took 5 hours to arrive in Acapulco where we purchased our
110 Peso tickets to Marquelia. Reaching this dusty town
4 hours later, we were hot, tired, thirsty and needed to
find a hotel room.
Fortunately, we were dropped off in the center of town
with hotels on both sides of the road. Lodging is basic
here. For the most part rooms are clean, beds are firm,
but check the bathrooms before you agree to a room if a
toilet seat on the commode is a priority. In this part
of the world it is common for hotels not to
provide you with the comfortable seat, as it is a
favorite place for scorpions to hide out.
that's a soothing thought.
next morning was Sunday, and there was a food market
going on. We love seeing these displays of local
culture. It is
as though we are living first-hand in a National Geographic world.
So after a breakfast in the marketplace of
Huevos Mexicana - a scrambled version of Huevos
Rancheros - we took time for discovery.
Elote is a staple here in Mexico and
right here is a truck
load! It is eaten roasted over an open fire with
crema and grated cheese melting over the kernels.
Yummy! Sometimes the elote is made into a
bread-cake which is like a sweet, chewy bread pudding.
Definitely worth trying.
Notice the pile of papayas in the lower left corner.
Markets are a great place to see what is going on in a
town. The abundance of fresh food, pastries, cheeses,
embroidered clothes and other items for sale can give
you insight into the town itself.
have plenty of time, day is just breaking.
Mangos, sweet and plentiful. Prices vary from 8 Pesos to
14 Pesos a kilo, about 32-56 U.S. cents a pound.
These gathering markets is
the place to purchase your food for the week. Prices are
competitive and the whole neighborhood comes out to
bargain and buy.
to catch up on the latest news!
tiny bananas are very sweet and delicious. They are a
bit more in price than the larger platanos also
found in the market. Take a closer look at the rolled
and stacked banana leaves in this woman's wheelbarrow.
Banana leaves are used as plates, as 'to-go' containers
for food, and to wrap food items such as fish before
placing them on the grill These
leaves are also used extensively in
Thailand for both
cooking and displaying food.
Somewhere along our journey through the market I had
found a small, clear marble on the ground and put it in
my pocket. I figured I'd find a child somewhere today
and give the marble to him. A rare treasure, indeed...
again, aguas frescas. All over Mexico you will
find this delicious drink in large jars such as these.
The first jar on the left is horchata, made with
rice, sugar and cinnamon. The second jar is tamarind
agua made from the brown seed pods of the tropical
tamarind tree. The last jar is filled with fresas or
Refreshing and dee-licious!
you can see, I purchased an agua fresca and now
I'm looking at a locally produced sugar mound. We found
these sugar mounds all over
Ecuador made in
distinct shapes to reflect the style of each
village. In the lower left of this photo you can see sugar cane wrapped in
mounds are made from the juice of this sugar cane, which
is cooked until thick and poured into molds. A
refreshing drink made with the sweet juice compressed
from the cane and topped with a squeeze of lime is a
must - at least once - to try.
lady in this photo looks as though she doesn't know what
to make of me. Who knows what she is thinking?
Whatever it is, I don't think I've passed muster.
on the coast of Mexico and the menu is seafood!
And so fresh!
are plenty of fish to choose from today's catch.
you prefer, fresh chicken!
chickens were probably running around the courtyard
earlier in the morning. When I see chickens like this in
the marketplace it reminds me of Sunday visits
with my grandparents. Many a time we'd go to Grandma's
and there would be a big pot of chicken soup on the
stove with chicken feet sticking out the top! Coming
from my suburban home, it was like visiting another
Another time, some family friends decided they wanted to
buy a farm and raise chickens and fresh produce. Problem
was, they had never killed a chicken before! To the
rescue! My Grandfather was called in to help. He chased
the chickens around and well... you know, ... did the
rest. But it surely helped me learn where my food came
from, and it wasn't from packages and boxes in the
woman is selling textiles made into blouses like the one
she is wearing. She might also have shawls,
baby-wraps, or a tablecloth.
often see women carrying items on their heads in the
tropics. It is efficient, distributes the weight and allows the vendor to carry
more items to sell.
is trying to get me to learn how to do this balance act
so that I can carry his gear. Yeah, nice try, Honey!
much of market day is socializing along with the
exchange of goods and, of course, local news and
woman is selling dried chiles on her plastic cloth
display. Chiles are basic fare in the food of southern
climates, packed with vitamin C and helps to burn fat
cells. Not only that, but chiles aid ridding our
bodies of toxins, waste and creates better circulation.
Health food from centuries past!
Viva los chiles!
quick trip to an inside section of the market.
love photographing the local population. While this
woman has collected many years, she still dresses in
bright colors - mismatched patterns in the traditional tropical
didn't want to spend all day at the market, and
were told about a beach, Playa La Bocana, 2.5
off we go to discover the local way of life. This man
peers from the front door of his wooden home. It is
doubtful he sees many foreigners in these parts.
our walk to the beach, we
were surprised to find - out in the middle of nowhere,
really - this school for internet systems study.
They have about 100 students who come here every
Saturday and Sunday to learn about computers so they can
improve their futures. Since the door was open, we
walked in. We chatted with the teachers and were also
able to use their internet for half an hour.
caught a ride with the driver of a water truck who dropped us off
directly at Playa La Bocana.
were lots of palapa restaurants there selling food. We
wanted to walk around a bit before stopping for lunch.
Each restaurant owner beckoned us in to their
establishment. The menu? Fish, fish, fish!
We took a look at several places to stay for the night
right on the beach, but they were a little rough -at
least for my tastes. Billy said he'd be happy to stay in
most any of the cabanas we viewed. Many had 2
beds, fan and running water, but since this was the
tropics, mold was growing pretty
thick on some of the walls. And, as was traditional
here, no one had seats on their
toilets. Rooms went for 150 - 300 pesos per night, about
$12 - $24 U.S.D.
cleanest and most well-maintained establishment was one called
Corazon de la Costa and was associated with the
hotel in town of the same name. Just call there to
reserve a room on the beach. Senora Margarita Marcial
Graciano runs a tight ship and the place had
no trash within its borders. Cabanas here were 200 pesos per night, rooms
were 300 per night. Fan only.
Here's the beach, with it's gentle rolling waves, easy
for swimming. There are hammocks at each of the
restaurants and you can park yourself there for the day
if you like. While hammock riding is free, one is
expected to purchase food or drink in the restaurant
providing the hammock.
That's a fair deal.
Posing for our camera, this fisherman proudly shows his
net to us.
a simple life and most of the village depend on the
fruits of the sea. This fisherman is throwing his net to
supply his restaurant with fish or to bring seafood home to
feed his family.
is the 'boca' part of the Playa de Bocana.
means mouth, and bocana indicates a river mouth.
Therefore this is the beach area where the river meets the
here you can throw a stone to the ocean which is located
to the right of this photo.
Palapa restaurants line the boca and the ocean, and it's
about time to choose one.
this walking around and watching others fish or swim has
made us hungry. Let's order lunch.
cerveza is traditionally served with coarse salt and fresh
limones - sweet limes. One will often see salt
accompanying drinks south of the border and in
Asia as well. It's the
local way of keeping their electrolytes balanced since
it is hot in the tropics and everyone is perspiring.
palapa basically has the same menu and the same view.
When we had arrived earlier, we chatted with a woman who
enticed us to come to her restaurant, claiming she was
2 young children, I found the perfect occasion to give
the clear marble I discovered at the morning market to
her son and promised we'd return for lunch. When we sat
down, he was still rubbing that clear marble between his palms.
It was a prize held dear! He had probably never seen
anything like it in his young life.
a relaxed view.
Nothing to do, nowhere to be, and the sounds of surf on
beautiful waitress bringing lunch.
restaurant makes their own corn tortillas, beginning
with cooking the maiz for hours beforehand. Big
pots of a heavy style corn similar to hominy are boiling
until they are tender between the fingers. After the
corn is drained and cooled, they grind it up, knead it
like bread dough and then pat them into tortillas.
has a favorite joke that he tells in each new city or
pueblo we visit and where tortillas are served. He
pretends to be rolling tortilla dough into a ball
between his palms - an action which they recognize right
away - and when he has their attention, he shoves the
imaginary dough under his armpit and clamps it down --
producing the tortilla!
women just roared over his joke, which is just what
people here are poor by our standards, but we’ve never heard such
honest laughter from deep inside their bodies. This
laughter renews our connections as humans and is the
perfect example that you don’t need much money to be
Huachinango, or red snapper, for 80 Pesos.
receive a full plate with freshly made hot tortillas, black beans, salad and
lunch we caught a taxi that comes regularly to and from the beach for 5 Pesos
per person. He dropped us off at El Centro, which was
about 1/4 kilometer to the left
of our hotel.
we're off to our next destination, another beautiful
are 5 different beaches within easy distance of Marquelia
*Playa La Bocana the local beach 3 km from town
which is 10 minutes from Marquelia
,*Playa Las Penitas
which is 15
minutes from the town center
*Playa Barra de Tecanapa
where 80% of the inhabitants do their fishing, and is about 25
minutes from town, and
*Playa Barra de Tila
which is20 minutes
you want to see some waterfalls, Cascadas de Chapultepec
about 40 minutes from town towards the city of Acapulco.
Sunday market gathers on Calle Italia across from
the El Dorado Hotel.