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

 

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

IXTAPA ISLAND OR IS IT ISLA GRANDE

We hear it both ways, we see signs for both and do not know which is correct, or the source of the two names. But like the rose no matter what you call it, it is a wonderful way to spend a day. We headed out with 8 in our group to Paradiso Escondido as the proprietor Juan has become a friend of ours . He arranged for our transportation to the pier making it a much quicker trip than the bus we usually take. A boat ride later and a short walk down the sandy beach and we are ensconced under the palapa protection of the noonday sun . We all stake out our territory be it a lounge or table chair and prepare to do nothing more than read or converse and eat and drink.

8 amigos for a beach lunch
8 amigos for a beach lunch

The beach is so relaxing it is so easy to do nothing. The Senor who is normally so out going that he makes friends standing in a ticket line, has been a bit of a recluse this trip, holed up in our room for days at a time watching TV. So it was good to see him out interacting with friends and making new ones. He spent half the day sitting at the next table making friends with folks from California.

It appears that I am the only swimmer in the group and impressed everyone when I swam out and around an anchored sail boat, I should have saved that swim for when the luxury yacht that laid anchor late in the afternoon and possibly made friends with them. But by that time I’d had a couple of margaritas and knew better. Dwight, Faye and I did go snorkeling on the back side where the colorful fish are. It is always a thrill to swim right

Buying beach silver
Buying beach silver

through a school of colorful fish, and if you bring cracker or tortilla crumbs they will eat out of your hand and swim all over you. The silver salesman had a good day, we all bought silver. I bought a ring as I leave all my gold rings at home when in Mexico. The shell man not so lucky , no one bought. Some young gals found some turtles

Juan was kind enough to return us to land in his own boat and requested we all wear life jackets something that never happens on the pangas. His concern for our safety was appreciated. He beached the boat making it easier for our group to exit the boat. Some of us prefer wading a bit in the surf to being hauled out of the boat to a pier that is 3 feet higher than the boat by a skinny young man who weighs less than half of us and is only going to get a few pesos if he is successful.  That is always a scary situation, especially for folks  with short legs and joints that no longer cooperate.

boat ride back
boat ride back

It was a wonderful day with great friends and the Senor and I returned to our casa to the smell of chicken cooking in our crock pot. A quick shower to remove the accumulated salt and sand. Then dinner and a movie from our pre-recorded movie library courtesy of our daughter April and her cleaver husband, who see to it that we are well stocked with entertainment. An absolutely perfect Zihua day. 2 20 15

signing off KO

IXTAPA ISLAND ALL WAYS AN ADVENTURE

Today the Senor and I went to Ixtapa Island, a great place for snorkeling.  The trip in itself is always an adventure as we go by local bus. It’s probably a 30-45 minute bus ride.  We walk a half dozen blocks to catch the bus, always worrying if we have the correct change, and since the price has not gone up we pay our 20 pesos and climb on board.

"Bus Musician"
“Bus Musician”

After a couple of stops a local “bus musician” got on and serenaded us enroute.  We tipped him  a few pesos ,and marveled at the fact the bus could actually stop even though the screech of the brakes indicated otherwise.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The bus was well decorated with many hanging fuzzy dice and a baby doll swinging in a hammock.  I guess all this reflects the personality of the driver.

At Playa Linda, the embarking place for the Island, we encounter some of the local inhabitants as there is a large wild life preserve there with dozens of” OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcrocodillos”  obviously iguana isn’t on their menu.

We board the boat and head for  Paraiso Escondido our favorite beach restaurant were we had hoped to meet up with friends, but their plans must have changed as they didn’t arrive. None the less we had a great lunch of a garlic and butter grilled dorado fillet. This part of Mexico is heaven for a “fishetarian” like me. I did a little snorkeling, but there doesn’t seem to be as many colorful fish as there have been in previous years.  All in all a very pleasant laid back day.

Doyle relaxing at Ixtapa Island
The Senor relaxing at Ixtapa Island

After a quick shower we went to the local Sams Club,(as in Walmart) why I don’t know.  It’s too much like shopping at home and every thing is in quantities like Costco.  I see no reason to return.  Back at the apartment we dinned on a really good crock pot chicken dinner that had been busy cooking while we were at play. Pretty impressive for me. Spending a quiet evening in as tomorrow (Saturday) I swim with the fishes! Wish me luck.

 

 

 

Signing off KO

GETTING SETTLED IN

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m an early riser.  I think sunrise is one of my favorite moments in the day.  It always reminds me of a line from an old song by Melodyen”watch a baby day be born.”  Each day holds such new promise. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the balcony where we were entertained by a roof cat.  I swear OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthey go miles with out ever touching the ground.

Today is a busy day, well not really busy as  I’m on Mexican time but  I did get our phones restarted.  This is so the Senor and I can stay in contact with each other.  The Senor is very content to just relax at the apt,me I need to be doing something so I run most of the errands do the majority of the shopping and now he can track me down.  After the phones on to try  to find a microwave turntable plate.  No luck, but after going to the local internet message board I have several suggestions to follow through on.  One of which was have one of your friends from north of the border bring one down to you.  I think this is a great idea, any volunteers??  Of course enroute I stopped by the local fabric stores.  They are fantastic places with huge varieties of fabric and very reasonable.  Last year I made a pants and tunic set I wear when I perform wedding ceremonies which cost about $23 american.

I returned in time for lunch and siesta. We eat our breakfast and dinners on the balcony, but lunch is inside and with the air conditioner going.

Thats the Senor watching from our balcony
Thats the Senor watching from our balcony
View from balcony
View from balcony

We cooked in tonight and as we were finishing our dinner 5 young Mexican youths were setting up their band instruments on the pedestrian street directly below our balcony. As they tuned up we kinda wondered what we were in for, but 3 guitars, a drummer an a gal on keyboards began pumping out CCR and other vintage rock and roll and were really quite good. And very respectfully quit promptly at 10 pm.

I get restless in the evening and want to get out and see what is happening. When you have alzheimer’s they call it “sundowning”. Maybe I have an early symptom,but the evenings are so lovely here i just can’t bear to be inside and love to walk about as do so much of the Mexican population.

I had hoped to see Jimmi Mamou play at Don Memo’s, but he wasn’t there so I headed to the Barracruda where the “Steve Allen” Show was in progress.  They are both local boys, Kitsap and North Mason counties. It’s now 11 PM and from my balcony I can still hear them play music from the Barracruda as it is only a 1/2 block away. While there I ran into friends Charlie and Christine.  While visiting with them I learned that other friends, Will and Sylvia from Canada won’t be coming this year. It’s disappointing that folks we had hoped to see this year just aren’t coming for one reason or another.  We have plans to meet with Charlie and Christine at Juan’s place on Ixtapa Island tomorrow.  I’m anxious to get in the water, it’s been a week since I’ve been swimming and Saturday is my big ocean swim event.  Well I guess it’s time to call it a day, signing off. KO

An adventure to Ixtapa Island

As we get more and more experienced here is Zihuatanejo we have learned that a day at the beach is exhausting. Sun and fun and beer and Tequila just wear you out.  So I had planned a crock pot dinner of ribs as I was pretty sure the Senor would not want to dine out and I knew I would not want to cook upon our return. So before we left the ribs were slow cooking in the crock pot.

Our friend Juan, proprietor of the Pariso Escondido restaurant on Ixtapa Island, offered to “chauffeur” us to his restaurant in his boat.  By us I mean a group of 10 people, now his boat could accommodate us all, but his car couldn’t so 6 of us were to walk to the bus stop and

Ixtapa Island from the boat
Ixtapa Island from the boat

4 would ride in Juan’s car to Playa Linda were we would all meet to ride to the island in his boat. The Senor and I have always caught the bus at a certain spot so we led the pack, only to find out there is a closer location that would have cut the walk way down eliminating about 4 blocks. We arrive at the bus stop hot and tired but as luck would have it the bus arrived right away and with the windows down, we cooled down and were ready for an adventure. It’s probably a 30 min ride from Zihuatanejo to Playa Linda the stopping point for getting the water taxi to Ixtapa Island.

Having been there before I was aware of the multitude of colorful fish and brought fish food and an under water camera.  Always before we rode the water taxi, but this time we were leaving from the beach and landing directly on the beach at Pariso Escondiso.  Well not exactly on the beach, we had to wade out a bit and then climb into Juan’s boat. But soon all  were all settled and ready for our adventure but it took some pushing and pulling and rearranging the load and the right wave action to get us off the sand.  As a group we are not lightweights!

Wadeing out to the boat to climb in
Wadeing out to the boat to climb in
The Senor and Dwight in the bow of the boat
The Senor and Dwight in the bow of the boat

The Senor and Dwight rode up in the bow and the rest fit in anywhere we could for a total of 12. a quick trip to the island and soon the boat was beached and we only had to wade a little to get to shore.  Soon we had acquired beach chairs, and lounges under palapas and umbrella’s. We ordered our drinks, our lunch, swam, snorkeled, laughed, told stories, poked fun at one another and generally had a great day. The senor and I live in the Pacific Northwest where oysters are prevalent and tasty.  When we order oysters in the shell they are steamed or grilled open and that’s what we were hopping for, but ours arrived raw.  I enjoy one or two that way, but not a whole dozen.  We sent them back and asked them to be breaded and fried.  They were good, just not great.  Our mistake.  All in all everyone  had a great meal and a great afternoon.  Our generous host even treated us to a couple of shots of some very nice tequila.

Oysters on the shell
Oysters on the shell

My snorkeling didn’t offer me the opportunity for any underwater picture-taking as the  multitudes of colorful fish live on the other side of the island. I could have easily walked the path to the other side and done some snorkeling, but I was enjoying the company and there will be other opportunities.

Upon returning home our dinner was cooked, we washed the sand out of places I had no idea you could get sand, hung things out to dry, ate and called it a night,  We had wanted to go to the flop house to see Allan Alto in the early evening and then Pacalo’s to welcome back the “Steve/Allen Show”, but that will have to wait until another night.  At our age we need to pace ourselves and we still time have lots of time.  Signing off KO

Another Lazy Day

My morning walk took me in a different direction this morning as I had no scraps for my chickens.  I headed away from the bay about 4-5 blocks and came across this park dedicated to heroes with this fantastic mural and then on another street they were continuing the over the sidewalk coverings.  these covered sidewalks are really appreciated in the heat of the day and I’m sure they are equally great in the rainy season.  But it fascinates me how the tiles are just set there with only gravity holding them in place.  A little later in the day, when we went to find a shoe shop to add holes to the Senor’s belt the work men were placing the tiles.  No roof top delivery here, every thing is manual.  My next site was one so common and daily here in Zihuatanejo done so religiously is the daily washing and sweeping of the store front.  Every shop keeper takes a small bowl of water and splashes it around the sidewalk tiles to keep the dust down while sweeping every thing clean.  Every day every shop!

It was laundry day and new to our apartment building this year is roof top

Mexican manual clothes dryer

laundry area.  Of course the machine is all in Spanish but it wasn’t too difficult to figure it out and of course the mexican dryer was a cinch…all manusl.  Well my pictures came out larger than planned, but it is easier to leave them than try to correct.  Plan of the day is snorkeling at Ixtapa Island, signing off KO