Bienvenido 2019

img_1141When I was a child, about 8 years old, my parents explained to me that it would be 2000 before we had a new century.  I got to figuring it out and I was going to be in my 60’s and flatly stated that was terrible, I would be too old to have any fun on New Years.  Well we aren’t quite the party animals we were at the turn of the century put we still went out with friends, ate , drank, saw the New Year in with our toes in the sand watching the fire work all around Zihuatanejo Bay.  Little did the 8 year old me know, it’s 19 years past the turn of the century and I’m still not to old to have fun and celebrate.

The Senor went fishing with his friend Dave both of them caught a dorado.  They are really good eating.  I put up enough fish in our freezer for at least 12 meals. img_0976 While the Senor went fishing my friend and I went shopping, but first a stop at “Fishers” at the Ixtapa marina for breakfast.  They have the most delicious breakfast cocktails where I indulged in a Pepinillo a mix of liquid cucumbers, lemon and lime soda and Tangarey and a fantastic poblano enchilada and egg dish. Then on to the shopping at the MicMac shop which specializes in very cool clothes made of img_1144very cool cotton.  It’s hard to say who enjoyed the day more, the Senor and I.

This morning when I arrived at the swimming pool for my morning laps there was no one in the pool.  There usually are two or three other folks enjoying the pool, but this morning I had the entire Olympic size pool entirely to my self for a full 45 minutes. Great way to start a day. My ” Sharkfest” swim is just a week away. Signing off KO

 

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

A VISIT TO A MEXICAN HIGH SCHOOL

The money eared from last years Sailfest went to building a high school. The first new high school in over 20 years and this one targets kids who dropped out of school for a myriad of reasons, most commonly financial. They needed to go to work to help support their family, sometimes drugs or pregnancy are the issues. I would equate this somewhat with our  “alternative” schools except that these students already know what life is like with out an education and are now highly motivated to continue their education. They come from very poor families, but are all promising students and this school is free. An unbelievable opportunity for them. Many poor children here little or no schooling past their 12th birthday when they start helping earn an income for the family.

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The high school

The road to the school high on a hill overlooking Zihuatanejo is probably the worst road I have ever ridden on. Steep, switchbacks and only roughly graded.  Many rocks, pot holes Truly only a road fit for ATV’s and we took a 15 passenger van up to it. The kids come by combi (small van type bus) to the bottom of the hill and walk the rest of the way looking sharp in

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Young girl narrated program in very good english

 

their school uniforms. A nice breeze blows up on the hill negating any need for air conditioning except in their computer lab. 6 classrooms, 14 teacher and 130 kids who like to try their English with you as do their teachers.

There studies are heavy on math and science with ethics and economics also taught. Art, music, dance and sports are relegated to after school clubs which are all a large part of their

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Dancers

culture.  The students performed several regional dance routines and performed a tragic play of some of the problems of today dealing with guns and violence.  While it was done in Spanish we all got the gist of it. The “leading lady” played her role with such emotion that I would not be surprised to see her on “the silver screen” someday.

Our second stop was to visit a tutorial school,

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Dance with machetes

where children come from their regular schools and get additional help, or study time or simple spend time better occupied than “hanging around”.  The primary kids attend in the morning where the big draw is food.  They get both  breakfast and lunch and  for many kids these are their only meals.

They have a wonderful teacher who loves what she is doing and loves doing it in Zihuatanejo. 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

A Stormy Time In Troncones

Friends had a certificate for a couple of day at Mi Casa Su Casa in Troncones.  We decided to join them and reserved a room. They had a very nice 2nd level room with good cooking facilities and a very large balcony with a hammock. Ours was a very nice, but small room

and no cooking facilities but a large tiled out door area with hammock. We arrived noonish and were able to get right into our room, we had lunch and played in the pool and joined our friends at their room for conversation on their large balcony over a couple of bottles of wine and a bottle of Rye Whiskey. We could see the weather starting to deteriorate  as we were discussing where we would go to dinner.

Well the weather decided that issue for us as it began to rain like it can only rain in the tropics. The guys quickly bared the elements and made the rush to the in house restaurant that was starting to close up due to the weather and ordered dinner for us that was soon delivered to the room. We enjoyed a pleasant meal while we watched palm trees sway and listened to the ocean roar.

The Senor and I ran to our room as quickly as two senior citizens run and were only mildly wet. We were tired from a good  meal and plenty to drink and had no trouble falling asleep, but woke very early in the am to the sound of crashing thunder and a few flashes of light and the sound of dripping rain. Yes, dripping rain inside our room.  To be exact directly

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This is where it rained

dead center dripping on our bed. Fortunately it was dead center as we each hugged the outer edge to try to sleep at least until daylight.

Once we informed the manager he was quick to up grade us to a nicer, larger room  across the hall from our friends at no additional cost. The rest of the day was an on again off again rain storm and during one off the off periods we attempted to make it down the road a block to a restaurant for dinner. But wouldn’t you know half way to the restaurant another tropical storm dumped on us. But we continued on, a little torrential down pour can’t frighten us, we are from Washington! It was a good meal and retreated back to our 20160309_050653neighbors balcony for more libation and conversation and then on to our own room and a  nice dry bed. The storm seamed to abate in the morning I walked the beach for an hour and marveled at the high surf and heavy waves.But all good things must come to an

Waiting for the Troncones bus
Waiting for the Troncones bus

end and we left in sunny skies to return to Zihuatanejo and an evening at Guitarfest.  Signing off KO

 

THIS TOWN IS FULL OF MEXICANS!

Favorite view of Zihuatanejo
Favorite view of Zihuatanejo

That may seem like a strange statement since we are in Mexico, but Mexican tourist have arrive by the bus loads, big beautiful touring buses. I saw a row of at least 10 buses day before yesterday  They have come from all over Mexico to spend their holidays at the beach.  Families travel together, large extended families with grandparents, all their children, sisters, brothers, cousins down to babes in arms. They move through town in large groups of 15 to 20 people sometimes and the main goal seems to be the beach.  I do hope they visit the restaurants as they all say business has been slow. But the streets are full, the plaza is crowed to the max and has some type of entertainment every evening.

Very busy  morning for the  fishermen
Very busy morning for the fishermen

Yesterday was a busy day trying to get the Senor more comfortable, his recent back surgery has not relieved his sciatica, and he was getting more and more miserable, and grouchy  as one does when not feeling well. So we went to the doctor. This amuses me because last year when I had a sore throat  and needed to go to the doctor he gives me the money and tells me to go. But when he needs to go It’s required that I go also. He makes fun of my taking Spanish classes, but it’s times like this that my exceeding limited Spanish is helpful. The Dr Speaks perfect English and thinks part of the Senior’s problem is that  one leg is shorter than the other, he measured him and said  a lift in one shoe would help. So  we out to find the “ortopedia” store, (actually a neighborhood of 3 orthopedic stores) it was about 6 blocks away with a map and some directions, we got close but not quite there when a group of people walked by and the one in the group that spoke English asked if he could help us and while he wasn’t from the area but his friends were and knew where we needed to go and took us there. Mission accomplished,  we got the heel lift. Later that afternoon when I went out to get the Senor’s prescriptions filled and had been to 3 pharmacies with no luck again I run into the same group who again offered assistance , or if I needed help with translations. I explained it wasn’t a language issue, just lack of supply.  I’m always impressed how helpful people here are.  Stand on any street corner and look confused and someone will come by and offer assistance.  In turn when ever I see English-speaking folks looking for something I been coming here long enough I can frequently offer assistance.

I love grocery shopping here, and buying eggs in plastic bags amazes me.
I love grocery shopping here, and buying eggs in plastic bags amazes me.

While reading and napping in the late afternoon I set my glasses down on the bed and then later rolled over on them bending the frame, I’ve done this before here so I knew exactly where to go get them fixed.  20 minutes later they were fixed and it only cost 20 pesos (about a buck 35 cents). Just amazes me, the price of things, or people’s time.

By night fall the Senor was feeling better so we went out for dinner at The Captains Daughter and finished up the evening at the Barracruda listening to Steve and friends play.

Usually it is the ladies that take off their shoes to dance
Usually it is the ladies that take off their shoes to dance

Their music just makes folks want to dance. Signing off KO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECOTIANGUIS SANKA Y MAS

Ecotianguis Sanka
Ecotianguis Sanka

Ecotianguis Sanka very loosely translated is a local, ecologically/organic farmers market that is held each Saturday morning it what I call the artist plaza at the waterfront. It’s a fascinating array of food, some vegetarian, some organic, all local and all very good just depending on your personal tastes.  It also hosts a variety of crafts people with a very creative area of items to purchase. Many of the food items you can taste to help you make your decisions. My friend Sylvia and I made our first stop for a cup of local coffee. We then headed to the food

One of the three Breakfast tacos
One of the three Breakfast tacos

table where we had our breakfast served on a banana leaf for a plate. We choose to sample all three of the organic vegetarian choices, one was a tofu in barbacoa seasoning, one was a shredded egg-plant dish and the third I can’t remember. Three tortillas were spread with a small amount of refried beans then a serving of each was placed the tortillas. We each ended up with  3 tortillas one of each flavor on a banana leaf plate. We both thought the egg-plant was fantastic, the one we can’t remember the name of was good and we weren’t crazy about the seasoning on the tofu. Other things we tasted was apple slices with a tamarind, a hibiscus jelly, and date/nut/fruit ball that is marketed as an energy snack very good and no sugar and small rolled candies that have nuts and a bite of a maple flavor. We bought papayas, and grapefruit and I bought a pair of earrings that are actual lime slices.  Very interesting!  We saw everything from beautiful jewelry made from coiled paper to coconut soap. All made here locally.

Embroidery Work
Embroidery Work

We visited with friends, people watched and only wished there were more sitting space as we might have lingered longer. On our returned, the fruit cart vendor was in front of our apartment so we purchased

Sylvia buying bananas
Sylvia buying bananas

bananas and strawberries. This is cart is basically a

wheelbarrow with a board on top, then loaded with boxes of beautifully displayed fruit. He has to be immensely strong to wheel this around.

The Senor  and I waited until after dark to head out for dinner, we browsed several menus along the malecon and decided on Casa Elvira as the rib eye steak was reasonably priced for the Senor. the waiters remembered us from last year and the service was very good. Next  on to the Zocolo as I had heard that Zihuatanejo was going to be a sub venue for an international film festival based in Acapulco. There was a large crowd and  many chairs had been set out. It appeared that what was being played was a Japanese animated film.  The music from the Baracruda drew us in for the Steve Allen Show, that soon becomes a jam session as other musicians join in. The music we hear in Zihuatanejo is beyond comparison, we love it. signing off KO