Thursday, November 14, 2019

Bucerias, el 14 de noviembre, 2019

Another day in paradise!!  I spent a good part of the morning trying to book a bus ticket to Mazatlan for tomorrow but both my MC and Visa were declined so I called both places in Canada and they set them up so they should work fine. But they didn’t.  So now I have to go to the bus station a little earlier in the morning in Mezcales, which is only 10 minutes away, to buy my ticket.  I also sent out  emails to three prospective Air BNBs in Mazatlan and booked the first reply.  It’s in the Centro Historico so hope it wasn’t built at that time unless it has been renovated at least once!  I’ll know tomorrow night!

I strolled to the beach and found a lounge chair where I enjoyed most of the rest of the day-


Horses frequently go by in case anyone wants a ride-


I met a couple from Seattle who have done a whole pile of interesting trips including a 6 week bicycle trip in Patagonia - well interesting for them but not for me.  They were on gravel a lot of the time, sometimes 4 inches deep and had to push for many miles.  They also battled days of rain and wind and because towns are so few and far between, they spent 5 days onetime in between towns, sleeping in a soaking tent.  How on earth would that be fun?  They also went to the centre line of the path of totality during the last solar eclipse in 2017 which was fewer than 100 miles from Seattle.  There, they met a man who had a couple solar telescopes set up so they could look at the sun when it was totally eclipsing.  The shadows coming through to the ground were crescent shapes!  In March, they are taking a cruise around Norway to be 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights!  It was very interesting talking to them.  As well, I was beside a man from Montreal who has sold everything and now will spend 6 months in Mexico and the other 6 months in a park model at an RV park close to his home.  

After awhile, I couldn’t help myself and had to have a pina colada and wouldn’t you know it, it was Happy Hour so they were 2 for 1-


As its cooling off, finally say the locals - it’s been awesome the last two days, I went home to change then went searching for the carpet store the Seattle couple had visited. I found it just across the bridge and of course fell in love with a few.  They’re Zapotecan carpets and two years ago while in Oaxaca, I visited a few shops too.  I’m not going to buy one until I’m back in this area, and then only maybe.  Where would I put it?

Supper was chilli rellenos which are roasted chillis stuffed with queso - feta would be great, then coated in a bread/egg mixture, fried and served covered in a mild salsa-


Of course, you get tortillas, which I just about never eat and extra salsa that was sooooo hot.  Frijoles are a staple as is a small salad and arroz which I skipped because I don’t like it.  They are very good but I’ve had better than these.  I’ll keep trying-


Before returning to my room, I wandered around a bit, watched the sunset then checked out a hotel that looked interesting.  I walked into another place, past the entrance and the man who was watching tv and looked around at a gigantic kitchen and dining room.  Meanwhile the man stuck out his arm and asked what I was doing.  It turned out I had walked right into his casa!  With deep apologies, I got the heck out of there!

I had a great day and am not so sure I should be moving on quite yet but too late!  Hasta la vista Bucerias!  Mazatl├ín, here I come!

Bucerias, Mexico, el 13 de noviembre, 2019

I had an interesting night.  There’s a bar next door that plays music until after midnight but I didn’t mind because it’s rock, not hip hop or that techno shit that shouldn’t even be called music.  It lulled me to sleep.  The sheets on my bed are the absolute best - they are Diblaga - made in Mexico.  I’ve never slept on such nice sheets!  I’ve contacted the company to see where I can buy some they are that nice.  And, the AC in my room is top notch.  I could just stay there all day!

But I didn’t because I had a few things to check out.  First, I tried to find the Tequila Museum which apparently does not exist.  I called their number on their website and I got the Hard Rock Cafe in Vallarta!  So much for that idea but I did see some great wall art along the way-



There’s also a monument to divers along the beach-


Jennifer, my Air BNB host is originally from Oklahoma but she has lived in Mexico since she was 6.  She is renting the house I’m staying in for $500 US/month and she is also an online EAL teacher.  I was awoken this morning at 5:30 am when she started her lessons!  Most of her students are Asian children.  She and I took chairs down to the beach for an hour or so-


I’m not sure about Bucerias.  It’s a quaint, small beach town but swarming with Canadians.  I stopped at an excellent hamburger restaurant last night and had supper with four people from Ontario and six from B.C.  The construction of condominiums is insane.  In no time, Bucerias will be as crazy as PV.   I think I’d rather spend time in a more authentic part of the country. but time will tell.

I’ve decided to stay another night so I can go back to the beach tomorrow.  There’s also an Art Walk that is only on Thursday nights that I’m going to check out.  I also need to book my bus and Air BNB in Mazatlan.  Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Puerto Vallarta to Bucerias, el 12 de noviembre, 2019

Yesterday was pretty much a right off.  I guess I was celebrating Shit Face Mondays on Sunday - still thinking I’m on the truck!  I woke up a bit hung over so I didn’t do much but I felt depressed.  I was glad I wasn’t moving on.  I played a lot of online Scrabble, then went to Esmeralda’s to play against Claus.  He’s a former German language prof at the University of Manitoba.  I won by quite a bit.  Then Allan, the SaskPower guy from Yorkton and I played and I beat him quite handily too.  Later, I went to Viviane’s for a final visit.  The pirate boat was in front of their place and they blasted off about a dozen fireworks that were very nice.

This morning I felt a lot better so leisurely packed and was on the road to Bucerias by 10:30.  It took about 1.5 hours door to door via 2 buses.  This time I have a room in a house but the owners spend their time in Nuevo.  My room is very nice-


and the air conditioner is new so it’s super powerful.  Heaven!  The bathroom is separate but that’s okay.  I got settled then went to the beach which is about a minute away.  It’s very empty compared to PV.  Looking south-


Looking north-


 I walked for about an hour, then went through the market-



and found a very busy Mariscos restaurant.  There were many Mexicans eating there so you know it’s good food and good value.  This gorgeous salad, filled with shrimp, scallops, octopus, oysters and clams was $11.00-


There were numerous salsas to pick from, including one I call fire in a jar-


It’s marinated onions and chilies and just a drop burns forever.  Needless to say I didn’t spoil my food by putting it on!

After my afternoon siesta, simply to avoid the heat, I went walking again.  Along the way-


The Kissing Bridge-




Parroquai Senora de la Paz, the local Catholic Church-


Bucerias seems like a nice, quiet beach town with lots of restaurants to chose from.  Looking forward to more exploring tomorrow.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Well, well, well.....el 10 de noviembre, 2019

So last night the Mama Tits show started at 9:30 but it was first come first seated so I got there shortly after 9.  As I was standing in the queue to get my ticket, I couldn’t help but notice the tight and short white shorts the 2 young men in front of me were wearing.  Hmmmm I thought, those look like the kind of clothes gay men might wear.  Wait a minute!  Who is Mama Tits?  She’s a drag queen.  What exactly is that?  I’m not really sure.

I was a bit nervous because the 3 young guys behind me were anything but gay, in fact, if I guessed, they were 18 year old small town Saskatchewan boys.  Thankfully as the White Shorts walked by, they didn’t say anything.  Soon I was given card number “9” which meant I figured I’d be seated next to last.  I stood in the lounge where there was a horrible singer supposedly entertaining, had a beer and soon was seated in the small circular theatre in a perfect seat.  I didn’t notice anything different about the crowd until shim - that’s a combination of she and him, walked on the stage and after saying hello said that s/he always wants to know who is at her show.  Well, any tour or show I’ve been to that asks that wants to know what countries you’re from so I’m wondering who else might be from Canada and especially Saskatchewan.  Well, no..... that isn’t what shim wanted.  “Where are the lesbians?” she shouted.  A fairly loud cheer erupted.  Oh shit, I thought.  “Where are the straights?” - a smaller noise was made.  “Where are the homosexuals?”  A very loud cheer ensued.  Okay, what exactly is a drag queen considering mostly lesbians and gays come to the show?  I googled it when I got home and found that it’s a man who dresses as a women for entertainment purposes. And entertain us s/he did.  S/he told a brief story of her life: how he grew up gay in Oregon and moved to NYC for love at age 17.  Why?  “Because you follow ‘the d’?”  That relationship didn’t last long and soon he was on his own trying to make ends meet.  The main message was that you can’t love someone else if you can’t love yourself first and isn’t that the truth!  His voice was awesome and each song s/he and her sidekick Diego sang contributed to the story.  It was an excellent night once I got over my surprise, but I’m surprised a lot of the time because I don’t really think about what something is going to be like.  Take for instance my bicycling in Spain last year.  I chose to bike because I didn’t like walking at the time and so poof, just like that, I decided I’d bike 500 km.  I haven’t biked 100 km in my whole life, yet try to do 500 k in 10 days?  That never crossed my mind until I got on my too loaded down two wheeled pony and started off for Santiago.  Whoops.  It turned out all right but I never think of the consequences of a decision.  I just do it and live through whatever it throws at me.  So, tonight I had to chuckle at myself once again because I had no clue who I was going to spend a couple hours with at a show - certainly not the same crowd I serve drinks to at the Dekker Centre!

S/he started out in a black mumu.  I’m not sure if she was wearing a partial mask but it looks that way with that large crease across her cheek-





Underneath she wore  a red number-



And eventually got down to my favourite outfit-


Diego sang great harmony and he seemed so little beside her-




So during the performance the Saskatchewan boys, or whoever they were, threw a coin towards Mama Tits.  She said she wasn’t a hooker and how dare they.  Well then after that, this little creepy looking fellow came to the stage numerous times to put money in her jar.  He crept along - I don’t know if he was gay or not, I don’t think so but it was like a form of apology.  So weird!

This morning was cooler so I walked down to the Malecon.  I found a place that served beer for the same price as you can buy it in Oxxo so spent awhile there visiting with 6 men from Kindersley and Swift Current who are going on a 36 hour fishing trip tomorrow hoping to catch a 500 pound Marlin.  Next I visited with a couple who used to live at Harvey Heights by Canmore but now live in Toffino.  He referred me to what looks like a very interesting website called https://actionalberta.ca/  Check it out!  After a few beer, I picked up more shrimp and came home to cool off.

More street art-




At 3:30 I headed to Esmeraldas to watch Winnipeg demolish Calgary in the Western semi final.  I think we can do better against Winnipeg than Calgary so I was happy with the result.  Supper was guacamole from Manny’s.

It’s back to the gym in the morning and then I’ve got a Scrabble game lined up with Claus at 1.  Life is good!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Smoking Hot! El 8 y el 9 de noviembre, 2019

I’m not sure what’s worse - the cold or the heat.  I guess in the heat I can still go outside barefooted and go for walks and there is always shade to stay in.  But today was so hot - 32 with 72% humidity.  I was out for about an hour and came home soaked!  I’m so glad I have AC!

Yesterday was a relaxing day.  I went to the gym, had my usual green juice on the corner with Mary and Fernando and picked up some shrimp, 10 actually, for $1.39!  They were breakfast today-


I’ve got some more for tomorrow!  I also stopped at a chicken stand and got the juiciest tasting 1/4 chicken, just like in Guatemala.

I walked past La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe which is in front of the Plaza de Armas and City Hall.  Construction began in 1918 but the central tower was only built in the 1950s.  A concrete crown was added in 1965 but the October 9, 1995 earthquake destroyed it so the new crown is made of fibreglass-


The crown is hoisted by angels.  It’s designed to resemble a crown worn by Empress Carlota of Mexico in 1860-


I love street art-




I’ve also spent the last 2 days planning the next 4 months: booking rooms, deciding on itineraries, finding out what there is to see, times and costs of buses and I also booked my flight home:  March 14 which will be here before I know it!  I really enjoy researching but it sure takes a lot of time.

Tonight, I’m off to see Mama Tits https://youtu.be/O_JuDZjG6Zg. She/He is supposed to be hilarious so I’ll see.

Tomorrow the gym is closed so it’ll be another easy day.  I’m planning to watch some football at the bar down the street.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

What a Day! El 7 de noviembre, 2019

What a day!  It started out very normally.  I was up early, had some coffee, went down to the Malecon to get a walk in before the streets and sidewalks were too crowded, came home for breakfast and went to the gym.  Today’s workout was a lot better than yesterday’s.  Today exercises were balanced between the upper and lower body and I strategically positioned a fan so I didn’t sweat to death.  Viviane was there and brought me some electrolytes.  The way I’ve been sweating, I think I’ll get some more just to stay well.
After the Crossfit session, I was told the yoga master wasn’t coming so Viviane and I left and stopped to see Fernando and Mary at their juice stand and then went to her Viviane’s.  Well, I couldn’t believe it.  Actually I could because I knew the moment she told me she lived by the river that she lived in Molino de Agua - the condo complex I would choose to live in here if I were a millionaire.  Sure enough, after a short tour/explanation along the way of the many businesses she’s familiar with and where to buy the best this or that we arrived.  Viviane Moos is a documentary photographer who has taken pictures pretty much all over the world. You can check her out at Vivianemoos.com.  She has a lot of her pictures enlarged and on the walls of her gorgeous home where the view can’t be beat-



El Rio Pitillal empties into the sea and is a popular swimming spot - fresh water-


They sold a condo in the Industrial area of Manhattan a couple of years ago because when they bought it, no one lived in the area but now it’s the most trendy spot in NYC.  It was a 2250 square foot penthouse with many windows that they bought for cheap years ago and sold for millions.  They moved to PV in January 2018.  They brought some furniture with them but the previous tennants also left some. They rarely if ever close the windows and why on earth would you?-






After a great visit with Viviane and her husband Lee, who was married to a woman from Melville! of all places and has lived all over the world and done “too many things to even start explaining” including being a business partner with Rock Hudson in Hong Kong, Lee went to play chess and Viviane and I went down under the bridge to get oysters.  They were delicious but apparently smaller than normal.  They’re not local but from the province of Sonora but maybe tomorrow there will be some local ones.

Daniel dumped out the bag-


and then proceeded to shuck them-



It’s a family affair with Daniel’s wife and her sister Doris also working.  And, what to pick for salsa?-


I was thinking of Uncle Nico, which often happens.  One time we met Jane in New Orleans for a weekend while she was studying in South Carolina.  We couldn’t walk by an oyster bar without going in for a dozen-



They also had another kind of shell sitting there-


So we tried that too.  It was squirming as I put it in my mouth.  It had quite a different texture from the oyster - heavier and more full bodied.  It tasted great too-


Then we were off for lunch to a local place called Dianita’s.  For $4.80 one orders from a set selection of five dishes that change daily and it includes as much cucumber and basil juice as one can drink and sopa con frijoles-


My main was a very tender beef stew with more frijoles, rice and nachos.  I love Mexican nachos-


Viviane had something she didn’t like at all and she’s not sure why she ordered it in the first place- deep fried tacos stuffed with ricotta cheese.  The stuffing was good but not the shells-


We just had the best time talking about our adventures!  

I got home at 5, still in my sweaty gym clothes and sitting on the outside step waiting to get in were a couple of older Argentinian women.  One was very friendly, the other was a typically snooty Argentinian, a country in South America who thinks it belongs in Europe.  I will agree that Buenos Aires is beautiful but Argentina does not belong there.  Lesson #1 - be happy with whom you are!  The friendly woman was on the phone with Sean trying to figure out the lockbox which holds the key and is opened with a four digit combination code.   Friendly gave me her phone and Sean told me the code and in no time we were inside.  I took Friendly up to the room but Snotty stayed at the bottom of the stairs until Friendly came down to carry their gigantic suitcases up.  Snooty commented to me that we seemed quite far from the beach and Malecon but I explained it was only 6 short blocks away.  They will have paid the same as me - twenty some dollars/night so you’re not getting the Molino de Agua honey!  That’s another thing I don’t get.  Why, unless you’re permanently moving somewhere, would you take a large suitcase through cobbled streets, up and down sidewalks and stairs and in and out of cabs or buses?  I just don’t get it.  Anyway......

I’m enjoying my AC and looking forward to another sunny day in paradise!  

P.S.

My littles-





Bucerias, el 14 de noviembre, 2019

Another day in paradise!!  I spent a good part of the morning trying to book a bus ticket to Mazatlan for tomorrow but both my MC and Visa ...