Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not Quite New Years

Despite the fact that this was the fourth day in a row where the skies were threatening rain, we took another short jaunt to La Manzanilla.  Once again the bus was packed and we all had to stand and hold on for the entire trip over.  We got off at the usual spot and walked to the area where the crocodiles could be viewed. 

La Manzanilla is noted for its crocodiles and today we weren't disappointed.  We counted over ten big crocs in the immediate viewing area and were able to get a couple good photos of them as they laid in the murky water. I thought I got the money shot, but it turned out to be blurry once I got home and was able to off load it to the computer.

After the croc viewing we walked through the town and did some comparative shopping.  We found the same items that we see everywhere, but they were quite a bit more expensive in this town, I guess it is because of the long flat beaches or something.

The money shot gone bad!
We stopped for lunch at Pedro's Fish Tacos, but this time our lunch was not quite as relaxing as before.  We walked in and sat down and immediately all of us started coughing and hacking.  It was like we were all sprayed with mace!  Pedro came running out, trying his best not to cough, and explained that they were cooking the hot peppers that they use in there salsa and other foods.  He said it would stop in a couple minutes.  We stood up and moved out onto the beach where there was a bit of a breeze.  Pedro ran back into the kitchen and then returned and explained that he turned on a fan that would blow the toxic smoke away.  The air cleared and we were able to sit down.

The minute we sat down we were swamped by beach hawkers.  They flocked around our table trying to sell us everything from bikini swimsuits to big old dorado.  It was the worst I have ever experienced in Mexico.  It got so we would just sit there and say "no".  We even practiced a coordinated head shake with all our heads saying no in unison.

I kind of got the worst of it.  I sat on the right side of the table and that seemed to be the personal boundary of a rubber beach ring hawker.  She appeared out of no where and place a stack of about thirty blow up beach rings right in front of my view of the Bay of Tenacatita.  Linda got up and moved the pile and got sort of scolded by the lady.  It seems that Linda had moved the pile into another hawkers territory.

To avoid any further tension we moved our drinks and gear to a table at the very front closest to the water.  This put us directly in the fly zone for all the beach sales personnel and we spent the rest of the time shaking our heads no. 

The experience was not over for me though.  The beach ring lady kept moving her stack of rings further out and closer to me.  It was like a Saturday Night Live skit! I would look over my shoulder and the minute I look back to the sea she would move the pile closer.  I felt like any moment I would hear "pizza delivery" coming from the stack and a Christmas tree branch would slash out and stab me when I looked at the tubes.

Our meal came and was just ok.  Later when we got home, Bill started feeling a little sick.  We probably won't eat there again, at least not on a big holiday weekend.

Our bus ride home was a non event. Bill and Teri headed back quickly due to Bill's bad stomach and Linda and I went shopping for New Year's Eve dinner. I will take some pictures of the fireworks and post them.  Feliz Año Nuevo!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On a Rainy Day in Mexico

It's been raining off and on for the past two days.  The streets are filled with huge puddles but hat doesn't slow people down.  You have to really watch where you walk because there could be a tsunami washing your way from a car, truck or bus. 

Linda and I walked to the truck to check and make sure the camper is dry inside.  Everything is just fine.  Larry and Maggie happened by while we were there and so we all explored the property.  I think Linda is a little apprehensive about the move, but I am looking forward to it.

I am posting a coupe photos from a couple nights ago hope you like them!
Looking away from the sunset.

Kobi in the sunset.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Day Before Christmas

A beautiful vessel sails to port.
We have had a few busy days recently and have found that we are way more active then we thought we would be.  Not only are we always exploring the culinary delights in this little town but we have many other daily routines that we have gotten in sync with. I think Linda put it best in a letter to Loretta, "(we) take the dog for his walk, catch up on correspondence, eat breakfast clean up around the place, play pool volleyball, eat lunch, read/play games with neighbors/hang out, watch the sunset, go to/fix dinner, read/relax, go to bed and then do it all again the next day with slight variations." We are into the swing of Mexico life.

Today Linda started a little art project. Terri Burch gave her a skeleton mask made out of papier mâché and requested that Linda use her artistic talents to turn it into a Day of the Dead mask. Linda will work on it for the next few days until Terri arrives this Friday.  I will post something that will show you the final results.

Linda's "Day of the Dead" project gets started.
Just toss the stick dad!
As you know sunsets draw us out each evening and I have tried not to take a bazillion pictures of the rock islands with the sun setting behind them, but it is impossible to not be ah-struck every evening when the sun sets and the sky becomes a painters pallet of color. I grab my camera and shoot about twenty photos each time I am out there.  Last night (Christmas eve) I didn't take the camera with me for the evening sunset. Of course the sunset by the rocks was spectacular but I had prepped my self to not be disappointed and feel like I needed to rush back and get the camera. I suffered from withdrawals a bit. It was the clouds looking away from the sunset that made me hang my head and sniffle. Before our eyes a huge group of thunderheads developed while the sunset slowly dusted them with shades of red, orange pink and purple. It was amazing and it would have been a great shot, in a different direction, of a different part of just another beautiful sunset.  I missed it, the good thing is there will be many more to come.

The sunset photos below do not look real, but I did not do any touch-up on them.  This is the way my camera saw them.  Note the hole in the rock on the second one. The hole is something everyone down here waits to see.  It is quite the surprise the first time you get to see it.





Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Fancy Dinner

Tonight we went our with friends to a restaurant called Caracoles. The meal was fantastic! Everyone's entrée was very elaborately displayed and the flavors were phenomenal.

My dinner Coconut Shrimp! Yum!

Tonight's sunset.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Visiting Friends in La Manzanilla

Beach at La Manzanilla looking toward Boca de Iguanas.
On Friday, Linda and I packed up the backpack and walked to the bus terminal in Malaque.  We were looking to catch the bus to La Manzanilla, which is about 30 minutes northwest of our community.  Linda inquired about the bus and once again a very nice young lady helped explained when it would arrive.  We waited and watched the chaos of the local bus vs. the very large tour bus comings and goings. It is amazing that they can maneuver three greyhound sized busses, heading different directions, around in an area the size of Zip's parking lot. All this while three local school bus sized busses wonder through the mix.  When our bus arrived the young lady that previously helped Linda made sure we were on the bus.  Our bus was standing room only so we hung on and off we rumbled.

Jennifer, John and Linda in their palapa.
La Manzanilla is on a five-mile arching beach of fine sand. You can walk this beach northwest and eventually reach the town of  with Boca de Iguanas. Several years ago we did some boogie boarding on Boca.  On that same trip exploring we visited the beach of Tenacatita.  The entire bay area is called the  Bay of Tenacatita and all the beaches I just mentioned are within its protection.

This year La Manzanilla is the winter home of a friend of Linda's, Jennifer McLeod, who she met while working in the school district. Jennifer and her husband, John, have been traveling Mexico many years and have zeroed in on La Manzanilla as one of their favorite places to stay.

Our bus entered the town proper and Linda beckoned for us to exit. We had been told to get off at the "Y".  The area looked more like an "X" but I followed like the good burro I am.  Linda's memory is usually as sharp as a tack but for some reason she could not remember the name of the restaurant where we were to meet Jennifer.  We stood and looked, and then followed the flow of people walking along the road following the path of our bus.  Within a few blocks, I spotted Jennifer coming our way.  We had exited about four blocks too early at the intersection and not the "Y".  Jenifer had stopped the bus and was told by the driver that we had abandoned ship earlier. She had backtracked and found us wandering.

Jennifer lead as we walked the interior streets and up a hill towards their house. Prior to getting there we met up with Jennifer's son John who was on his way to the beach.  From there we walked a little further up the hill to their lovely rental house for some water, and a tour.

John, Jennifer's husband, met us at the door and we immediately went on a tour of their home.  It was a nice three story building with spacious living spaces.  The entire house was built tucked into the side of the hill giving it very nice shade and a lovely view of the Bay of Tenacatita. We sat up at the rooftop palapa drinking ice water and cooling down from our trip over.  We talked of the history of their coming to this little village, their past history as a couple and of their families.  It was very pleasant and relaxing.

Later we took a walking tour of the town and visited the tiangi where Linda bought a basket. 
We walked down to the waters edge and followed the beach south to the cliff side home of friends of the McLeod's where we visited their beautiful home and picked up some items.  After that we walked back up the beach to Pedro's Tacos and had fish tacos for lunch.  We sat and talked, their son John joined us and we ate and drank in the shade of the beach umbrellas.

At about 3:00 PM we walked to the "Y" and met our bus.  We made plans for John and Jennifer to visit us at our house in the future.  John and I talked about a possible fishing trip with Geraldo. We thanked them for the lunch and tour and were off.

The bus ride back was fast and fun.  A guitar player sang while his friend played the wood flute.  They were very good and collected way more pesos then their fare cost.  After the bus let us off we went to the store and bought some food items, walked home and flopped into the pool.  Another great day in our Big Adventure!


video

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Our Guests are Gone

Dale and Judy left yesterday, it was sad to see them go.  We hope they had a good time, I know we did!  After they left I got the funk and stayed on the couch for the rest of the day.  We think it was heat related, it happens and then the next day I'm A-ok.

We have started to get a bit of a routine to our days started. Not much excitement to talk about. The night before Dale and Judy left we walked down town and they were having a big piñata party on taco row.  The kids were having a blast.  This town is so family oriented, they close down streets for parties, hold parades, and celebrate everything.

When we went to Barra on Tuesday, Dale and I bought shirts.  They were exactly the same and now we will be expected to wear them every time we are together. I think Dale and I have never had so many pictures of "the brothers" taken.  I would bet it has been about 20 years since we were so photographed. Those pictures were probably taken with polaroid camera and you had to stand and shake it for several minutes to get the results.

We will be taking a little trip over to La Manzanillo to visit Linda's friend Jennifer.  We'll have some photos from there.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tis the Tortuga Season

We were lucky to be able to release turtles in front of our house last night.  It was a lot of fun and this time there were no birds to worry about.  Some of the gang even went in swimming with the little critters.


Linda posing.


Every day ends with a beautiful sunset.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Birds, Bugs and Barra

We got up early and walked to Barra de Navidad to look around.  On the way over past the Laguna we saw birds all over the place. The bug was on our table cloth and we couldn't identify it. Any guesses? (Dennis?)





Dale and Judy as Mer-people.

Yes this is a flying bug,

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tonights Sunset



Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

4th Annual Carrera Costalegre 10 K

Linda got up this morning and ran in the 10 K road race. She has run in all four of the events that they have held and each time they provide a different course.  This year they cut down the amount of beach running so Linda was happy about that.  Dale, Judy and I watched the start and then went over and had breakfast a local restaurant.  When we were finished we were able to watch Linda finish the run.  The town does a great job of making everyone who runs feel good about their performance. 

Linda and Jennifer McLeod, a friend from Cd'A. 

On your mark!

Vamos!

"Waat ttil I don't hav foud im ma moff!"

See, I told you I was the good looking one!

Dale and Judy, by the way, Judy had French fries for breakfast.

Almost to the finish line, go Bug!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Turtles

We got to release some baby turtles tonight.

Linda had the touch, Go turtles, go!