Not the North West Passage

OK, so it’s not what is normally referred to as the North West passage, but we have been proceeding north west along the coast of Central America and Mexico since we left the Panama Canal. It has been extremely hot, and one just hopes that the real North West passage never approaches this heat as the climate changes and the ice melts.

We spent a very pleasant day in Huatulco, in the south of Mexico. This is a fairly new resort that was developed to improve on the earlier, badly-developed resorts such as Cancun and Acapulco.
Huatulco Bay 500

Strict environmental rules were applied, for instance restricting the height of buildings, and ensuring that no waste water is allowed to enter the sea. There was much to commend here, though I felt that the environmental credentials were rather spoilt by the jet skis speeding noisily around the beach. I was also not happy with the fact that when the resort was developed, the fishermen were all moved from their coastal homes to flats in town. But apart from those two reservations, it was an extremely pleasant resort.

Bird of paradise flower, 500Disembarking at Santa Cruz, the main bay of Huatulco, in the morning, we visited a medicinal herb garden, where we were introduced to the useful properties of many plants, then watched tortillas being made and sampled them.

Making tortillas, grinding maize 400

Making tortillas 1, 400

Making tortillas 2, 400

 

 

 

We were then taken to the town to see the church, where we heard the legend of the cross that arrived on Santa Cruz beach some fifteen hundred years ago and could not be destroyed whatever the English pirate, Thomas Cavendish, did to it. It was eventually cut up to make a series of smaller crosses that are venerated in various places around Mexico and Central America.

Mezcal (agave) for burning, 400Our final stop of the morning was at the plant where Mezcal is produced. This local drink is similar to Tequilla, but is made from the Agave plant, which is burnt and ground up, then the juice isextracted and distilled. We were plied with several variations of the drink, including mango flavour and coconut flavour. The tastiest was the cream version, which was similar to Baileys. We also enjoyed some of the hot chocolate produced there, and were given various snacks, which included the local delicacy of grasshoppers. Apparently, however many of these are caught on the maize each year, they come back in equal force, so it would seem to be a pretty sustainable crop. In the afternoon we braved the fierce sun and went to the beach for a delicious swim.

H & QV 350Since Huatulco we have continued north west, with the mountains of Mexico traced against the sky like a Japanese print over on our starboard side. Next stop San Francisco.

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