One Saturday while staying in La Manzanilla, I decided to drive around Tenacatita Bay to see what had happened at Tenacatita since my last visit there. A few years ago there was a "land grab" by a wealthy and prominent attorney from Guadalajara. At that time, he not only bulldozed all the existing palapa restaurants, but also the homes that had been built by Canadians and Mexican nationals. A few hotels were lost in that massacre as well. Then he fenced the whole area with chain link fencing and posted guards!
I had driven down there shortly after when the guards were there but one had to leave your drivers license in order to go to the beach and so I went no further and left.
None of that is there now. The fencing is gone, but a few wandering guards, both private and for the government to oversee the private guards wander around, listlessly. No one approached me or my friends
who rode along with me.
Along for the ride was a delightful couple that I had recently met from Oregon. Recent retirees from teaching school, they were intrepid travelers and open for a mini-adventure.
After we took more photos and wandered around, I asked them if they would be interested in going further down the road to a place that I have wanted to check out called Tecuan. They said sure........so, off we
El Tecuan is about 9 kilometers off of Hwy 200. The road has been in disuse for the last eight years since the owner, General Barragan died. The road, the buildings, the airstrip are all in a great state of decay and destruction. Onward we went, however, on the road heading toward the beach until we came to a fence
and a guard shack.
We asked to enter and were told "No", that it was private property - all 900 hectares of it. The guards were very polite and seemed apologetic to say no.
I, of course, am driving my old Pathfinder with the Texas license plates. As I began to turn the car around, I leaned out my window and said I was so disappointed as I had come all the way from Texas to see this beach.
Never did it occur to me that this would have an impact on the guards. And, as I turned, one talked to the other and voila, they waved us on in and said we could stay in there til 6PM. It was now about 1:30PM or so. Woo hoo, off we went after thanking them profusely.
Oh my, it was an undisturbed paradise of mango trees, freshwater ponds, cattle, all kinds of unknown and exotic birds along with a tarantula the size of a bread plate that was walking across the road in front of our car.
We continued to drive until we got to the ocean. Off to our left was the former thirty-eight room hotel, tennis courts and swimming pool..........in no way usable built in the 50s or 60s.
It seems from what information I've been able to find that General Barragan was rewarded by the President of Mexico in the 1950's for distinguished service in the military with this magnificent piece of land. When the General passed on, his son inherited the property and had no interest in maintaining or doing anything with it but to use part of it for farming. It appears that Christie Real Estate has the listing of it for sale. I could not find a price or any more information. There are more photos on the listing page.
We took lots of photos. The first photo is looking south down the beach. The second photo is looking at
The rest of the photos are on the laptop computer that I had at the beach. I have tried and tried and tried
to transfer them to my desktop computer and the Picasa program on this desktop, to no avail. Sadly, because the beach looking north with big boulders was extraordinary.
As we rode around we just kept exclaiming, "Wow" and "Isn't this incredible?" Among other things.
Up north we came to a backwater pond from the ocean and in it was a roseate spoonbill, just one, and other creatures both flying and crawling. What a beautiful sight. You'll just have to take my word for it unless someone shows me how to get those darn photos from one computer to the other some day.
After a couple of hours or so, we headed merrily back without a care in the world. We had seen a beautiful abandoned paradise.
Up ahead, as we came around a little curve heading to the gate, there it was, LOCKED! I could not believe my eyes. Nope, no one around. Not a single person, except us. Where the fence and gate were was surrounded by a deep ditch filled with water and who knows what else. Let me assure you, none of
us would have gone into that ditch. So, I did what I've done before when out in the middle of no where
and needing assistance, I HONKED the horn of the car for quite a long time. I knew someone, somewhere would hear it - we had passed a village about 10 kilometers out on Hwy 200.
Just about that time a car drove up on the other side. They wanted to be where we were - inside the gate - and we of course wanted to be where they were - free. They were Canadians wanting to go to the beach.
We explained the situation to them but they were more intent on getting to the ocean then offering to assist
us so I went back and honked the horn again........loudly.
In a few minutes I heard a putt-putt-putt, a little motor bike with a man who was inside the fence on our side.
Immediately I noticed a twinkle in his eyes as he slowly got off the bike and started to walk over to the big lock on the gate and shook it for emphasis. Then he looked at me as I asked him if he had keys. No answer at first but then I saw the beginning of a teeny smirk as he pulled them out of his pocket and in perfect English said that he had keys. We all laughed, in relief.
It turns out he had been working back in the mango and cattle area on a tractor and heard my horn.
Otherwise, we might have sat there for many, many hours or sent the tourists on the other side to the village to find someone to get us out.
The savior of our little threesome said he was heading to his home in the village for comida. The tourists on the outside wanted him to let them in so they could go to the beach but he said no and they were not pleasant about their disappointment.
We thanked him profusely. I tried to hand him some money and he would not accept it. He just grinned at us and smiled. Of course, in retrospect, I would like to know his story and how he ended up living in this area and working on this land. Maybe another trip.
El Tecuan was worth the adventure. To see such a pristine, unspoiled part of the Pacific Coast of Mexico....was a great gift that I'll never forget.