Time is Starting to Get Short

Mexican friends, makes me think of the story of “The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Dinner with long time friends Dwight and Lynn at El Perla Negra

We have about 3 and a half weeks left of our season in Zihuatanejo. Now I know for some folks that is their whole time here, but for those of us that spend the winter here it is the time to start making our reservations for next year, lists of what we will store here and what we are taking home. Folks that we want to see at least one more time before leaving, places that we might want to go, using up all our Sailfest Certificate for dinners and such. March is the month that most of the snowbirds begin to head back north, so it is saying goodbye to friends that we won’t see again until next year. Some folks are ready to head back home, me not so much, I love the casual laid back life style we live here, but I’m not sure I would like the heat and humidity of summer here. Winter time is perfect for us so I’ll be satisfied with 4 months next year, in November to Mid March.

We have time to finish our agenda for this year, 2 more dinners out, a


Fish Therapy for my scaly feet, they tingle a bit

Kayaking trip tomorrow for me while the Senior gets a massage, followed by a beach lunch, a couple of lazy days in Troncones with friends, a couple of beach days, and a Santa Prissa Pazole lunch and maybe a movie in Ixtapa and it will be time to go home.

I hope the snow has quit by then. In the Pacific Northwest it’s a big deal to get snow once or twice during the winter. But this year it has snowed on and off almost continuously all winter and is still doing so. It has been a very good winter to be here, I do feel blessed. The Senor is rapidly gaining strength, all is good and right in my world! Signing off KO

SAILING ON THE PATRICIA BELLE

One of the most fun parts of Sailfest is the Sail Parade where for 300 pesos (less than $15) you can spend a day on a sailing on a sail boat.  The the best thing is all that money goes to build and improve schools for  the poorest children in Mexico, and there are no paid administrators to siphon off the funds.

Faye holding the sign to assemble our group
Faye holding the sign to assemble our group

This morning around 300 people lined the pier waiting for the pangas to take them out to the various boats they has signed up to spend the day on. My companion Faye and I decided we wanted to do the Patricia Belle again because she is such a FUN boat. The Patricia Belle is very large, some 60 feet of deck space and 30 of us enjoyed the captain and the crew’s hospitality. This boat was built some 20 years ago about 10 miles from where I live. Built of timber logged off the captains property behind the Bear Creek Store on the old Belfair Highway in Washington state.

We led the sail parade around Zihuatanejo bay and then out past Ixtapa, paid our respects to the Port Captain then sailed off to do some middle of the ocean swimming. About two thirds of the passengers and all of the crew jumped or dove overboard and swam along side the boat as she gentled sailed on, and I do mean gently as there was almost no wind at all. There are lines over the side that you can hold on to if you aren’t comfortable swimming away from the boat.

Faye and me on the pier after a day of sailing and swimming
Faye and me on the pier after a day of sailing and swimming

We had packed picnic lunches complete with salmon, cheese, capers, olives, crackers, jicama and of course wine  It’s just a fantastic way to spend and afternoon sailing, eating, drinking and swimming in the ocean where the water temperature is about 82 degrees and meeting so many new friends.  Signing off KO

Things I will miss and things I won’t

Our time in sunny Mexico is drawing to a close,  sadly we are on our last day. I love Mexico and Zihuatanejo with all it’s quirks and interesting culture.  There is so much I will miss, but there are somethings that you just have to say “Ah it’s mexico” and overlook. I will miss all the friendly faces that speak to you on the streets and greet you with a quick Hola! or Buen Dia even when they don’t know you at all. I will miss warm days at the beach with

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View of sail boats from the beach

the breeze blowing, I will miss nights without ever needing  a sweater, I will miss 25 peso cab rides,  and riding water taxis, I will miss the pigeon who lives in our balcony planter and the iguanas that entertain us during dinner on the balcony at night.  Let’s face it I will miss my balcony!

I will not miss  toilets  with no seats in public facilities. Where do they all disappear to?  I won’t miss needing to discard TP in the waste basket instead of the bowl. I will miss daily fresh fruit. I will miss fresh fish cooked to perfection.  I will not miss Mexican bars that play music until 6 am, but I will miss yummy drinks expertly prepared. I will miss mercado shopping, but not  barking roof dogs, but I will miss the sweet, gentle street dogs.I will miss swimming long course at 8 am at the “Alberca Olympica.” I will miss walking all over town and taking 10 peso bus trips for longer distances. I will miss our Zihuatanejo friends new and old.

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Faye  and I at Saifest

I will miss always seeing folks I know where ever I go in town. I will miss taking my camera every where as there is always something interesting to see.  I will miss the time I have here to read book after book with out guilt.  I will miss having time to blog about simple daily events. I won’t miss washing dishes by hand.I will miss coconut palms, flowers and greenery all winter long.

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                                Saturday morning Market

I will miss my trips with Sylvia to the the little Saturday morning market, where everything is home grown, or made or recycled and hand made or organic. I will miss lovely sunny mornings as we return to gray rainy weather, but all good things must come to a close. So this is my final blog of the season Signing off until December 30 2016.  KO

Street Art, Ixtapa Island and Chula Vida

One of the pleasures of being a pedestrian in Zihuatanejo and varying your route from time to time is running into unexpected visual treasures.  They may be in the form of architecture, flora and fauna, or wall art. One of the problems of being a pedestrian is that at times you feel like a visual target for the Mexican motorists,or maybe just open season on gringos. Anyway to avoid a particularly problematic street crossing I decided to adjust my route back from the swimming pool and that’s when I discovered this lovely street art. The long wall is actually the far side of El Pueblito, the others are located at the front side of  El Pueblito just past their big wood door.

With the Senor not feeling up to par it has been a great pleasure to have friends to go

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Kathleen and Bonny at Parisio Escondido Ixtapa Island

places with. Bonny and I did Ixtapa Island.  It is one of my  most favorite beaches as I can swim out and around where the sail boats moor and then go snorkeling on the other side of the island  where the fish are beautiful and plentiful. On our return we watch as a generous fisherman was feeding the pelicans.

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Hungry Pelicans enjoying a handout.

We visited ChulaVida yesterday with our friends and neighbors Will and Sylvia.  We had been looking forward to this trip as it always is a bit of an adventure. We bused to the airport and planned to wait their for the pasajera for the trip along Playa Blanca. The Senor

was up for this trip,but struggling with sciatica pain so we choose to wait in the little restaurant for the truck.Several taxi drivers tried to get our business but we choose to wait for the far less expensive pasajera.  Well I think we got “Tom Sawyer-ed” as we were quite sure we could see from where we were when it  would turn around but we also thought either the man at the fruit wagon or the taxis might signal us.Secretly I think they told the driver to turn around and then told us it came and went.   No harm ! We took the taxi and got there just the same.  After some mango daquris which were so thick they were almost a meal in itself we had a delicious fish pronounced “wahoo”,  don’t know how to spell it correctly but it was very good with a side of ratatouille. The Senor seemed to be in a bit of a hurry to get back so we didn’t stay for the sunset, disappointing, but I try to understand his discomfort.  Every day is a good day, every day is an adventure here in Zihuatanejo. Signing off, KO

 

La Playa, Street Market and Sailfest

Friday morning arrived and we decided, it’s beach time! We headed out to Playa Las Gatas with our friends Will and Sylvia even though the day was overcast. None of us  were worried about “working on our tans”, just wanted a relaxing day, eating, drinking and people watching and enjoying the friendship.

Our favorites pot is Gloria Del Mar, the tide was way up so the Senor and I hit the water right away as it is easier to get in to swim. The Senor likes to bob in the water and I went out for a swim. A few drinks, some good seafood and suddenly the day is gone. We always come back from the beach tired and worn out, like we had really done something. Somehow a day in the sun does that to you even when it is hid behind the clouds. It’s a good kind of tired.

I love Saturday mornings at the street market in front of the school. It was pleasantly cool yesterday morning by Zihuatanejo standards which made the market extra enjoyable. As usual I bought the Senor his mushroom tamales for his breakfast some tofu taquitos, more of the delicious pasta salad for lunch later and a grapefruit for tomorrow. Visited with the folks from the turtle preserve and other friends and headed back to the apartment as I will have a busy day as I’m working the t-shirt table for Sailfest today.

Did a brisk business in T-shirt sales, koozies and a few caps. And I get to do it again Sunday afternoon. Signing off KO

January 6th, Three Kings Day

The last couple of days I saw the construction of all the temporary booths being erected along the main drag of Juan Alvarez to house an enormous amount of what appears to be cheap plastic toys.

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Blue tarp booths along the side walk selling toys and 3 Kings Day cakes

Since I’m told the Mexican children receive gifts on 3 Kings day I guess parents wait util the last minute to shop. Sure solves the problem of hiding gifts from snooping kids. There are also tables and tables of the special cake that has the little figures baked in it. They come in every size imaginable depending on the size of your family gathering. And if I remember correctly who ever gets the baby Jesus in their piece gets to host the whole group to a tamale

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Blue tarp booths along the side walk selling toys and 3 Kings Day cakes

feast on Candelmas  Day. Then there is the “Bike Market” along the canal.

Last night from my balcony I watched the fire dancer perform,  not the best view as the palm tree gets in the way a bit, entertaining none the less.  This was followed by a brief but hard rain shower, all done in minutes

 

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Fire dancer as seen from my balcony

There also has been a mass exodus of Mexican tourists as their holidays ends, the foot traffic around town is manageable again and hopefully the music from the Zocolo won’t be blasting down our street nightly. I’m forever amazed at how folks can party all night until six am. It’s 5:00 am and the bar down the street is still playing music, this morning the music is pleasant and not just the “thump thump” type and not so loud to be heard inside the apartment but surprising pleasant out here on my balcony.

The Senor just suggested going to the beach today. I’m so excited!  Getting him out and about has been a real chore this year. Sometimes I feel a little “trapped” up in our room.  Signing off KO

 

 

 

 

 

TIME IS GETTING SHORT

Had a wonderful day at the beach with friends new and old. Because some in our group have difficulties boarding the pangas from the pier,

Juan our friend and proprietor of Paradiso Escondido on Ixtapa Island offered to transport us out to Playa Linda where we would board his boat from the beach. It is much easier to board a beached boat than a bobbing one. But first a stop at the “cocodrillo preserve” to see the crocks and iguanas.

At the island we ate, we drank , we swam, shopped with the silver salesman, visited and had a great time, closed up the Island, literally we were the last folks off the island all the ferry pangas were all finished for the day. Once again Juan brought us back clear to the beach.

We are on our last few days of being in Zihutanejo. We used our last sail fest certificate for lunch at Arenas on La Ropa. We liked Arenas, nice tables under palapas, and not crowded together. hopefully a few more evenings at the Flophouse, and the difficult task of sorting and packing up. We are fortunate to be able to store some things here, but don’t need to overdo it.

We have shopped very, little while here, a beautiful fruit basket and fabric for new curtains for the RV, (fabric is so inexpensive here) and a couple of items of clothing for each of us is it. So no worries about over weight suit cases.

This year it feels ok to return home, 3 months is just the right amount of time. We will miss our many friends we’ve made here, but we will see them again when we return in December. We are now making the lists of what we should have brought and what we shouldn’t have what we plan to store and what we will pitch.

signing off KO

I FOUND JESUS …….AND THEN BLACK CORAL FOUND ME

Friday is maid day and we usually go out for breakfast and head out to the beach. This day the beach was to

Beautiful Las Gatas beach
Beautiful Las Gatas beach

be Playa Las Gatas and breakfast at Tres Amigos and on to the beach.  The water and waves have been quite active over the last few days and we were pleased to see it didn’t look like it would be difficult to board the panga for the trip to the beach.

The Senor and I on the panga to Las Gatas
The Senor and I on the panga to Las Gatas

Our favorite waiter Juan waved to us as we headed down the beach and we settled in at Gloria del Mar. I decided I wanted to swim out to see the fabled sunken statue of Jesus just beyond the reef. This is the statue where the heart of Jesus is made from donated keys from the people of Zihuatanejo.This statue is 4 meters tall and made of bronze.

I was told there was a small orange buoy marking the spot, but I couldn’t find it then another snorkeler asked if I was looking for the statue and said to follow him.  Which I did. Well no wonder I couldn’t find the orange buoy as its the size of a orange and to make matters worse the buoy was under water.  I don’t know if that was due to the tide or wave action, but I never would have found it with out help. So I grabbed the knotted rope and pulled myself down to the head of the statue, touched the statue and chose to go up as my ears bothered me a bit.  I don’t normally dive, I’m good swimmer, but I don’t like to swim under water. My one experience at scuba diving taught me that it was not to be my sport. Once on the surface I got my bearing as started the swim back, but I get directionally challenged and soon discovered I was heading towards the pier and not the beach and I really don’t like swimming with moving boats. Changed course, but sure didn’t pick the proper one as suddenly I found myself over the coral rocks with not enough water to clear the coral.  I tried to find the pathway out of this predicament but the waves began pushing and pulling me on top of the coral rocks. I got tumbled several time over and over on the coral before I finally caught a wave with enough water to push me off the rocks. Before I got fully standing a man came over to ask me if I was alright. I said yes now that I’m out of the rocks, he looked at my hands and pulled a couple of coral thorns from them and I went on to the beach. Back at our lounge chair our waiter got some cactus thorns and started digging more and more of the coral splinters from my hands. I didn’t dare ask him to pull the ones from my rump. That job fell to the Senor upon returning to our casa. After checking on line I learned they should dissolve after soaking in vinegar for 30 to 60 minutes. Problem is I don’t have a pan large enough to sit in.  The Senor pulled all that he could and then I spread a piece of plastic on a chair, soaked a towel in vinegar and sat on it for and hour, and more could be picked out and repeated the process again this morning. I’m bruised, a little tender, jammed/sprained fingers on my right had to the point I had to tape 2 fingers together as the movement was killing me. I’m a strong swimmer, I really don’t know how I ended up on the coral rocks I think I didn’t swim far enough around the jetty and the strong wave action that was still happening pushed me where I didn’t want to go.

Morning rendered me in much better spirits, just feeling bruised and I had lunch with my friend Bonnie, she is leaving Wednesday and I was anxious to hear of her recent travels to Patzcuaro, Morelia, and Mexico City. Nothing she said has given me a great desire to go to Mexico City, I’m really not a city person, but who knows maybe some day. Bonnie has been great fun and I look forward to seeing her again next year.   Signing off KO

ON THE BEACH

Playa Las Gatas
Playa Las Gatas

One of the main differences I see between a beach in Washington state and a Mexican beach is people actually go in the water!  At home my experience has been very few adults venture into the water, some kids will, but not all.  Some will just splash around the edge because it’s cold.

Al ittle late snappingt his one
Al ittle late snappingt his one

And only in Mexico would you see a full marching band complete with a tuba on the beach. Here the water is warm and at Playa Las Gatas where we were yesterday the reef protects it from any wave action so it’s like swimming in a very large pool with beautiful colored fish.There are yellow fish with black stripes bright neon blue ones some big ones and little ones. fascinating to snorkel along the reef. We have been returning to the same spot there, Gloria del Mar and have over the years made friends with Juan the waiter.  He recognized us walking down the beach and waved us in, which was good as they are no longer allowed to have the sandwich board signs in front of their restaurants, the authorities decided it impeded strolling along the beach.

Life is good!
Life is good!

We had a wonderful red snapper fillet for a late lunch, soaked up some sun, getting abundance of vitamin D and generally just relaxing and visiting. My spanish professora would not be too pleased with me as I m still slow to use my spanish, and much english is spoken here. But I have learned a few new phrases and this will be a great help as we venture out more into the country side.

We had another lovely musical evening, again at the Baracruda this time with Steve Calvert and friends.  We have been following Steve  around town since we first heard his music several years ago coming in through our hotel kitchen window as it backed up to the now defunct Pacalos. He’s from Bremerton, but now lives and plays full-time in Zihuatanejo.  Once again we are a music groupie!

We are becoming more Mexican as we find it hard not to go out at night

Sunrise Feb 19, 2014
Sunrise Feb 19, 2014

and enjoy the soft warm evenings, there is always activity somewhere and it’s just pleasant to stroll, greet friends and people watch. Although this might change for the Senor if we get connected up with TV tonight.  Signing off KO

PLAYA LAS GATAS

 

Playa Las Gattas
Playa Las Gattas

Playa Las Gatas is the favorite beach for the Senor and I. It’s a short walk to the pier, 2 40 peso tickets and we are on the water taxi and on our way. We did find our favorite waiter Jose at Gloria Del Mar, at least I think that’s the correct name of the restaurant. As they are side by side all along the beach it can be hard to distinguish one from another at first glance. This day we got the right one we were looking for. Will and Sylvia accompanied us and we staked out our lounge chairs and table. I seem to be the only swimmer in the group, everyone else comes to eat, drink and enjoy the ambiance of the beach, shop and people watch.

Beautiful margaritas
Beautiful margaritas

Juanita, my favorite beach vendor always has beautiful and interesting bead and shell necklaces, bracelets. I always find something I like and this day was no different. I would love to shop the silver vendor, but silver

Juanita changing the length on my necklace while Sylvia looks on
Juanita changing the length on my necklace while Sylvia looks on

makes me itch. The candy lady comes by, as does the lady who hauls a huge load of beach wear around, it must weigh 50 lbs. I am always impressed with how hard these people work, long hours, physically demanding work and then hear they earn very little. I love lying on a beach lounge soaking up vitamin D and having the stores come to you. I know some folks find all the vendors annoying, but I enjoy them. The Silver salesman even carries a visa swipe machine with him.

I choose to swim out to the point of Owen Lee’s beach property. Swimming against incoming swells at times, I

Point I'm swimming to
Point I’m swimming to

 

could feel the rise and fall of the swells, kind of fun. It was a much easier swim on the return as the waves

give you a push. I’m so directionally challenged when I swim that I had to walk back past a dozen or so restaurants to get to our location

The senor, Kathleen, Will Sylvia
The senor, Kathleen, Will Sylvia

Our fish was cooked to perfection, our drinks were perfect (not the killer kind) it was anther great Zihuatanejo day, with enough of a breeze to keep one cooled off. Signing off KO