Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 36: Moving to Villas Chulavista

Up early and after packing up all my stuff I headed down for breakfast at my favorite place, Panino's, but it is closed today because they are laying the concrete for the new sidewalk outside. Should be done by tomorrow, and it will be nice to have the tables outside on wide even ground at last.

Headed over to El Expresso for a leisurely breakfast reading a new book by Erik Larson called Isaac's Storm. Have read two of his books down here both of which I highly recommend: Thunderstruck, and The Devil in the White City. These are non-fiction that each combine two or more interesting story-lines that intersect in unexpected ways, and his ability to paint the period in time in words is masterful.

Villas Chulavista Unit 5
After killing a couple of hours I stopped by Villas Chulavista to check that I could extend my stay for yet another week until March 21. This time Janet, a friend of ours, is going to fly down to join me for a little over a week, and since it is now snowing in Vancouver I was easily convinced to stay a little longer.

The place is available, and I have changed my flight, said adios to Ramona who had cleaned my place for the five weeks I was there in the two apartments, and hauled my bags and groceries the 50 meters around the corner to my new apartment in stages.

At Villas Chulavista (Cool View) I have the owner's top unit numero 5, which has two bedrooms each with it's own en-suite bathroom, a central kitchen and living area under a high thatched roof that is open to the elements, and a sweeping view of the north side of the bay.

This means it will be a little cooler in the morning, but the bedrooms can each be closed off if it is too cool. OK, so I have gone native: cool is around 15C.

As I was moving I met the new people in unit 2 at Casa Juanita, they are from BC and we have arranged to go to dinner at Don Chow's tonight.

Oh, and I finally managed to get a numero uno haircut.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 35: Last Day at Casa Juanita

Panino's Bakery
Sue arrived safely in freezing Vancouver last night after ten days in the sun, and has to hit the ground running with work today.

Meanwhile, I will be moving to my new digs at Villas Chulavista tomorrow, just fifty meters around the corner from where I am now. Decided to start the day with an early morning walk on the beach and end at Panino's for their wonderful bagette breakfast and soy latte.

Laying the new pedestrian-friendly sidewalks to the beach
The road crew are busy stamping down the earth on the sidewalks in preparation for laying new concrete. They have planted new palms, and when it is finished it will look very attractive and pedestrian friendly.

They have made good progress with the street repairs in the five weeks I have been here, and the first of the beach access roads is nearly complete with extra wide pedestrian sidewalks and only a narrow road with no parking for deliveries to the stores.

Rooftop porn at Casa Juanita
Went to get a haircut, but the place I used last time is closed up and no sign when they will be open. Not sure if there is another hairdresser here, will have to go and see later.

Back to Casa Juanita to catch up on my journal and to start packing up my stuff. Last move I left several things in the apartment, so this time I will be more careful.

I am going to miss Casa Juanita, especially the top unit with its private rooftop deck with the sweeping view from the top of Gringo Hill.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 34: Sue Leaves

Sue waiting to leave at Sayulita bus terminal
Today is a travel day for Sue back to Vancouver. Once again we started the day early with a walk along the beach to the end of the bay as the sun started to peek over the trees.

Then over to Paniono's again for a leisurely breakfast, where we picked up a sandwich for Sue to take with her on the plane.

Then it was back to Casa Juanita for Sue to pack up, and head down the hill to get the noon bus to Puerto Vallarta airport. On the way she was able to print her boarding passes at the Internet cafe just off the main square.

Painting by Evelyn Boren
One of the advantages of staying for another two weeks is I will be able to watch the Punta Sayulita Surfing Competition on March 9-11.

I spent the rest of the day on the rooftop deck reading The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson, a wonderful tale of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and a murder mystery intertwined - and working on that elusive all-over tan.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 33: Sue's Last Day in Sayulita

For her last full day in Sayulita Sue wanted to walk the beaches and relax in the sun, and that is exactly what we did.

We started the day walking the length of the bay shortly after sunrise, when the temperature is cool and pleasant and there is only runners and fishermen on the beach. Ended up at Panino's, one of my favorite places for breakfast and a soy latte for me.

We spent much of the day reading on the rooftop deck and enjoying the sun. Then later in the afternoon we hiked to Playa Muertos and cooled off in the wonderful swimming beach.

We ended Sue's trip with an excellent meal at Miro Vino, which easily has to be the best restaurant in Sayulita, and has the North American prices to prove it. After weeks of fish tacos, it was a delight to have some innovative Italian cooking, and Sue and I celebrated her stay here in style, and then finished a wonderful evening with wine on the rooftop deck with the brilliant stars for company.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 32: Another Research Day

Doing tricks on the beach
After the late night from yesterday's adventure we both slept in late, and decided we wanted a slow relaxing day today. The day turned out to be beautiful and sunny, and we headed down to the beach with our towels and books and parked in a couple of deck chairs with a bucket of cerveza and watch the surfers and the guys doing tricks on the beach.

Sue said the weather forecast for Vancouver was cold and wet, and asked why I was coming home on Wednesday. Did a quick calculation of the travel funds, and decided to try and extend my stay here for another two weeks.

Back at Casa Juanita I looked through the listings, and sent of some inquiries, but figured these may take a day to reply. So I walked around the corner to a place I had seen before called Villas Chulavista (Cool View) and spoke to Luz the on-site manager, with on of the guests Mary helping with the translation. The result is I am booked there from when I leave Casa Juanita on Feb 29, and now leaving March 14.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 31: Another Adventure

Flag Day in Sayulita
Today was another surprise adventure day for Sue. We started the day with breakfast at El Expresso and watched the Dia de la Bandera (Flag Day) parade pass along the main street  from of our table. All the kids from the surrounding schools were there, of course waving flags.

We then had time to visit the Friday Farmer's Market before catching the bus to the entrance to Nuervo Vallarta on the highway, and walking the half hour in to meet once again at Vallarta Adventures. This time we were going zip-lining through the forest on their Canopy Adventure.

Trucking to the Canopy Adventure
Eleven of us piled into a truck and drove an hour past the airport and into the hills, where they have 150 acres of forest rigged with a trail of zip lines. The staff are all young, enthusiastic, and very safety conscious. They handled all the harness and connections and taught us the basics we needed to know to stay safe without overloading us.

Then it was up into the trees and for the next two hours we zipped and zapped down numerous lines ranging from 60 to 120 meters. Also had to do two rope rappels and some of us chose to do a harder route that involved climbing back up 20 or so meters up a rope ladder and across part of the canopy on small suspension bridges. We learned that they are in the process of building a 1.4 kilometer line that you will ride horizontally, and then end the trip on ATVs.

At all times we were connected from our harnesses to a safety line and when switching lines our guides always connected us to the new line before disconnecting fro the previous line.

Unfortunately for safety reasons we were not allowed to take our cameras with us, and once on the course I understood why - we had to use all our attention and both our hands to focus on what we were doing.

They did had a photographer follow us, and my only complaint with Vallarta Adventures is that they then charge almost as much as the trip for a copy of the digital images. It would be for better if they simply set one price that included everything instead of nickel and diming you to death.

Then another hour's truck ride back to the main center, where we had just enough time to shower, get changed and have a drink before we set out for the second part of the adventure.

We passed a pirate ship in Banderas Bay
For Sue's evening surprise I had booked us on their Rhythms of the Night dinner and show at Las Caletas, an isolated cove on Banderas Bay below Puerto Vallarta.

My surprise was that there was 500 people heading out in five boats. Not exactly in intimate evening I had imagined, but we went with the flow and the MC on our boat was funny and kept us entertained for the hour or so it took to get there. We Stopped at Puerto Vallarta along the way to pick up the majority of the passengers.

Thankfully I had been warned by Eduardo, who sold me the package in Sayulita, to dress warm and wear shoes not sandals, as it was cool on the boat, and cold on the return trip.

Rhythms of the Night (Photo: Vallarta Adventures)
The staging for the show was well done and the
show was a collage of dance representing the history of the region. There were some good acts, but overall I think Sue and I have been utterly spoiled by Cirque du Soleil that it was hard to sit still on the hard wooded bench seats, especially as by now we were starving.

We did not have dinner until after the entertainment which ended around 9.30. They did a good job of dividing the 500 people up into small sections that were separated from each other by candle lit pathways and burning torches. The dinner itself was an unremarkable buffet, and we felt rushed  knowing we only had a half and hour or so before the boats left. It was a good experience, but not one I would overwhelmingly recommend as I would the dolphin training and the canopy adventure.

We got back to Nuervo Vallarta around midnight and got a taxi back to Sayulita for not much more than the official set price that we had been told, and collapsed into bed around 1.30am.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 30: Sayulita Day

The view from the east hills
The plan for today was to walk the beaches as far as the peninsular just before San Pancho. This involves walking to end of the Sayulita bay beach and then hiking a jungle trail over the headland to the next beach which is generally deserted. I had done this a while back before Sue got here, and thought it would make a good day hike.

On the way out I talked to the owner Juanita, whose real name we learned is Janet but the Mexicans immediately called her Juanita. She said that there have been reports of bandidos along that beach robbing lone tourists, and even an incident of a shooting in the last few days. So we revised our plans to stay close to town.

Today is supposed to be the start of Sayulita Days, but we cannot find any information about it. Sue had seen a sign at the arena by the highway where we saw the horse show the other day on our way back from San Pancho. So we hiked out and they looked like they were setting up some equipment there for the evening, with a sign painted on the wall with something about bands on Feb 23.

Next we hiked up one an incredibly steep road on the east side, that opens into an incredible view of the town from the top.

Rooftop deck at Casa Juanita
Back down along the beach, picked up beer, wine and a chicken from the ladies at the bottom of our road, and headed back to enjoy reading on our rooftop deck. The weather was starting to look threatening, and we wanted to take advantage of our fantastic view while we could.

Tomorrow is another surprise adventure day for Sue, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 29: Research & Relaxation

After the excitement of yesterday, today was more low-key. Decided to visit the beaches and read our books, but on the way we stopped by the Iguana Sanctuary Tree, and for the first time since I have been here they were in a feisty mood and zipping all over the tree. See the Photo Album for more.

I think it was mainly the dominant male that was chasing all the other males away, and it made for a great show.
Teaching kids to surf
Then it was on to Playa Muertos and some serious reading and relaxing. Later we walked back to Sayulita beach and walked the length of the bay, along the way watching the kids learning on the beach how to surf.

Ended a great day at Don Chow's again for their fusion Mexican sushi bento box, and listening to a some great blues with a Mexican guy totally destroying a sax, clarinet and harmonica.

Glad to be of service.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 28: Training Dolphins

Petting the two year old dolphin
The big surprise I had organized today for Sue was to spend a day learning to train dolphins. The Trainer for a Day program is run by Vallarta Adventures about an hour's bus ride away in Neuvo Vallarta.

We met Anna our guide around 10 and since we were a little early she started us with a group encounter that was about to begin with a pair of mother and child  dolphins. We got int the pool with a small group on a submerged platform where we were were able to touch the two year old baby dolphin. They are like dogs in that they love attention and being petted. In the wild they are always touching each other in groups.

Anna, who is originally from Germany, now lives in Mexico and after becoming a trainer, set up the Trainer for a Day program and her enthusiasm is infectious.

Sue commanding the dolphin to jump
After the first encounter Anna took us to their other facility a short boat ride across the river where we met our instructor. We had a pool to our selves with a single dolphin that he was working with. We learned how much patience it takes to gradually get the dolphin respond to hand signals step at a time using their fish as reward. He also uses an ultrasonic whistle to reinforce when they have done something right. It is just like training dogs.

We got to try the hand signals, and what a thrill to give the jump command and have a dolphin leap into the air for you.

The sea lion feels like a large wet dog
Next we climbed into a pool for a close encounter with a sea lion. She loves attention and felt like a large wet agile dog in the pool with us. In the wild these can be very aggressive animals but this one was a gentle as a puppy and simply amazing to pet as she gracefully swam by.

The trainer had each of us swim to the middle of the pool and then had the sea lion jump effortlessly over our head. What a beautiful animal to watch.

Silly tourist photo
Of course we had to get photos with here making funny faces with us, and you can find more photos on the main photo album.

Then we were back gain with another group encounter with a pair of dolphins. This time we wore life jackets so we could float in the deep part of the pool and simply have the dolphins swim around us and allow us to pet them. Their skin is smother than I had imagined, and they love their soft belly being rubbed.

We got to feel their immense power as they towed us around the pool while we we held into their flippers as they swam upside down.

A kiss from a 700 pound male sea lion
The day went by fast, but before we left we got an opportunity to meet and get a little intimate with the large male sea lion who lives there. 

What an amazing day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 27: San Cuero Beach Hike

Stopped at Panino's Bakery by the beach to pick up a couple of sandwiches before we headed out for a longer hike today. Headed west on Ave Revolucion and a couple of hundred meters after it joins the by-pass road there is a dirt road on the right that is quickly engulfed by the canopy of trees.

Takes about an hour to hike through the jungle, up and down some steep climbs before the road ends in a river delta at a deserted beach that I think is called San Cuero. At the end of the beach is a small archway we had to crawl through that led to a smaller secluded beach, where we parked ourselves and read our books for a few hours. The day was slightly overcast which made for a perfect temperature on the beach.

Just as we were leaving a group on horseback came by, reminding us of a similar ride we did many years ago in Costa Rica. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 26: San Pancho

Casa de Tomas
We had started the day hiking to the highway and catching a bus about 10 minutes down the road to San Pancho. With not as many tourists this place is not as frenetic as Sayulita and feels more like a real Mexican village.

Met a couple from Kelowna who had built a stunningly unusual house called Casa de Tomas just off the main road, that has a small rental unit attached. Unfortunately the photo I took does not do it justice, as my camera had accidently been switched into antique mode making the colors muted. The cupola roof had beautiful blue inlay tile.

Villas Paradise, San Pancho
After breakfast at Maria's we explored the streets of San Panco which are wider than Sayulita and the town is flat. Then we headed down the beach to look at a strange white structure I had seen in the distance when I had hiked the beaches to San Pancho a week or so back.

As we got closer we could see that the sprawling white expanse was the Villas Paradise and looked so completely out of place in this sleepy seaside town, that we were compelled to investigate.

The place seemed deserted yet there was someone in an administration office who was happy to show us around. The place had been built some 20 or so years ago by the president as a place to entertain and impress. Now it was all becoming clear. As we looked at the empty rooms and corridors we felt we were in the movie The Shining, and when I saw the deserted bar by the pool I expected to see Jack talking to the imaginary bartender.

As were leaving we bumped into a couple of old ladies who looked like they had been hired by Central Casting just for this place. They were from PEI and one of them described the place as crumbling opulence. 

Walking back into Sayulita from the highway where the bus dropped us off, we stumbled into what appeared to be a horse show with plenty of hombres all dressed up on their horses. There was free food and no cover charge so we sat on the stands waiting to see what would happen. In the end there was no formal show, then as we were leaving Sue said that this reminded her of a car club show back home where people gather just to show off their cars. This could be the Mexican equivalent with horses.

Ended a great day with fusion sushi and live music at Don Chow's.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 25: Exploring Sayulita with Sue

Great advice
Sue had only a few hours sleep in the last day, and slept until 8.30 this morning. Once again the day is overcast but with a hint of breaks in the clouds.

I decided to hike to Carricitos beach along the jungle road as a way to let Sue unwind, and we spent a wonderful morning on the beach listening to the surf crashing on the rocks, watching the pelicans trolling for fish, and reading our books.

Then back to Sayulita via Playa Muertos for a lunch of fish tacos on the main beach, and the mandatory cerveza. Then we walked to the other end of town and back along the beach feeling we had earned some more cervaza on the beach while we read our books.

By 4 the day was cooling off and the clouds thickening so we hiked up the hill as the sounds of Saturday night music started drifting up the hill. Wandered around town in the evening and the music is coming from the sports field that has a kids carnival set up and a stage for bands to perform. Great first day for Sue.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 24: Sue Arrives

Spent the morning down at El Expresso Cafe having coffee and breakfast catching up  email and checking Sue's flight info. Kinda overcast day. Picked up some groceries and the required amount of beer before heading up the hill. Around 2pm I headed out an got the bus to the airport.

They have blocked off the exit since I was there and now everyone has to funnel out of one tiny door making for a complete bottleneck and total chaos, what a total fucked up design. With a bunch of planes arriving it took Sue nearly a hour to get through, but finally here she is in ... well ... overcast Mexico.

Apparently this is the most unusual weather they have had in ages, but Sue is here safely, and enjoying being in the almost-hot tropics.

After unpacking I took her to see the own and we had dinner at Calypso's off the main square. We bumped into Michel and David (Xocotla) on the way back to the apartment. Michael also just flew in just after Sue, and we are planning to get together with them some time this week.

Ended the evening drinking beers on the rooftop terrace listening to the sounds of the Friday night disco drift up from the town below. Oh yes, and we now have internet access restored at the apartment.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 23: Lost & Found

Mask at Xocotla
Everyone in Sayulita is commenting on how unusual it is to have clouds and rain at this time of the year. We have not recovered internet access at the apartment since the power glitch the other day, so I have to wander down to Cafe El Expresso to catch up.

Discovered that I had misplaced the cover for my spanking new Asus Zenbook, and it is a very cool cover. Only place I could think was I forgot it when I switched apartments. Talked to Juanita, but there is someone renting it, so I went to meet my new neighbor. He is from Quebec, and he noticed the cover on top of the safe and figured someone was going to be upset they had left that behind.

He had really wanted to rent the top suite, so I showed it to him and we had some cervezas on the rooftop, and later we both wandered down to have dinner at Rollie's.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 22: Unsettled

Maybe it is the change in the weather that woke me up at 4am. I was unable to go back to sleep, so I worked on stuff for the Xocotla domain for a couple of hours, and then had coffee as a foreboding overcast day emerged into the light.

Went for a walk around town while it was still dry and stocked up on food for later, and headed back as the rain started. The rain came and went all afternoon and I finished reading the Steve Jobs biography. What an amazing insight into him, would highly recommend this book to anyone.

There was a short power glitch in the afternoon and we have lost Internet connection at the apartment, despite Juanita re-cycling the equipment. The rain has stopped so I headed down the hill and I am sitting in Cafe El Expresso opposite the main square to catch up on emails, and making sure Sue and I are coordinated for meeting her on Friday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 21: The Gathering Storm

I can feel that a storm is brewing, and the forecast through the rest of the week until Sue gets here on Friday is rain and thunderstorms. Wonder what she has done to piss off the universe.

I spent some time this morning helping David with the new domain stuff I have set up for them at Then my body demanded that I do some exercise before I drank another cerveza, so I put on my running gear and jogged a loop to Muertos beach and back, stopping in town to pick up some more fuel.

Then since the day was still partially sunny, I thought I should take advantage of the fantastic rooftop deck, and read more about Steve Jobs until the clouds rolled in and the day turned cool.

Hard to believe I have been in Sayulita three weeks already.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 20: Research

Caught the 9 0'clock bus down the coast to ********** to make arrangements to **************** when Sue gets here next week. The plans are coming together, now the weather needs to cooperate.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 19: Making Plans

Started off with pouring rain, so I spent the morning working on the Xocotla website and stuff for the guys, but at noon the clouds broke and like a moody woman, the day was suddenly bright and sunny. Sue is arriving at the end of the week, and I went to make some arrangements for when she is here. Can't say anything more since she reads this too so you will have to wait and see what I have arranged.  All I can say is that it is cool.

The chicken ladies at the bottom of the street are doing good business from me. It is just so easy to get one freshly cooked off their grill and packaged with rice, tostadas, and piquant sauce, and of course some cervaza.

Back at the casa on the top deck I tried to tan my really white parts (am I over-sharing now? Should I post photos?) while reading more of Steve Jobs biography.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 18: Rainbows

My first day in the top suite with the rooftop deck and it rains and blows all day. Instead it gave me an opportunity to get David and Michael's domain and website set up for, so now I can enjoy the day tomorrow if the weather will cooperate.

Am reading the Steve Jobs biography and enjoying it. The author does not pull any punches when describing Steve. Interesting insight into his character and why Apple is the company it is.

Then at the end of the day the rain stopped and I got a brilliant sunset and rainbow from the rooftop deck.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 17: Moving Day

Woke to an overcast day and a surprise. Ramona came to clean up the apartment and with a lot of arm waving a few words of Spanglish I understood that I was moving to the upper apartment one day early. Juanita, the owner who lives downstairs, was too pre-occupied with her animal shelter duties to remember to tell me.

I had arranged with David to stop by after 1pm to do a photo shoot of the Ixpan unit before a change of guests, so the timing for switching apartments actually worked out well, especially since the day was cloudy and cool.

Rooftop terrace at Xocotla
After moving everything upstairs I went and had a few beers with David on their rooftop terrace with a killer view over the bay.

Then went over some basic uses of Google calendar that I am proposing to build into their website to manage their bookings.

He is a real computer-phobe and was a really good sport about it. He first told me that using the calendars was never going to happen, but after a while I think he came around and saw the advantages. Time will tell.

Wandered down the hill to pick up half a chicken from my ladies who bbq on the road, and then back to my new apartment where I went straight up to the rooftop terrace and enjoyed the dying light of the day reading. Definitely going to work on my all-over tan up here.

Then back to updating the Xocotla website with the new photos for David to review tomorrow.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 16: La Penita & Rincon

No sooner had I arrived at the Thursday market at La Penita than a summer thunderstorm started. Everyone hid under the tarps covering the stalls until it blew over.

I started the day early catching a bus at Sayulita at 8.40 that took me to highway for 3 pesos. Met John from Wisconsin waiting for half an hour already, but the Pacifico bus arrived at 9 and for 40 pesos took about half an hour to La Penita.  These buses are not chicken buses and have real seats and air-conditioning.

I learned that La Penita had been devastated by a hurricane some years back and the beaches had never recovered. The place looks beat up and besides the market stalls selling trinkets there was not much to stay for, so I crossed the wonderfully rickety suspension bridge and walked into Rincon.

Rincon is like a larger more touristy version of Sayulita. Wonderful curved bay beach, but not as many surfers, I think Sayulita has teh better surfing. With tacky colored hotels crowding the shoreline, and an older crowd of tourists, the place looks more of a tourist destination than funky Sayuita. Took some great close up photos of the pelicans who are real scrounges on this beach.

I sat and drank a couple of beers at a bar at the end of the beach with a sweeping view along the bay. Then went exploring until the day got too hot and decided to call it quits.

Waited on the highway for nearly an hour in the intense heat. Gave up and took a taxi back to La Penita to the Pacifico bus station just in time to get a bus back to Sayulita.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 15: Walking & Talking

The torn up sidewalks of Sayulita
Continued with exploring rental places around town in case I ever want to come back.

On the north side of town across the bridge, I hiked up a hill where I met some guys working on a casita with a stunning view over the bay. One of the guys was hand crafting the ironwork of the gate. Everywhere in Sayulita places are protected with ironwork over the windows and doors and no two places seem to have the same ironwork. It is all custom and it is simply another form of art.

Relaxed and read on the beach with my good friend Mr. Cerveza.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 14: Exploring Rentals

Ironwork master
Headed over the bridge to the East side of town to look at places up on the hills over there. Hike up a nearly vertical hill, but was rewarded with a stunning view back across the bay and the town. Don't think I would want to stay on this side of town.

Met some guys working on a casita with a wonderful view over the bay. One guy was doing the ironwork for the doors. All the places in Sayulita are protected by custom ironwork which is an expression of artwork.

Went walking around town and while having coffee at the bakery by the beach I got talking to Carol and Maine from Kelowna, who come down here every year for several weeks.

They love the place they are staying at called Casa de Ensuendo, and invited me to take a look. Six cute apartments a short walk on the west side, and reasonably priced.

And always booked apparently.
Wandering around I also got to see Casa Higuera, with almost the same layout and style as Casa de Ensuendo, but overlooking the beach. And appropriately more expensive.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 13: Work

Put together the first draft of a website of Xocotla for David, and then went exploring around town for some exercise.

Otherwise a pretty relaxed day.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 12: Opportunities

The day started off overcast and cool, so I thought I would catch up on some accounting support for Sue that I had promised. It helped sitting out on the deck instead of in an office. By 2pm I had had a great breakfast, but enough of categorizing expenses, and the sun was starting to show itself, so I headed out for a walk with my camera to see what presented itself.

The first was the elusive lizard that lives in a crack in the tree in the middle of the road below where I stay. He was fully out of his hole sunning himself on the side of the tree, and I managed some photos of him before he scuttled back inside.

On the way down the hill I bumped into David walking his dog. David and Michael own the Oxoctla Apartments down the road from me. David invited me for a beer on the beach and I said I would join him after I had walked the town a bit for some exercise.

I found him on the beach, and got taking about the apartment building that they own and live in. Sounds fantastic, and made loose arrangements for me to see them in the next while.

Love the name of their place - Xocotla ( pronounced Sho- Cot-La) - which is a native word that means something like fruit trees that are plentiful.  Asked if they had registered the domain name, and they have, but have not done anything with it. So after we were done, and I had stocked up on fresh bread from the bakery, I headed back and put a quick website mock-up of their place for them. Within no time David emailed me back that he is interested, so we will see if we can barter a website and domain management for a couple of weeks at their apartment sometime in the future.

Also managed to Skype by voice with Claire Prudhomme, who I knew from Montreal days, and who found me through one of the books I have published. Wonderful to catch up after 30 years, and she still sounds the same!

Talked to Sue who spent the day with Patty and Teresa visiting Gambier Island to see how their house construction is going. Will be interesting to go over to the island and see the progress when I get back.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 11: Carricitos Beach

Hiked over to Carricitos beach, and on the way met some people staying at Casa Pacifica which is just above the beach. Their description of the place sounded great so I stopped by and met the owners, Sharon & Mike, who showed me the two suites they have built. Absolutely amazing places. The lower bungalow unit has this shower that overlooks the bay.

The place is fairly remote about a 20+ minute walk from town down a dirt road, but if you want to be away from it all, this is the place  Here is a view of the open concept deck.

Spent the rest of the day on reading and relaxing on the beach and headed back when it started to become a little overcast. Bought a chicken from the ladies on the street at the bottom of the street leading up the hill to my casa.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 10: Market Day

Eight is a great time in the morning. The sun has been up for almost an hour and the day is still cool. Perfect time to go for a run and work off some of those beers. I headed straight down the hill, past Patricia's Surf Shop, on to the beach before any tourists and ran along the beach to the river, and then back to the road to Hotel Amour, up over the hill to Playa Muertes, and back along the dirt road into town.

Stopped at the bakery for some fresh bread, and picked up an iced coconut coffee from Paul at the Smoothie place, then back up the hill to cook a well deserved breakfast. What a great way to start a day.

Read my book on my deck and then around 11.30 headed back down to the Friday Farmer's Market to see what I could find. Got some organic coffee, fresh multigrain tostadas, chilli humus and sushi for dinner, and after wandering around town for photos, headed back to the casa to relax and read.

This is the last day for my neighbors Lorna and Ted, and I invited them over for drinks and appies, and had a wonderful time hearing of their travel adventures.

There is a shy iguana in the tree outside the casa, and I managed to catch this photo of him. Will keep trying for a better one.