The artist known locally as 'Apache' has been a fixture in La Manzanilla since he discovered the town 22 years ago. I finally got a chance to sit down with him in his new bar/restaurant 'Aztec'.
I could probably write a book on this man, but let's keep the story simple.
Mexico beckoned all those years ago after a divorce and the sale of his Malibu home (where I believe Daniel H was a friend and neighbour). Richard (his real name) decided to buy a motor home and head south with a new girlfriend.
On the ferry between the Baja and Mazatlan, he met a group of men who had some knowledge of Mexico. Richard told them of his dream of finding the perfect seaside tranquilo fishing village, which he thought would be in the Yucatan. The travellers told him there were lots of villages down the west coast, and to just take the dirt tracks in from the highway and explore.
Later, he was driving on the carretera just past Boca de Iguanas when he was passed by a car which it turned out, was driven by this same group. They pulled over, and told him to take the next right into a town called La Manzanilla.
The road in was a tunnel through green overhanging trees. The town was tiny - only one telephone, at the Hotel Cazadores. There weren't many extranjeros, and life seemed very simple. He liked it, but decided to continue on his way to the Yucatan.
He found himself remembering and longing to go back to La Manz. He returned and met his present wife Nena. He built his own home high in the hills, and talks of those days of riding horse bareback on the beach wearing just a loincloth Locals started calling him 'Apache' and the nickname stuck - his mother was Lakota Sioux after all.
Fast forward to the present, and Apache decided to build the Aztec bar/restaurant as a way of providing employment for his two adult children Geraldo and Karen. It's a unique place, and certainly a great addition to La Manzanilla's entertainment scene.
The Aztec is open every evening except Wednesday. Dinner is available only on Mondays or Thursdays. The rest of the time Nena is making botanas to have with drinks.
Apache with his son Geraldo at the bar in the Aztec:
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