Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Secret Coast of Michoacan


A beach that is not yet covered with
surfer palapas/huts
Like most things that are 'secret', if it is a good thing it won't remain a secret for very long.  Surfers are always hunting for new undiscovered gems and can get quite protective of the knowledge.  But they still share and tell their friends.  It isn't a good method for keeping things a secret.  Usually it will last for a while until the magazines and resorts realize there is a potential to make some money and then it quickly becomes a bit sullied.  Coming from the perspective of a plant enthusiast I feel like I can watch from a safe distance without getting too upset by 'the secret getting out'.  But I still comment to myself about the process as I watch some of these changes.


A hotel on the beach in a
'surfer town'
One place that this transition is happening is along the Pacific coast in the state of Michoacan.  Michoacan is well known for the beauty of its nature...afterall, the forests high in the mountains are where the Monarch bufferflies come each winter.  Previously the coastal highway was very windy, long, and remote.  If you needed to make the drive you had to make sure your tank was full before you left the last big town.  But now the road is improving and there are even Pemex's (Mexico's government run gas stations) along the route.  They are widening and straightening much of the highway.  On one hand it makes traveling through much easier.  But it also encourages more people to go there.  Each year there is more and more development with more and more beach shacks that the following year is a hotel and the next year might be a resort.

Tillandsias and Hechtias, both
bromeliads growing on a cliff
It is hard to complain as I see the draw of the natural beauty here.  But one has to wonder how long it will take before it is so busy, developed, and polluted that you wouldn't want to be there.  So, for now I will appreciate the beauty while it lasts and hope that development will move slowly or at least cautiously.  There are many great things that can be damaged and lost, and I'm not just talking about pristine beaches.