Finally managed to post the last blog while having breakfast in La Manzanilla, we were there for market day. Good to know that this app is working and that I am able to upload a video, but didn't know that it had to be uploaded via You Tube. I now have my first video published there but, so far, have been unable to add any details to the listing. Will have to wait till our next good internet connection.
We are into our last week of this RV park. We are planning to up stakes on Friday or Saturday and head up to La Cruz for a night or two then on to Lodo de Marcos or Rincon de Guayabidos, for a few days, to see Marg and Bruce Walton, who have been wintering there for a few years. Ian and Ellen are leaving Saturday but are on a much more pressing timetable so we will not be travelling together beyond La Cruz. We will have 3 weeks to get to Guaymas to pick up our stuff in storage, have a last visit with Bill and Linda (Tanque de Tiburon and, more recently, The Darkside) and begin our final trek north.
The park has begun to thin out. Several units have departed, some to other Mexican destinations, others towards home. To name a few: Kathy and Spencer (Colorado) are headed to Texas to pick up a motor home. They have outgrown their camper and want the next degree of comfort. Fred and Charlene (Comox) left last week and should be well on their way by now after a few stops in southern California. Craig and (Maple Bay, BC) left a few days ago and John and Ida ( Sooke) left a few weeks ago.
Leneita and Doug (Ka'Sala) arrived in the bay a few days ago from La Cruz, on their way south to Barra and Manzanillo. It had been 5 years since we first met and 4 since they returned home to BC, via Hawaii, on their Coast 34. It was a lovely visit, too short, but typical of normal cruising visits where 4-5 days of time together is concentrated in a matter of hours. They have decided to delay their Pacific crossing for a year in favour of some quality time up in the Sea of Cortez and a summer on the hard in Guaymas.
Today is another shitty of this days in Paradise. Bright blue sky, light northerly breeze, some big surf and ohhh, so hot. It is hard to decide on an agenda beyond the comfort of our lawn chairs and shaded patio here beside the Casita. The sound of the surf calls so we will probably move the chairs to the beach palapa soon. We can't help but think of our family and friends back in eastern Canada where temperatures are dipping to the -30 to -50 mark. We recall those frigid times when we lived in Ottawa. The cold is one of the main reasons we chose Victoria to retire. It is +8 there today.
Living as we are on a Mexican beach isn't all that bad. ( a comment contrary to what was the theme of earlier rants, huh?) if you can get used to the RV mentality, overcome the park politics and be open to the activities available to you it can be quite pleasant. The ice maker (churning away beside me here) makes this quite bearable. Even with my bum shoulder I would rather be here than there..... Next year the plan is that we will be staying home for the winter, after our trip to Tazmania. It will be interesting to see how our first winter home in 9 years will pan out and whether we will be planning another getaway for the following winter.
Supper: Surf and surf and suds
Punta Perula is a fairly remote and small village as villages go. The main industry in town is fishing and managing the large number of seasonable gringos that live in pockets all over town. There is a school and a clinic with a resident MD. On long weekends there is a sizeable increase of Mexican tourists like any other seaside location but during the week and non-holidays you see mainly gringos on the beach, in the restaurants and on their 4x4 ATV's on the main street keeping the local businesses busy. The village population is a mixture of fishermen, service industry, (restaurant, shops, laundry, Internet/video games store, small hotels and RV park employees), a few craftsmen (welder, sawyer, etc) and the odd entrepreneur such as the owners of the 2 pool halls, the two who compete for the gringo pesos with their veg and fruit trucks, the lad with the scooter with cooler on the back selling fresh chicken, the water filtration store and the water delivery and propane delivery service. If there is a service required, there is a Mexican that will provide that service if it is worth the setup expense. These people are so enterprising! As I write this I can hear the ice cream vendor pushing his cart over the beach with that irritating tune blaring but it is not nearly as irritating as the loud music and pater announcing the veg and fruit trucks.
It is hard to imagine what this population does during the long interval when the gringos go home, normally from April to late Oct.
Pescado zarandeado at one of the beachside restaurants
15:00, Sunday, 22 Feb, Bungalows Costa Bahia, RV park, La Cruz
We left Punta Perula on Saturday morning after saying farewell to all of the others in the park. We drove north along the coastal road, #200, in company with Ian and Ellen. Apart from a couple of construction areas the road was quite good and had very little traffic until we arrived at the approaches to Puerto Vallarta. Ian and Ellen were continuing north on a faster schedule to get back to their boat so we bid them farewell in PV and continued on to La Cruz. We chose a small RV park close to the marina, just big enough for 4 RVs but there were only 2 when we arrived. The owner makes his living with the 20 or so bungalows on the same property. They are sold out mostly to people who return year after year. We noticed a group of them sporting Scottish flags, actually a group of Scot Canadians who meet up here every winter.
Our main reason for stopping here was to see if there were any people we knew at the marina and to spend some time with the boating community. We couldn't have chosen a better weekend. On Friday night there was a food festival on the breakwater where local eateries were handing out samples of their specialties hoping to entice samplers back to their establishments. There was also live music and a few other exhibits. Looking over the boats in the marina we were disappointed in not recognizing any of the names, however, as we walked along the exhibits we ran into several old friends, mostly on boats that were anchored out: John and Jennifer (Spinnaker) who we first met at the end of last season, the folks of Dodger 2, Girl 4, from 2012 and Chayenne who we had first met in 2007 when we were preparing to sail off in Royal Exchange.
The following morning was one of the few annual markets at the marina where hundreds of exhibitors displayed and/or sold a wide variety of goods. There we met Lynn and Howard Bradshaw (Swift Current), and, to our utter surprise, Lin Learie (Royal Exchange) who was responsible for our venture into cruising. We certainly hope to be able to meet those people again in the near future as we had so little time to catch up at the market.
15:00, Monday, 29 Feb, Flamingos RV Park, Rincon de Guayabidos, Nayarit
Flamingo park big dins.
This park is right on the shoreline of the bay. We are no more than 50 ft from the waves and the surf can be very loud at times. The trailer often shudders from the force of the surf on the beach, however, it is a nice sloping beach without any apparent shoreline current or undertow, although we are told that there has been 7 drownings this year alone. The beach is much more crowded than Punta Perula. Canadians are definitely in the majority for long and short stay hotels,however, on the weekends throngs of Mexicans arrive and fill up any available rooms. Like any other beach location in Mexico, inland residents throng to the beaches for Semana Santa so all of the northerners leave before that.
We did hear from a fellow RVer (supported by a few other long-term gringos) that this is one of the most polluted beaches on the coast. Only the newer hotels have sewage service while the others have makeshift septic systems. A number of rivers empty into the bay carrying the effluent of many villages upstream. Rain exacerbates the problem by flooding the lagoon where much of the pollution is contained, causing it to overflow into the bay. The bay's orientation and shape creates a circular current passing along the beaches. The hazards are not evident to the normal beach-goer but there have been some weird infections suffered by visitors. I can imagine the same conditions in Acapulco.
On Saturday night there was a concert in the local park, the last in a series put on by the local hotel association. Paco Renteria, reputed to be one of the the 5 best guitar players in the world and a protégée of Carlos Slim of Telmex Fame, and his band, composed of drums, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and a very talented violinist, kept the audience in awe with a high energy and very entertaining concert with many different styles of music.
Tomorrow we leave for Mazatlan.
Market day sights:
When you can't buy shoes, buy bras.....
Probably male chicks 90 cents each, plain ones probably hens at $1.20
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Location:Punta Perula RV park, Chamela Bay