click all images to enlarge
Not parking or traspassing! (Limpio=clean)
Greetings from San Pancho!
The travellers inspect murals depicting the history of San Francisco/San Pancho
San Pancho is a very small town, with a stunningly clean and tiny town center (a/k/a El Centro). There are several art galleries, mercados, the usual restaurants, wonderfully architected plazas, and good vibrations all around. There were few people and almost no tourists around. The town is full of interesting plantings, buildings, and sculpture. La playa is gorgeous and virtually empty. There is a ferocious surf. Today the lifeguard stand (a first for me--there are usually no lifeguards anywhere) flew a red flag, meaning "stay very close to shore." The lifeguards didn't even wear bathing suits...just jeans and t-shirts. They eschewed the tower and sat on their All-terrain vehicles. Unlike Bucerias, located on the Bay of Banderas (as is Puerto Vallarta), San Pancho is directly on the Pacific. The beaches, whole gorgeous, are not nearly so swimmer-friendly as the beaches a few miles south, where you curve into the bay.
a section of the San Pancho beach
Up the coast, in between patches of beach and jungle, are some smaller towns and villages. Some have been developed with "resorts" and "gated communities." Most, however, are smaller and more sleepy than Bucerias. Today we traveled by bus to San Pancho (its real name is San Francisco, although I've never heard it actually called that..it seems mainly to have that nomenclature solamente on maps). I've only been as far up as Sayulita (a town known for its surfing) before now.
Senor Daveed sneaks into the resort pool (note the film crew
in the background).
We walked along the nearly deserted beach about a mile to a resort butted up against a small mountain. There was a beachwear commercial being shot and we amused ourselves watching the cute men and women run through numerous takes. It looked like a major motion picture film crew.
Jack tries on a tourist hat
A few hours later, we strolled back up the beach, walked to the highway and caught the bus for the harrowing ride back to Bucerias, passing three cars and semis at a time, and generally staying away from the sheer cliff falling away to our right.
Mexican gentlemen playing dominoes in El Centro. You have to click on this photograph to enlarge, and see these faces that capture the heart and soul of this wonderful country.
Map of the Nayarit coastline
We went shopping at the fruit store and Mini Super, and came home to Casa Andrea. We drank Ron con tonic y limon and caught up on the news (where it looks like Bill Clinton has single-handedly removed the wheels from Hillary's campaign) as I stewed pork shoulder with oregano, comino, garlic, onions, salt, pepper, poblano, and sweet red chilis. Later I tossed in a pound of hominy and some fresh jugo de naranja, and we finished the day with posole, served with cabbage, radishes, limon (limes), radishes, more oregano and onions. Posole is more or less the Mexican version of Pho Bac.
Senor Daveed and Mo strike a winsome pose, in hopes
of being drafted for the swinsuit commercial
We sat at our table by the pool (where we've eaten dinner every night), and drank Pacificos and red wine, and finished off the camarone y chorizo y pollo paella I made last night. And then we settled in to watch The Godfather (or as we we extreme fans call it, One). Fifty minutes in, Keelin, Senor Daveed, and Mo all fell out. I shut it off (after all, I have seen it maybe 30 times) and wrote this. We'll resume it tomorrow night just after the assassination attempt on Don Corleone, as Michael makes his bones and escapes to Italy after murdering Virgil Solozzo and Captain McLuskey.