We met a dog who sees that sunset every night. How he got to Love Beach is a mystery, since the only way to get there is by boat or by climbing a huge craggy mountain that not even Lassie could traverse. But he was there, all by himself, every time we went, emperor of one of the strangest and most beautiful places on earth.
When you walk on most beaches, you eventually reach a parking lot or a street or a taco stand. Here you just come to another, equally glorious beach. All there is at Love Beach is beach, except for the giant honey-colored rocks that poke up through the sand, their bases loaded with caves and their faces dotted with pelicans.
Love Dog, as we called him, was a scruffy black mutt with one white foot and an uncanny knack for seeing a crab, chasing it, catching it on a dead run and eating it in less than two seconds. Love Dog could find a crab two feet into the sand.
We had no idea where Love Dog got water to drink, perhaps in those caves. We worried about him. On our last trip there we tried to get him to come back with us on the boat, but he tilted his head as if to say, Are you crazy? Have you seen this sunset? and trotted off. We suspect he had a surfboard hidden somewhere.
26. Hotel least likely to have HBO
Yelapa is a coastal jungle town without electricity, telephones, street lights or, for that matter, streets. You cannot get to Yelapa by car. It's about a two-hour boat ride from Puerto Vallarta or a half-day ride on horseback from the nearest village, Chiapas. Your room in the only hotel in town comes with or without hot water, depending on whether the staff got a good fire going that morning. Because of scorpions, your bed will probably be hung from the ceiling and covered with netting. In Yelapa, people shake out their shoes before putting them on. But if you like birds—kingfishers, red-headed parrots, white American ibis, imperial woodpeckers, herons—or just the sound that quiet makes, you may never leave.
27. Sorry, still more on scorpions
One night in Careyes, I asked Giorgio Brignone, Gian Franco's son, if there were scorpions there.
"Oh, yes, but it's no problem," he said. "The great thing about the scorpions here is that if there's one crawling on you as you sleep and you roll over, it will make a clack! sound when it hits the floor. That will wake you up."
How comforting. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to hear a clack that night or not hear one. What if a scorpion learned to fake a clack? I make it a rule never to put anything past scorpions. From then on I reminded myself to roll over a lot.
Once, driving on the road, we saw a scorpion about eight inches long. This scorpion had a small farm animal in its mouth. If that scorpion crawled on you in your sleep, you wouldn't be able to roll over.