Saturday, November 16, 2019

Bucerias to Mezcales to Mazatlán, Mexico, el quince de noviembre, 2019

I said goodbye to my Bucerias dirty house, barking dogs and loud teaching Jennifer around 11.  My bedroom was heavenly - great bed and sheets and wonderful air conditioner but the rest of the house sort of gave me the willies because it seemed so dirty.  As well, they have two small dogs which they left behind for 24 hours when they went to Vallarta to their other place.  I did see a dish of water but I saw no one come and take them for a walk or feed them.  When someone would walk by, particularly if it was another dog, they’d go nuts barking.  Thank goodness they settled down about 10 but woke me up at 4:22 and then again at 7.  So, I would only stay there again as a last resort because the location is second to none.

So I caught a collective to go to Mezcales which is only 10 minutes back towards Nuevo.  I went extra early because I couldn’t buy my bus ticket on line as the site wouldn’t take my credit cards.  I wanted to make sure I had a seat so got there plenty early.  After explaining or whining, whatever you want to call it, they gave me the internet rate which is a savings of 10%.  My supposedly 7 hour trip cost $48.35.  More about that later.  They let me leave my big bag behind the counter and I went walking.  I’m always looking for something good to eat and it didn’t take long to find a little restaurant serving crispy tacos-

First, they brought a small portion of consommé.  Viviane was telling me about this - they always serve it to Mexicans but not to Gringos unless you ask for it.  I’d forgotten all about it so was delighted when the waitress gave it to me and even more delighted when I tasted it.  It was excellent-

Next came my taco-

It only comes to the table filled with carne but there are always dishes of chopped cebolla, cilantro, pico de gallo, green salsa which is mild and red hot screaming fire salsa-

Oh, and I can’t forget the fresh limes that just have to be squeezed on top of everything.

The bus was on time amazingly, but I guess it only started in Vallarta, 20 minutes away.  I took my snack pack:  a jamon and queso sandwich on integral pan, a bag of jalapeño smoking hot papas fritas, headphones and a bottle of water and climbed aboard-

Next time I’ll pick a window seat.  Just like in an airplane, I picked an aisle seat so I could get up easily, but there is so much room that a person doesn’t need to worry about disturbing their neighbour and besides we stop often enough that you can get off and use a real bathroom instead of the skinny one at the end of the bus.  There are pull down blinds on the windows to keep the sun out and each seat has it’s own entertainment centre.  WestJet should be ashamed-

One can watch movies or tv, listen to music or the radio, play games or see the map of where we are going.  I played a couple of word search games until I was starting to feel carsick from the curves we were on for awhile.

The countryside is beautiful, my blurry pictures are not-

Have to figure out my expensive camera.

We were stopped a few times - who do you think you are?  Africa?  First a policeman came on board, walked to the back of the bus then got off.  Then a woman came on, said a bunch of I don’t know what and we all had to get off and our bags were “searched” apparently for fruit.  I guess you can’t take fruit from south to north.  Who knew?  And who knew I had a couple limon in my backpack which I completely forgot about and of course she didn’t find.  Then later, a man got on wearing a t-shirt that implied he was looking for unauthorized persons.  He didn’t find any on our bus but he might have taken the two from Brampton, Ontario who were sitting at the back and probably voted for Trudeau.

There were numerous toll stops and construction stops - sometimes for long enough that the driver shut the bus off!  When that happens, you know you’ll be awhile.  We eventually got to Mazatlán, two and a half hours late.  I called Uber for my very first time - wow is that slick! and in no time José, who makes 1000 rides/month! was there and we were at my apartment where Alan from Edmonton was waiting.

It’s an awesome place and Alan explained the whole area to me - where to shop, buy shrimp, get groceries, get pastries, get water, take the bus, find the sites and beach and most importantly, where to watch the Rider game tomorrow.  He’s not a CFL fan - what’s the matter with him? but he said The Dugout is the place to go so I’ll check it out as well as Friends Diner.

My place is awesome- and I’m definitely staying longer.  The bedroom has AC, a king sized bed and a small patio-

The kitchen is large and well stocked-

although everything is kept on open shelves in another hallway so whatever one needs can be found at  a glance-

The bathroom, with HOT water, is at the end of the kitchen shelf room-

And a second bed is in the kitchen - weird but whatever-

We gained an hour coming north and Alan was here at least an hour so I’m very tired.  Looking forward to exploring Mazatlan tomorrow!  I think I’m going to like it here!

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!  Mazatlán, 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  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 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.

Bucerias to Mezcales to Mazatlán, Mexico, el quince de noviembre, 2019

I said goodbye to my Bucerias dirty house, barking dogs and loud teaching Jennifer around 11.  My bedroom was heavenly - great bed and shee...