It was a great day, our guide Wil of “bluemorphoecotours.com” picked us up at 10 as promised and we climbed into his late-model PU and headed into the back country going up into the mountains. We traveled about 60 KM out of Zihuatanejo up into the mountains on a windy switch back road. Only the last few miles were on a dirt road. We stopped at a lovely place where the owner is beginning his plans of having a small out-door restaurant for visitors and began our walk to a series of falls and pools. Along the way we learned about the termite nests in the trees that do not harm the trees and the termites are considered a good thing as they rid the forest floor of decaying wood. The termite nests also provide a place for wild parrots to nest inside. These are huge burl like looking masses high in the trees and the eggs are kept warm inside. We saw philadendroms growing wild. many ferns and pine trees. The huge parotta tree was especially beautiful and most had wild orchids or other types of flowers and plants growing on them with neither being a problem to the other. Of course our guide knew the names of all of them and of course I can’t remember any of them. I have pictures but they don’t show up well in this format. Wil seems to have 2 assistants from the village, Reynaldo 13, and Carlos Juan 10. They are 2 of 8 siblings. I called them our “Sherpas” as they carried our beach bags with our towels and water in them. Along the way we see many butterflys, including the blue morpho with a lot of blue color on their wing and the vivid Juliana that could be mistaken for a flying gold fish. We stopped at the first waterfall, the high falls and young Reynaldo shows us how he jumps into the pool below the water fall from the rocks about 30 ft above the pool, then scrambles up the rock wall with the help of a rope the kids have hung there to do it all over again. The pool is bout 30 feet deep in places and the village kids all know exactly where to jump to. This pool can only be entered by jumping from on high so we pass. The next fall is medium high with 2 sets of falls and Doyle opts to try this one the rock he jumps from is about 15 ft above the pool, he then swims down to the second falls and leaps off it. To get to the next set of falls we have a couple of suspension bridges to cross. That made me a little nervous at first, but it was really fun. Then we are at the 3rd falls and this is the one the kids slide on. It must be a 40 foot top to bottom rock slide with many right and then left turns. I opted to watch our “sherpa” Renaldo demonstrate. Of course it took almost no encouragement for him to do so. This is the best pool to swim in as you can enter it from a sandy area. Both Doyle and I and Will took a cooling dip. And boy was it cooling. Kinda took your breath away at first, but then you get used to it and it felt good. After our swim we climbed up a set of stairs made for giants, or at least it felt that way to get us back to where we started from for our lunch. Lunch was prepared for us by one of the village ladies, we had tortillas that were hand-made from corn ground that morning, a ground beef and sauce dish, steamed (rancho) beans and a wonderful cheese made in the village. Quite the experience, it was very, very good. Every one enjoyed the meal. After lunch we strolled up to the village of about 80 people which is probably only 6-10 families as the families are quite large. Their dwellings are small by our standards and quite poor in consumer items, but there was nothing there that said poor in spirit, the kids were happy, a bit dusty, no fancy name brand clothing, they have their own school, and a real sense of family and community. Their homes have what I call “subsistence” gardens, where they plant every thing and anything that they can grow and eat later including chickens, turkeys, many variety of trees and plants and you can be sure it’s all organic and “green”. Here burros are still one of the main type of transportation, but fortunately not the only type because as we were leaving we noticed a pickup truck actually speeding down the mountain road. As we were to learn later the older sister of one of our Sherpas was bitten by a scorpion and they were rushing her to the next village where there was anti venom for her bite. I’m not sure that’s the correct term, but I’m sure it gets my meaning across. The houses in the village were adobe bricks, very open air, kind of made me think of not much more than back woods camp out shelters, but they do have electricity, running water gravity fed, and they can have satellite TV. It isn’t nearly as expensive as it is here. But there are no phones and I believe there is also no internet. I can feel no pity for them as they aren’t suffering, they are subsiding as folks have for eons and appear to have less worldly problems. Life is different, but still good. Wil’s tours will bring some money into the community, we bought hand work one of the women in the village who does beautiful needle work, we tipped the kids that so graciously helped and entertained us, We bought one of the best and most authentic lunches we have had in Mexico and hopefully brought a tad of prosperity to a charming village that gave us an insight into the lives of others who live differently from us. It was a great and educational and fun day. signing off KO
1 28 11 One of my biggest pleasures in Mexico is the amount of me time I have. At home I feel obligated to be doing something productive and there is always something that needs my attention. Here life is simple, no garden to tend and the most housekeeping I do is make the bed and a few dishes each day and the maid comes weekly do change out the linens and clean. We eat one maybe two meals in most days and and one out some times more sometimes less. It’s our big decision of the day. Yesterday afternoon we spent our time with our neighbors at a beach side restaurant drinking beer &
mojito’s for me and visiting and shopping from the wandering vendors when we wanted to. Very laid back afternoon. Watched a DVD movie later that night. I’ve managed to read 4 books on my kindle and will start a new one this morning. At home I find very little time to read. I walk around town when I fell, do some shopping for gifts or groceries, have just enough language skills to as the necessary questions, I still have a little trouble with the money, I’ve mastered the paper money, but not so good with the coins. The shop keepers don’t keep much change on hand and prefer exact change or close to it.
In just about an hour we are to set off for our “outback adventure” with an american guide/naturalist who is married to a Mexican lady and has lived here about 10 years. I’m hoping to get some great pictures. Signing off KO
1 26 2011 It’s a little after 9 Zihua time and I’m sitting on the balcony and enjoying music drifting in from a half block away, it’s Jimmi Mamou again. Very pleasant.
We dined in tonight and I don’t care how long I marinated that hunk of meat, actually it was quite thin, but should have been designated for shoe leather. Of course meat no longer touches my lips and my egg salad was delicious, thank goodness or maybe my pre-planning that The Senor also had a great salad to finish off his meal.
There is no recycling here in our corner of Mexico, if I could find where our morning roosters lived I would be happy to treat them to some fresh salad greens and such. Also I have a nice piece of (tough) meat for a pero (dog) but I know of no such dog. So it all goes to basura (garbage). My language skills are so limited, but I am so much more comfortable trying, asking and laughing at my self while trying out my words, poorly pronounced as they are. Babe if you are tuned in, I mailed Michelle a post card. In my fractured spanish I learned where to find post cards, where to buy stamps and where to mail them ,it should go out in the morning mail, don’t hold your breath as I’m told it is sloooow. I will try to post some random pictures, still not an easy task. Signing off KO
1 25 11 Spending a quiet day close to the apartment, our balcony is a fantastic place to read or write or have meals or cool drinks. Untill about 2 in the afternoon, then the sun is too hot until about 6 in the evcening. We have a little shopping to do today. I saw a blouse I want, but couldn’t find the store again last night and I don’t wander too far a night alone. So in the light of day, found the shop and bought the blouse, it looks kind of hand-woven, very light weight. Then went on to buy a dress I saw last year, just a cotton wrap around dress, but I wanted it last year and didn’t get it as it was more than I wanted to pay. Since I still wanted it this year, I got it heck with the price We made reservations to take a back country tour on Friday and to participate in a sailboat parade on the bay on the following Friday.
While Doyle napped I went back out and picked up a few groceries at the mercado and bought 11 eggs that were placed in a plastic bag for me to carry back to the apartment, no carton just a plastic bag. I meant to ask for a dozen “doce,” but I slipped and said “once” and got eleven. Eggs cost 10 pesos each, less than a dime each, not quite as good as our own, but not bad.
Went out to dinner again a La Hija del Capitian, I think it is Doyle’s favorite place, he plans to watch the super bowl there. Their fish menu consists of 3 different types of prawns, this time I tried the coconut prawns, they were good and I’ve never been fond of coconut before. We had planned to go to Pacolo’s for music and drinks they have a two-man band of which one is from Bremerton. He drives truck in the summer in Kitsap County and goes to Zihuatanejo every winter to play music. Best of both worlds, I should have kept up with my music lessons! The place was too crowded, so we headed over to Bandido’s where there was a one man band who was excellent. Very mello, played a lot of the old Frank Sinatra. Nate King Cole type standards. Had a great evening. He came over and introduced him self during the break, which is very common here. The musicians are very friendly with the audience. We also ran into our friend who runs Zorro’s Bar. Most places we go we see people we know or have met. We are beginning to feel like regulars instead of just tourists. I got wore my new red dress with my new mexican jewelry I bought at the beach. All in it was just another day in paradise! signing off KO
Simple translation I took an adventure to the whale celebration at the wild life refuge near Barre de Potosi. Doyle had planned to stay in town to watch the play-offs, but I was going to tag along with our canadian neighbors and friends of theirs. Well our neighbors didn’t feel up to it so I set out on my own to tackle the bus system and get my self 3o or so miles out to the Refugio. As luck would have it I spotted my neighbors’ friends as they were heading out to the bus and tagged along with them. Riding the bus here is quite the adventure. This was a big bus and along with the driver was a young man (think conductor but with out any of the class) the front door remains open at all times as he hangs out the door whistleing to attract attention and shouting Penta, Penta which is short for Pentalon the final destination. As he passes you wave if you want on and the bus stops, sometimes if it is a young person it comes to arolling stop and ther person jumps on the slowing moving bus. To me that is quite a trick as the step on the bus is equal to 3 steps up. Not so easy for old knees to climb. There were no pig or chickens on this bus, but a man with a very large machete hopped on. The blade was wrapped in newspaper and he was probably on his way to work. We got off at a tiny village called Las Achotes and paid as we got off the equilvent of $1 for our ride, as it depends on how far you go. We next walked into the dusty little village for the next segment of our ride in what I think is called a passajara, a big pick up truck with a canvas canopy and benches on each side. The 3 of us were the last to get seats, 2 young men hung on the back bumper. It was about 5 miles to the Refugio over a bumpy road but we arrive save and sound and enjoyed our vist, I managed to get a decent picture of one of the butterflies in the sanctuary. but since it was noonish most of the other animales were asleep The big event was becoming a “bone godfather” by buying a bone. All the $25 small bones had been bought so I resisted, at least for the time being. They have a complete skeleton of about a 70 ft sperm whale they are trying to have preserved and displayed permanently in it’s full 3 dimensional full form. Right now it is wired together and displayed, but not yet museum quality. That is what they are striving for and need to raise the money for. There was plenty of good food at reasonable prices, tequila tasting and for gamblers frog jumps and chicken bingo. It was a little hot on the dusty road waiting for the passajarra to return us to the village but the bus was there and we jumped on it for the return home. Back in town we stopped at the “Flophouse Bar” for s cooling Margarita. I then went to check on the ballgames progress knowing that Doyle would be a the La Playa Bar among many amigos. Games wern’t over so I took my self out to dinner at “Agave”, an upstairs balcony restaurant and ordered my favorite cold avacado soup and some Guacamole with chips. Can’t think of a better meal and I now have a recipe for it. Just another day in paradise where the weather has remained a steady 80 degrees. Signing off KO
1 22 11 Saturday night in Zihuatanejo is a unique experience. Sort of a cacophony of sounds. From our balcony I can hear about 3 different bands, and a couple of radios. Some of the music is pleasant, one is just a loud band with very repetitious drum beat.
Earlier this morning as I returned from my walk, they were setting up enormous speakers, with huge banners hanging from tall scaffolding. Guerrero state elections are at the end of this month. In the late afternoon and early evening there was a huge political rally at the zocolo. Looked like everyone in town and more were there. We could view the scene from the balcony, which was as close as I would want to get involved in Mexican politics.
Sort of started at the end of my day working backwards. After my morning walk, we headed to Las Gatas beach to swim and snorkle. Since it was Saturday the beach restaurants were busy with many Mexican families. Not many tourists. We tried a new place, Mesa de Pescador and had good beach chairs with umbrellas, plenty of beer and margaritas and a nice fish fillet for lunch. While I snorkled “The Senor” was picking up little pieces of coral for my bird houses. A little girl about 3 or 4 watched him and then started picking up coral and bringing it to him. She was soon joined by her sister and brother all bringing him coral. It was really quite sweet, but had a little trouble telling them enough. We met up with “my jeweler” Juanita. I’ve purchased necklaces from her every year we go to Las Gatas. She greets me like an old friend. And of course I bought 2 beaded necklaces and a pair of earings. It’s always a bit of an adventure riding the boat out to the beach, well the adventure isn’t in the ride it’s the getting on and off. The pier and the boat are not quite at the same level, but for a few coins there are young men to assist. Still can’t do it gracefully!
I’ve been unable to send any email for the last couple of days, receive yes, but no able to send, with the help of my neighbor nI fixed the problem or more correctly was able get around it. So if any of you recieve a Help message from me, ignor as the problem is corrected.
Friday night we went out to dinner with our Canadian friends Dwight & Lynn at a courtyard restaurant. The waiter was very entertaining and renamed the gentlemen in our party El Rey and El Guapo, said it was easier than trying to pronounce their names. Had a good dinner, good company, all is well and right with the world. Life is Zihuatanejo is most enjoyable.
I’ve tried to post several pictures to illustrate much of the above, I’ll give it one last try. I wanted the pictures in the appropriate places, but I guess I don’t know how to figure that out yet.
1 20 11 Evenings in Zihuatanejo are just short of magical. It’s 9 pm, it’s just 80 degrees with a soft wind blowing, I’m sitting on our balcony overlooking the pedestrian street we are located on ( 3 blocks either direction no cars) I can see the Zocolo ( think town square) where there is always something going on. A show of singers or dancers or fire throwing baton twirlers accompanied my a whole slew of teenage Romeos pitching woo in every dark corner. Lots of people activity, not only in the Zocolo but lots of folks walking around as the shops are still open. Right now I can see the fire batons being thrown in the air. We are only a block from the Zocolo and the beach beyond. From our third floor balcony the view is excellent. The people here are very warm and friendly. In the grocery store you are apt to run across someone who speaks about as much english as I speak spanish, but they want an opportunity to practise their english and they start talking to you. Where are you from , how do you like Mexico? Today “the Senor” and I each bought a pair of pants at a store where the shopkeeper spoke quite good english, so she speaks english to me and I speak my spanish to her. We both get to practice. Life is very relaxed here, mannana does not mean tomorrow , just not today! Zihuatanejo has many Americans visiting, but many more Canadians. 2 of the 3 couples in our building are Canadian. Our building has 6 apartments finished with 1 still under construction. They are newly renovated, very comfortable with air conditioning and internet service. No cable TV so our sling box is doing us very well. The Senor is happy to get all the news, gloomy as it may be. He has picked out his favorite bar for football viewing for the weekend ball games. Speaking of bars, I’ve had to adjust, wine is too expensive here and I have had to go to margaritas. Pity! The Senor and I spent a couple of hours earlier today at a beach establishment watching parasailing, jet skis, kayaks and a fleet of sail boats bobbing at anchor while enoying beverages at very reasonable prices. Like I said it is a tough life here, one month is not nearly enough. Signing off KO