This was the centre beach. There are 3 altogether. One, to the east, crescent shaped with golden sand and gentle waves suitable for swimming and another, to the west, named Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the dead) because of the very dangerous currents and fierce waves.
Back on highway 200, after a while the road flattened and straightened out and faster progress was made. Apart from through the villages, where the topes (speed bumps) are a total pain. Here we passed through many areas where the forest had been cleared and the ground was being prepared for planting. The main crop seems to be papaya, with some coconut plantations as well. Also some brahmin cows being kept in enclosures.
Arriving at our hoped for destination, Barra de Nexpa, we drove in to check the camping out. A number of campers of all varieties and nationalities were scattered among the trees. This is surfer country. The campsite was grassy and located next to a river estuary and the ocean. It looked ideal. The owner advised there was a lovely freshwater pool in the river mouth for the children to swim in and Tim and Sarah could practice their surfing along the beach.
We set up next to the river under some shady trees, away from the tall, swaying coconut palms. Once set up we all went for a swim, play in the waves or surf. I preferred the estuary pool to the waves and played there with the children. Their attention was soon diverted by a local family. The husband was fishing with large net. Jason and Charley were fascinated by the fish and helped remove them from the net and transfer them to a bucket.
Opposite us in the estuary was a small island covered in bird life. Herons, egrets, pelicans, coots and turkey vultures to name a few. While on the beach we watched different types of herons and egrets at the river mouth dexterously caching tiny fish.
Back at camp, a cold beer and then a simple dinner of omelette and salad. As it gets dark so early, and we were up early, it was early to bed hoping for, but not anticipating, a cooler night.