Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Barra de Potosí, Mexico, el veinticinco de Febrero, 2020

I had a slow morning because I had a shitty sleep - first one in a long while.  I dawdled because I was sitting on the fence about going to Barra de Potosí to a fiesta.  By the time I got going, it was 11.  I decided to walk to a particular bus station because yesterday after talking to one combi driver who said it was impossible to get to Barra, I googled it and learned I could go as far as Los Achotes, then take an open aired truck to Barra.  So, that’s what I did-

I knew I had to be back by 4 to teach so when I had to wait 30 minutes in Los Achotes, I was getting a little antsy but eventually we were on our way-

Once in Barra, I wandered the two blocks of the event-

There was a band playing and men dressed in traditional costumes dancing-

There were restaurants, bars, Save the Turtles and Save the Dogs booths as well as bad art.  I love these dolls-

My favourite cost $35-

After lunch, I wandered down to the beach where there were only two fairly large, busy restaurants quite far from the water-

Huge waves crash right at the shore-

There’s a lot of erosion too-

I caught a combi back via the airport which turned out to be much faster and cheaper.  I got dropped off at the pool and swam a kilometre, then caught another combi in which was the couple I met yesterday from San Diego - it’s a small town.  Once home I got ready and went to school.  Today I had 10 students but then 5 more came at 5 pm after other workshops finished. We are having fun but of course, it is a slow process!  After class, I went for a walk until sunset and look what I found-

I’m looking forward to doing nothing tomorrow!  I need a rest!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Zihuatanejo, Mexico, el veinticuatro de Febrero, 2020

I had a great day!  I’m happy to be saying that too because when I first got here, I thought three weeks was a big mistake.  I may change my mind as time goes on, but today was awesome.

After breakfast I walked to the pool and swam ONE MILE!!!  It took me about an hour, I’m no speedster and I do four different strokes - breast, side, front crawl and elementary backstroke.  I find they use different muscles and that front crawl is the one that provides the cardio.  I had developed some old lady wrinkles on my biceps from doing absolutely nothing the last few months and they are gone - or at least I can’t see them!  I hope to swim as far every day this week.  There was a man in the pool when I got there and two others came during my time so it’s basically my own private place-

After swimming, I caught a couple combis to Playa Ropa where I sat in the sun for 3 hours.  I visited with people from Yorkton, Cochrane and San Diego.  At 3, I came home for lupper and then got ready for ‘work’.  I had 12 student this afternoon, some who came last week and some new ones.  It’s quite hot in my room because the air conditioning unit is far too small but we survive.  It also gets really noisy about 5:30 with loud music playing while there are dance workshops going on elsewhere in the complex.  In front of the main stage is where there are Often Zumba classes but there were none today.  The centre is quite a hub for families and their kids-

After class I wandered down to the beach.  They have a brand new Malecon-

that starts at Playa Principal and goes past Playa la Madera-

The view back to Playa Principal is nice-

and so is the setting sun-

Tomorrow will probably be a repeat of today.  Things are great and time is flying!  

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Petatlán, Mexico, el veintitrés de Febrero, 2020

Even though there’s no paper to read on Sunday, I can still spend hours doing absolutely nothing!  Eventually I walked to the combis to go to Peta which is about an hour away.  I like to sit in the front with the driver so I have a window and can see out forward.  Taped to the dash was a funny sign        “This seat in front is not a hotel.  Do not fall asleep!”-

Heading south of Zihua, the land is rolling and very dry-

Petatlán is known for it’s magical church. Many miracles have happened so there are a lot of tiendas selling statues-

other religious paraphernalia-

as well as t-shirts-

that say “Remembering my visit to the Sanctuary of Father Jesus”.  I didn’t buy one-

Mass was in progress and the church was packed so I wandered around.  Next door is a statue of Padre Jesus carrying his cross.  There is a table next to it where someone, I saw a nun and then a man in plain clothes sprinkle holy water on people-

On the other side of the church is a room where one can light candles in remembrance of people and to ask for favours.  I like that it’s not in the church because the black smoke makes a mess of everything-

The town is also known for its gold shops and there are many-

I had an agua con piña which was so good, then tacos dorados with cerdo.  They were tasty too-

Finally the church cleared out, sort of.  Guadalupe is a Mexican national icon, thanks to Hermán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador who overthrew the Aztec Empire in 1521.  He came from Extremadura, home to Our Lady of Guadalupe. By the 16th century, the Extremadura Guadalupe , a statue of the virgin said to be carved by Saint Luke was already a national icon.  Sundays are huge days in Petatlán and there was even a photographer on site, ready and willing to take your picture in front of  Guadalupe.  There were many people walking around with their 8 x 10s-

A man explained to me that there have been many miracles have occurred in the church.  All you have to do is ask.  I will say that there was very strong energy there.  I felt huge pressure on my breast bone the whole time I was in the church.  

There is another statue of Padre Jesus with his cross above the altar-

Sundays are also big baptism days and the families were gathered in the centre of the church with the priest for this sacrament-

I caught a combi home and had a cold shower and lay on my bed in the air conditioning.  Frick it’s hot.  Tonight I went to the Zorro Sports Bar to watch Einarson barely beat Homan in the Women’s Curling Final.  Homan just doesn’t give up!  I visited with Joy, a retired teacher from Kelowna who is here for 5 weeks with 4 other women.  There was also couples from Minnedosa, Shoal Lake and Quesnal, BC.  Everyone was cheering for Manitoba.

Tomorrow I’m back to the pool, the beach and then to class.  Life is tough!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Playa las Gatas, Mexico, el veintidos de Febrero, 2020

After reading the paper, I went to Carmelita’s Cafe, the number 2 of 234 restaurants in Zihuatanejo, for breakfast.  I had Huevos Motuleños which is fried eggs on a tortilla, topped with frijoles, chorizo, tomato sauce, cheese, ham, avocado and platanos.  It was excellent.  I also had agua con pepino and limon which is something I’m going to try making at home.  It was really refreshing and not too sweet-

My plan was to go to the pool afterwards but it’s closed on the weekends!  How weird is that!  Now I wish I’d have gone yesterday.

I wandered to the playa and caught a small boat to playa Las Gatas which is supposed to be one of ‘the’ places to go-

We passed by a monster, the first one I’ve seen all week-

Looking back to Zihuatanejo-

The beach is popular apparently because it’s a reef so there’s a lot of snorkeling, poor snorkeling but still.  The bottom is all coral so it’s very hard to walk on with bare feet but most of the people were Mexican and well prepared, wearing water shoes-

The beach wasn’t very busy when I arrived-

so I went for a small walk up the hill to el faro, the lighthouse.  The path was well looked after-

but the lighthouse was not.  It had been living quarters but is now vacant except for wild animals and there’s a lot of garbage lying around.  The view is still nice-

The bay looking back to Zihuatanejo-

Once back at the beach, I found a lounge chair beside two girls from South Dakota.  We visited a bit and then they left for Playa Ropa.  I honestly don’t know why anyone would choose this beach over Ropa but people just kept coming-

Eventually I caught a boat back to the town, had an average burger and went home.  Patty Dupuis, an old friend from North Battleford has a place in Ixtapa and she texted that she was going to a restaurant nearby so I met her there.  We had a great visit and plan to get together next Saturday in Ixtapa at Experience the Doors Again with The Crystal Ship Band from Mexico City.  It’s a fund raiser for kids and street animals.  And speaking of street animals, I’ve seen posters asking Canadians to consider taking a stray animal home to Canada!  As if we don’t have enough of our own!  I’m sure some quacks do it though.  

Tomorrow I can’t go swimming so later on I’ll head to Petatlán, a town 36 km away, to check out it’s magical church!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Zihuatanejo, Mexico, el veintiuno de Febrero, 2020

What a lazy day!  I read most of a book - The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.  I didn’t go to the pool, I didn’t leave my place except to walk to the bakery for a fresh warm bun for breakfast and then to the market to buy red snapper (it was so delicious!), a potato, a head of cauliflower and avocados for guacamole for lupper.  By the time I’d bought everything, I could have practically eaten out for the same money.  I guess that’s why there are so many restaurants - that’s what the tourists do of course but also many locals.

Unfortunately at 10 to 4 I had no choice but to go to the Cultural Centre where I had 10 students show up for my English class.  I noticed some improvement from yesterday which is encouraging.  Violeta is the mother of Alexis and Isiah.  She won’t leave them alone - she’s constantly whispering  to them and telling them what to say.  Finally I had to separate them from her!  Isiah looks handicapped - his eyes are really close together but once he was allowed to answer on his own, he’s pretty bright!  Believe it or not, the two hours passed quickly but during the last 15 minutes there was a loud band playing.  I thought it was in the courtyard of the centre but when I left my classroom, I could see a parade was in progress, celebrating Carnaval.  There were girls ribbon dancing-

Weird masks and costumes made of gunny sack material-

A man with a whip chasing a dog-

More masks and beards-

and girls in traditional dress-

The police were also present-

In the evening, I wandered down near the water front and came across a bar showing the curling.  I never imagined it would be on but I’ve sort of lost interest since Saskatchewan is out.  Downtown was just hopping - people eat supper so late - 9 pm!

Tomorrow is another day!  

Barra de Potosí, Mexico, el veinticinco de Febrero, 2020

I had a slow morning because I had a shitty sleep - first one in a long while.  I dawdled because I was sitting on the fence about going to...