Beach chairs lined up at Las Hadas Resort.
Overlooking the anchorage from Las Hadas.
The anchorage forms a backdrop for the pool.
The beach where Bo Derek
memorably ran in slow motion.
Groovy with beach and palms.
Moorish architecture with gargoyles.
The arch at the main entrance.
A rock wall of arches.
Hibiscus flowers in a stairwell.
The laundromat were a single
load of washing and 28 minute
dry cycle will set you back
The stunning royal blue pool.
The anchorage at dawn.
A tiny travel trailer tucked between the boat trailers.
Another view of Groovy.
El Velero (sailboat) sculpture.
Downtown Manzanillo harbor.
Sailfish sculpture, locally
nicknamed "the shrimp."
Festive pinatas are strung between
buildings for Christmas.
Our propane bottle will be filled at last.
Beach and anchorage at Las Hadas.
Villas next to Las Hadas.
Obtaining diesel requires a little effort.
Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Mexico (2)
Early December, 2010 - We were so enchanted by our beautiful
surroundings at Las Hadas resort in Manzanillo that we barely
noticed the days drifting into each other. Ten days disappeared in
the blink of an eye.
The resort is a photographer's paradise, and I couldn't stop
the camera from clicking each time we took a walk around the
grounds. "Don't you have a picture of that already?" Mark
would ask me. "Yes, but it's so beautiful I can't help it!"
For one thing, proud boat owners
that we are, Groovy kept
sneaking into a lot of the shots.
There are arches
of all kinds
some of the turrets
are decorated with
up the sides.
The resort is built
on many levels,
and it is easy to
get happily lost.
One day we
came across a rock wall
of arches with a rock
stairway going down to
the footpath below.
Las Hadas Resort is
Fresh hibiscus flowers
decorated many nooks
It is a relaxing and
charming fantasy land
where the workaday
world quickly vanishes.
We had certain chores to attend to, however, which
kept us tethered to reality in between lazy afternoons
spent in the pool. Day by day we ticked our items off
the list. The first and most critical chore was to tidy
up the boat. A month of passage making had buried
certain key living spaces in the cabin. How nice it
was, after a few hours of digging and stowing, to get
our v-berth back.
Next was to do the mountain of laundry that had
piled up. Long pants, long sleeved shirts,
sweatshirts, and fleece jackets were all begging to be
stored away in some deep locker somewhere.
All those clothes filled three large laundry bags to overflowing. Doing laundry on a boat at
anchor is not always so easy, however. I had done some smaller items by hand, but leaving
them out on the clothesline until they dried resulted in clothes that smelled like salt air. That
would never work for the long term storage of all our winter clothing.
The resort has a "lavenderia" (laundromat) on the premises, with (cold water only)
washers and dryers that looked like they could do the job. However, a single wash load
cost 60 pesos (about $5.25), as did a single load in the dryer. Not letting ourselves get
discouraged, we tossed the three huge bags of clothes as well as our detergent and
softener into the dinghy and motored ashore. Heaving them onto the dock and lugging
them up to the laundromat, we were grateful it wasn't too long a walk.
It was only when we stuffed the machines to the gills
that we realized we really had about five loads of
laundry. Re-stuffing them into three loads, we
returned to the little store several times to buy yet
more 60 peso tokens for the machines, as we soon
discovered the dryers ran for just 28 minutes. Some
420 pesos later (about $37), our clothes were
marginally clean and ready to be stored away.
Later we learned that there is a Lavenderia just two
miles from the resort where for half that cost we could
have had our laundry washed and folded for us.
However, it is still not so simple, as the cab ride is a
few dollars, and you would need to make two trips,
one to drop off the clothes and another to pick them
up. The bus might have been an option, but those
were really big bags... Bottom line: "sail naked"
started to sound like a really good idea.
It was while cooling off in the pool and pondering
how many beachside beers that laundry could have
gotten us (about 37), that I got talking with another
tourist who was enjoying the pool with his family.
We compared notes on how we ended up in the
same pool, having both come here from San Diego.
It turned out he had traveled here on a cruise ship
that was currently parked across the bay in
downtown Manzanillo. When the
ship arrived in port for the day, he
got off with his family and hailed a
cab, asking to be taken to a
beautiful resort with a pool and a
beach for the kids. For $40 the
resort gave them access to all the
amenities, letting them put the
entrance fee money
towards drinks and
food as well.
He was amazed that
we had sailed to this
resort on our own little
boat, but I was
that he managed to
ferret out this idyllic
location on his own
when Carnival Cruise
Lines anchored for
just a few hours.
"You're living the life,"
he said with a big smile. "Yes, but there's another side to cruising..." I
said, telling him our laundry story. He nodded and laughed, but then
dropped a beautiful pearl of wisdom: "That's just the price you paid to be
able to enjoy this pool this afternoon."
He is so right. The scary overnight sailing, the challenges of
taking care of basic necessities while living at anchor, the
discomforts of living in a small home that bounces around on
the waves, those are the price of limitless idyllic days living
anchored next to an exquisite resort.
We had more of those
small prices to pay as
we marched down our
"to do" list. Getting one
of our propane tanks
filled was on the
agenda, but as we
asked around the resort and marina, it seemed like a task that would have to wait for
another port. Propane is not easy to find in Manzanillo.
We had noticed a tiny travel trailer parked among the boat trailers at the marina, but
weren't sure whether it was occupied or simply in storage. When a couple came up to
our boat in an inflatable dinghy and said they weren't from a boat but were from a
trailer, we got our answer. He was Cuban and she was Mexican, and they had
traveled all over Mexico and the US for months at a time in their 13' travel trailer.
He knew something of boats,
having rowed a raft for four
days from Cuba to Key West in
the 1970's. He and four friends had trained for six months to be
physically ready for the trip, running, swimming and conditioning their
bodies to survive in the harsh tropical marine environment without
drinking water. They rowed their raft, made largely of truck inner
tubes, for four sleepless days and nights, keeping a bearing of 5
degrees until they reached Florida.
Tragically, they lost a good friend to the sea when a storm
struck, and that sad memory has never faded. The survivors
thrived, however, and our new friend lived the American dream
to the fullest, building up a construction business to a size
where he could sell it and retire at age 42. His RV for winter
travel in Mexico is perfect for rough, small roads and for tucking
inconspicuously out of the way overnight. Speaking perfect
Spanish, even with a Cuban accent which gets him labeled as a
Gringo, makes his travels here so much easier.
They needed propane for their trailer too, so we were soon off on an adventure
to fill our tanks. It turned out that the only place to get propane in Manzanillo
was beyond the downtown port in an industrial area, an hour's drive through city
traffic from Las Hadas. It became an all day project, but gave us a chance to
see another side of Manzanillo.
The city is proud of its maritime roots, and we passed a sculpture called
"El Velero" ("Sailboat").
The heart of the waterfront
downtown is a large harbor
filled with pangas and
sport fishing boats. There
is a big park and malecón
(boardwalk) lined with
white painted wrought iron
benches. At the center stood a huge
blue sculpture of a sailfish. The Port
Captain later told us that the locals have
nicknamed the sculpture "The Shrimp"
because they think it resembles a
shrimp more than a sailfish.
Christmas decorations and festivities had
already started, and as we drove through the
tiny streets of the neighborhoods in the "old
town" area, we saw rows of piñata strung up
between the homes.
Finally we arrived at Global Gas, where for about 38
pesos ($3.30) we got our 2.5 gallon tank filled. Thank
goodness for our friends being willing to drive us there,
as the cab fare would have been 250 pesos ($22)
Getting 30 gallons of diesel was the final big project on our "to do" list,
and is something you'd think would be easy at a marina with a fuel
dock. Not so. The fuel dock is just 60' long, requiring big boats to
back into the dock and drop an anchor off the bow to keep the boat
perpendicular to it. Large rocks clearly visible under the water around
the dock add a white knuckle element to the process. We thought
long and hard about this maneuver and decided in the end to borrow a
boating friend's jerry jugs and make three dinghy trips back and forth to the fuel dock
Pouring diesel from a 50 lb. can into a 1-inch hole under the jump seat while the boat
pitches and rolls in the wake of crazy water skiers is a delicate process. Fortunately,
our friend had a very cool siphoning device for use with the jerry jugs that slurped the
diesel out of the can and into the tanks. In no time the project was done, and Groovy
was ready to take us to new places.
Christmas. We had planned to make Manzanillo our
southernmost turnaround point. However, the wonderful
tales of fun and frolics in Zihuatanejo that we heard
from all the experienced Mexican cruisers around us
eventually persuaded us to make the trek another 180
miles south to "Z-town" before venturing north.
On our way, we stopped at gorgeous Ixtapa Island ("Isla Ixtapa").
Find Manzanillo on Mexico Maps
Visit Anchorages on the "Mexican Riviera" (northern Pacific coast) to see more cruising posts from this area!
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