Revisiting Manzanillo

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I love this beach side lot between condos.

I’ve posted quite a lot about my adopted town on Facebook and Instagram, but just the tiniest bit on this blog.  But I’m back in Manzanillo, Mexico for the fourth time and, at the present, I expect I’ll be spending about 10 months out of every year here for the foreseeable future.

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End of a day in December on the beach.

I have tons of pictures to share, but I’ll narrow it down for this first post. I tell taxi drivers that Manzanillo is perfect for me, and it’s true. As a person with plenty of time, I’m rarely in a rush for or about anything and Manzanillo has a truly laidback-ness to it. Mexico in general is  tranquil, but the big cities are still big cities, even south of the border. With about 116,000 people living in this little paradise, it’s not tiny but still small town in its nature.

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This year’s Christmas tree in the little mall, Punto Bahia.

A gorgeous bay comprises the heart of the place, and its port comprises most of the business. Once upon a time, about ten years ago and pre-port, tourism was the big ticket, but no more. There still is plenty of tourism, but nothing like Puerto Vallarta, six hours along the coast to the north.

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At the Iguana sanctuary. This guy is about 4 feet long nose to tip of tail. And there are bigger ones!

I’ve already written about the low costs of living here and it’s remarkable. If you are willing to live outside of a gated community, you can find suitable housing in the $250-500 a month range easily. I live in the neighborhood of Las Brisa, partly touristy and partly more upscale locals generally. My cost per month varying only by the amount of electricity I consume – aka the air conditioning I use. My lowest has been $212 and the highest, in my current location, has been $252. I’m easy to please, so realistically many others would want to up that housing allowance to the $500 range.

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Dinner with friends helps, too. Left to right – Michelle, Gabriel and Heather.  Wonderful meal and Gabriel is one of those kind natives I talk about here.

The locals are generally very kind, especially when they understand that you’re not expecting to be treated like royalty. Unfortunately, some – foreigners and Mexicans alike- come with a superior attitude and the smiles they are offered by the natives aren’t necessarily genuine but more in the nature of a survival mechanism. Again, the people are nice if you’re nice.

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You’ll find surprising pieces of art along the street if you keep your eye out.

The beaches are spectacular and often nearly empty, especially on weekdays. I’ve discovered I’m not that much of a beach person, which came as a surprise to me. There are two ways I enjoy it now, for a few minutes of quiet watching on one of the many cement benches provided in my neighborhood or in a beach chair, preferably with friends and a cold soda. So, though I appreciate there are several lovely beaches, they are pretty much wasted on me.

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Karaoke with my first friend in Manzanillo – Margarita.

We have a small mall here with a great movie theater, plenty of restaurants with a big variety of cuisines. There are many things to explore, and I’ve still barely started. This is partly because I rely on the bus and taxis and the occasional trip with friends who have cars. But, for me, slowly is just fine. Here in town, my favorite adventure so far was the iguana sanctuary, and beyond the city limits I most enjoyed a trip to Barra Navidad – a more touristy little village about an hour north. But again, that’s just the beginning. Hang on tight. I’ll take you to the places I’ve been over the next few posts.

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Beaches abound here in Manzanillo and can walk, ride a bus or take a taxi to almost all of them.

You’ll love my town!

Author: Kathy Lynn Hall

I've embarked on the lifestyle of vagabond as a solitary woman and I'm excited about sharing my experiences with you.

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