Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Neon Crosses and Devil Birds

San Blas was a beach town we had heard about from a couple of people as being beautiful and Jill had also read about it in a couple of travel books. It is a few hours from Mazatlán and once you get off the highway, the 30 some kilometers to the town turns into lush mountainous rainforest with a lot of mango fields.

The town is rather small and seems to have converted over the past 20 years from a lazy fishing town into one of those off-the-beaten-path towns that expats like to live in. After driving through town, we ended up at a hostel a 5 minute walk from the beach and 2 blocks from the main plaza. We were able to talk the grandmotherly owner down to 250 pesos a night and stayed for 2 days. We headed for the plaza right away to get some mariscos.

Then we were off to the beach to catch sunset.

Then back into town to grab some beers for the hostel. We were able to hang out on top of the building and this was our view from there. We don´t really know the story behind the neon crosses, but are pretty sure that the neon cross church beats the one beside it.

After a few beers we were beat and ready for bed. Our room did not have airconditioning but did have a ceiling fan that was supposed to help with the heat. It didn´t help much. The night was really, really hot and we ended up taking cold showers and getting into bed without drying off just to be cool for a few minutes. We both slept rather fitfully and as soon as the sun came up we had an additional obstacle to our sleep - the devil birds that were located in the lobby of the hostel, about 10 feet from our room. When we had first checked into the hostel, we thought the birds were a cool touch. Little did we know they would become our nemesis as they squawked, cooed, screeched and made other very loud bird noises until we finally gave up and got out of bed at 9.

At least it got us to the beach earlier than we otherwise would have. On the walk to the beach we found the best banana chocolate muffin ever, and still warm, for only 7 pesos (about 50 cents). The beach is really nice with very soft sand. It is lined with rustic restaurants and surf lesson shops and places to camp. We would recommend checking out Stoners if you want to camp and surf. Mike decided he wanted to take a lesson and we were amazed to hear that it was only 150 pesos (less than $15) for a 2 hour lesson. They told us to come back at 5 when the surf would be better for beginners. So we walked back into town and had some more seafood. The town has a really relaxed feel that has a good mix of authentic Mexican stuff and expat hippy stuff. Unfortunately, San Blas seems to have been hit by the same lack of tourism that Mazatlán has because there were a lot of commercial buildings for rent or sale all over town. Seriously, come to Mexico for your vacation! We promise that the vast majority of Mexico is safe, especially the tourist areas, and you can get great deals on everything.

When we went back for the surf lesson, we were dissapointed to find out that the surf had turned a little dangerous for a beginner lesson, so we were not able to surf. We are sure we will have other opportunities soon. Other than that small dissapointment and the devil birds, we absolutely loved San Blas and could definitely see ourselves going back to stay for awhile.

(mural on walk from hostel to beach)

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