Archive for the ‘Mexico – La Pe’ Category

Friends from Home

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

We discovered that some friends from Dallas, Lin and Russ, were staying in a time-share just down the road in Nuevo Vallarta.  NV is, as the name implies, a new section of condos and hotels on the beach just north of Puerto Vallarta.  Unfortunately, the road into NV is riddled with pot holes.  No attempt is being made to fill them in.  I guess they figure that as long as the construction continues, the trucks will continue to tear it up.  So, why not wait?

We made arrangements to pick up Lin and Russ and give them a personal tour that wouldn’t be offered by the hotels.  We drove south about 45 miles and  picked them up at 9:00 AM.   We immediately headed north to tour some of the smaller towns and beaches.  Our first stop was the very touristy town of Rincón de Guayubitos.  This is a popular destination for North Americans and Mexicans alike.  Every weekend brings dozens of busloads in from the interior.  The shore is lined with hotels and the streets are one shop after another, generally selling the same stuff.  We ate breakfast down this street somewhere, on the left.


Visitors from the US and Canada are finding this town to be the perfect spot and are tossing up McMansions in great numbers.  The typical house in this area is between $750,000 to $2,000,000. and that is US dollars.


From there, we headed to Lo de Marcos.  It was a little chilly and very few were at the beach.  We were also able to give Lin and Russ a tour of our current home RV Park.


From here, we stopped in the quaint village of San Francisco, also called San Pancho.  It is more rustic than most of the towns in the area, but it is also the only one with a hospital.


Then it was back to our old stomping grounds in Sayulita for a chilly lunch at Don Pedro’s, the beach restaurant we used to frequent when the Cowboys played football.


We discovered that we were low (nearly empty) on power steering fluid, so we made only one more stop this day at Punta de Mita.  We spent a few minutes walking on the beach and then we headed back to Nuevo Vallarta.  Lin and Russ returned to Punta de Mita a few days later by bus.  They took a whale watching tour on a small boat that could handle six people.  Apparently they had dozens of close encounters with the huge humpbacks.  From what they say, we may have to try this tour.  More information on humpbacks can be found at:


A couple of days later we picked up Lin and Russ for a lunch in Puerto Vallarta.  We left the truck at Walmart and took a cab to PePe’s Taco Stand.  Unfortunately they didn’t open until 5:00 PM.  So we headed to the beach and walked about a mile to the main downtown strip, the Malecon.  After looking at every menu along the street, we settled at the “No-Name Bar and Grill”.

From our vantage point on the second floor balcony, we were directly across the street from a very long pole sticking up in the air.


On top of the pole were four men, dressed in traditional Mexican Indian outfits, playing flutes while sitting or dancing.


Notice the large spool of rope.  That should tell you that there is more to come.  After they find that a large enough crowd has gathered, they drop themselves off of their perch fastened only by one heel and spiral down upside down.


This process took about ten minutes.  This shot is as they approach the ground.


Believe it or not, they played their flutes the whole way down.


Upon reaching the ground, they scattered, along with some associates, to collect tips from the fascinated crowd.  They even found us on the second floor balcony.


From our same perch on the balcony, we were treated to a seagull feeding frenzy.  In the background of this photo are two gulls diving into the water. I hope they don’t have the same target in mind.


Followed by a large splash.


We wondered where seagulls went when they were not stalking your snacks.


We really enjoyed visiting with friends from home.  Thanks Lin and Russ for your vacation time spent with us.

How long ago was Christmas?

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

We have been so busy since Christmas that we did not do a blog when part of our family came for Christmas in Puerta Vallarta.

Lance, one of our sons, and Ayden, a granddaughter, arriving in Puerta Vallarta on Christmas Day.


When we got home we opened a few presents (Sayulita T shirts for everyone) plus beach toys for Ayden.


As it was getting bedtime, Ayden started questioning us if Santa was coming because she was in Mexico.  I, (Grammy) didn’t want her to be disappointed because Santa was not bringing her lots of gifts this year.  I explained to her not many people got to come to Mexico for Christmas and that she was a very lucky little girl to be here.  I asked her if she knew anybody else that got to visit MX for Christmas.  She shook her head yes.  I could not believe that she knew  anyone else (such as in her class) that was coming to MX.   Who do you know that is coming to MX ?  Her answer was “Everyone on her plane was coming to MX”.   Well, duh, Grammy!!!!!!

Ayden lost a tooth brushing her teeth. That is the 2nd one she lost in a week.   The tooth fairy brought her 150 pesos ($1.50).


How many little girls were visited by Santa and the tooth fairy the same night?

Sayulita is a famous surfing town.  Lance took surfing lessons.



We took them to several beaches.  Digging in the sand is a favorite.


Jumping waves is fun.


We took them to La Peñita to the market.  This market has everything.

A girl is never too young to get interested in jewelry.


Baskets and purses galore.


 Every fruit and veggie, known and unknown to man.


And large inventories of wraps and dresses.


A girl is also never too young to shop for new dresses.


On the way back home, to Sayulita, we stopped back at the La Peñita RV Park and watched a heated water volleyball game.  There were three teams comprised of residents of Mexico, Canada, and the United States.  On a holiday, the park is about 40% Mexican, 50% Canadian, and the remaining 10% are from the United States.  The much younger Mexicans were defending their 2006 title.


Unfortunately for the majority, the underdog US team reigned supreme.


Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Mañana means tomorrow. But in Mexico it really means not today (some other day). If we had taken our truck in to get fixed in the states the mechanics would get to it either today or tomorrow. They could get NAPA to bring the parts to them quickly that day. It would be repaired within a day. In Mexico they do not keep many parts in stock so they have to go get the parts usually in some other town. We took our truck in on Monday. They looked at it on Tues. Wed. they fixed it except for the missing parts. On Thurs. someone took a bus to Puerto Vallarta to pick up dust seals, the parts they are missing. The trip takes an hour to get there and an hour back. We are very pleased that they are as far along as they are on repairing the truck.

They said the truck would be finished at 4:00 PM and they would bring it to the RV Park to us. They showed up at 5:00. Not bad at all. Would they have delivered it to our door in the US? I think not. We took it for a test drive to see if the brakes worked and no screechy sound of metal to metal. We can finally head to Sayulita, our final destination, tomorrow.

Oops – Didn’t make it.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

First of all, we want to wish our granddaughter, Gracie, a happy 6th birthday.


Now, for the rest of the story.  We left Mazatlan on Saturday morning at 7:30 AM.  For the second time in a row we were right on time.  All was going well over the new, 200 mile, toll road to the town of Tepic.  Tepic is at the top of a mountain at about 3500 feet.  This is where the fun begins.

For the first time since entering Mexico we left Hwy 15 behind and headed down Hwy 200 towards Sayulita, which is our ultimate destination for the winter.  We had only about 70 miles to go, so we thought we had it made.  Just a note about Hwy 200.  It is mostly downhill, narrow, and extremely curvy for the first 40 miles past Tepic.

Here is your typical downhill curve. Note the lack of shoulder.  In some places the drop-off is hundreds of feet.


Anyway, as luck would have it, we ended up following an extremely slow truck.  You wouldn’t necessarily think of this as a problem, but, it was.  He was traveling so slow that we could not build up enough speed for our exhaust brake to activate.  This is bad, because we were forced to use our brakes extensively.

About 30 miles into this ordeal, we spotted a place that we could pull out.  When I braked to stop, billows of smoke started coming out of our left front wheel.  We got to a stop and discovered that the wheel was on fire.  What was burning was brake fluid and grease, not tire.  We carry a fire extinquisher in the cab, so I gave that a whirl.  The fire stopped momentarily, but the heat from the wheel re-ignited it.

A young man came running from across the street with a liter bottle of coke, shook it up  and began spraying the foam on the wheel.  We grabbed a couple of more liters from the restaurant on our side of the road.  The fire was out at this point, but we kept squirting large quantities of water on the wheels through openings in the hub caps.  After the excitement, we sat down with the young man and joined him in a beer and waited about an hour for the wheels to cool off before starting out again.

Well, off we started.  The left front wheel was making a horrible metal-to-metal noise.  It didn’t appear to be the brakes, therefore, our assumption was a wheel bearing.  We continued on for about 20 miles at about 20 – 25 mph.  Every couple of miles we stopped to wet down the wheel with water.  I was driving in first and rarely used the brake.

When we entered the town of La Penita we noticed the La Penita RV Park.  We had met the owners of that resort in San Carlos when the caravan came through the RV Park.  We continued a few more miles and stopped to check the wheels out again.  A retired military gentleman from the US  that lives in the area pulled up beside us to see if we were having trouble.  He indicated that if we were to continue and break down in our final 20 miles that there are no places to pull off the narrow road.  We opted to head back to La Penita RV Park and wait there until Monday so we could get the wheel fixed.  Manana has stretched out for a couple of days and we expect to have our diagnosis Wednesday, the 14th.

Anyway, La Penita RV park is large and nearly full of mostly Canadians.  The owner is also Canadian.  We put up our Texas flag.  The park is quite hilly and the trailers and motor homes are all up and down the hill.  We’re at the top.  The property goes all the way to the beach.

Here’s a shot from the sun deck at the rv park.


From the beach toward the park.


View from the beach. 


And a little wildlife (Iguana)


Hopefully, we’ll continue our journey towards Sayulita in a day or two. 

Our thanks go out to Carole and Grant, the owners of La Penita RV Park for their hospitality and help with our problems.