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

FROM WATER TO TEACHERS TO PLAN B

At our home in the Pacific North West water is rarely an issue, but I’m learning here it is a major issue. The town of Zihuatanejo has been out of water. We notified our land lord there was no water, he said “40

A" PIPA" OF WATER
A” PIPA” OF WATER

minutes I fix”. It was more than 40 minutes, but we soon had water. Then we began to notice water trucks all over town and we learn you can buy water by the “pipa” to fill your “tinacos” on your roof. but a pipa is a tank load and you buy the whole “pipa” so want to make sure your “tinacos” are empty before purchasing. We are seeing these water trucks all over town, almost as common as taxis. This happens when the city runs out of water. Water is in short supply here, but we are told the city is full of graft and corruption which is the cause for many of the problems here. This is true of much of Mexico.

A few days ago the teachers union staged a massive

Over 200 teachers marching in Zihuatanejo
Over 200 teachers marching in Zihuatanejo

protest march through town, a few day with well over 200 people chanting and carrying signs. A few days prior they had blocked the highway going to Acapulco. The teacher unions here in Mexico are very powerful and it appears very corrupt also. It sort of depends on who you talk to what the story is but it appears that it’s over who controls the funds for paychecks, the government or the union.

Our plan was to see they Archaeological site with pyramids and a museum, but we got off the bus at Los Achotes instead of LaChole. Had simply confused the names, but the Senor was OK with shifting to plan B and we headed for the “pasajara” that would take us to Barre de Potosi

where we would have lunch. Luck was with us as the ice cream man was going at the same time, His strawberry ice cream is so good it has real strawberries in it. So we had desert before lunch. A nice gentleman, a solo traveler, road with us so we invited him to share our table. Very enjoyable company. My fish tacos were excellent, but the Senor and I should have shared his fish soup as it was fantastic and enough for two. On the return trip we rode back with another very  interesting couple from the SF bay area. Our plan B day turned out to be an A+ day. PS I guess I failed my second blogging lesson as I was to add a tag line and as hard as I try, I can’t get my tagline to stick.   KO signing off

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

ON THE BEACH

ImageYesterday the Senor and I went to Las Gatas Beach. We take a water taxi to get there, while it is not an island it is most easily accessed  by water. Now that my knee has completely healed it is much easier getting on and off the boat. Last year it was a bit of a challenge. I’m always thankful for the young men who are there to help and we tip generously.  We went to the same beach restaurant we did last year, but the Senor’s favorite waiter wasn’t there, the food wasn’t very good.  But they did make killer margarita’s.

Chips with guacamole best part of lunch
Chips with guacamole best part of lunch
This is a killer maragrita
This is a killer maragrita

More on that later. My snorkel mask’s frame broke, but the senor said he thinks he can glue it back together so I rented one for the day. No sooner than we got there than I realized not only had I forgotten my mango drink powder that I have become addicted to but also I had not packed my swim scarf.  I can’t swim with out something on my head or I would burn to a crisp. So I had to buy a big scarf and fold it up

Improvised swim scarf
Improvised swim scarf

many times before I could tie it on, but it worked.  I was just out of luck with my powered drink mix.  I’ve learned if I drink 3-4 bottles of water each day I don’t get leg cramps at night. But I hate plain water, so I flavor it with a non calorie drink mix. I brought some from home, but have found a great mango flavor here that  I’ve also acquired a swim shirt.  I swam out past the reef which was teeming with fish some in large schools that you swim right through. We ordered fish fillet in garlic which we share and fortunately it came with chips and guacamole as the fish was dry. I had a margarita with my lunch, went out for another swim came back and had another margarita while we watched this young man shoot up out of the

Walking on water

Higher
Higher

water on this jet pack until he was 20ft in the air.  It is powered by a hose from the jet ski behind him. Looks interesting, but I’m sure it would take more balance than I have.

 

 

And higher
And higher

I’ll be content to be a spectator. One more Margarita and back to the apartment where I have a crock pot of ribs waiting for the Senor.

I had a bit of trouble navigating back to the apartment, but once there safe and sound, well you know the old saying one tequila, two tequila, three tequila floor.  Well that is exactly what happened I fell flat on the floor, slit my lip and woke up to a black eye.  I will look lovely at the M-Dock concert tonight.  Lessons learned, don’t go the beach with out making sure the bag is fully packed, head scarf and mango powder included.  Never more than 2 margaritas.

Evening time in Zihuatanejo

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