The Restless Dogs have left North America, returning to the Central Pacific Coast of Mexico.
In years past, we were happy to stay in a little village on Bahia de Navidad, but it's changed a lot since we first stumbled upon it in 2004.
First, some of the main roads were paved. Then, the next year, that paving was torn up to put in sewer lines. One year, the jardin, the central square, was redone (for no apparent reason.) Then, two bright florescent-lit convenience stores (Kiosko AND OXXO) opened to become glaring beacons in the night, out-shining the tiny neon cross of their church. Boys traded traditional vaquero (cowboy) attire so common in Jalisco for the boring B-Boy look you see everywhere. Girls went all J-Lo. We started hearing more hip hop and reggaeton than ranchera blasting out from the big black trucks that circled the jardin at night.
"I used to know everyone in the village," sighed G., our Japanese friend. "Now, I don't know anyone. They're all from somewhere else."
This sort of thing changes the fabric of society. And not in a good way.
So this year, we are north about 20 kilometers. If our former Mexican village was tiny, this one is positively microscopic. One carniceria (which runs out of meat a lot, seemingly), one lavanderia, one ferreteria (that is always closed except on weekends) and one farmacia (which might also be the one clinica, with their one and only doctora.) There are no pescaderias at all. The fisherman's co-op has the monopoly on fresh seafood.
For anything else,you go to the closest abbarotte, local stores that had the "convenience store" concept long before 7-11.
Nighttime dining is always a challenge in rural Mexico unless you can make do with tacos, tacos and more tacos, but here, it becomes an even bigger challenge when there are only 2 taco stands and they seem to be open only between 7 and 9pm.
And we are in a rusty fifth-wheel trailer that's been parked on the beach for 20-odd years, fighting bugs and sweating through the long hot airless nights.
I love it.
There's the sound of the surf at night, stars all a-glitter. Coconut palms fringe a long, lonely, undeveloped beach. Land hasn't been all parceled up and privatized yet. There are so few people here that everyone greets everyone else.
We are sandwiched between the ocean and a mangrove swamp that's home to some of the biggest and best-fed crocodiles I have ever seen. And life's pretty bitchin' in this sweaty, buggy paradise.