By Jim Evans from the July 2010 Edition
Just 10 Kilometers west of Tecoman at the mouth of the Pasquales river lies one of Mexico’s premier surfing spots, Boca Pasquales. Pascuales is also one of the most treacherous surfing spots in the world. Just the name , translated “ Mouth of Pasqual’s “ strikes fear in all but the most accomplished surfers. It has been said that “surfing Pasquales unprepared may be “hazardous to your health” and certainly should not be attempted if you are a novice, or out of shape.
This treacherous surfing venue, referred to as either, a surfers dream, or “nightmare” by many accomplished surfers from all over the world, is a favorite spot of local professionals.
Not for the faint of heart nor the novice, “Pasquales” features some of the biggest and fastest tubes in all Mexico. These tubes are cylindrical walls of water which regularly exceed 20 feet in height with lips up to three feet thick. Surfers at Pasquales quietly and with reverently speak of “around the corner tubes” (waves so thick you can’t see daylight).
Unlike most large waves in other parts of the world which usually break further off shore and either to the left or right, these behemoth walls of water break in both directions within 50-100 yards of the beach, creating a scenario for disaster. Consider if you will that the big breaks in the Hawaiian Islands, Waimea and Makaha, especially Makaha occur several hundred yards off shore, giving surfers a little more time to ride and recover.. Not Pasquales. Once you commit you are usually in for one of the shortest most violent rides on the planet. Imagine riding inside a huge cylinder surrounded on three sides by a wall of water, pushed by forces rivaling those generated by a runaway freight train, as the wave starts to break down the pressure from the air trapped inside the tube and “spits” you out at one end. Sometimes the wave just collapses throwing the surfer and his board into the roiling white water with bone jarring force.
The day we visited Pasquales the surf was running 6-8 ft and tubing nicely. Certainly not the “killer surf” of local legends, but challenging never the less.
Our little party made up of less adventurous souls recently visited Pasquales, not to ride the wild surf, but to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in the Manzanillo area, “Las Hamacas”.
As you approach Pasquales from Tecoman you come to a fork in the road and you bear right past “Paco’s Hotel” and the adjacent surfer hangout, “Restaurant Mary”, you immediately notice a large orange building on the left, “ Las Hamacas”, a family owned seafood restaurant. There is covered parking on the right for at least fifty cars. This huge palapa restaurant has been in operation since the 1950’s and is a favorite of visitors from all over Mexico, including the nearby city of Tecoman. It is spotless and features a complete seafood menu ranging from fresh oysters on the half shell to various styles of shrimp, fish, octopus, squid, clams, and langostina. The sea food.
soup is chocked full of “ fruta del mar” and is excellent. The food is delicious. The beer is ice cold and the service… impeccable.
… the Kings beach
After lunch, a trip to the “Playa Real” is a real treat.. as you leave Pasquales you turn right at the first intersection onto a two lane road that leads off into a huge coconut plantation. As you follow the beach in an easterly direction there is, basically in the middle of nowhere, the “Malecon” ( Beach Walk), which has been under construction for several years and seems to be near completion.
The road bears left as you approach the beach passing houses great and small that line this Pacific side retreat. The waves are big, not Pasquales big, but big enough to be spectacular. The real treat here is the significant architectural feature common to the twenty or so modern palapa restaurants which dot this two mile shore. These restaurants are for the most part modern and clean. They serve the full range of delights from the Pacific Ocean which fronts them. Every restaurant, both large and small has a water slide with a swimming pool. It appears that each restaurant as they opened built a state of the art water slide, and as the years passed these mini water parks just became more grandiose as the proprietors vied to see who could build the biggest family attraction.
There are wild animals, (I swear I saw heffalumps and woozles lurking in the foliage), pirate ships, Disney characters and water features galore. They are plastic and cement of course, but one can always imagine….