Archive for the ‘Mexico – Sayulita’ Category

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. 

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 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.

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

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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?

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Who would like to buy a bathroom sink?

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Need a new dress? No, gracias!!!

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

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Rugs are heavy!!!!!

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Look at my purses or bracelets.  No, gracias!

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

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

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Want your name on a bracelet or ankle bracelet?

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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 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!!!!!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Humpbackwhale.shtml

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Followed by a large splash.

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

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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.

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

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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).

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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.

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

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Jumping waves is fun.

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

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

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Baskets and purses galore.

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 Every fruit and veggie, known and unknown to man.

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And large inventories of wraps and dresses.

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

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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.

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

On a Lighter Note – January 6, 2008

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Rick’s Bird Watching Continues………

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Life is still good in Paradise.

Dangers in Paradise – January 5, 2008

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

When traveling into unfamiliar areas, be sure to seek out information concerning your surroundings.

When you see a sign warning you about a dangerous curve or railroad crossing, I’ll bet you slow down and pay attention when you get there.  When you are warned about a bridge clearance that is shorter than your vehicle, it is wise to take an alternate route.

Why is it then, that when locals warn people about rip tides and other beach dangers, these warnings are ignored?

We’ve delayed this report, not wanting to pall the holiday season.  It was about noon on Christmas Eve and we were stationed at our normal beach chairs reading and enjoying our surroundings.  The beach directly in front of the Sayulita RV Park is quite steep.  Locals and longtime visitors have warned about a rip tide directly in front of us at all times, especially when seas are high.  Christmas Eve was one of those days.

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The area in front of our park is marked with red flags that were placed there by the surfers that are tired of pulling people from the surf.  There are no lifeguards on this beach.

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We’ve noticed that people ignore the warnings and still venture into the dangerous part of the surf.  We say to ourselves, “Uh-oh, that person is going to get into trouble if he goes out another 10 feet.”  Sure enough, they rapidly move from 20 yards off shore to over 100 yards.  Instead of swimming parallel to the beach, 50 yards in either direction to escape the rip tide, they set forth on a futile attempt to swim directly back to shore.  The result is exhaustion.  Their only hope is rescue by someone with a surf board or boogie board.

The surf was too rough and disorganized for surfers this day.  We noticed a man and his partner getting into trouble and there was nobody that could reach them.  Eventually two guys grabbed some boogie boards from beachgoers and headed out into the surf to assist.

They reached the troubled swimmers and started toward shore.  Unfortunately, the surf yanked the boogie boards from their grips on the way in.  When they reached a point where they could stand, quite a few people were available to help bring those in danger to shore.  One man was unconscious as they dragged him to shore, where his daughter watched in a state of panic.

In our park, there was a doctor and her paramedic boyfriend staying for the holidays.  They raced over to assist.  In this photo, the doctor and her boyfriend are attempting CPR.

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No medical equipment was available to assist in the rescue.  The crowd waited for the ambulance to arrive.

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It took 45 minutes for emergency personnel to arrive.  The victim did not survive.  He was forty years old.

On a normal day, we will see surfers rescue up to a dozen individuals that wandered into trouble.  Even yesterday, which was quite calm, we saw a young man and woman pulled to safety.

When going on vacation or visiting unfamiliar areas, be sure to find out WHAT DANGERS LIE IN PARADISE.