There are songs that, thanks to their ability to reach people, place places on maps. This is the case of En el muelle de San Blas, by the Mexican group Mana, who at the end of the nineties turned a true (and local) story into a universal song (and it seems like a lie). This is how they located this Mexican town, in the state of Nayarit, in the mental maps of fans who knew that the San Blas pier exists and that it overlooks the Pacific from a place touched by natural grace, and of great importance for the history of Nayarit.

That song, a corny one, has the added bonus of being very catchy, so listening to it is a risk. “Uh-uh-uh-uh, uh-uh…. She sent the love of her away…”. Give it a try (if she hasn’t already) and you’ll see how, after going through the holes in the mental cortex, the melody and the lyrics stay there, inside, for hours and hours, without it being possible to get rid of them. “Alone in oblivion, alone…”.

In San Blas the song is a constant: it is heard in the squares, it is heard on the pier, it is heard in the hotels, it is heard under the water. There are still people who remember the protagonist, whose long wait at the pier and in these streets has been immortalized with several sculptures that respond to the same nickname: the crazy woman from San Blas, and with which everyone wants to take a picture. To meet Rebeca Mendez Jimenez, the versions of her story are on YouTube and Wikipedia. But the historic port of San Blas is much more than that chapter.

To give the day a truly motivating air, there is nothing like getting up early and meeting Chencho (0052 323 117 7052) at seven in the morning at the El Conchal pier to, sitting in the front row of his boat, surrender to his knowledge about a sanctuary natural. La Tovara National Park (which in indigenous means water that runs through its limestone stones)  is one of the natural wonders of the state of Nayarit and all of Mexico, an amazing spring that flows into the sea. The long branches of the mangroves and the aerial roots that descend until they sink into a water, which they absorb to feed the ones above, do not let in even a ray of light and protect more than 700 species of plants, in addition to 199 species of birds, 90 mammals, 22 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 160 insects, 31 fish, 3 molluscs, and 3 crustaceans. It is not surprising that in 2008 it obtained the Ramsar label as a wetland of international importance. It is at this time when Chencho rows among red mangroves and strains his ears to discover the traveler the first birds that take flight: the Mexican woodpecker, the elegant and hieratic cinnamon heron, the larks, the parrots, the nuthatch, the snail or the singing chachalaca; and he keeps a sharp eye to warn of the ringworm fruits that turtles like so much, of the presence of white fig trees and pitahayas. the parrots, the nuthatch, the snail or the singing chachalaca; and he keeps a sharp eye to warn of the ringworm fruits that turtles like so much, of the presence of white fig trees and pitahayas. the parrots, the nuthatch, the snail or the singing chachalaca; and he keeps a sharp eye to warn of the ringworm fruits that turtles like so much, of the presence of white fig trees and pitahayas.

You have to stop in front of three cabins to watch birds arranged on the water and remember Cabeza de Vaca, that 1991 film starring the unforgettable Juan Diego whose filming took place here, a chronicle of the survival of shipwrecked conquerors like that Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca . Likewise, on the way out, it is a good idea to stop at the Mirador de las Garzas to see the crocodiles resting, some without leaving the water, others with half a body in the sand, stealing the shine from the sun as any of us would do if we had plenty of it. time.

9.00 A hearty Mexican breakfast

Once you’ve had your fill of nature, it’s time to fill up on a classic Mexican breakfast. For this, nothing like the El Delfin restaurant at the Garza Canela hotel, run by Betty Vazquez, one of the most famous chefs in the country given her wisdom and her participation as a jury in MasterChef. A Mexican breakfast is not just any breakfast. Let’s see. There are ranchero eggs, there are divorced eggs, there are shrimp, with chipotle and oregano, or with tomato, curry and saffron… Any option is accompanied by fruit, juices, coffee, guacamole, tortilla chips, meat stew, freshly baked tortillas, beans , chilaquiles, butters and jams. Come on, if you manage to finish it, you probably need a tequila with sangrita to help equalize the restart of the day.

Betty Vazquez and her sisters have achieved a particularly pleasant environment that conveys a feeling of home. The chef is highly sought after by the clientele (“look, look, dad,” says a girl, “it’s Betty the chef!”). His kindness is at the height of his talent and explains like no one else the drive, creativity, care, learning and teaching of Nayarit cuisine: “Based on the migration path that the port of San Blas had towards the East and in the entry of many products. Nayarit was a privileged space for French and Spanish landowners who brought their gastronomic culture, that makes it different. There are four microclimates that help and contribute exquisite elements to our gastronomy, there are 307 kilometers of clean sea with 89 coastal fishing products that provide diversity. Our philosophy is to take advantage of this miscegenation, that the emotions provoked by the products through their flavors make joy shine in the diner. Eating is happiness, it is presenting the culture of our land and it is presenting the dream of the creative cook to show off what the land, the sea, and the air have given him and provoke sensations of satisfaction, pamper the soul and make the memory come back. ”, says the chef. A place to return.

11.00 A dip and visit the pier

It is a good time to get closer to the sea. As Betty Vazquez introduced, this port has been essential for international trade. In his Brief History of Nayarit, the historian Jean Meyer says that the port of San Blas had a new vocation with the war of independence, “since in 1813 the port of Acapulco, through which until then ships coming from China and the Philippines were closed, a detail that made San Blas flourish. Thus, it functioned as an economic engine. Merchandise imported from Europe, South America and the Far East entered through San Blas, and agricultural products from the region and even the silver that was sent to Europe left. So much commercial prosperity had positive consequences for agriculture and industry.

His thing is to take a bath in El Borrego beach, the official beach of this historic town. It is not overcrowded and, as usual, it is equipped with a large number of tempting beach bars. In no case should we neglect the anthological renovation of the original San Blas dock carried out by the c733 architects’ collective, which has generated a space that integrates the port for ferries and boats with tourist services, a public park (of more of 14,000 square meters) and leisure for girls and boys, as well as commercial areas and craft market. There are gardens and passages made of local ball stone inspired by the waves and boats, and which are widely used by skaters. The chromatic of the complex is defined by the ocher of the wood and the reddish tones of the clay,

Sculpture that pays homage to the mad woman from San Blas on the Matanchen dock. Daniel Stoychev

The other pier, the one in all the photos, is the Matanchen pier, which enters the ocean from Nuevo San Blas, on the San Blas-Tepic route, and alludes to memory with its Huichol eye shape at the tip. . It has another much-required and absolutely dispensable sculpture that pays tribute to the crazy woman from San Blas in a very clumsy way.

13.00 In the historic center

The walk through the historic center includes, of course, a view of the San Blas fort, also known as the San Blas Accounting Office. It consists of high and thick stone walls that border the hill of San Basilio. It dates from 1760 and was built to protect the port from pirate attacks. It was the scene of important battles during the War of Independence. The views do justice to the surroundings and enhance the greens and blues of the exuberant vegetation and the sea.

More interesting is the temple of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, La Marinera, built in 1768 and of great importance in the local cultural heritage, since the image of this virgin was present in all exploration trips. For a quick technical stop, nothing like the San Blas Social Club, a bar-restaurant that mixes locals and tourists naturally. Over time, the building was affected by natural disasters and war conflicts, which is why it suffered significant deterioration, but in recent years its restoration has been sought due to its historical and religious value.

15.00 Heading to Isabel Island

As the adventurous spirit regenerates easily, we go back to the pier and leave by boat for Isla Isabel (8). The journey is long, we will not deny it, but pleasant. In addition, it offers privileged views of an impeccably preserved coast in which no building breaks the natural scale. On the way you can see the Playa del Rey and the stone so precious to the Huichols, the haramara, the great symbol of life for a community that believes that the gods started from this white stone to shape the planet, and that rests on it the goddess Haramara, who is struck by the sea to become first a cloud and then rain. According to the Wixarika legend, she was the first solid object to be born on Earth and all kinds of rites, offerings and pilgrimages continue to be dedicated to her.

After spending nine months in 1978 on Isabel Island, Jacques Cousteau called it “the Galapagos of Mexico”. The Isla Isabel National Park only allows entry to 60 people a day. From November to April it is common to see the whale shark and the humpback whale. The most spectacular thing is the number of blue-footed boobies that are concentrated here. Something really unusual and moving. Ecologically relevant, the island attracts fishermen and students. The absence of predators makes the species roam freely. Since 1980 it has been a protected area whose natural values ​​are the subject of scientific research.

19.00 A transformative dinner

De regreso a San Blas estamos ante una de esas decisiones que si se piensan dos veces no se llevan a cabo, y que si se piensan una y se hacen, luego uno agradece el atrevimiento. Porque vale mucho la pena recorrer los algo mas de 40 minutos de coche y llegar a tiempo a Tepic para cenar en el restaurante Emiliano (9), un festival gastronomico de altos vuelos en una casona afinadamente renovada. Cocina mexicana de investigacion que trata de enaltecer la gastronomia de Nayarit, potenciando el producto de la sierra, del altiplano, del mar y del huerto propio. El chef Marco Valdivia, orgullosamente autodidacta, reinterpreta recetas clasicas y basicas que ponen a cualquiera de rodillas.

Por poner dos ejemplos: el tiradito de callo de hacha (vieira) con mayonesa de erizo y ceniza de cebolla con salsa de tomatillo, chile ancho y pulque, o el Puerquito Acaponeta, una revision de un taco clasico de las calles de Sinaloa, con pancita de cerdo horneada a fuego lento durante cuatro horas con salsa de mostaza y chile de arbol y col asada al carbon. Mejor no seguimos, ¿verdad? Con razon fue uno de los lugares bendecidos por la cocinera, escritora, profesora y conferenciante Patricia Quintana, que con su obra dio valor a las raices e impulso la cocina mexicana al olimpo en el que se encuentra hoy. Como la poesia, lugares como Emiliano tienen efecto transformador.

Mientras tomamos cualquier coctel con mezcal, es el momento ideal para decidir que la primera visita de la manana siguiente sera a la casa-museo Amado Nervo, que se encuentra a la vuelta de la esquina. Una casona de mediados del siglo XIX en la que el 27 de agosto de 1870 nacio este gran poeta del modernismo mexicano. Nervo viviria luego en Madrid, tantos anos que una placa aun lo recuerda en la calle Bailen. La visita corre a cargo de la experta Brisa Lopez, y es una inmersion reveladora. Entre sus muchos poemas conocidos hay uno que nunca se puede pasar por alto y que viene de perlas para despedir este articulo, En paz, un poema que reconcilia a cualquiera con la vida y que nos recuerda que la intensidad de este dia no ha sido en balde.

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