Thursday, September 20, 2007

Casa Isabel's

After the boat dropped us off for the day, we still had to find Casa Isabel's place. We just knew it was located somewhere within that bay. The beach in front of us (the only beach by the way!) was lined with rows of restaurants, tables and beach chairs. We had just barely made it out of the boat and unto the sand when one of the waiters from the restaurant directly in front of us approached us. Well, approached me. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy some good weed. I told him no then and again the next five times he asked! I did ask him if he knew where Casa Isabel's was and he gave this big grin and said he sure did. Mmmmm. So he said we had to walk all the way through town and her place was almost the last one on the point over there. He was pointing to a spot that looked miles and miles away.

Long story short. We made it through this most picturesque little village with no problem. Mostly because there were no streets. Just one path leading up and down the hills hugging the bay. We had to get out of the way of donkeys, horses, bicycles and the occassional person but it was, by and large, a fun walk. We finally stumbled upon this gate.

We found it! Now to see if anybody was home. We had no way of letting Isabel know in advance that we were coming. As we were standing at the gate, some guy came walking down the steps from far above. We asked if Isabel was home. Nope. We just missed her. She had left last week to visit Bali! Remember, this woman is in her 80's! He said that there was a caretaker around somewhere and that we should just go in. This place is a series of platforms carved out of the hillside with lots and lots of stairs! Each platform, off by itself and private, was a room for rent.

the main balcony, looking back down at the bay

To say that this place is incredible is an understatement. It has been lovingly put together by Isabel over the past 35 years. With help from repeat customers and various artists who come to stay. Some of the stuff looks right out of the hippie period. Some of the stuff looks like they may have been buying stuff from my waiter friend while they were building it!

These retaining walls were everywhere. Built to help make flat spaces and to keep the hillside from eroding. We asked how long it took to collect so many bottles. The caretaker assured us that it did not take long at all.

various empty wine and booze bottles

a wall under construction

This is one of the rooms. I'm standing in the living room, looking at the kitchen and bedroom. Below is something relatively new there. A composting toilet. Again with the bottles! The business hole is covered up with that old cake pan. Decorated with shells of course.

another room. this one has an upstairs bedroom. Notice the lack of walls everywhere.

this room was evidently totally designed by a visiting artist. Notice the columns towards the upper right. Below is a closer look at them.

I liked this room a lot. It even had a sunken soaking tub just outside the entrance. It would be fun to stay long as it didn't rain!

Here's another room with an upstairs bedroom. This one has a hanging, swinging bed. The whole room swayed, as a matter of fact. I kind of giggled at this one. Rewording that old saying as "If this room is rockin"...."

This is the first flushing toilet ever installed at Casa Isabel's. Evidently it has been sitting there unchanged for a long, long time. Imagine doing your business out in the open like this! Better get along really well with your roommate!

We really enjoyed the few hours we spent roaming around this place. At every turn and step there was something new to be seen. I'm not totally sure I would ever want to stay there though. My hippie days are long, long over and this was like kitsch camping to me.

1 comment:

Richard said...

My wife and I visited P.V. back about 1972 and we made a trip (probably by the same boat) to Yelapa also. There was one palapa on the beach selling coconut drinks, and the rest of the bay was deserted, except for the pigs roaming around on the beach. No town and no buildings of any kind. We spent the afternoon there, very quiet, lovely beach, muddy water .
That was where "Night of the Iguana" was filmed.
Richard G.