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

20160308_124128
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

DEAR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FOLLOWER

When I started this blog I flaunted it as a daily blog, and pretty much it is. But don’t set your clock by it. I’m on vacation, and I write as the mood strikes and events happen. Thus said I headed out on my morning walk at daybreak with a bag of kitchen scraps for the flock I feed.  At home the Senor is the “chicken meister” with a flock of about 20-24 chickens, so I am in the habit of saving kitchen scraps for chickens. I have adopted a small flock of chickens just over the bridge to La Madera where the “coco man sets up”.  I think they are his chickens. He taught me how to call them, not here chick chick chick, but something like adow, adow adow,.  Anyway this morning they were still in bed when I arrived and I had to call them down from their tree limb.  I wish our chickens and one rooster at home would sleep in that late! Chicks are fed and I head back to walk along the beach.

Sad eyed dog getting a steak bone
Sad eyed dog getting a steak bone

Here I encounter a street dog with big sad eyes.  It’s his lucky day I have a steak bone and meat scraps for him.  He is very thankful. street dogs in Mexico are sad, but very sweet tempered, they don’t bark or bite and appreciate anything you have for them.  I was once  chastised  for “encouraging their begging.  I never see them beg, but just stand around looking hopeful, and my answer will always be.  I choose to feed them directly rather than wait for them to root through the  garbage that is set out each night

Dad waling sons to school hand in hand
Dad waling sons to school hand in hand

I continue on to the other bridge at La Noria and up the cobblestone roadway, where I encounter a dad walking his young sons to school. This is one of my favorite scenes  and it  is the way most young children arrive at school each day, hand in hand with one or the other parent.  You can’t help but think what one to one special time this is for both.  

On to my quest for my morning newspaper, as there is an english language paper produced out of Mexico city which is neither republican or democratic, enroute I see a young boy, he can’t be more than 10 wielding aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA very large knife scraping cactus thorns from the leaves to be sold in his parents stall. Then on to the Mercado to get 2 avocados “un por hoy un por manana” One for today and one for tomorrow. A good vegetable stall will help you pick them out that way.

Our afternoon quest is to replace our broken micro wave platter and replace my watch battery.  With help from the local web message board, I’m off to find the “electric repair shop that deals in ‘Micro ondos”.  The senor and I find it and he backs off to let me manage the deal. I tell him I need a microwave turntable. plate, which comes out ” yo necesito un plato por micro ondo” surprisingly enough he dug through his many old microwaves and  came up with a turntable plate. I asked how much I was told 10. So I got out 10 pesso ,about $1  no, he said “cien” meaning $10.  Now some one else would have bargained, but we were happy and paid and took our prize home.

Now onward to the “batteria” problem. I’ve already been to a half dozen places which all indicate many blocks away at what now seems like a mystical watch shop. The senor and I head that direction and with only 2-3 false stops and inquires we finally reach the “Relojeria” where a young boy about 15 or so appears to be apprenticing a watch maker. That problema is now solved and we are on to cena (lunch) at a new coffee shop that gave us a promo brochures.  Good lunch, but too much food for us and we are back to the apartment for a well deserved  siesta.

We will dine in tonight with a big chef salad, call it a day while watching the lightening storm that is brewing tonight through the clouds. The senor is insisting I come in off the balcony.  I might as well as I’m just not quick enough with the camera to catch the flashes.  Noisy but beautiful.

ADIOS ZIHUATANEJO

Today is our last full day, it is with sadness we leave yet we have obligations at home that require our attention and we know it’s time.

I will miss church bells on Sunday morning, revelry from the military base, streets that are swept by people not machines.

Street sweeper seen from my balcony
Street sweeper seen from my balcony

I will miss the cart vendors, especially the ice cream man with the galvanized tub. I will miss the whistle of the knife sharpener man and the, “dutily dut du du charge” followed by the call Gaaazzz from the propane man. I will miss the roosters waking the dogs to wake the town. The daily sounds of Zihuatanejo are music to my ears.

Cart vendor with fresh veggies and fruit
Cart vendor with fresh veggies and fruit

I will miss sunshine every day, wearing sandals and loose-fitting clothes, I will miss our friends new and old.  I will miss mango margaritas, and mango daiquiri, fish fillets in garlic. I will miss the music at the Flophouse Bara and Pacalos and listening to Jimmi Mamou on the beach.  I will miss the strolling musicians who play for tips. I will miss taking the water taxi to the beach, buying new jewelry from Juanita while I sip margaritas.  I will miss evenings and early mornings so warm you never need a sweater.

Sunset from our balcony at dinner
Sunset from our balcony at dinner

I will miss my balcony where I watch the sun rise and the sun set each day.  I will miss my a bird’s-eye view of everyday people going about the daily tasks of living. I will miss watching the street dogs looking for a friendly pat on the head or a handout, I will miss seeing  roof dogs on guard on the roof.  I will miss watching the roof cats travel blocks on red tile roofs.   I will miss having time to read and write my blog each day.

Sunrise fom the balcony
Sunrise fom the balcony

I’ll miss Zihuatanejo, but I have lovely memories, the wonderful people I’ve met, Warm and friendly Mexican people who have struggled to understand my spanish, our new friends and old,   the kind people who have stopped me on the street to tell me they have enjoyed my blog, and those that have sent me comments. I have really appreciated meeting and hearing from you.

Beautiful Zihuatanejo as seen from the water
Beautiful Zihuatanejo as seen from the water

So today will be filled with organizing the packing as to what goes home and what we store for next year, busy enjoying our last Mexican meals, saying good-by to friends and the “good life”.    Adios until January 2014. Signing off  KO

LAZY SUNDAYS IN ZIHUATANEJO

IMG_5017 IMG_5020 IMG_5024 IMG_5018Sundays are quieter here, many shops and businesses close, more families on the beach, restaurants are full.  Come evening and the Zocolo Zihuatanejo’s Square or plaza is rimmed with food vendors, not like we would see at a local fair or event.  No trailers with windows, at best a folding table for food vendors, others may just spread a blanket on the ground to set up shop. At best to describe the Zocolo it is a basketball court, set down 4-5 steps on all sides arena style, and backs up to the beach,  On the front and sides of this court is a large plaza complete with a gazebos, some trees and a few benches. Fronting the plaza is one of the main streets of town, but narrow so there is only one lane of traffic.  On each end are the beach front restaurants The zocolo is always busy, the social point of town but is special on Sunday night as this is the only night the vendors come out.  They have all kinds of different foods that I really don’t know about.  There is corn on the cob, slathered with mayo and then hot sauce dribbled over it

Lots of foods cooked in banana leaves, several with pick and choose ingredients, fried bananas, ice cream push carts, large variety of iced drinks dispensed from 3-4 gallon glass jugs in flavors I’ve never heard of. And people, people everywhere, young, old and in between. Groups of teenagers out checking out the social scene. Sort of like “cruzin” with out the cars. Old women gossip, babies and children wheedle parents into buying them cheap carnival toys.This happens every Sunday year round.

Most of my Sunday I spend quietly reading at “TaTa’s”, a beach front restaurant enjoying my mango margarita while the Senior is off watching the playoffs. On my way to the beach I stop to feed a flock of chickens our table scraps. The coconut man just across the bridge to La Madera has taught be how to call chickens in Spanish, they don’t respond to chick, chick chick like ours at home do. To call them you say ado, ado, ado real fast. I’ll have to give our chickens at home a spanish lesson.

Monday I have big plans, the senior and i are going for pedicures and I am going to purchase cell phones for our use here. I like to be out and about much more than the Senior does so it will help keep us in touch, make it possible to change plans, let each other know if something is happening. Signing off KO

WE ARE HERE, AND IT FEELS LIKE HOME Jan 9 2013

Mexico folder 2011 052We arrived yesterday in the late afternoon, we greeted warmly by Javier who operates the Liquor store downstairs and manages the apartments and Arturo the building owner who both said to us”welcome home”.  And that is exactly how it feels, we’ve just been away too long.  We reclaimed our suitcase that we had stored here, set about getting unpacked and settled in. Noted some new upgrades to our home, the building has been painted white and we have flowers in the planter boxes on our balcony ( picture is last year before flowers) and some shades over what previously had been bare bulbs. Started taking inventory of what needs to be replaced in our kitchen. With 6 apartment in this building things get moved around quite a bit, especially if they all aren’t rented.  Why buy more if you can just circulate it around.  We have new neighbors across the hall, haven’t met them yet just exchanged a brief greeting as we moved in, our old friends and neighbors next to us arrive today.

We always wait until the cool of the evening to go out to dinner and chose Porto de Mare which is right on the malecon where we sit on the sidewalk and enjoy the food, fish filet in garlic and butter and cream of avocado soup, and watch the evening parade and the lights of the bay and hear the waves lapping at the beach.  It’s Tuesday evening but the square and the malecon are busy both with mexican families and tourists enjoying the beautiful evening.  We greeted several friends from years past as we strolled from one end of malecon to the other, then returned to our apartment for siesta time and for me some reading time.  I started reading “The Hunger Games” on the airplane and am finding very good.  Today we will head to the “Comercial” the mexican equivalant of a super market.  It carries just about everything we need and lots of american brands, we stock our cupboards here and then go to the old fashioned “mercado” for veggies and fruits.  As the weeks pass we will buy our eggs and cheese and fish there also. Last year we created a standard shopping list for the first day shopping and it works quite well and keeps us from being overwelmed as we shop, and we just save it on the computer, print it up before we leave.  It’s the only time I’ve ever shopped from an alphabetized grocery list. signing off KO

 

Quiet day in town

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

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