On The Road

On The Road
Dutch Star and Subaru ready to go

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30th

There's a little store in La Penita that is similiar to a "Dollar Store" that has, besides many other things lots of pet things. We walked over this morning to see if they might have a "chucker" to replace the one Leo dropped in the ocean. Unfortunately they didn't but the trip to town wasn't wasted as we were able to pick up some more juice that we were out of.

When walking home we went past one of the local restaurants we sometimes frequent and had a nice surprise. The man that helped us a week ago in Guayabitos when the Jeep's starter gave out was now a waiter at the restaurant. We stopped and talked with him for a while, thanking him for his previous help and told him we would come back to have a meal at the restaurant sometime soon.

Just after we got back to the rv park the owner of the neighboring park came over to ask if we still had our electricity. When checking we found ours was out as well and we were without power for several hours. Fortunately we have a battery pack in the motorhome plus a generator to start up if the batteries get weak plus our stove operates on propane.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29th

A few more people dropped by the park today to see it'd be someplace they might come to. They were given an information sheet and asked a few questions. But still no definite decisions whether or not they would show up with their RV.

While walking down the beach to town we came across a fisherman who was throwing fish guts to the birds. Good way to get rid of the guts after cleaning the fish..and the birds like it.

This was another Thursday "Market Day" so Diane and I walked down the beach to town. We wanted to look at a few "future" purchases we'll be making before we return home. One thing we think we'll get is a new sink for the guest bathroom. There's a lot of nice ones to choose from including oval or retangular in shape.

One of the new things we saw at the market was an artist. He had several paintings standing against a wall and was working on another.

While at the market we bought a nice carrot cake and a few avocodos but we like to go to a grocery store on the main street of La Penita that have a good selection of fruit and vegetables as well as orange juice.

Fisherman Feeding Birds

Pottery Vendor



La Penita Grocery Store

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 27th & 28th

Nothing much has been happening here the past couple of days. The town and beach are more crowded than usual because of the Christmas holidays. But next week the kids will be back in school and the town and beach should back to normal with just the winter gringos.

A couple of people have stopped by to check out the park but nothing definite as far as a commitment.

When we went to the beach today, Leo picked up the "chucker" (the throwing stick for balls) As soon as he had it in his mouth he took off into the water and dropped it in the waves. The last we saw of it, it was floating away on its way across the ocean. So.. no more throwing tennis balls until we get to another PetsMart and buy a new chucker.

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 25th & 26th

We enjoyed a quiet Christmas at the RV park. The waves were still quite high so we couldn't take the pups to the beach. This combined with the loud fireworks being set off during the day didn't make the pups happy at all.

At 3:00pm we put the tres leche cake in the car together with the gifts we bought and drove to the Christmas party at Janelle's parents in Guaybitos that we were invited to. Janelle's parents bought a vacant lot in Guayabitos about seven years ago and built the house themselves. It is a very nice three story home that gives them a view of the bay and displayes their many homemaking talents. Several other couples were there and everyone brought something for the Christmas pot-luck. There was more delicious food than we could eat and after stuffing ourselves we gave out the gifts we bought for each other. The evening ended with a fun card game called "contento"

When we arrived back home, I noticed that we missed a Skype call from Fred & Sherry, a couple from Arizona that we met a couple of years ago. We called them back and learned that they'll be leaving Arizona on Thursday and will be staying at an RV park in Guayabitos. It'll be good to see them and Sherry is one of Diane's shopping buddies so they might end up going to Tonala near Guadalajara where they have a city wide market day each Thursday and Sunday.

On Monday we finished breakfast early as we expected a couple of local young men to be here at 9:00am to wash and wax the motorhome.
By noon there was no sign of the two guys but this is Mexico and they may show up tomorrow... we'll see.

In the afternoon Diane and I drove to Guayabitos to check out the RV park Fred and Sherry will be staying at and to confirm that there'll be a space for them when they arrive. During this Christmas-New Years holiday week all the beach towns are over flowing with people. I'm glad our park is close enough to down town to walk to.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas and great 2012 To Everyone

Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas and a great 2012 to Everyone

December 23rd & 24th

On Friday we just stayed around the rv park reading and sitting on the beach watching the dogs play in the surf. Not very exciting but we're enjoying ourselves and when we read the weather report for back home, we enjoy it even more.

On Friday night there must have been a big storm out in the Pacific because the waves coming in were much bigger than normal. In the morning they were still big enough to cross the beach to the sea-wall that separates our park from the beach. When the ocean does that, the beach can look totally different from one day to the next. There may be more sand or less sand or small stones instead of sand.

On Saturday we picked up the "Tres Leche" cake we ordered for the Christmas party we were invited to tomorrow. The party will be at Janelle's parents in Guayabitos with about 12 people attending. Names were drawn for a gift exchange and we're looking forward to a fun evening.

Rough Surf

Decorating the Cake

Tres Leche Cake

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, December 22nd

Thursdays are market days in La Penita and vendors come from miles around selling jewelry, pottery, clothes, blankets, toys and all kinds of food just to mention some of the items you will find.

Of course the market draws all the winter toursits from La Penita and the surrounding towns so the town is pretty crowded. After walking through the market area we stopped for lunch at our favorite restaurant where we were lucky to find an empty table. The rest of the day was spent at the beach with the pups.. they hadn't been there for a couple of days and missed it.. as did we.

Market Day at La Penita

Huichol Indian Bracelets

Drummers at La Penita Market

Our Winter Home

La Penita Sunset

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 20th & 21st

On Tuesday drove to town to drop off our laundry. Fortunately having laundry done is inexpensive as trying to keep the bed clothes clean with two dogs full of sand is a little difficult. Later we walked back to town to get a few things for a Wine & Cheese get-together planned for that evening. La Penita is in the Christmas spirit with toy vendors on every block. After buying a few party essentials, we decided to head for our favorite restaurant for a tostada lunch.

One couple we invited for the Wine & Cheese get-together had to decline as one of them came down with a serious cold. Nevertheless we enjoyed having Trent and Janelle plus one of their guests join us.

Pinatas for Sale

Toys for Sale

La Penita Grocery Store

Yummy Tostadas

Wednesday had one the the "mis-adventures" that sometimes happens. We needed to pick up our laundry we dropped off yesterday and from La Penita drive to Guayabitos as the grocery store there stocks liquid coffee mate. Thinking that it would be a short trip, we took the pups with us.

When we got to Guayabitos, Diane stayed in the car while I went in to buy the Coffee mate and orange juice. Getting back in the car, nothing happened when I turned the key to start it. The starter had been sluggish lately and today was the day it decided to pack it in.

Lifting the hood of your car in Mexico seems to attract people wanting to help. It wasn't long before a nice young man not only volunteered advice regarding a mechanic but also went with Diane in a taxi back to our park in La Penita to take the dogs home. He was then able to get a mechanic to come and look at the car in about half an hour. During the time they were gone, yet another young man offered to get us a mechanic. People are very nice.

The mechanic and helper arrived and after checking things pulled the old starter off the Jeep and said they would need to take it to their shop but would be back in an hour. They actually were back just a few minutes after an hour was up and spent another 15 minutes putting everything back together. When they finished, the Jeep started right up, just like new.

When asked what I owed them, the mechanic said 450 pesos. Now when you convert that to U.S. funds, all they charged for coming and taking the starter off on the side of the street, taking it back to their shop to re-wire it or whatever they did and then back to reinstall it again on the side of the street. All for $32.51 U.S. dollars.
I can only imagine what the whole thing would cost back home..

Dead Car

Mechanics to the Rescue

Faulty Starter

Replacing the Starter

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, December 19th

Diane had another short meeting this morning with other school volunteers. When she returned we decided to take a drive to Sayulita a town about 20 miles south of La penita.

We had been to Sayulita during our other trips to Mexico and found that it's very popular with the young crowd. It remains a beach town filled with young people and we headed for a popular restaurant called Rollie's that is famous for it's breakfasts. Unfortunately breakfast is the only thing that is served and the restaurant was closing as we arrived.

Fortunately because we've been to Sayulita in the past we knew of another restaurant we liked. Sometimes when in Mexico we miss American food so today we had a cheesburger and BBQ'd pork sandwich.

When we returned, just as we were about to open the gate at Heaven's Gate park another couple from Quebec walked up and wanted to know about the park. The owners were not home so I showed them around and answered their questions the best I could. They seemed to be looking at everything available park-wise in town and that was the last we saw of them.

Mexico Version of a Walmart Greeter

Rollie's Restaurant

Banana Tree behind Sayulita Restaurant

One Type of Mexican Topes

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday, Dec.18th

Being Sunday there were several shops closed so not all the errands we needed to do were done. We were however able to buy a few school supplies that will be given out to local children at Christmas. We were also able to buy a couple of bottles of wine for our Cheese & Wine get-together with some friends in a couple of days.

At lunch we decided to walk back to town for something to eat and although we ended up at our favorite fish taco restaurant, I ordered their chicken tostadas.. I think they are going to be one of my favorite things on the menu after today. When we were finished, we continued to spoil ourselves with an ice cream bar.

Diane needed a watch for school so when we were walking home we noticed some on display in front of one the stores. She found one she liked but it took about an hour for a couple of links to be taken out of the watch strap so it would fit.

By the time we got home, the pups were telling us that we were late and not to waste any more time taking them to the beach.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 16th & 17th

On Friday Diane went to a kindergarten Christmas fiesta at the school where she helps the kids with their English. There was a Mary & Joseph skit with a visit from Santa and the traditional hitting a Pinata filled with candy.

That evening we went to an enjoyable dinner with Janelle and Trent the RV park owners to Los Compadres Restaurant in La Penita. This restaurant/hotel is hugh and sits on the top of a hill that over-looks the town and the bay.

Saturday was taken up by picking up the laundry and grocery shopping in the morning and spending the afternoon sitting on our beach chairs watching Leo and Hayley play in the surf.

Kindergarten Christmas Fiesta

Mary & Joseph

Dos Amigas

Pony Tails

Hitting the Pinata

Santa and Mrs Claus make a visit

Los Compadres Restaurant & Hotel

Our table with a view

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 15th

Diane spent the morning at the school where she's helping young kids with their English. She's having a fun time and works on her lesson plan a couple of days before her work with the kids.

The owners of our RV park had to drive their recent house guests back to the airport in Puerto Vallarta this morning but before they left, tree trimmers who were to come tomorrow showed up a day early.

The park has six big palm trees plus one dead one in the area where the RVs sites are. The tree trimmers go up to the top of the trees and cut away branches and small coco nuts before they grow big and become a danger by falling.

I spent the morning watching them work as they use only the most basic tools. Two loops of rope are used to climb the tree. One foot goes in one loop and the other leg goes through the other loop. This way they can put their weight on one or the other loop while shoving the other loop higher up the tree.

No chain saws or other saws are used. All cutting is done with a machete. All six trees were trimmed in this manner and the machete was also used to cut a couple of six foot pieces off the top of the dead tree before using an axe to cut the remaining section of the tree down.

When Diane came back from the school we walked into town to have lunch and pick up a few groceries. Thursdays are market day in La Penita and the town was packed with people. Even one of our favorite restaurants where we get our fish tacos didn't have an empty table. We decided on another restaurant and then bought a few wine glasses and a six pack of beer before heading back to the park.

Its been a little cool the last couple of days with winds strong enough for us to bring in the awning of the motorhome... better to be safe and not have it get damaged.

Climbing Palm Tree

Climbing Tree

Trimming Tree

Trimmed Tree

Topping Dead Tree

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12th - Lady of Guadalupe Day

December 12th is a big religious holiday in Mexico celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe. Loud fireworks are a big part of the celebration and go on almost continually from the day before and throughout the holiday. Much to the pup's dismay.

We went into town twice today, once in the car to drop off our laundry and stop at the coffee house to pick up a couple of kilos. Then again by foot where we stopped at a bakery to order a "tres leche" (three milk) cake to bring to a dinner party we were invited to on Christmas day. This is with the parents of Janelle, owner of the park where we are staying.

While in town we did a little shopping, Diane had to buy some socks as she only packed one pair for the trip and one of those is missing. (Leo is a suspect). Somehow my hat got all bent out of shape and I can't straighten it but I was able to find a good replacement and my pull-top hat band looks good on it. Before heading back to the motorhome we stopped at one of our favorite little restaurants (La Casita Restaurant) for fish tacos.

We had some of the fish I bought from the local fishermen last night and it was delicious cooked on the bbq. Tonight we had some of the shrimp and it too was great.

La Penita Coffee Shop

La Casita Restaurant

Fish Tacos

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things have been quiet here the last few days. Lots of laying around, reading and enjoying the warm weather.

Diane had her Dental appointment and is happy with the whole procedure and the results. As reported previously, she won an auction where the prize was a teeth cleaning. The normal cost of the cleaning is $425 pesos (a little over $30 dollars) less than half the cost back home. I'll have to make an appointment for myself one of these days.

Diane also had her first day orientation at the elementary school where she'll be helping four and five year olds with basic English terms. She'll have her second session on Thursday.

Early this morning I drove over to the town of Rincon de Guayabitos about 2 miles south of here to buy some fish from the local fishermen. These guys go out and fish all night in a small 14ft to 16ft boat then they come in early in the morning and beach the boats by running them up on the beach. Each boat usually has a couple of family members on board and they meet the wifes on the beach. The customers pick out the fish they want and the wife weighs it and collects the money. The fish is layed out on boards across the boat and a family member will clean and fillet the fish you choose. They also have shrimp in large coolers that the wife sells by the weight.

I picked out a nice Red Snapper that was filleted for me plus a kilo of shrimp. Diane and I figured that it would last about five or six meals. Cost was $230 pesos. less than $20. dollars.

Guayabitos Main Street

Guayabitos Beach

Guayabitos Fishermen

Cleaning Fish

Selling Shrimp

More Shrimp for Sale

Pelicans are alway looking for fish scraps

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, Dec. 6/2011

The weather has been a little overcast the last couple of days but it's still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. The ocean has also been a bit rough with bigger than normal waves. We take the pups for a walk along the beach but they know enough not to go out in the surf very far.

We drove into town and stopped at the dentist and made an appointment for Diane to get her teeth cleaned on Friday. From there we went to the Lavanderia to pick up our laundry. They charge by the weight and do a good job inexpensively.

Later in the day a couple of ladies came by to talk to Diane about her volunteering at the local school where she'll be helping four and five year olds some basic English words. They'll be picking her up on Thursday morning to go to an orientation session.

In Ricon de Guayabitos a little town just south of La Penita there's a Bar & Grill that all the "Gringos" frequent. Mateja's had an anniversary party last night. $150 pesos got you a couple of tacos and all the beer and margaritas you could drink. We had lots of fun but paying the price with a head-ache this morning.

Picking up the Laundry
Leo & Hayley playing in the surf
Party at Mateja's Bar & Grill