by Barbara Eller
Today I want to take you to Mahahual to meet some of my friends.
We like going to Paraiso for breakfast; Adriana and her husband, Reggie, always greet us with smiles and open arms. That is what I like about this place—everyone you meet gives you a hug and a kiss. After a delicious breakfast, we continue down the road to the Mahahual Hotel. Enter the courtyard, and to the right you find Bucaneros del Caribe, the dive shop where I help out when they get a large number of divers from the cruise ships. Jorge and his brother Arturo run the shop and Carlos is their dive master.
In the next block we find Fernando’s "100% Agave" restaurant. If you want to eat where the locals eat, then you go to Fernando's. We met him about four years ago during our vacation and he has become a great friend. The food there is great, and there is always a new drink he has just concocted. He also has a little shop across the street that is like a convenience store for odds and ends.
A couple doors down we come to a grocery store, El Primo's. It's not anything like the supermarkets in the States; it's much smaller in size, probably 15 X 15 feet, without a large selection of items as you are used to having. You will always find potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and garlic in the bins. A few fresh vegetables are in the refrigerators and canned veggies are limited to corn, peas, or mixed. Most food in México is prepared from scratch, so you won't find anything instant or ready-to-heat-&-eat as you do in the States. You ask for meat by the kilo and receive it frozen in a plastic bag. You can always get fresh fish from the local fishermen.
Let's head over toward the water and walk along the Malecón (similar to a boardwalk) and see what we can find there. All along the Malecón you find souvenir shops, hotels, and restaurants, with a grocery store or real estate office tucked in among them. When closed, they look like lock-&-storage places with roll-down doors. You can find some nice things in these shops—whatever memento you would like to take home, from T-shirts, jewelry, clothing, hand-painted glasses and dishes, wind chimes, to blankets and more.
Look up ahead and we see Philippe and Paulino, as they walk in front of the restaurants and invite people to stop and eat on the beach. It's a perfect day to be on the beach, a warm 85 degrees, sunny, with not a cloud in the sky. The blues and greens of the sea sparkle, like someone threw a handful of diamonds over the water. There are some swimmers and a few snorkelers. Dive boats are tied to the dock and fishing boats are pulled up onto the beach. Fishermen with the catch of the day are cleaning the fish, as birds circle overhead waiting for scraps to be tossed away.
We are passing the Port Master's office; he is at the window watching the boats, and waves when he sees us. Almost next door to him is the Italian ice cream shop, one place that is a "must stop" to try a different flavor each time. Hmmmm, excuse me while I run in here ... I will be right back.
Now we are coming to The White Horse Hotel/Restaurant. It is a beautiful new hotel with an ocean view. Tina and her sister, Connie, run the place and are lots of fun. They have a small pool on the roof with tables and chairs, which is a great place to spend the evening with friends.
These are just a few friends and places; in another newsletter I’ll introduce you to more of them.
Till then …