Mexico 58, 15th July

Today it rained. Of course it was a lovely sunny day while I was shopping buying such previously non essential stuff such as cat food, cat litter, cat litter tray, etc etc. So then I drove to Playa La Audienca which is a really beautiful beach surrounded by superb and presumably expensive houses. Quite a lot of US registered cars around. If I had lots of money and wished to have a nice house with good views and super swimming beach nearby then I guess this would do me. However I don't have lots of money and I'm not too enthralled by beaches and swimming so I am not even tempted. Even without the rain. I drove around a little, admired houses and views, and returned to the Pemex gas station. 100 pesos worth smiled the lady attendant. You have a good memory I said. But 200 pesos today, and is it OK to stay the night in the lorry park?

Yes it was of course. I passed some time in conversation, if that's what you can call it, with a young man from Durango. At least we swapped a beer. Age 23 he already owned his own truck and he had a breakdown, he was there last night. Is it a big problem I asked? No he says, dead battery, 300 pesos, that's all. Parked next to me was an artic (semi) tractor unit, out of 4 tyres on the back 3 had no rubber at all on the treads they were worn down to the base reinforcing.

Small cat is not very well. Put delicately you would say stomach upset. Probably not used to cat food. But it still enjoyed hiding under trucks, climbing on the tyres, and so on. My young friend from Durango and I spent about 10 minutes looking for it one time, then it just appeared. Durango friend told one stretch of road I should not miss. it fits in perfectly with my outline route plan.

I called in briefly at a supermarket for more provisions I had forgotten, if briefly is what you call it when the cat wants to explore the car park for half an hour, and arrived at Barra de Navidad. Nice little town, I drove around, parked, and walked to the front. A pleasant young man approached, would I like an airplane flight over the area. No not really I said but eventually we agreed on the cut down rate of 400 pesos, I'm hungry he said, no tourists today and it rained all day yesterday! Normal rate is 550 pesos per person which is not expensive. And of course I like flying. At the airstrip I said, I've been here before. I looked in my log book and yes, 11th November 1999, Simon and I landed here, returning from Costa Rica in his Cessna 177. At that time we circled the town a couple of times to wake up a taxi, then stayed the night. I hadn't recognised the town today, I'd driven on different roads, previously we took a taxi and walked the pedestrian ways.

This is Barra. Not from the air, obviously.

This is from the air.

and this is Hector by his wonderful flying machine, a 172 Cessna. His email is

When I realised I'd been here before, I looked around the town again. This is the first hotel we looked at in 1999.

Now Simon and I have several things in common. We like flying, we like traditional jazz, and we like beer. But we also don't like paying more than the minimum needed for a hotel. Then we feel we have more to spend on eating. Not that we go in for expensive meals even.

But I found our 1999 hotel. It was not in this state when we stayed here, but it was getting close!

On the way back from the airfield Hector suggested a quiet road to park, so that's where we are now. I'll maybe take a photo of the airfield tomorrow.

Really, it's too hot for me here. After dinner I walked up and down the road for half an hour to get rid of some of the perspiration. Even then, it's too hot, you don't feel like doing anything. OK I suppose if you have come here for week and plan to just lie on the beach. I think it's a lovely little town to come and stay, one of the best. Not overdone for tourists, just pleasant, and normal Mexican.

Best regards

David Barker

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