Troncones | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Troncones

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Zihuatenejo and Playa de las Gatas may seem overdeveloped for some. In that case, a half hour drive north on the coast highway takes you to the tiny community of Troncones. The beach there is open to the ocean, not protected by harbors as are Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatenejo. Undifferentiable from 95% of Mexico's west coast, no one has had any particular reason to settle here. Until now.

Popular resort areas no longer offer building space. Today, developers and second home seekers build frenetically in places like booming Sayulita. Those who seek quiet seaside idylls, and who are willing to live with little in the way of markets, restaurants and clubs, look to places like Troncones.

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Nearby, crude palapas offer basic (really basic) dining and shelter from the sun. Many other beaches are essentially uninhabited. A gallon of gas gets you solitude if that's what you're seeking.

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But if you want a civilized strand devoted to pampering vacationers, you'll be disappointed. At Troncones, you have to share your space with foraging hogs.

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Nor are the waters as safe as in established resorts. Open sea produces rough surf, rip tides and undertow. Recently sharks attacked three people, prompting authorities to post warnings. I ignored them.

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In the area, small businesses are thinly strung out along Highway 200. At one, Clint stocks up on locally grown mangoes.

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Panhandlers are rare in the countryside; they're more likely to inhabit the cities. I was surprised to find one working a tope on the highway. Drivers must slow for the speed bump or lose their suspensions, providing him opportunities to solicit donations.

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Troncones has a couple of restaurants. They're pretty rough. A sign in one, directing patrons left or right to the appropriate restroom, says it all. The burro suggests dissipation, discouraging to a high minded person such as myself. Well, all right. A reformed low-minded person.

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Cleaning implements imply attention to matters of sanitation, perhaps at the expense of atmosphere. El Burro Borracho makes a good breakfast, though: eggs, frijoles, panela cheese, avocado, fresh tortillas, fresh orange juice and coffee. Under five bucks.

Just north of the village, a former plantation has been subdivided into lots, many of them beachfront. No homes have been constructed yet, but they won't be far behind. Lots are priced around $250,000. Believe it or not, that's low. The first phase is sold out.

Solitude never lasts.

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