Life is Brutal (Not)

At Anchor, Las Hadas Marina

At Anchor, Las Hadas Resort

If things get any worse, we’re going to have to file a complaint!

We’ve been at anchor off the spectacular Las Hadas Resort since last Monday. A small fee of 200 pesos per day or 1000 pesos per week gets us all the resort privileges…swimming pool, beach towels, gym usage, and discounts at the bars and restaurants. And nice staff who deliver poolside cocktails and snackies. Plus a great little marine chandlery with more stuff than we’ve seen in one place for the last 5 years!

There are a few other boats in here, making it fun to mosey over to the pool in the afternoon to catch up with old friends and make new ones. All in all, it’s a great place to pause before poking our way north.

Main Plaza at Las Hadas Resort

On Wednesday, we braved the steep walk up the hill to catch a bus to pick up some groceries on the “strip” – Miguel de la Madrid Boulevard – that houses two huge “big-box” grocery stores, a Wal-Mart, Office Depot, and more gringo-friendly ferreterias and restaurants than we could visit in months here.

The buses are well worth the 50-cent (6-peso) ride. Although it says “Mercedes-Benz” on the hood, these puppies have been around the block several times already. There’s not one brake liner to be had among the dozens plying the boulevard. And shock absorbers? Hah. We don’t need no stinkin’ shock absorbers.

They seem to have two speeds:  go and stop. “Go” means pedal to the metal, passing parked cars and overtaking vehicles with inches to spare. “Stop” means standing full-on the brake pedal and ignoring the ugly sound of metal on metal as the last molecules of brake liner vaporize into nothing.

Sure, a taxi would be more comfortable. And literally, ten times the price.

The grocery shopping was so exhausting, we just had to recover by the pool.

The Manzanillo Marlin

Thursday, we braved yet another bus excursion, this time to downtown Manzanillo. We had no idea the city was such a huge port – with miles of container docks and industrial plants lining the bay on the way into town.

As a city, Manzanillo isn’t particularly pretty. The streets and sidewalks are clean and swept, but the buildings are in disrepair, with crumbling paint and streaks of rust marring their typical whitewashed walls. There’s a great central market – 5 de Mayo – with all the fruit, veg, meat and fish you’d ever want – and individual shops selling everything from auto parts to confirmation dresses.

The bus trip back (about 45 minutes, with passengers jammed into standing-room-only) was so exhausting, we just had to recover by the pool – again.

We reckon we’ll be here until Sunday morning, when we’ll make the 25 miles north to Barra de Navidad.

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