A Travellerspoint blog

Moving to the Garden

February 15

We got packed up and caught a cab over to our new place, Casa Azul. This is one of about 6 or 7 casitas in a walled garden in a Mexican neighbourhood. It is a lovely spot, with the swimming pool just a couple of steps out of our door.View from front door

View from front door

Pool

Pool

Living area

Living area

Bedroom

Bedroom


Rob has his own little casita, next door to ours, which is like a little studio apartment.
After getting settled in, we went off to the Mercado (large market) to get groceries for the week. It was about a 10 block walk in the almost noon heat - very warm!! Once at the Mercado, we got our groceries - some fruit and vegies here, some fish over there, some tortillas here, - I didn't take any time to check out the rest of the market.
We got a taxi outside the market to take us home with our loads, but when we got about 4 blocks from home, he told us we had to get out because he had a certain area or route he could take and he couldn't take us right to our door. BAH! So that's what the sign on the windshield meant! Now we know - and hopefully won't do that again.
We had a swim to cool off and then some lunch. Siesta time or reading or computing - whatever you would like to call it - consumes the really hot part of the day. Then Don and Rob went off to do some exploring and buy some beer. I stayed home and read in the shade. They finally came back just before dark, so we had a late supper.

Posted by katdill 06:55 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

A country race

February 14

After our typical quiet morning, with me sitting ocean and bird watch, and the guys swimming and snorkeling, we had an adventurous afternoon. We walked up to the highway and caught a collectivo out to a town where there was a horse race, cultural events and fireworks scheduled. The collectivo stopped where the races were, but we thought it was somewhere else and went on into town with him. Then with some help from some other passengers, we figured out that was the spot we should have gotten out. So we just stayed on the back of the truck and got a ride back to the right spot. After we got off the truck, we walked maybe 1/2 km down a dusty dirt road to the race track. (Of course, paying admission at the gate) The track is just graded out of the pasture and only 2 lanes wide - each lane marked off with posts and string to keep them straight. The information we had received at the tourist booth had said the races started at 3:00. We arrived just after 3:00 and there were only vendors there, setting up.
Some vendors who rode in the collectivo with us

Some vendors who rode in the collectivo with us

Audience in all sizes

Audience in all sizes


So we sat in the shade and watched things get going. While we were waiting, some other Gringos arrived in a couple of taxis, and one couple was Bonnie and Art, Norma and Dave's friends from Saskatoon. What a laugh to meet up with someone out in the boonies like that!
Finally about 5:00 the first race was run, then 1/2 hour later another one, which had some technical difficulty with the starting gate, so it had to be run again. We finally left just after 6:00, after having seen 2 races, maybe 1/4 mile in length. When we left they were getting ready to run some longer races, but we wanted to get back to the city before dark.
One of the race horses being paraded around

One of the race horses being paraded around

The race is finally on!

The race is finally on!


So we caught another collectivo back and then walked down to a restaurant near our place for supper. And Italian gelato for dessert on the way home. Yum!

Posted by katdill 19:57 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Kayaking on Coastal Lagoon

February 13

Early in the morning, like 6:00 am, Don, Rob and Ken got up to go kayaking in a coastal lagoon called Laguna de Manialtepec, located about 18 km west of Puerto Escondido. The lagoon's name means Place of the Lizards. The lagoon is refilled at the beginning of every wet season, when the adjacent river hits a beach ridge that has built up during the dry season and is diverted into a old river channel that leads back to the lagoon. The lagoon water levels change as much as four or five feet during the process but eventually it gets high enough to open to the sea. It is surrounded by mangrove bushes up to 15 metres high.
Mangroves

Mangroves


They caught a collectivo, which are community people movers in the backs of pick up trucks, or in small vans. Their ride out was in a small van which was very crowded with about 14 people in it most of the way. It let them off at Las Negras restaurant where there was a lady who beckoned them to go down to the restaurant and hire her kayaks. They negotiated a price of 200 pesos for three hours and were on the water by 7:45. It was another sunny relatively calm day, like every other day so far on this holiday so the kayaking was very pleasant. For Don and Rob it was great to get back paddling. Ken was feeling some discomfort in his shoulder after a while so he turned back so he could take the return trip at a comfortable speed.
They didn't see as many different birds as they thought they would and except for the tropical kingfisher they were not able to identify any new birds that they hadn't seen before but did see some interesting sights. Many of the birds found the mangrove bushes great places to perch, including the brown pelicans, snowy egrets and great blue herons. The river part of the lagoon seemed to have the most bird life.
Brown pelican high in the tree

Brown pelican high in the tree

Shades of blue

Shades of blue


Local people were harvesting different morsels along the way - one guy was diving for something, in another location there were fishing nets out and in a third there was a man who leaned over the side of the boat and pulled up what looked like a pail full of mud. He then went through all the mud with his hands looking for something. They were later told he was harvesting mussels.
Mussel fisherman

Mussel fisherman


After getting back and enjoying a cerveza, they caught another collectivo, this time a small quarter ton truck with six seats in the covered back. Don came home while the others went off to the Mercado to shop for some fish for supper and souvenirs for Ken.
The above was all written by Don in the third person - so it sounds like I wrote it. I didn't want to go kayaking and stayed home, but I plan to take a tour in the lagoon in a motor launch with a guide next week. I had a walk in the morning to see a different part of town (I think where we will be staying for the next week) and then returned to ocean watching. I was lucky enough to see 3 whales go by. It is a thrill to see them glide by.

Posted by katdill 18:48 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Cooling it in Puerto Escondido

February 11 & 12

Two days of sitting on the deck watching the ocean, having birds drop in for a visit, swimming in the pool. Quite a quiet time. I've done a little walking around the neighbourhood in the morning, before the heat really starts. This seems to be an area developed for tourists (Gringos) - lots of apartments and condos and big houses. Real estate prices are not cheap here. Don, Rob and Ken go down to the beach every morning for a swim and/or snorkel. Rob saw a turtle while snorkeling today.
View of beach showing our place on top of the hill

View of beach showing our place on top of the hill

Beach

Beach


The maid came in today and changed our linens and cleaned the house. Very nice service. There is a pool man, who comes about every other day, a gardener, about the same, - you just never know when someone will be stopping by. Life with servants is not very private!
Groove billed Ani

Groove billed Ani


We went out for supper to one of the nearby restaurants tonight. We enjoyed our meals, except Don ordered shrimp soup and got the shrimp still in the shells with their heads on and everything! So he had to fish the shrimp out of the soup and shuck them before he could eat. A little aggravating - I like my food to come to the table ready to eat!!

Posted by katdill 19:51 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Walking Around Bacocho

February 10

We got up early this morning and went out walking before it got so hot. We walked around a neighbourhood we are close to, Bacocho, and enjoyed the different plants and architecture.
Kiskadee on tree in our yard

Kiskadee on tree in our yard

Iguana

Iguana


We found the path that goes down the cliff to the beach - yikes! - but we had to check it out. Apparently Bacocho beach is a little dangerous and only strong swimmers who know what they are doing should swim there. It was quite calm this morning and the tide was going out. We did a little walk on the beach and while I sat in the shade of a giant rock, Don went a little further and saw some people fishing on the next beach. They were using both hand lines and the weighted cast nets.
Fishermen

Fishermen

Crab trails

Crab trails


We got back around 10 and while I jumped in the pool to cool off, Don and Rob went down to Carizalillo beach, where they have been swimming every morning. I haven't been there yet - there are 168 steps down to the beach and then 168 steps up again!!! Thank heavens for the pool!
The sun is so intense that by noon, shade is all anyone wants. We pretty much hide from the sun for 3 or 4 hours. Don and Rob went grocery shopping in the late afternoon. After they got back and I made them Margaritas, (just to cool them off), Ken and I made supper. Another strenuous day at the beach! Ha! Ha!

Posted by katdill 05:24 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

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