Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bike Ride Photos

We did another bike ride, but this time we did the actual Jaluco loop that everyone rides.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Melaque 10K

This morning we got up relatively early so that Linda could get ready for the Festival del Mar 10 K Fun Run.  She has run in this event every year since it was established.  If you look back in the blog three years you will see a post called A Mexican 10K.  The first year of this event the 10K was quite a bit farther then an actual 10K so we just wrote it off to being Mexican in nature and that means you never know what you are going to get.

Maggie joined us for the warm up walk down to Centro where the start line was set.  There were quite a few runners entered in the event and the whole town was out and about either running or helping as volunteers.  Linda joined the running crowd and was joined by her favorite jewelery vendor from the tianga. Maggie and I  found Jeff, one of the volleyballers, and wished him luck.  Before long the gun sounded and they were off.

Maggie and I walked up the street and watched the runners go by and after Linda passed we went to a coffee shop and sat and talked.  When all the runners returned and headed down main street to the finish line we got up and joined the crowd cheering everyone across the line.  Jeff did very well in his age group and we even think he may have gotten an award.  Linda did real well too!  She is still injured and has not been training for races.  She jogged the course and felt very good after she had finished.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Morning Bike Ride

This morning Linda dragged me out of bed and herded me onto my bike.  She said I needed to get my butt in gear and get some exercise.  I think that playing several games of aggressive old people pool volleyball is exercise enough, but Linda does not agree.  We road out North to the highway and followed it West until we hit the first dirt road to the right.  This put us on a track directly into the farm lands and away from the busy dusty city.

We road at a steady pace, but I would not consider it fast in any respect.  With the bumpy dirt roads and the occasional soggy sand the speed we traveled kept us moving with little fear of crashing.  About three miles along the road we paralleled the Pinal Villa.  This little town is only about four blocks wide and nine blocks long and soon we were moving deep into the farm lands.  The dirt road got narrower and narrower with the plant growth closing in on both sides.  Sand grew more and more prevalent and you had to concentrate and keep peddling or it would grab your tire and slide you to a stop. 

At the roads narrowest and darkest point we rode down a dip and burst into the open.  In front of us was a concrete overpass, a landmark that we had been looking for. We stopped under the overpass and took a water break and once we had cooled down a bit we headed Southeast on the unfinished highway.  This road is a wonderful place to ride.  It has been around for many years but it never seems to get completed and is very rarely used by the locals.  You can drive on the smooth road, but it is not complete and I guess it really doesn't go any place that people want to go.  It definitely is one of those Mexico things that you hear people talk about.

We followed the highway for about three miles and then jumped off at an underpass.  This took us back through the farm fields to Jaluco. Just before we entered Jaluco we cane across a six foot long Bull Snake squished on the road.  It was real big and real dead! I made sure Linda understood that if we ever saw a snake like that, and if it was not dead, then she needed to be calm and understand that it would not get her while she was on her bike.  She did not agree with that, but said she would try to be in control.

After entering Jaluco and riding parallel to highway we decided to brave the traffic and ride the shoulder of the highway back to Melaque.  Once this was done we cruised back home, put on our swimsuits and joined everyone next door for several games of aggressive old people pool volleyball.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tres Fotos

It’s December 9 and it is 89 degrees in Melaque.  The breeze coming off the bay provides a cooling effect that makes everything very comfortable.  As long as you stay out of the direct sun, you remain the perfect comfort level throughout the day.   This in its self is one reason we come down to this area.   You can’t beat the climate this time of year.
Linda loves Bigote's!
Our daily routine has been established and Linda is just now getting unwound from the stress of teaching.  I could never explain how hard she works to be a good teacher.  The wages she takes home are almost an insult for the time she spends teaching others children.  Maybe if Lindas’ students’ parents would do as much parenting as Linda does for her students, then our next generations might turn out better.
Getting prepared for her substitutes, while dealing with some very intense drug related student issues, about did her in recently. (Yes she teaches 5th grade.)  Then on the day we left town, I had to explain that there had been a mass killing in an elementary school back east. She cried every time we saw any news coverage all the way down to our destination. 
That is all over now.  We don’t get any reports because we don’t ever turn on the TV.  I check Face Book daily, but that is the extent of our news intake.  We relax, eat street tacos, visit Bigotes and walk around the square
Sunset on our beautiful house maiden.
Wednesday was market day in Melaque.  It was the same as last year, maybe a little bigger, more junk but fewer tourists.  The vendors looked a bit hungrier and seemed to be a bit less exuberant then previous years. That is probably due to the slow tourist season.  We are seeing that the lack of visitors is affecting everyone down in this region.
Linda bought a bracelet while we were shopping but I held off purchasing anything.  It is still a bit overwhelming to me to have to deal with the language and the currency.  Linda laughs because I basically freeze up the second anyone starts talking to me in Spanish.  I guess I’ll just always be the gringo with the helpless look in his eye.
We have started our quest to figure out what we are going to do next year when we travel down here in our camper for an extended stay.  Linda really wants to keep the house, at least for a while, when we are down here.  I think it would be so cool to get a bunch of friends down with us to share the house. I would love to have some Mexico virgins to show this place to.  It is something you can’t really explain and you will probably never understand until you have the full experience.
From our bike ride around Melaque.
We checked out one of the newer RV parks that is about four blocks from here.  It was nice and it definitely had some openings available.  There were three sites full and about 20 empty.  It is an option, but was a bit spendy if you asked me.
I guess we will keep all options open and keep doing our research.  Something will come up, we have a hole year!   I guess this might be our theme for this trip, hope you don’t get tired of it! LOL

Monday, December 17, 2012

Down South Again

We have been in Melaque two days and have already started talking about our next journey down.  Yes it is a year away, but one of the most important parts of this trip is to solidify our plans for next year when we both are retired and can spend several months down here.  Larry and Maggie next door have already talked about doing a caravan down.  Maggie wants to slow Larry down a bit and do some sightseeing as we go and we are all in to that. 
We have talked about whether we want to keep the rental of the house, and right now, we say yes.  What we did talked about was having two couples plus ourselves staying in the place while we are down.  That would be a bit more planning and sharing of facilities, but we could sleep in the camper to make it work.
Another possibility would be to find a place where we can stay in our camper for the time we are down here.  Linda wants to be by the beach, but that may be hard to do.  We are going exploring in the next few days and see what we can see.

The dog is another factor.  We think he will do ok down here, but we don’t really know how he will act with the local dogs.  No one ties their dogs up, unless they are mean dogs.  Kobi gets so excited around other dogs, and we don’t know if Idaho Kobi will mix with Mexican Perro.  We have a friend, Austin, staying with Kobi while we are away.  Reports that they are getting along have been very positive.  Kobi can be a bit of a nut to handle and Austin said he is doing fine.

Our conversations as we walk have centered on our thoughts of next year.  How funny is that, we just got here!

Melaque has not changed much.  Everything is basically the same, some businesses have moved, some have closed, others have opened, but the town has not grown much.  We think it is a bit quieter then the past few years.  The tourist season is slow coming.  Our friend, Renaldo, who owns the rug store down the street, said that no one had been in to shop until yesterday.  The slow tourist season is hurting the locals real bad. 
We sat in the shop with Renaldo and talked about the school system down here.  He was not real happy with the local teachers.  It sounded like they did not take teaching seriously here in Melaque. We were just getting into some of his thoughts when some customers came into the shop and we took the interruption as and opportunity to let Renaldo go back to work.  He is so polite that we didn’t want to distract him when he was making a living.

Our days have already started to lay out about the same as in the past.  First two were rest and relaxation days.  Now we have our bikes and we played our first pool volleyball so the rest of our time will flow on.  I wish all my friends could experience how laid back this life style is. Some would love it, but I also know some would need more stimulation and more excitement. 
Keeping this blog up to date will be a bit of a struggle for me.  We don’t really do much or even see much new and exciting to report.  We get up, do our daily thing and spend a lot of time just relaxing.  I’ll post some photos when I get good ones.  If we meet new folks, I’ll have to post about them.  That is my way of remembering their names from year to year.  Like last night when we met Don, of Don and Terri from Vancouver Island.  We had the face, and the place, but the name evaded us, until we got home and I looked it up. 

I will be posting in a few days if there is something new and exciting to post.  Until then, hasta la vista!