martes, agosto 23, 2005

Zihuatanejo Sunrise

Since I've apparently been rousing too much rabble lately, I thought you might like to hear about a typical morning in our life here. Dawn over Zihuatanejo BayMorning begins with the whistling of the street sweeper at about 5:30 in the morning as he makes his rounds. Now this guy doesn't simply whistle some rambling ditty tune in his head. Oh no, this guy gives a full concerto of some classic and timeless Mexican music. He'd easily win any talent contest or variety show competition. This guy is quite the warbler, and he's probably waiting for some talent show scout to discover him. However, the magic lasts only until he rolls away his plastic trashbin, which is a bit on the loud side, and sort of sounds like a train coming down the street at that hour of the morning. But then quiet returns for a few moments before roosters can be heard in the distance over the hissing and crashing of waves on the beach in front of our house (I almost can't sleep without that beautiful sound of the surf). Sunrise from Playa Municipal looking towards Playa La RopaAnd as the first light turns the sky bluish gray, the smell of fresh roasted coffee from the shop below my window spurs me into action for the first chore of the day: making the coffee, of course. While the coffee is making I usually do some exercises on the roof and enjoy the fresh clean scent of the ocean air off the bay, and I watch as the fishmongers pass by from the beachfront market on their way to other markets where they will sell their purchases, and housewives and restaurant people pass by also carrying fresh fish, some of the women still carry the fish balanced in a large bin on top of their heads. Rob at the helm heading out to blue water fishingThis is also when the sportfishing boats are making their way out of the bay into the open ocean, and wizened fishermen in canoes paddle around the bay looking for baitfish and throwing their nets upon large frothing schools them, supplying many of the sportfishing boats with live bait for their day's adventure on the watery blue horizon. And slowly but surely in the growing daylight people start making their way to the beach for their morning exercise routines, including my wife who likes to swim a few laps at Madera Beach in the mornings. Sometimes I accompany her or meet her there. Sunlit clouds at dawn over Zihuatanejo BayDaylight comes fast at these little latitudes, and the morning light show is no less spectacular than the sunsets as the evening moisture makes its way down out of the mountains, sometimes providing great orange and white towers of clouds that head out to sea, lit by the sun as it creeps over the horizon and casting their colorful glow on the bay and surrounding hillsides. About that time the sailors can be heard chanting as they make their daily exercise run down the beach. Then come the vendors: the ice truck supplying the beachfront restaurants, the water truck bringing garafones to homes and businesses, the propane gas truck who honks and cries out "gaaaas", the voceadores who drive the streets with large speakers atop their cars crying out the daily news: "¡léelo en su periódico!" And before you know it, as Cat Stevens says, "morning has broken", and the day is underway. Living downtown can have its disadvantages regarding noise and congestion, but it is also the center of life for our community, and in the cool tranquility of the mornings it is always fascinating and invigorating to watch our community come to life much as it always has for the past few decades. It is certainly my favorite time of day and my favorite place to be. No doubt about it! =)

Beach Report (Pollution followup)

Untreated raw sewage flowing from semi-hidden drain between canal and museumRAW SEWAGE ENTERING BAY FROM SEMI-HIDDEN DRAIN NEXT TO CANAL "LA BOQUITA"

Just as I predicted, the latest report of the water quality at our local beaches was just released for the month of July, now that summer vacation season is over and most all the tourists have already left. For some reason the report for June simply wasn't published (that bad, eh?). And many other areas appear simply not to have had water samples taken.

Calidad Bacteriológica del Agua de Mar

And as I have been saying for over the past month, the water quality at the Playa Municipal is unsafe for swimmers. But hey! They've already been exposed to the health hazard for the past month because of the alleged collusion and intentional coverup among the "responsible authorities".

Now that the July report shows health risks at both the Playa Municipal as well as at Playa Quieta (in front of the Club Med), it will be interesting to see if the "red banners" and signs warning of the health risk are ever placed on these beaches. There is currently no such banner or announcement on the Playa Municipal, and today, just like every other day during this summer vacation period, tourists and their children will flock to this beach and play in the water. Unfortunately, they may be taking more home with them than a suntan, and although they have a right to know, the "responsible authorities" do not appear to be willing to tell them.