Wewere greeted at the dock by two natives dressed in brightly colored tropical shirts, white pantsand shoes. They were also wearing smiles just as bright. They escorted us to an open-air typerestaurant with a thatched roof that was actually attached to the pier at which we docked. Therestaurant had a casual atmosphere that made us very comfortable.
The food was served buffetstyle, with an elegant array of Mexican and American cuisine. The entertainment provided in therestaurant during and after the buffet was delightful. A ten minute introduction to the Mexicanculture was followed by an intriguing native dance, performed by a man dressed in an authenticlooking costume consisting of only a rawhide G-string with a short apron front. His sandals hadleather cords winding halfway up his legs. This dance depicted a story of a hunter and his prey.
Itwas narrated by a woman who was also in costume. Brightly dressed Mexican men were beatingdrums and banging sticks providing the sound effects for the story. This was truly a greatbeginning to a wonderful afternoon. Behind the restaurant was a low mountainous area,accessible by walking trails only. We hiked one of these trails, observing the brightly coloredtropical plants and trees that flourished greatly on this well maintained terrain.
A beautifulwaterfall added to the splendor, and when we reached the top, a lookout provided a panoramicview of the entire bay. What a breathtaking sight! There was a bar here, and after a cool drinkwe decided to head down. We took a different trail down that brought us to the base of themountain. In front of us, about 150 feet was the beach. It was 90 degrees and the Mexican sunmade the sand hot under our feet.
However, a gentle breeze kept us comfortable otherwise. On the beach we rented a cabana, which is little more than a thatched umbrella, table and beachchairs. There, we sat and enjoyed one of those big tropical drinks that has fruit on the edge of theglass and a small umbrella of its own. Staring out into the bay from my chair, was possibly themost serene feeling I have had in my life. There were many people around and they were makingplenty of noise, but my mind was absorbed with the natural beauty of this place. It was like nonethat I had ever seen before.
Looking across the bay toward the mainland, with all its hustle andbustle, I felt as if I had found paradise. I had been to the ocean twice before, but only in the U. S. ,and never to a bay. Bay waters are much calmer, and therefore much clearer-so clear, in fact,that at a depth of six feet I was able to see a penny. The color of the water is also amazinglydifferent from ocean water.
The intensity of the blue color is almost fluorescent. After we rested,we decided it was time to get wet, so we donned our snorkeling gear and entered the warmwater. I had never snorkeled before, but it wasn’t long before I felt comfortable. Most of ourexperience was in very shallow water and I don’t think it was ever necessary to go down morethan ten feet. The fish didn’t seem to be bothered by our presence, and although I don’t knowwhat kind they were, I touched two of them, and their reaction was only to flip their tail.
Aboutforty feet out from the beach it was still only about seven or eight feet deep, and that’s where thecoral appeared. This is something that no television or video could do justice to. The vivid colorsof the coral alone were enough to make this whole trip worthwhile. There were many differenttypes of fish, most of them with vibrant colors, varying in size from the size of a silver dollar, tothe size of a foot or more in length. If you’ve seen the salt water fish aquariums in a pet store,you know of the vibrant