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April 2013 ArticlesApril 2013 Articles

18 Apr

Las Palmas, Zihuatanejo, Mexico


My camera helps me see details and abstractions in the scenes I might otherwise forget. I love photographing these kinds of images, and they always end up being some of my favorites, regardless of where they were captured. 

These detail images were all taken at Las Palmas or along the beach near by.

This is an architectural detail of the beach bar restroom area.

Pick your poison.

I rarely ever photograph food, but look at how beautiful this ceviche is. It is a feast for the eyes and the mouth.

I love how the setting sun looks like gold on the surface of the pool.

The air and water are completely still at sunrise.

I worried a little about coconuts dropping from the sky when the winds kicked up.

The wind sculpted beautiful patterns in the sand, which were accentuated by the rising morning sun.

Quickly the patterns are marred by foot and paw prints.

The crashing waves sound like thunder. I can still hear it.

Burrowing crabs create surface bubbles like boiling water.

I love these colors, but I don't think our HOA would approve.


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12 Apr

Playa Blanca, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Local Beach Critters

Playa Blanca is a relatively deserted beach, except for the myriad of non human life. Dolphins swim and play along the shoreline and whales are commonly spotted a little further out. We saw both, but unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to capture any pictures.

So I took lots of bird pictures instead.

Watching the birds dive for fish was fun, but trying to capture it was difficult. This is the best I could do.

I had better luck capturing this bird as it glided just over the surface of the shoreline. I love all three of these and can't decide which is my favorite.

This is my kind of beach. Lots of birds and no people.

I approached cautiously and tried to get as close as possible. Next time I will bring a longer lens. I love how their white bodies reflect on the water and wish that I could have been much, much closer to capture the reflection.

All of the birds scared into flight are the same species, while the two standing on the sand seem unaware of potential danger. I don't know anything about birds or bird behavior, but I thought this was interesting.

Somebody please tell me what kind of birds these are. They are so beautiful with their bright orange beaks and black heads.

I dream about being able to surf the waves like these birds do.

This looks like a multi exposure timelapse image, but it's not. These are five separate birds surfing together.

There are dogs on Playa Blanca too. This is Paloma. She is a full time resident of Las Palmas. Lucky dog.

We met this local black lab when she joined us on a morning walk. She entertained herself by digging for crabs.

I thought she might bury herself, she dug so deep.

After not too long she succeeded in finding a crab.

She just wanted a friend to play with,

...and she was quite animated about it, having lots of fun barking and circling the crab.

Mr. Crab let it be known that he didn't enjoy the game. Lucky for Mr. Crab, a wave came along and carried him to the safety of the ocean.

Amoung all the birds, we saw some small blowfish laying in the sand,  away from the surf. They were still alive, but I'm not sure for how long. After I took this picture someone told me they were poisonous. I'm glad that I didn't try to touch it.


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11 Apr

Las Palmas, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Heaven on Earth, Part 1

The first time we stayed at Las Palmas, two years ago, I literally teared up when I stepped onto the property. It is exactly how I imagine heaven. The second visit was just as heavenly. Las Palmas Beach Suites

Las Palmas Beach Suites 2

Eight of us traveled together for this trip. We filled this building of 4 beachfront suites. Our room was on the bottom right. Two years ago we stayed in the bottom left unit. Both rooms are beautiful.

The plants on the rocks have grown since our last visit. I wasn't able to climb down them for quick beach access like I did two years ago. That didn't slow me down though.

Las Palmas Beach Suite Backyard 2

Las Palmas Beach Suite Backyard 1

I spent a lot of time in the beach backyard, moving between the hammock and the lounge chairs. I took a lot of pictures out the backyard too, because every time I looked, the scene changed just a little.

Las Palmas Beach Swinging Bed

When I wasn't lounging in our backyard, I was lounging somewhere on the beach. The swinging bed was the first spot I tried out, but I quickly discovered that I could not lay on a slightly swaying bed and read at the same time. I might have been bummed, if not for so many other hammocks and lounge chairs to choose from. I did manage to read Life of Pi, in between napping.

Las Palmas Pool vertical

Las Palmas Pool reflections 1

Las Palmas Pool reflections 2

Las Palmas Pool reflections 3

By mid afternoon, when the sun got nice and hot, I might be found in the pool. I preferred the warmer ocean water, but some days the waves were too big, even for a Southern California girl.

The pool reflections provided lots of great photo ops. I took many, many pictures like these. The still air of the early morning provided the best opportunity to capture the reflections.

Las Palmas outdoor shower

Las Palmas pool and shower

Every architectural detail is simply beautiful. This is the outdoor shower and beyond it is the entrance to our room.

Las Palmas walkway to beach

The path to the beach, just outside of our front door.

Las Palmas condos

These condos were built since our last visit and apparently are selling like hot cakes. I think I still prefer the beachfront suite.

Las Palmas penthouse pool

The penthouse suite has it's own small pool. The guys spent most evenings here. 

Las Palmas penthouse pool view

This is the view from the penthouse looking down on the main pool and beach bar area.

Las Palmas penthouse with people

Most of the upstairs penthouse is comprised of a very large patio area. There was more than enough room for all eight of us to enjoy each sunset.

Our room is just below. The outdoor shower on the right is my favorite feature. All of the beach suites have outdoor showers. You get used to it pretty quick.

Las Palmas pool sunset

This is just another beautiful sunrise picture from paradise.


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02 Apr

Playa Blanca, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Local Scene

Last February we took our second trip to the Hotel Las Palmas on Playa Blanca, just south of Zihuatenjo.

Las Palmas is a first class resort, way beyond nicer than any other place I have stayed. But, what I love most about the location, is the mostly deserted beach and neighboring area. I love that I feel like I am in another country. 

Playa Blanca sunrise north wide angle

The feeling is humbling. It helps me appreciate what I have and where I live. It also makes me wonder what it would be like to live a simpler, slower life style. 

Playa Blanca Ranch Home wide

Playa Blanca Ranch Home close

This ranch home is located on the beach just north of the resort. It's pretty clear that a family lives here, though we never met the residents. I wonder why the home has so few windows.

Playa Blanca abandoned resort Home front

Playa Blanca abandoned resort Home side

I love the large coconut trees framing the front of this home. The blue area is covered in small blue tile, the kind that all the resort pools are made out of. I'm sure it's abandoned now, but I bet this was a pretty nice resort home, not too many years ago.

Playa Blanca concrete Home one

Playa Blanca concrete Home two

I was certain that this place stood empty until I got home and took a close look at my pictures. The grounds around this concrete, windowless home are free of brush and trash. Somebody must be taking care of the property. Why would anyone build a concrete home on the beach, with no west-facing windows?

Playa Blanca red barn

Someone probably lives here too. This is one of my favorite images from the trip.

Playa Blanca fancy Home

Local luxury home, I guess.

Barra De Potosi street with trees

Four miles south of Las Palmas is the town Barra De Potosí. There is one dirt road to get there.

Barra De Potosi street

Shoes are not required in Barra De Potosí.

Barra De Potosi restaurant

The beach is lined with outdoor restaurants, filled with plastic chairs waiting for crowds which never seem to appear.

While enjoying some fish tacos and margaritas here, I met an ex-pat American woman who lived in the 'sort of' nearby town of San Miguel.  About seven years ago she left America for Mexico by herself, and she was very happy in her new home. Our conversation facinated me. I imagined all kinds of crazy reasons why she had left.

Barra De Potosi windy

The day we walked to Barra De Potosí it was extrememly windy, but still warm so I didn't care.

Las Palmas construction

This is back at Las Palmas where a new condo was under construction. Skilled craftsmanship is required but hard hats aren't. Stone walls form the foundation for building. By the time we left, these walls were completely back-filled with sand.

Playa Blanca horses

I've never seen this on our local Southern California beaches.


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