Some 24km south of Manzanilla, the coast road heads inland at Point Radix, crossing over the Ortoire River and passing the local market, where stalls sell fresh fish, lobsters and strings of wriggling crabs. MAYARO itself has grown out of two old French villages, Pierreville and Plaisance, and is still marked as such on some maps. Pierreville, on the Mayaro–Guayaguayare Road, is the business end of town, a neat nexus of fast-food outlets, shops and small businesses. A side road cuts east to the village’s seaside quarter, Plaisance, a lovely place with a thoroughly relaxing atmosphere whose greatest attraction is its beach, a gentle, coconut-tree-lined curve of clean, soft brown sand that’s one of the most popular bathing spots on Mayaro Bay, along with Queen’s Beach a couple of kilometres further south (signboards for the oceanside hotels here mark the turn-off from the Mayaro–Guayaguayare Road); both spots only see crowds at the weekends, however. Lifeguards keep a watch on bathers, but there are no public changing rooms, toilets or other facilities on this or any other part of the bay. The Queen’s Beach resorts all have restaurants and non-guests can usually use the swimming pool at the Radix Beach Resort for a small charge. Note that the sea in this area has strong currents, so exercise caution.

Past Queen’s Beach, the road swings past pasturelands and, with increasing frequency, luxurious houses built by the oil companies for their managers and workers; BP even have an entire compound, a fenced-off affair reminiscent of a 1950s holiday camp.

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