For one night over the winter holiday, this is the "hotel" where we stayed in at La Barra, an unassuming little beach in Veracruz that faces northeast. The sands start just where the wide and lush Laguna de Sontecomapan eases into Veracruz's remote tropical lowlands.
You get to La Barra by speedboat across the lagoon. There is not a lot of anything there but a few houses and a few seafood restaurants on the shore. One of them is building rooms.
Even when these rooms are done, La Barra is not the sort of beach that would get dropped in any tourist guide as a "destination." I can't imagine a mezcalería or massage place popping up. There is no cell phone coverage.
Most of the tourists who get here are jarocho day-trippers from neighboring towns and cities, meaning despite the high season, once night came, we were the only non-locals on "the bar" and, not that it mattered, cuz there wasn't anything to do anyway.
The beach is desolate and a little dirty, with ancient-looking trash lying around in some spots. But you know ugly-beauty does it for me. Here, the draw is the ocean. The sandbar is long into the surf, the longest I've ever swam in. You can literally walk half-a-kilometer out and still be standing in ocean only waist-deep. It felt so good.
'If I keep walking, will I eventually hit Cuba?'
Over the break, we also stopped into Veracruz port, Catemaco, and Los Amigos, the sole "ecotourism" hotel and restaurant, right on the lagoon's shore and accessible as well only by lancha. This coast, thanks to friends and other forces, will keep calling.
* Post edited.