Early in the morning, like 6:00 am, Don, Rob and Ken got up to go kayaking in a coastal lagoon called Laguna de Manialtepec, located about 18 km west of Puerto Escondido. The lagoon's name means Place of the Lizards. The lagoon is refilled at the beginning of every wet season, when the adjacent river hits a beach ridge that has built up during the dry season and is diverted into a old river channel that leads back to the lagoon. The lagoon water levels change as much as four or five feet during the process but eventually it gets high enough to open to the sea. It is surrounded by mangrove bushes up to 15 metres high.
They caught a collectivo, which are community people movers in the backs of pick up trucks, or in small vans. Their ride out was in a small van which was very crowded with about 14 people in it most of the way. It let them off at Las Negras restaurant where there was a lady who beckoned them to go down to the restaurant and hire her kayaks. They negotiated a price of 200 pesos for three hours and were on the water by 7:45. It was another sunny relatively calm day, like every other day so far on this holiday so the kayaking was very pleasant. For Don and Rob it was great to get back paddling. Ken was feeling some discomfort in his shoulder after a while so he turned back so he could take the return trip at a comfortable speed.
They didn't see as many different birds as they thought they would and except for the tropical kingfisher they were not able to identify any new birds that they hadn't seen before but did see some interesting sights. Many of the birds found the mangrove bushes great places to perch, including the brown pelicans, snowy egrets and great blue herons. The river part of the lagoon seemed to have the most bird life.
Brown pelican high in the tree
Shades of blue
Local people were harvesting different morsels along the way - one guy was diving for something, in another location there were fishing nets out and in a third there was a man who leaned over the side of the boat and pulled up what looked like a pail full of mud. He then went through all the mud with his hands looking for something. They were later told he was harvesting mussels.
After getting back and enjoying a cerveza, they caught another collectivo, this time a small quarter ton truck with six seats in the covered back. Don came home while the others went off to the Mercado to shop for some fish for supper and souvenirs for Ken.
The above was all written by Don in the third person - so it sounds like I wrote it. I didn't want to go kayaking and stayed home, but I plan to take a tour in the lagoon in a motor launch with a guide next week. I had a walk in the morning to see a different part of town (I think where we will be staying for the next week) and then returned to ocean watching. I was lucky enough to see 3 whales go by. It is a thrill to see them glide by.