Oaxaca to Lo de Marcos
Oaxaca to Lo de Marcos is about 1250 km, so it's a fairly easy 3-day drive except for the last few hundred kilometres where we turn west toward the coast. The quota (toll road) from Oaxaca through Puebla to Guadalajara is easy but costly in terms of the tools. We spent over $100 CAD on tolls and we are the same rate as a car or truck. Those poor folks with a fifth wheel, or driving a big Class "A" would spend at least three times that!. I will not go into any details about our drive as our main intention was to get to Lo de Marcos as quickly as possible.
Lo de Marcos, Nayarit
Like horses to the barn, our travel time to Lo de Marcos is fairly direct with no stopping to sightsee along the way.. This is a second home for Victor who has spent 3-6 weeks in this small pueblo every year for the past ten years. For the most part, I have joined him when work and family obligations allowed. With our travel plans this year being somewhat uncertain, we weren't sure if Lo de Marcos would fit with our plans. So, Victor could hardly contain his happiness when we determined that 3 weeks on the beach, with our friends, was definitely possible.
Lo de Marcos is a very small town about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta's airport. Total population is about 2500 full-time residents and swells to 3,500 during the winter months (November to March). The beach here is a few kilometres long and usually quite calm. Unlike its neighbour, Sayulita, the waves in Lo de Marcos aren't really the best for surfing. So, the young, hip surf crowd haven't discovered Lo de Marcos...yet. Instead, it's a great spot for US and Canadian snow birds who long for lazy days in the sunshine and boogie boarding to their hearts' content. It's actually quite funny that locals here call seniors who are out on the ocean boogie boarding, "greys on trays."
The town has a main square with a new bandstand and a few great restaurants. Tony has the best fish tacos in town, so we call him Taco Tony. Dinner there for 3 fresh fish tacos costs a whopping 60 MX total ($4.50 CAD). Tony isn't licensed to sell alcohol, but he's totally fine if you head across the street and pick up a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer. He'll even supply the glasses. Victoria runs Clarita's Backyard Cafe and serves the best ribs you can imagine. She also offers a venue for some of the local RV park musicians to play and sing, and invite their friends. These sold-out events are 250MX ($18 CAD); you can have a fabulous dinner, hear some great music and dance the night away. They may even pour a free round of tequila toward the end of the evening.
Within the community of regular RVers, there are folks who volunteer to teach music at the local school, give away musical instruments to children, raise funds for an after-school program and the local library, operate an annual fundraiser and donate to various community projects. Anyone here for any length of time will see the need in the community and want to help, in whatever way they can.
For Victor, Lo de Marcos is like music camp. He has a strong network of musical friends with whom to collaborate. Whether it's an Open Mic where anyone and everyone sings and plays, karaoke night, or a more formal evening of music at a local restaurant, he loves to work out duets and or help budding talent.
Is Lo de Marcos for everyone, perhaps not. There is a tienda (shop) to buy meat or chicken. There is a small store that sells plastic wares, pharmaceuticals and gifts. There is no museum, there are not much else to do but enjoy the beach, the community, your neighbours and the sunshine. For some, this is plenty. For others, it's simply not enough to do. It's a good thing that we all don't like the same travel destination!!