Beached Boats, Acapulco

I am lured by the once brightly painted boats with their peeling paint that line the soft sands in Acapulco. The fishermen are applying C.P.R. to their wooden crafts which appear to suffer from terminal neglect. The Mexican crafts seem to blend with the murky colours of the smog-laden harbour, and the casual attention of their owners echos the lazy surf that gently massages the shore. These boats contrast in my memory to the incandescently-coloured, maniacally-maintained boats that I envied along the shoreline in Percé, Quebec.

There is also a difference between the modern imposing concrete hotels that fence the bay and the old and decrepit tiny boats crouching on the sand. The tourists strolling on the strand do not notice how these air-conditioned bunkers threaten to push the fishermen into the waves as these towers claim ever larger tracts of the baking beach.

The arm-wrestling of tourism with tradition may seem to be a best of many affair, but I’m afraid the result is not in doubt.