Sunday, January 31, 2016

A trip to the beach

This morning we walked down to the beach for the first time. It is a long slow walk on the cobblestoned and winding road to the "highway". From there we followed a dirt road alongside the all-inclusive hotel to the beach. A Mexican greeted us immediately and took us on a makeshift bridge over the creek to his beach hut cafe and a table complete with hand embroidered tablecloth and four Coca-Cola plastic chairs. We sat in the shade a short distance from the water and watched the activity.

From the bridge looking over the creek and toward the beach huts.

Boys fishing in the surf (unsuccessfully).

Vendors approached us with attempts to sell jewellery, clothing and blankets. Occasionally they made a sale. The chairs, tables and beach cots filled up as we shared lunch and watched people trying to navigate out of the water once they were in. The undertow was quite strong and there were several mishaps as young women struggled to keep parts of their bathing suits on. In one case the bottom filled with sand and dragged the bikini bottom down to her knees!

John ordered an octopus/shrimp salad and I had fish tacos. Everything was quite tasty but there didn't appear to be any sanitation for food prep...we have our fingers crossed!!!

When the young men seated near us ordered cigarettes from a vendor we decided that it was time to head back up the hill...a torturous walk with numerous stops enroute. How many "soon-to-be 72 & 79 year olds" could handle the hike?? We felt quite proud of our second attempt at the uphill trek!

The next time I am wearing my bathing suit and tackling the undertow!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What did you find in the woods?

Yesterday's writing prompt started with: Thoreau wrote "We need the tonic of wildness, we can never have enough of nature." Then the question "What did you find in the woods?"

This is the pantoum that resulted from the prompt:

Inside nature's cathedral
with sun worshippers
reaching upward
to receive blessings
with sun worshippers
anointed by the rain
to receive blessings
rebirthed by the sun
anointed by the rain
in mossy silence
rebirthed by the sun
where timid heartbeats
in mossy silence
tread softly
where timid heartbeats
in a careful balance
tread softly
reaching upward
in a careful balance
inside nature's cathedral.

New look for fingernails

The new look for fingernails!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the finger

We are still enjoying our bus rides back from PV. There is often a musician on board who sings or plays a couple of tunes before passing around his hat. Today we sat in the front seats behind the driver who made John nervous by driving half of the distance in neutral.

The rear view mirror was surrounded in a plush toilet seat cover!

After our morning coffee we walked over to the market and then turned back along the river. The city has completed a beautiful walkway along the entire length of the river into town. We spotted birds fishing, a guy shaving and several lines of laundry along the way.

We will definitely pop into this little place on another walk.

Across from the market.

Unfortunately I had a little accident when disembarking from the taxi today that took us up the hill from the bus stop. My "gesture" finger on the left hand got caught in the back door. I am sure that the nail will be lost in the future. It hurt like hell!!! The minute I got into the condo I swaddled it in ice and then submerged it in ice water for about 1/2 hour. The colours range from angry red to surprised purple!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Another sunset

Another amazing sunset!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Power outage

When we arrived back at the condo yesterday morning we discovered that the electricity was not working. This meant no telephone, no wi-fi, no connection to the outside world. The guys were due to arrive at the airport from Vancouver and we had no way of checking their arrival headed to the airport in hopes of arriving around the right time. They were already waiting for us and I was relieved to pass the driving on to one of them for the return trip.

Meanwhile my plans for dinner changed as we realized that the power probably wouldn't be restored in time to cook. The landlord's story was that the power company had screwed up his payment but it is more likely that the payment wasn't made...maybe not for the first time!! The wires to the building had been physically disconnected in the morning. They don't use computers for that job here! Somehow the landlord had managed to get a crew from the electric company to come and reconnect us but by 7:30 it was dark, no sign of power yet and we were hungry!

We drove down to a small taverna type place in Mismaloya for dinner...great margaritas and delicious fish dinners. They also had a modern jukebox that continued to pump out selections made by a group of young Mexicans.

We finally experimented with a 10 peso coin
and selected songs from Sam Smith, The Eagles 
and Richie Vallens "La Bomba".

The power was restored by the time we returned...wi-fi was working
...we were connected to the world!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Writing prompt

A good friend of ours has offered to send me a "writing prompt" every morning in order to jiggle the brain cells and see what happens. The first day she sent "Did you ever get lost?". This conjured up quite a few memories but the writing exercise finally led me to the following:

Lost - that's what keeps adventurers going - the possibility of getting lost. When every day unfolds in predictable monotony you are depriving yourself of discoveries. There is more to living than walking a treadmill from birth to death. Step off! Get lost! Allow adrenaline to flow, inhale the scent of uncertainty. Turn left instead of right. You'll find your way to places you never imagined.
                                                                                                                                    Thank you Arlene

That's what happened this morning when I discovered alleys and streets 
that had been waiting for an appreciative eye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On the mend

OMG...the delicious taste of first cup in five days! 
It was wonderful and no side effects!
It feels like I am on the mend.

A little operatic aria while I sipped my coffee.

I really enjoyed my first walk in several days with camera in hand.

This guy was waiting for the fish boats to arrive.
He sits on the roof of the restaurant opposite McDonalds every morning.

I am always mesmerized by the colourful displays of fabrics at the market stalls.

There is everything from blankets... team memorabilia... table coverings, bags and sarapes.

Today my eye was also caught by a variety of doors.

Each door tells a story.
The viewer is asked to decide
what is locked away.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The perils of a Mexican BUG

I have been flattened with a Mexican BUG for two photos adventures...just me and the toilet!

I hope that when the sun rises tomorrow I will be much improved
because we are running out of groceries.
Not that I have been eating...but John must be tired of toast!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Driving, memory and photos

Driving back and forth between Mismaloya and Puerto Vallarta has become "almost" routine for me although I do like the relaxation of boarding a bus for the trip. On the bus I don't have to deal with the Mexicans who decide to pass on a blind curve or the ones who cling to my rear bumper. Fortunately I have not driven anywhere that involves getting into a side road on the right hand side in order to negotiate a left turn!!

Like most aging people I have questioned my memory over the past few years...wondering why I can't remember the names of people and places. During the last two weeks I have been surprised to learn that my memory still manages to capture and hold some of the more important information. The code to the gate at the bottom of the hill, the combination to the safe, how many topes (speed bumps) we drive over enroute and where they are located. It is reassuring to know that these valuable tidbits are retained and...more importantly...can be recalled!!!! Just don't ask me the names of everyone we met at the cocktail party!

Some images from this morning's walk.

Oyster feast under the bridge!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Blue door

What is behind the blue metal door?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An undertaker and an Epidimiologist

Last night we attended a cocktail party...hard to believe that cocktail parties still take place in certain circles! It was a gathering of about 40-50 people. Most of them were strangers to us. Glasses of champagne were handed to us as we entered the condo, spreads of delicious appetizers were  displayed on several tables and a full bar was available.

I decided to make connections with some of these strangers...not an easy task for me! They were already chatting in small familiar groups when we arrived. Should I just hang around the periphery and hope that someone would include me in their discussion?...or should I just barge in, stick out my hand and introduce myself? Hmmh!

Wandering past the groups, I found myself on the balcony. John was abandoned somewhere behind me, forced to make his own connections. I speared a small sausage and smiled at two men who were sharing a conversation. After a few minutes (and several speared sausages) they took pity on me and  introduced themselves. That was how I met Andy from Victoria BC and George, a retired undertaker from Peoria, Illinois. Our discussion revolved around comparisons of medical care in Canada, USA and Mexico. This is a very common topic of conversation for all of the aging expats!

Eventually another couple joined us...Susan and Carl from Saskatoon. Carl is a noted Epidimiologist and Susan is a delight. We shared personal histories and travel stories. When my brain refused to remember the name of the town where my father was born...Carl surprised me with "Hafford"!! I was stunned...he was right!!! How many people know the names of small towns in Saskatchewan?!

It was a great evening. On the way back to Mismaloya our hosts asked if we were still hungry. A small hotdog stand sits outside the security gates of our condo development and we have always talked about stopping ordered four hotdogs with the works. The vendor washed his hands from a tap that was hung on a utility pole before preparing our dogs.

We carried them home for a late night snack. They were delicious!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

High tides

With these high tides and huge risk being hit by more than sea water! 

Look at the size of the rocks that are being thrown up onto the Malecon!!!!

On our morning walk we stayed clear of the seawall. Some unsuspecting young tourists were deliberately walking near the wall...hoping for a shower. 

We travelled by bus into town, enjoyed a long "people watching" coffee for breakfast and walked along to our favourite store (Woolworth's) for a couple of purchases. Along the way we picked up ping pong balls for the cat. Should be a fun evening as we watch him chase a ball around the bathtub-his favourite play area!!

Friday in PV

We walked the Malecon again this morning and enjoyed a coffee/tea break at Dee's before wandering through the Friday morning market. It is much calmer in town since the Christmas tourists have vacated.

This little guy tried to make the game work!

There were huge waves overnight and this morning, crashing over the Malecon and disturbing local businesses...a very high tide!

I love to ride the bus between PV and Mismaloya. It costs 8 pesos (65 cents) and is filled with locals, vendors and tourists. Today there were even two dogs onboard! Sometimes we are lucky to have a musician to entertain the crowd...well worth a donation of a few pesos.

Last night we toured the Southside Shuffle, visiting galleries, sipping wine and listening to street musicians. This guy did incredible things with his harmonica. The mike is set up in front of Cassandra Shaw's jewelry store and open for local musicians to play a few tunes.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hike and float

My exercise regime was accelerated this morning. I took a ride down the cobbled, winding road to the bottom and hiked back up. The anticipated ascent of 1/2 hour was only a 10 minute hike! Whew!! I was very proud of stops enroute!

The condo has a private "dipping" pool that I try to float in each afternoon for about 15 minutes. The water is unheated... quite cool but refreshing. It is possible to fit 4 floaties...end to end and side by side. Not that we would ever do that!

The condo employees gather under our patio for their lunch every day and I listen to their laughter mixed with good natured discourse. Sometimes I understand a bit of the conversation.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mismaloya village

This morning we rode into PV with the guys and wandered through the town, stopping for coffee and peeking into shops. For the return trip we hopped on the bus to Mismaloya and explored Mismaloya's small village before taking a taxi up the hill.

The crocodile tamer!

The back corner of Mismaloya's church.
The other corner was occupied by two dead refrigerators.

Ready to sweep!

One of Mismaloya's old buildings.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Driving to the airport, etc

Sunset last night

Managed the drive to the airport today, dropping Shelly and driving back to Mismaloya. It was about a 50 minute trip each incidents enroute.

The other vehicle...not the one that I was driving!

Construction at the building site

This was where Elizabeth Taylor took rest breaks 
during filming of "Night of the Iguana"

Monday, January 4, 2016

Driving in PV

OMG!! I am driving in Puerto Vallarta! Never thought that I would be brave enough but they are training me for a few trips to the airport. The first trip is tomorrow when I take Shelly to the airport. The second trip will be next week when the guys fly to Vancouver for a few days and then again when I go to pick them up. Should be interesting times!!

John saw his cardiologist this morning and he has reduced the blood pressure meds after finding that his BP was 90 over 50. It is surprising that he hasn't passed out! So, he is to wait until his BP stabilizes before joining the gym again.

Found this mural today.
The further away...the more in focus.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two nights of PV Theatre

The last two nights we have enjoyed theatre productions in town. They have an amazing array of talented performers at several stages. Last night we were in the audience for Loreena Peril and her husband Ray Jon Narbaitz. She is an incredible vocalist and he impressed us with his guitar skills.

Tonight we were entertained by the Kinsey Sicks...a dragapella group that has been entertaining audiences around the world since 1993. They were fantastic! The entire show was written, performed and sung by this talented gaggle of guys! Funny and clever!

Stage  for "Oy-vey in a Manger"

Rachel, Trixie and Trampolina

Friday, January 1, 2016


A new year filled with the promise of new adventures.

We welcomed the arrival of 2016 with good friends
and with many folks we had never met before.

Our hosts...Thom and Connie