Archive for the ‘Mexico – La Pe’ Category

Los Ayala and Rincón de Guayubitos (revisited)

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Los Ayala

Well, after visiting areas all over the coastal part of the state of Nayurit, we have found the spot we would settle if we were so inclined.  If you follow a secondary coastal road about 2 miles south of Rincón de Guayubitos and over a large hill, you arrive at Los Ayala.  Los Ayala is also located on the bay south of where the touristy town of Rincón de Guayubitos and the busy town of La Peñita are situated.

Los Ayala is beginning to be developed with some beautiful houses perched on the hills above town and overlooking the beautiful bay.  There are quite a few bungalows that could be rented for those that don’t want the crowds of Rincón de Guayubitos.

Hillside homes of Los Ayala are priced much more reasonably than their neighboring towns or Sayulita.


Some are not quite so far up the hill.


These people are building themselves a perch that views all of the area in both bays.


Side streets in Los Ayala are currently not paved.  Progress is slow, but coming.


Not as colorful as its neighbor to the north, but not everything is beige.


At the top of the hill on the north end of Los Ayala, and up a very steep driveway, is a restaurant and bungalows called “Vista Guayubitos”.  It is very appropriately named.  (The bungalows are off to the right and not shown in this picture.)


This restaurant, like most, is open-air with beautiful views from every table.


From our table, I was able to take this panoramic shot of the bay with Rincón de Guayubitos and La Peñita. (CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGER PHOTO)


From the restaurant, we spotted a tour barge that had smaller boats shuttling guest to their snorkeling site on a nearby island.  The smaller white dot is one of the shuttle boats.


Here’s a little better shot of the tour and fiesta barge.


From the hillside, just below the restaurant , there is a fabulous view of the fishing boats moored at Rincón de Guayubitos


Rincón de Guayubitos – revisited

We provided a glimpse of Rincón de Guayubitos in an earlier post, but thought it would be good to show its more colorful side.  Many towns in the area can appear to be rather drab with their unpainted cinder block or perhaps beige stucco houses and buildings.  Not so with Rincón de Guayubitos.  With the help of one bungalow and hotel developer, DeCameron, the area is anything but drab.


They also do a wonderful job with their landscaping, even in this dry season.


The color combinations are a little strange, but it does give you that fiesta mood.


Here’s the oceanview side of one of DeCameron’s bungalow units.


Other bungalow owners are getting in to their own bright color schemes.


There are 8 RV Parks in Rincón de Guayubitos.  Seven are right on the beach, like we were in Sayulita, and therefore subject to the salt spray that can rust anything in days.  Delias trailer park is a block off the beach, and is quite shady.  They are located near the south end of town.


We’re heading out of the area tomorrow, exactly one year from the day our adventure started.

No, Gracias, No Gracias, No Gracias!!!!!

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

(Just a note: We have fixed a glitch that we have unknowingly had that made comments difficult to make. Hopefully we’ll hear more from everyone. Click “comments” at the bottom of any article)

Beach vendors are Mexican people who peddle their wares along the beach.  They usually wear all white clothes.  Some of the women put on a colorful pinafore over their white clothes. 


 Sometimes the older Mexican men wear navy blue slacks instead of white.   On the very small, not popular beaches the vendors wear their regular street clothes like blue jeans,

The vendors walk along the beach carrying whatever they are selling from around 11:00 AM until about 3:30 PM.  A lot of them have backpacks which they store more of their wares.  During Christmas some of the familiar vendors changed what they were normally selling to a more Christmas theme.  If they were selling tablecloths, at Christmas they started selling Christmas tablecloths.  They began peddling plastic poinsettias during Christmas.  Or they pushed a wheel barrow full of real poinsettia plants.  Now that it is getting closer to Easter, some have more of a religious theme to their wares.   We have seen shadow boxes  in the shape of a cross and  inside of it  Jesus on the cross.  We have also seen these on the death markers along the highway.

“No, Gracias”.  That means “no, thank you”.  We say those words over and over to the vendors on the beach.  Some beaches are busier that others with vendors.  At Sayulita they came up to us about every 15 minutes because they had a long beach to walk.  As soon as you sit down at a beach then all the vendors take their turn approaching you.  So they may come up to you every 3 or 4 minutes at that time and then slowly make their way back to you in a while.  Most of the vendors are not real aggressive like they are in the streets on the border towns.  The vendors are not there just for the “NortoAmericanos” but for the Mexican tourists as well.

One day we had traveled to Punta Mita and had just been seated in a palapa type restaurant and had received our menus.  We were much more interested in reading the menu than seeing the same vendor stuff we see at each beach.  As soon as we started reading the menu about 10 vendors took  turns coming up to us with only a minute or 2 in between.  We just said no gracias to everyone of them.  We were more interested in eating.  I thought at the time this is very irritating.  If they would have just waited until we were finished ordering we might have been more receptive to looking at their stuff.  Some have not been taught the techniques of doing business with achieving good results.

La Peñita, one of the beach towns has a market on Thursdays.  We see the same things the vendors along the beach sell.  After a while you begin to know what you can bargain the vendors down to for a better price. The more populated and popular the beaches are the higher the mark up.   All the vendors get their stuff wholesale up at Tónala near Guadalajara. (See our story about Tónala – Click Here)

Every once in a while you will find a vendor that will not lower their prices, usually if they are the only vendor selling the item. One day a new vendor was selling toy parachutes with Barbie Dolls hanging from them. They are like a small kite. I just had to have some of those!!  He wanted 150 pesos (about $15 US) for them. Way too much!!!! I walked to him rather than him coming to me.  Maybe that was the problem!  He would not come down at all. He walked the beach all day and every time he passed me he would look to see if I had changed my mind. I didn’t and he didn’t.

A few weeks later I spotted the parachutes on a Puerto Vallarta beach for sale.  The lady said they were 70 pesos ($7US ) and so I bought 2 without even bargaining with her.  HA! HA! to the Sayulita vendor who would not bargain with me. 

When we were in Mazatlan we made a comment about if we were a vendor there are certain items we would not choose to carry and sell.  One would be carrying the cello in a Mariachi band.  

 See for yourselves which ones of the following vendors you would or would not like to be.

What kind of beach toy would you like?  This cart was a 3 wheeled bicycle with a top above to hang down all the enticing beach toys.  It was so heavy 2 people just pushed it around.


They said these plants were about $100 .  Who will pay that?  No, gracias!


This is a wheel barrow full of nuts and candies.  A 2 in. by 3 in. sack of gum drops are about $3.  That is expensive.  But would you like to push that through the sand constantly day after day?


Who would like to buy a bathroom sink?


Need a new dress? No, gracias!!!


I will sing and play a song for you and then you can buy my CD!  No, gracias!


Rugs are heavy!!!!!


Look at my purses or bracelets.  No, gracias!


How about a horseback ride?  No, gracias!!!!


This was new for Christmas.  Ice cream, anybody?  Si, gracias!


Want your name on a bracelet or ankle bracelet?


Working with just string they can make your letters in your name on the bracelet.  Amazing!!!   Si, gracias.


More silver jewelry vendors than anything else.  Si, senor!!!!


Do you need a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes?


Or would you rather have an umbrella?  Si, senor, ours is broken.  At least he gets to walk in the shade all day long.


How many Waldos (vendors) can you find in this picture?


The little girl in the purple skirt was selling little bead necklaces.  She waited patiently until the lady bought candy from the wheel barrow candy man before she approached the woman.  I watched the girl for quite a while.  She was walking up and down the beach by herself.


 A lot of the women vendors bring their children along with them while they work.  If they are babies they carry them in a pouch.  If they are like 2 years old the mother will have a strong sash tied to herself with the other end tied to the sleeveless shirt on the child.  They are very well behaved and walk right along with her never stopping until she stops. If they are old enough to carry and sell something they either go before the mother or right behind the mother and offer something different than what the parent is selling.  The mother supervises any money transactions.  This is how the Mexicans develop their strong work ethics.  You will not find the school age children selling things during the school hours.

Now if you have seen something you would like, just let me know.  I probably have several of everything in the 5th wheel.  Just don’t tell Rick!!!!!!

Margarita Challenge

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Well, first things first—–

Happy Birthday to our youngest Granddaughter Maddi on her 3rd BD.


Now to more serious business — The Margarita Challenge

This is an annual event put on by some US and Canadian visitors.  The proceeds go to a local La Peñata school.

The Restaurante Piña Colada was the site for the festivities.  The weather for the evening was perfect, of course  Several hundred guests had their choice of shrimp, chicken or prime rib.  It took some consultation with the butcher so that he understand how prime rib is cut.  Mexicans generally use very thin slices of beef.

The restaurant was decorated with a strange combination of flags and beer bottle cases hanging from the ceiling.  No US flag, but there was a Communist China flag.



The Margarita Challenge is set up to judge the best margaritas in three categories.  Three mixologists from local restaurants compete in each category.  It is not a contest for the skimpiest costume, but here is one of the contestants with her assistant.


The three judges on the opposite side of the table had their work cut out for them.  The results of each mix were distributed to the judges and then the two additional drinks were sold in auction.  For each mix, the winning bid and the runner-up each received a beautiful drink.  Winning bids were generally in the area of 1000 pesos or $100 USD.

In conjunction with the contest for the best margarita, a silent auction was held for various items that had been donated for the cause.  Many liquor, wine, art and craft items were available for bid.  Our only bid, and win was for a large bottle of Crown Royal.

The little daughter of the contestant pictured above, on the left, spent most of her time dancing.  Sometimes she would find a partner.  This woman managed to dance a full song in this position.  Makes my knees ache.


There were 33 people from Ron’s RV Park in attendance.  We had two full tables filled up.  Some people drove themselves, while many of us opted for a cab ride for the 30 Km round trip.  The cost for the cab was 100 pesos per couple, about $10 USD.  Here is a shot of Ron and his wife Manon, the owners of Ron’s RV Park.  They live here full time now and are originally from Quebec.


Tinka learned to multi-task —


Entertainment for the evening included a magician that was really quite good.  He spoke no English, but the tricks were pretty self explanatory.


Are my eyes bloodshot yet?


We had a great time and the school came out the big winner with some huge funds that will go to support new technology for their students.

One month from today we leave the Puerto Vallarta area and start heading north.

Anyway, life on the road remains good.


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One Day, Two Days, Three Days of Shopping!!!!!

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

La Peñita RV Park organized a shopping trip for the women of the RV Park.  This was the RV place we stayed when, back in early November, we limped into that town with our brake problems.  It was a THREE day shopping trip near Guadalajara.  Tinka was invited to go with one of the women there.  Guadalajara is a 4  1/2 hour bus trip up the mountains from the coast.  We climbed on our charter bus at 7:30 AM on Wed.

The destination was Tónala, a suburb of Guadalajara.  Tónala is well known for the craftsmanship of many different types of mexican crafts.   For example there are 11 different types of ceramics made and produced in Tónala plus paper-mache, brass, furniture and hand blown glassware.  If you have ever been to a border town  or to the interior of Mexico you have seen many of these crafts.  This is where all the vendors and shopkeepers all over Mexico go and buy their wares to sell in their shops and on the beach.

The market is on Thursday and Sunday. 



The plaza is covered with merchant stands of every known craft to sell.  It was very busy so after tiring of the crowd we would go shopping in the regular shops of Tónala.


All the merchants would wrap our purchases up in newspaper and sometimes in boxes to protect from breakage.  For items which were not protected, we bought  bubble wrap and boxes to put our purchases in and transported them home in our chartered bus.


Even more purchases.


We stayed at the old Hacienda del Sol Hotel which was near the market.


We took a taxi into Guadalajara to eat dinner one night.  It was a beautiful indoors and outdoors restaurant called Santo Coyote.  Forgot my camera.

The next day we took a taxi to another suburban town of Guadalajara called Tlaquepaque.  This was a city where the rich people of Guadalajara would build their summer homes to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.  These were houses with big courtyards.  When the people quit coming to their homes they were eventually converted to upscale shops of more talented and renowned artists and restaurants.

The Plaza of Tlaquepaque.


Cleaning the brass on the street.


Houses converted into upascale shops.


Jose playing the guitar for Liz and Pat.


Tinka about to get forked in a ceramic Chef’s chair.


We ate at a restaurant called the Patio.  On Friday, Saturday and Sundays they have live entertainment starting at 2 PM for the lunch crowd.  First there is a guitarist and then a mariachi band at 3 PM.  What is unusual about the mariachi band it is all females!

We arrived back at the RV park about 7 PM on Friday night with all the husbands having a heart attack of all the boxes being delivered off the bus.

La Peñita Rodeo

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

We decided to break our longstanding “Don’t Drive in Mexico at Night” rule to attend a benefit rodeo at the town of La Peñita.  The drive is only about 8 miles on a fairly straight stretch of Hwy 200.  The scary part is that farmers let their livestock graze on the side of the road.  You’ll see everything from horses, cattle, sheep and goats.  Anyway, our strategy was to get behind a truck and follow closely.

La Peñita rates right up there with some of the bumpiest cobblestone streets we have experienced.  Down one of these roads, about two blocks from the beach, lies the rodeo arena.  From our seats in the third row, we could see the ocean in the background. Most people find the cost of building an outdoor menage. Actually, the cost of building an outdoor riding arena can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the size of the arena, the materials used, the location, and any additional features or amenities desired.


While we filed in and throughout the evening we were treated to the best mariachi band that we have heard.  They remained standing the entire evening and played as background for all events.


Early in the evening, as the crowd filed in, we found it to be comprised of mostly US and Canadian visitors.  Apparently knowing that things don’t start on time, most Mexicans that attended arrived about 45 minutes late, but in time to see the start of the exhibitions.


This was really an exhibition rather than a rodeo competition.  They didn’t have events that we are accustomed to such as bull riding, calf roping, etc.  They were demonstrating their horsemanship skills as well as certain roping achievements.  Instead of calves, they roped the hind legs of a speeding horse and tried to bring it to a stop.  None succeeded.

This gal, who also carried the Mexican flag at the beginning, demonstrated her riding skills.


One amazing exhibition was put on by this group of women pictured below.  (without the baby)  They were the precision drill team and performed high speed figure eights and criss-cross formations without collision.  The amazing thing is that they rode sidesaddle.


Unfortunately, as night fell, only 5 of the 9 stadium lights came on.  The others flickered and stayed dark.  I won’t waste your time with any further photos, except this one to demonstrate the photographic problems.  It may be hard to tell, but this guy is performing a trick roping exhibition.


At “halftime” they served tamales to all attendees.  It was included in the $10 ticket price.

Our driving tactic succeeded and we arrived back home safely.