To attain a moment of tranquility it is essential to rise with the Zapatistan lark, since walking abroad any later than daybreak means sharing the beach with obese hedonists sucking contentedly on overpriced bottles of Corona. There are sunburned Europeans stumbling along the sands with their burden of scuba diving equipment. Persistent locals hawk full body massage and other sybaritic services. Meanwhile, pop music from the numerous beach clubs fills the air with a jumble of different songs; their enormous sub-woofers struggling for aural prominence with the jet skis and outboard motors of sports fishing boats.
At six in the morning, however, the shoreline is mostly serene and deserted. You might encounter the odd exhibitionist performing tai chi, but they don't bother me. Neither do the squinting pelicans, bewildered rock pool crabs, creaking palm trees or lapping waves. A welcome adjournment from kitschy commercialisation, however brief it may last, and certainly worth the trip south of the border in an economy seat with a layover in Newark.