Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I am in Sayulita, sitting at a stool in what is supposed to be an internet cafe. At the moment, it's this room with two computers in it, plus the room behind, in which there are books in English for sale. The rest of the place is in a state of mid-destruction/construction. The very nice owner (from Edmonton) says he hopes to get everything up and running in a couple of weeks. I couldn't get the wi/fi to work, so I'm going to have to re-type my journal onto this keyboard that isn't quite the same as the ones we have at home. Bear with me.

I'll start with last night's journal, which I wrote in San Blas.

January 5, 2009

We left Mazatlan at around 10 o'clock this morning. Aren't we getting to be the casual travelers, though? About an hour later, we stopped at a restaurant along the highway. Robin was planning to have soup in the motor home, but TJ had a yen for tacos. When I saw the restaurant, I suggested we all go in and have a sit-down meal, and Robin agreed. We had ham and eggs and frijoles with a rather lively little salsa and lots of warm tortillas. They didn't serve tacos. The place five minutes farther down the road did, of course.

I was tired, not having slept much, so I made the mistake of asking for cafe con leche. Usually, I remember to ask for the cafe and then casualy mention the leche a bit later. So this time, what arrived at the table were two cups of hot milk, along with a jar of Nescafe freeze-dried and a jar of sugar. (Here ya go - help yourself) We groaned, spooned coffee and sugar into our hot milk, sipped, and decided that this was pretty good, after all.

We noticed that the back garden was full of plants - all identical, in pots, with a net roof about twenty feet overhead. The waitress told me they were mango plants. Now, riding down the road, I can spot the trees and call out "mango grove" - as well as "agave plantation" - "banana grove" - Something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore.

Somewhere near Rosario, we were blocked from using the free road. We obediently went onto the toll road. That ended up costing us 256 pesos - the biggest toll we've paid on this trip. As soon as we were able, we went back to the free road.

I really enjoyed today's drive. There were so many things to see alongside the road - a cowboy astride his galloping horse, lasso coiled and ready - several burros, lots of horses and cattle. Some of the cattle looked as if they belonged in India rather than in Mexico - dirty white in colour, thin, with humps above their shoulders. After we had eaten breakfast, we passed through a town in which everybody (everybody!) was selling dried shrimp - and shrimp tamales. Had I been driving at the time, I might have stopped and bought a couple of tamales, breakfast or no breakfast - but I didn't want to make Robin stop in the middle of the town, with cars whizzing past in all directions. Another town was full of bicycles. There were trucks and cars, too - but a lot of them were parked and pretty well everybody seemed to be riding bicycles.

We followed the directions in our new Mexican road atlas, and now we are in San Blas, mosquito-sand flea-no-see-em capital of the world. Robin was reading the Mexican camping book while I drove. He informed me that we had missed another feature of San Blas - the crocodiles. Don't you just want to be here?

After he hooked up the electricity and water, Robin went for a cycle ride. So did TJ and Kris. I stayed behind to be the unarmed guard. I did plan to go along, but by the time we got settled in, it was after four o'clock, and I pictured myself cycling home in the dusk, dodging cobblestones while swatting any number of vile, biting, blood-sucking creatures. No, thanks. Sunset is fast approaching. I want it known that I am sitting inside the rv with the air conditioning on, all windows and doors closed, and no intention of going outside until tomorrow, when we're on our way to Puerto Vallarta.


So that was yesterday.


January 6, 2009

What a great day! First of all, I managed to escape from San Blas without being eaten alive. I kept my word - didn't leave the rv at all. It was a little odd, but there you go. I survived. The scenery down here is wonderful. I missed the chance to buy star fruit alongside the road, but a while later we had to stop for a moment to secure something on the outside of the rv that was slipping a bit. We were in front of a very large fruit stand. I bought a bunch of those little bananas (maybe four inches long?) that we see from time to time in Canada. They were hanging from a rod quite high over my head, so I asked for help. How many did I want? Oh, six or seven. A young man reached up with a long pole and brought down a stalk on which were two or three bunches - twenty-three little bananas. I figured it was fate. I took the whole thing. TJ and Kris can have some of the bananas. I also bought a pineapple. Robin picked up a lime-flavoured (local) popsicle, and I bought a package of ten locally made coconut macaroons shaped like croquettes. The bill came to 60 pesos altogether. Oh, how I love coconut macaroons.

We stopped briefly at Rincon de Guayabitos, because somebody in San Carlos had recommended it, but Robin disliked it on sight, and I think the feeling was mutual. Every way we turned, we ended up having to back out because it was a dead end, or a construction zone, or possessed by devils. Anyway, we decided to keep going another twenty minutes to Sayulita, because it sounded great in the Mexican Camping book.

The temperature has been moderate - mid 20s - all day, and here at Sayulita (about 40 km north of Puerto Vallarta) there is a cool, very pleasant breeze. We've checked into the Sayulita Trailer Park, which came highly recommended. I haven't had a chance to look around the village much yet, but I love the park. We're about 30 seconds from the beach, tucked into a very tight space that nonetheless has a patio - with even a cement shelf unit at the back, where we could put our barbecue, if we had such a thing. It will be perfect for books, glasses, etc. We have a tree - a big one - but I don't know what kind it is. We also have honeysuckle and hibiscus. Our neighbour to the right has a Great Pyrenees, and the one on the left has a Dachshund, so I don't think we need to worry about intruders.

TJ and Kris are two spaces down, just beyond the Dachshund. They like it here, as well, but they may only stay a couple of days and then go on to Puerto Vallarta, where Colleen and Wade are going to stay. They're a couple of days behind us. Puerto Vallarta is just a bit livelier than Robin and I want, but if we were thirty years younger, we'd probably want to go there, too. When we all decide to leave Puerto Vallarta and head east, we'll hook up again.

I typed all this into my computer while I waited for word on the wi-fi situation. I gather there have been some problems with it, and somebody has gone into Puerto Vallarta to get somebody else to come in and deal with it.

Meanwhile, Robin found the internet cafe, so here I am, typing it all again. I sure hope the wi-fi get fixed soon.

Oh, and there's a bus every half hour that goes into Puerto Vallarta, so we may spend a day there, just to say we did.

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