Archive for the ‘Mexico – Lo de Marcos’ Category

Mango Trees Wed. March 5, 2008

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Mango trees grow in only a few places in the United States, but here they are everywhere.  There are many areas where groves of Mangos have been planted.

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However, they grow wild all over the place.

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These trees can grow up to 65 feet high and some have been known to live for 300 years.    They flower in early spring.  About 10 days ago, we were greeted with the pungent pollen smell when the blooms erupted.  After a couple of days the smell got a little sweeter.  This picture shows a blooming tree that borders our parking lot at Ron’s RV Park in Lo de Marcos.

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About 100 to 150 days after they bloom, the large fruit is mature and ready to pick.  At that time, large crews scour the area and harvest the crop.  It is quite an endeavor.  The men must climb the trees and cut each mango individually with a special knife that has a net to keep the fruit from dropping to the ground.  The lot next to our parking lot is not very big, but it takes a crew all day to harvest it.

As we drive this area, between La Peñita and Puerto Vallarta, we are amazed how many mango trees there are and wonder how they are able to harvest all of the fruit.

The Great Exodus Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Spring must be near as the RV parks are slowly emptying.  A weekend ago 3 rigs from here pulled out heading north.  Last Saturday 5 rigs left.  And that is only this park.  All the others are emptying out as well.  We will leave Ron’s RV Park on Sunday.  There is a lot of movement in the RV parks though as the people south of Puerto Vallarta are heading north and pull in for a few days here before heading on farther north.  There certainly isn’t a rush to get up north to cooler weather as most people will stay around AZ for a few weeks before heading home.

We had our rig washed Saturday and waxed on Sunday.  Juan and his wife did the job for $70.  Not a bad price at all as I would not climb up on the roof for a $1000.  Too scary!!!!!!  And Rick wouldn’t climb up  on the roof for $1,000,000!!!!!!  It looks beautiful and shiny.  Now if it will only stay that way until we get to the Montana Rally!!

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The place is looking empty and spacious.  We don’t feel closed in at all.

There used to be 3 rigs parallel to the wall here.

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There are only 3 rigs left on this side.

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Now we can definitely find a parking place in the closed in parking lot at Ron’s.

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We turned into true Texans again yesterday!!!!!!  Now during the day around 2 PM – 4 PM it becomes quite stuffy and hot in the 5th wheel even though we have fans going in the living room and bedroom and the windows and the front door open.  So we closed everything up and actually turned on the air conditioner.  I love that white noise and the coolness.  The a/c gets rid of the humidity.  This is the first time we have run  the  a/c since October in Mazatlan.  Of course, most of the RV parks here in MX do not have an adequate electrical power for a/c operations.  Ron’s RV Park has its own transformer and regulates the power like in the US.  They also charge for it by the kw hour,  just like in the states too!!!!  (CLICK HERE to see our earlier post regarding Mexican Electicity.)

There are basically 3 roads to take from Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlan, which is about a day’s drive.  The decision to take one instead of another all have to do with the town of Tepic. 

We could go straight up Highway 200 which is extremely curvy and up and down mountains to Tepic.  There are 2 reasons we will not take that route.  (1.)  This is the road we took down here and our brakes caught on fire. (2.) Going through the town of Tepic was long and had very narrow roads  for our 5th wheel.

We could take Highway 200 north about 20 km to Las Varas and turn left and go along the coast through farmland to San Blas.  Then take the curvy, mountainous Highway 54 up to the toll road and miss Tepic completely.  This is a much shorter route.  This way you  go up the mountain roads for only about 20 miles.  Sounds like the best route?  Yes, except the road is very narrow and the jungle trees and bushes are hanging out in the road.  We are 13 feet 3 inches high and the possiblity of scratching our rig or tearing our roof is highly likely.  The MX government trims the roadways with machetes (Spanish must not have the rule – change an e to an i  and then add es HA HA).  They trim it almost even with the highway shoulders.  The question is when did they trim it last?  Not this week, I’m sure.  So that route is out for us.

The next choice is go up Highway 200 to Las Varas and turn right (instead of left), still on 200 and go 34 km to Compostella which is a curvy mountainous road.  Then we get on a toll road for 37 km going toward Guadalajara and get on the toll road to Tepic, taking  the bypass around Tepic.  What is wrong with this route?  Tolls are expensive and the route is about 60 kilometers longer. But this is our choice.  We would rather pay and take the longer route and have less chance of a mishap.

Lots of people do take the other 2 routes.  This has been the big discussion around this area for the past month.  Which route are you taking to Mazitlan and why?  We will let you know how our decision turned out next week.

Survived, and don’t feel any older than dirt.

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Yesterday we went to Puerto Vallarta with our friends Pat and Gary.  Our objective was to have a nice lunch, but the gals figured out a way to turn it into a shopping trip.

We had been to many of the restaurants in the downtown tourist area along the “Malecon” area of Puerto Vallarta.  A little further south in the town is the Rio Cuale that flows from the mountains, through town to the sea.

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At a fork in the river we located a restaurant aptly named The River Cafe.  It is an open air restaurant with some diners finding tables on balconies hanging over the river.

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The area that was more “indoors” was covered with a translucent, fiberglass coated canvas roof with bottles hanging from it.

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The rather pricey food was delicious.  Rick had the chicken breast in wine and mushroom sauce.  While good, was not as good as his own.  Tinka had the Mexican Plate.  This huge dish was served on a small platter and every item on it was fabulous.  Lunch, without any alcohol, came to about $50.00 US per couple.

The chairs were quite comfortable.  Cushioned, with no knobby things poking you in the butt.

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According to the women, the restrooms at the River Cafe are the most modern that they have seen in Mexico. They even had motion sensor hand towel dispensers.

Near the restaurant and continuing to the point at which the river splits there was a very nice market area. Prices appear to be better than on the Malecon in the downtown area. 

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Shops specialized in clothing, jewelry, tequila, and pottery.  This one specialized in masks and other wooden items.

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Here are some strange masks that you might find on a professional wrestler or and S&M advocate.

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Our friend Gary found a hat that he loved, unfortunately it was a shade small at the headband.

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On our return to Lo de Marcos from Puerto Vallarta, we took a couple of pictures of things that have intrigued us on every trip to the city.  I wanted to mention them because they may not fit into any upcoming blogs.

These gigantic wooden doors are on, what appears to be, an old bullring.  Anyway, they are massive.  Due to the steep incline of the driveway, these doors can only open inward.  The height could easily accommodate the largest of semi-trucks.

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Along the road in Bucerias, the town just north of Puerto Vallarta, we see a vendor displaying his copper pots and jugs.  The large of these are bigger than a wash tub.  He puts them out and takes them up every day.  With the corrosive salt air, I’m sure that he spends all night polishing them for the next day.

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CHOCOLATE CAKE, BEER, and TEQUILA

Your instinct might make you think that this is not a good combination,  but after a while, it really grows on you.

When we returned to Ron’s RV Park, our home, we had a little gathering to celebrate the horrendous birthday.

Rick was able to blow out all four of the candles on the cake and much of the loose chocolate shavings.

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Tinka, in red, got busy cutting the cake while others enjoyed.

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 We served up tequila añejo and Pacifico beer to wash down the cake.  We had a great time (though they may look like they are in a stupor) and want to thank everyone for attending.

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Just a note regarding flags.  With the departure of our Alaskan neighbors, Chuck and Val, we’re left as the last non-Canadians in the park.  But, our Texas flag still flies high.

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Happy Birthday, Rick

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Happy birthday to my sweet, darling husband.

I love you!!!

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As we get older we don’t really like having birthdays.  There are a few birthdays as we get older we do not mind as much as others.  Such as when we turn

1.  mandatory retirement age (except for my brother-in-law who doesn’t ever want to retire)

2.  turn 62 so we can start collecting Social Security

3  turn 65 to have Medicare instead of our expensive health insurance

That is the only reason to have a birthday now.

Rick is one of the first Baby Boomers.  The years are from 1946-1964.  So he one of the first group of the Baby Boomers to start collecting Social Security.  Now you won’t hear us saying, “Well, we will never see any of our Social Security money”.  Thank goodness he is the first of the Baby Boomers!!!!

Today we are going into Puerto Vallarta and eat lunch at a nice restaurant on the Rio Cuale (River Cuale) with some friends.  When we make a trip into PV for whatever reason,  we have to always stop of WalMart also.  While we are there, we will pick up a cake and bring it back to share at Happy Hour here at the RV Park tonight.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RICK.

Way to go, Cowboys!!!!!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Ooopppps!!!!!  That is the wrong team and wrong year.  Sorry!!!  The cowboys didn’t make it this year.  BOOHOO.  Oh well, we still went to a Superbowl Party and at least the Cowboys supplied a good announcer in Troy Aikman.

Our party took place under a palapa in the nice warm weather here in the RV Park.

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 There is only a small TV under the palapa,  so one of the couples brought their wide screen TV out so everyone could watch.

There are 2 great things about a Superbowl Party.  Your favorite team playing and the commercials.  The next best thing is if your favorite team doesn’t make it, you at least get to watch the great commercials.  Each commercial usually costs over a million dollars so they had better be great!!!!!!!

So we head 10 feet to the party.  Our Cowboys aren’t playing but at least we get to watch the great and usually funny commercials.   WRONG!!!!!!!!!  We are watching FOX channel with Troy Aikman and staff but when the commercials come on they are Canadian commercials–not the normal Superbowl commercials.  Bummer.  I think they put on about 2 of the regular commercials that people in the states saw.  We were hooked up to Canadian Star Choice since Dish Network and Direct TV are almost impossible to get down here in Puerto Vallarta without an 8-foot dish.

I bet we had some food at our party that a lot of you did not have.  Moose hot dogs and caribou (or reindeer) hot dogs courtesy of our Alaskan friends..  They were very good.  More of a meat taste than regular hot dogs.  The caribou was a little on the spicy side.  We did have regular hamburgers though.

So today we got on the internet and watched  the commercials to see what we missed.  We know that when we get back to the states in a few weeks we will get to see most of them over and over and over and you get the picture.

Maybe next year?