Friday, April 26, 2013

Blue Bay and La Vena Beach

I'd heard of this beach before and pictured it as being much more difficult to access and more primitive than it is. You turn into the Blue Bay road and the first guard is right there near the highway. He only wants to see the drivers ID so he can take your name and know that you are going to La Vena restaurant. A second guard is near the hotel and you tell him you are going to La Vena. Drive past the hotel and along the beach, around the hill and you'll come out at the river mouth. Park anywhere from there to the restaurant.

About 20 of us went last Sunday in 4 cars. Brought our own food, drinks, a tent and tarps for shade and beach toys for us and the kids. Not only is this a beach much like Tenacatita but it's also a river mouth. The river is cross-able near the ocean and swimmable upstream. Someone said snorkeling was pretty good but there were a bunch of 'rays' in one area. One woman walked around the point and came back with a good sized bag of oysters. A really great day with lots of fun.   Nice restaurant for beer and food, 2 public bathrooms with showers and places for your garbage.  Great place to spend a day.

After we got back I wondered what the source of that river was because it is no small stream, at least at this time of year. There are no rivers that cross the highway anywhere near this area. To the south is Boca de Iguanas and to the north is Tenacatita. I asked on a few message boards but nobody knew. I eventually found on a Tomatlan site a reference to "La Vena" being an arm of Rio Purificacion but how did it get so far south. Then I found a .PDF file on a study of the area from the University of Colima and embedded in the study was the map below. It turns out that Rio Purificacion turns south just south of Tecuan and north of Tenacatita, forms the Tenacatita lagoons, and then continues south to come out at the north end of the beach by Blue Bay. That was my detective work for the week.

Blue Bay Hotel

Blue Bay beach

La Vena - Rio Purificacion

Setting up camp

The map showing the river course

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rodolfo Paz - Tenacatita Visionary

El Amarillo

by Carlos Tello Diaz

In the fifties, Rodolfo Paz Vizcaino had a dream: to found a city in the middle of nowhere which would become the tourist destination that the country needed. This is the tale of his dream, the story of a person who had everything and ended up with nothing. 

“I remember him in a dark grey suit and with gold teeth.” This is how a reporter described El Amarillo when he met him in jail, where he lived full of illusions. He told the reporter, “You are the man that my masterpiece needs. Do you know what it is? It’s the most extraordinary, the largest, and the most unique work that a single man has undertaken. I want to create a city! A marvelous city, where there’s no room for sadness or worries, the most beautiful in the world.” In the winter of 1960, Rodolfo Paz Vizcaino waited in cell 83 at the L block in the federal prison in Mexico City. It was Christmas Eve and he was depressed. He was lamenting that the bathrooms were “excessively dirty and the prisoner’s uniforms were old and tattered.” Paz had just been detained for writing bad checks in Guadalajara. He was still the owner of one of the most beautiful properties on the coast of Jalisco; but he didn’t want to sell his land, not even to get out of jail, because he was still blinded by the vision which had struck him decades ago, of building the most beautiful city in the world on Tenacatita bay. The people called him El Amarillo after the character from Augustín Yañez’s novel La Tierra Prodiga, a character Paz inspired and claimed as his own. In prison he wrote to the judge: “I’m attaching the book, or novel, La Tierra Prodiga, so that you, the judge, see part of my life.” This is how reality imitates fiction. 

Rodolfo Paz Vizcaino was a native of southern Jalisco. He was born in the municipality of Tonaya, one of the poorest in the state.“He was a campesino,” affirmed José Rogelio Alvarez, who headed the colonization of the coast of Jalisco during the government of Yañez. “I knew him in 1953 when he would have been about forty years old. He had to have been born around 1910 or 1915.” El Amarillo hardly began as a colonizer; he had been a rancher since his youth, but he had made his money selling goods between the coast and the highlands. He lived between Sayula and Purificación, in southern Jalisco. 

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