a story from Boca

Here’s a story from day two in Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico.

We decided to go for a hike. The sun hid behind a layer of clouds making it an ideal day to check out our surroundings while getting a little exercise. We set off in the early afternoon, crossed the Horcones River and began our trek through the jungle. The jungle here is still lush and green. It’s the tail end of the rainy season here and so, it’s not too hot, but hot nonetheless. The plan was to hike a couple of kilometres to a place called Colomitos.

The jungle trail is relatively well-groomed and winds its way along the coast heading inland here and there. There are a surprising number of haciendas along the way, most built up on the hillside. It’s a wonder how all the materials are brought in, a labourious feat to say the least. A few of these homes/hotels were for sale, even a couple of overgrown, hillside patches of jungle were being promoted as ‘opporunities’ for purchase. The tourism in this area seems to be able to support only a few of these jungle villas; about a third of them have been abandoned either part way through their construction or after a period of operation with dead plants decorating their crumbling cement balconies and rusted wrought iron barring the windows.

Saw lots of colourful butterflies, bananas ripe for picking and the biggest palms I’ve ever seen.Oh, and one giant dead snake. Brad thought it was fake. I said ‘Brad, why would it be fake? We’re in the jungle, where they live. Do you think someone wants to fools the touristas, or what?’ I think he just didn’t want to believe there are snakes that size around here. I was kinda hoping he was right. But on closer look, the ants and crabs feeding on it confirmed it was in fact a giant snake carcass, of what species I haven’t a clue, the giant kind.

Arriving in Colomitos was initially enchanting, a secluded beach with turquoise waters. We changed out of our sweat-soaked clothing, into our swimsuits and ran into the cool, almost warm, salt water. Aaah. A couple passed through with a ginormous black Great Dane. I got out of the water and was standing on the beach drying off with my sarong when this horse of a dog came over to me. Being a dog lover, I started petting it. Then it took hold of my sarong. I watched the couple as they continued their hike along the trail that disappeared into the jungle on the opposite side of the beach. They didn’t look back and the dog didn’t follow them. I wondered why the dog remained on the beach, with my sarong in its teeth. It quickly became apparent that the dog didn’t belong to them. And, this dog wouldn’t let go of my sarong. I tugged, it pulled. I said ‘no!’, it wagged its tail. I felt like that kid in the Coppertone advertisement. I said ‘drop it!’, hoping it understood English. The dog thought it was a game. It jumped up on me. Brad came to my assistance, but then it was just two of us trying to get my sarong out of this beast’s mouth and he wasn’t letting go. I suggested we feign disinterest. Brad continued trying to struggle with the dog while I attempted to wash all the little black dog hairs that covered my body, yuk.

Then we heard the music and a voice shouting through a megaphone, in Spanish. We turned to see a catamaran packed with tourists, drunken tourists, heading into shore. Now we had two problems. Thankfully a Mexican woman came out of what seemed nowhere to rescue my sarong. She knew the dog! Its name was Winston. With her help we managed to distract Winston long enough to save my now torn sarong. Now that there was no more sarong, Winston began to focus on this woman’s small child. He jumped up on the poor kid who then burst into tears. I started to get angry. ‘Whose damn dog is this?’ I asked no one. I guess I was asking Brad, knowing that he had no idea.

Eventually, the excitement with Winston moved away from us as the woman dragged her child to the safety of a rock. Once the child was out of reach Winston’s attention needed a new focus and he was off looking for one. At this time the boat passengers had all disembarked and were making their way toward the beach, many of them wrapped in red flotation devices that might as well have been water wings as that’s how ridiculous they looked. As they swam and floated their way to shore their guide hooted and hollered over the Mexican pop music blaring from the boat’s massive speakers. Many carried their alcoholic beverage with them in large red plastic cups, with straws. Straws should be banned from beaches.

Anyway, the comedy continued. One very drunk American immediately passed out face first in a shallow pool of cold water. There he lay, slapping cold water onto his head. There he lay until he was spotted by Winston. This was going to be good. Sure enough Winston galloped over. He began to lick, to nudge and then to paw or should I say claw. The guy tried to brush him off, this only excited Winston. The guy raised his great weight onto hands and knees and tried pushing the dog away. Winston now thought this was fun! The guy pushed and Winston just came back for more. We laughed at his expense. I even took a couple of pictures. The girlfriend finally sauntered over, red cup in hand, to assist her man. She succeeded in keeping Winston at bay for a minute or so, long enough for drunk guy to think he was safe enough to lie down again. Winston hadn’t lost focus and as soon as he was able to free himself from the girlfriend, he happily trotted back to the guy, straddled him with his long Great Dane legs and proceeded to hump this fellow. Brad and I were in hysterics by this point. The guy managed to get to his feet and with his girlfriend’s help they escaped the love of Winston.

I couldn’t believe a dog that size was being allowed free range of the area. And being a pure breed, I assumed it wasn’t Mexican stray. But who would bring a Great Dane to Mexico and then let it run around at it’s own will??

Well, there was one restaurant on this beach where we had planned to enjoy an authentic Mexican meal; perhaps Winston’s owner was at the restaurant. We followed a path, climbed some stone steps and arrived at the patio bar restaurant. The guests all appeared to be rich and beautiful; it reeked of overpriced fare. We stood awkwardly at the bar, ignored. We felt a little out-of-place with our white skin, white except for all the red dots from our sand flea attack at breakfast that morning. I patiently waited for someone to pay me some attention. Then I noticed a framed photo displayed on the bar. I moved in for a closer look; it was a picture of Winston.

Two ridiculously expensive margaritas later, we got out of there. As we were leaving a man came running toward the restaurant from beach, shouting at the bar owner to get his dog. Apparently Winston was still down at the beach harassing unsuspecting visitors, in particular children. The owner ran off to take care of his dog and we headed off into the jungle, back to Boca.

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6 thoughts on “a story from Boca

  1. Thank you for your lovely and insightful comments.

    It must be difficult to find the time to train that big boy of a dog while running a busy restaurant; he seemed to have some helpful staff on hand that Winston actually listened to, so that’s good. To be honest, Winston reminded me a lot of a dog I used to have, a standard poodle named Jake–he didn’t always do what he was told either 😉

    I do hope Alfonso finds success with his fight to protect Colomitos, it’s such a beautiful area. I also must add– although expensive for my budget, the margaritas were perfect! I almost had two despite the price, but then there was the hike back to Boca to keep in mind, which Brad had to remind me of.

  2. Great story I loved it! I could picture it very clearly and it put me in mind of a persistent and very smart crow trying to get a little girls’ french fries
    at on the beach at White Rock

  3. Thanks for the chuckles. I loved hearing your story from the first impression/tourist point of view. Very delightful to read. You are right, Wilson is a big fellow and, unfortunately, still a baby trying to figure things out, especially etiquette. His master, Alfonso, is the proprietor of the restaurant. He lives alone there at the restaurant and Wilson is his companion and guardlicker when the restaurant is closed. Alfonso has been working hard to protect Colomitos from those tour boat invasions that have become an unhealthy intrusion to Colomitos from an ecological perspective, not to mention a pain in the cula for ecotourists who are trying to enjoy the wonderful nature Colomitos has to offer. Unfortunately, he has received little support from the local Ejido office nor the Capitan of the Marina. It would be so easy for the powers that be to protect Colomitos from such invasions and mark it as ecotourism only which would include hikers and small boats. These boats would be better serving their fares and the Bay of Banderas to continue on another 10 minutes maximum to Las Animas where there is a larger beach, activities, restaurants, and most importantly bathrooms.

    As for the Ocean Grill, the food is excellent, although at a higher price point then one might expect in the middle of nowhere. But, my experience has been that the food is well worth the prices and for a restaurant of its quality, not over priced. I know from experience that I can get a shot of sipping tequila there for about 40 pesos, (I think it is Cuervo Traditional) which is about the going rate anywhere in the area. Of course, there are top shelf tequilas offered, also, for more. And, if you didn’t get a chance to experience the view from the loo, you must go back. I can’t wait to read your blog on that experience.

    Keep writing, Tracey! I am loving your fresh look at our part of the world.

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