Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Music of La Cruz - Part 1

 Hello friends,

Its been a while since we updated the blog.  So sorry, life got in the way.  We have decided to live here, in La Cruz, for a while.  At least until we decide its time to move on.

We separated for a while.  Neil lived in town and Sharon stayed on the boat.  But we found we missed each other too much and decided we couldn't live without each other.

One thing we really like about living here is the music.  There are several really good musicians and we thought we'd give you a taste.  

The following is a guy named Lobo. He is very popular here and has been mentioned in a few novels too.  He plays flaminco music, which we are really getting to like.  Hope the video does it justice:

Geo is a fellow boater who lives on his catamaran on our dock.  He is a gringo, but he plays flaminco music as well.  He plays a mean violin.  His band is called Luna Rumba.  We hope you like it:

Just so you know, not all the music is flaminco.  These guys are called Deep River and they play rock and roll.  This is just a sampling.  Sorry the video is so dark.   It was filmed here, at the marina restaurant/bar.

We will provide some more music samplings next update.

This is a short video of our favorite beach.  We hope to have move/better videos later.  Especially if we can catch the hump back playing again.  They put on an amazing show for us the other day, jumping straight out, two at a time, and slapping their tales, etc.  Next time, we hope to have the camera.

This is a short video we took one day we went out to dinner:

Its high season and the demand on the marina internet is too high, we have to leave the boat and go somewhere where there is wifi to post here, so it could be a while before our next update.  Once summer gets here, we should be ok on the boat again.

So, adios from paradise...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our vacation from our vacation

Hi Everyone:
It's been awhile since we last updated you on our Mexican experience. We have included videos of our experience in San Miguel and Juanawato. Some incredible experiences we had in these places. We have tried the local cuisine, the ones that said american/canadian food. We also had thai food, these gringos sure know how to cook. Gringos if you don't know is another term for north americans. San Miguel was a cute little town with lots of history. Juanawato on the other hand had this amazing underground tunnel system. Up on the surface was pretty cool too. They had an event where you follow musicians in a parade at night, however, we didn't get to see that. Our hotel was a pretty cool place too. Once you climbed about a hundred stairs with your luggage, that was tough, it had an amazing view overlooking San Miguel. Every night there were fireworks put on by the local church. We wondered where the money from the collection plate was going. Anyways, enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Iguana Party

Greetings to everyone,
We have just discovered a secret here in La Cruz.  It's called the Iguana Party.   Not many have been fortunate enough to be invited, but, once you are it's the best party you'll ever get to see.   They can sing, they can dance afterall it's La Cruz and the dinner here is never second best.  We think the next mexican election should have  the Iguana Party for election.  Anyways enjoy the video below:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Story of Our TimeShares

Hi all. 

Its been a while since our last update.  Not much is new, except that long-story-short, we bought another timeshare. 

If you recall, we recently acquired a new timeshare, here, in Puerto Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta, to be exact). When we sold our Hawaii timeshare in exchange for the timeshare here, the company that liquidates them offered to let us keep the deed by paying them 1/10th of its value.  It seemed too good a deal to pass up, so we bought it back for $4200.  Then, when we bought this new timeshare, the new place purchased both the Hawaii and the Mexico properties from us, at considerably more than we paid for them.

In the end, they gave us way more than we paid them.  Now we have a new timeshare and a profit of around $65K.  It feels strange to make money on timeshare, but what the heck.  Oh, and since we’re living on our boat, we won’t be using it for a while (5 weeks in a private villa is what we ended up with) so they are going to rent them out and pay us just over 10K a year, profit.  That’ll go nicely into the cruising kitty.

This new timeshare is quite nice, but different.  Instead of hotel/condo rooms, each unit is a private villa.  We got a 2 bedroom.  We have a private swimming pool.  We get unlimited use of the water sports, including the wave runners.  And there is a yacht that we also get to use.   We see it here at the marina.  It’s a 50-foot or so powerboat. 

We’ll be spending some time there later, so will get some video.

Aside from that, things are quiet around here.  Its getting hot.  Normal temperature during the day is 36, 37 degrees.  Its going to get hotter, and humid.  We just installed an air conditioner.  It cools the bedroom nicely.

There is a tropical storm brewing south of us and we’re going to see the tail of it this weekend.  We should get high winds and rain.  We’ve added a few extra dock lines and tomorrow we’ll secure everything outside. 

Everyone here says that where we are here, in Banderas Bay, they do not normally get hurricanes.  It is considered, for insurance purposes, to be a hurricane hole, which means no extra premiums for coverage during hurricane season.  So, we should be safe here all summer.  We’re counting on it.

The other day, we saw a whole bunch of really big iguanas just inside the marina entrance.  We knew there were at least 3 of them up in the trees, but we had never seen them on the ground.  Neil almost ran over one, so we stopped.  By the side of the road, in addition to the on crossing in front of us, were 6 very large iguanas.  Maybe next time, we’ll have the camera.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sightseeing from La Cruz

We were taking Spanish lessons, but they are over for now, slow season.  However, we made friends with our teacher, Jesse.  Jesse lives in La Cruz, but spent some time in Montreal.  He's one of the younger gringos around here, only 30 or so.

Anyway, he offered to take us on a sightseeing trip and we jumped at the chance.  His parents live in Guadalahara, so we started heading there.  The trip was around 4 hours.  It was interesting driving across some of the country.  It was amazing to see all the fires.  Jesse says they set these fires this time of year, just before the rainy season, and let them burn.  The country side is pretty dry, so everything burns fast, but there not much vegetation on the trees, and they are really far apart so they don't really burn, just the underlying bushes.  And no one lives in the areas, so they leave the fires to burn out on their own.  One thing you notice in Mexico is that you can always smell smoke.  That's cause there's always something buring here - besides the fact that most restaurants cook over wood fires. 

We headed into the city square.  We didn't see any other gringo's there, Jesse says they are afraid to go there.  We had no problem and enjoyed the day.  We got a bit of video, but it seems to have disappeared (since Sharon cleaned up the files), so sorry.

We spent the night in Guadalahara, at Jesse's parent's and headed into the mountains the next day.  We drove for around 3 hours, into a place called Lake Chapala.  Lake Chapala is where the richer Mexicans keep their summer places.  It was at once such place where we stayed, once again, thanks to Jesse.  Here is a short video:

Once we arrived there, we were told to head into Ajijic (pronounced Ah-hee-hic), which was a nice town.  Very old style Mexican, with narrow, stone streets.  We really enjoyed it and even particpated in some sort of meditative walk on the beach.  Afterward, we wondered if we were really supposed to be there.  We didn't ask, just joined in.  The temperature there was much cooler than back in La Cruz, which is why it is so popular.

The next day, we headed back towards Guadalahara, this time stopping in Tonola.  There, Jesse introduced us to the most amazing market ever!  Sorry, no video, but it was so large, and so cramped, it would take days just to walk through all the alleys.  But what a paradise!!  Really nice stuff, specially if you are looking for interior decorations.  And there you'll find matching pillows and lamps, etc.  And really nice dry bamboo and stick things.  Not sure how to describe them, but you use them to fill large, floor vases in big empty corners.  Anyway, back home a bundle would easily sell for $45.  At the market - 35 pesos, about 4 bucks!!  I know how to make some money if I decided to live in Mexico.  You could buy up the most amazing stuff for 1/10 of what you can sell it for!  And we tried traditional Mexican food (Gorditas and something else) as well as shaved ice with fruit we have never seen before.  Lots of fun.  We really want to go back some day and get some more stuff now that we know what is there. 

We didn't see any other gringos there, but at one point we heard someone say "Hey, you speak English".  It came from a youngster and his mom, of Mexican heritage, but from California.  We stopped to speak with them for a few minutes.  That's how unusual it was to hear English.

We took this video back in February but can't remember if we ever posted it.  Came across it cleaning up some files so here it is just in case.

That's it for now.  Sorry our blogs seem to go between droughts and floods.  Kind of like life, eh?

Monday, April 23, 2012

4 Leaf Clovers!!

Hello everyone,

Sorry, its been a while since our last update.  We have lots of video to post, but will do it in small batches.  Maybe we'll be able to provide a weekly update, at least for a while, until things get boring around here.

The biggest news we have to report is that we have decided NOT to head to Costa Rica at this time.  We were working with an American captain whom we hoped would help us get there, but his price is too high for us.  So we're going to try spending the summer here in La Cruz.  We've heard it gets really hot and we believe it.  Already the temperatures are between 31 and 34 Celcuis every day.  People here tell us that no one ventures out during the day in the summer, its just too hot.  We're preparing for that and purchased an air conditioner at the last swap meet.  Now, we're looking for someone to help us install it properly.

A little while ago, we took a tour to the local hot springs.  We didn't get much video, but we did find the most unusual patch of 4 leaf clovers.  Not one or two, mind you, but the entire batch were the 4 leaf kind.  But you don't have to believe us, just take a look:

La Cruz is situated in the northern end of Banderas Bay.  Banderas Bay has some of the best sailing in the world.  We haven't been out lately, but the other day we had an unusually clear day where you could see the entire bay:

Mexico is an amazing place in that events crop up all the time, out of nowhere.  A few weeks ago, there was a very large, very expensive Mexican Tourism event held at our marina.  It was quite the spectacle, with lots of performance art, including pirate ships, native dancers, fire dancers and an entire cast of Cirque De Soleil characters.  These characters roamed around the crowd most of the night, it was something to see.  Tickets were supposedly $200 each, but some of us at the marina were able to just walk in and get free food, booze and entertainment.  (Sorry no video.)

And not too long ago, in a dirt lot here in the marina, out of nowhere again, a horse dancing show just popped up.  They brought in bales of hay, which they decorated with branches off the local bushes, and plastic chairs for people to sit in, not to mention hot food and cold beer/margarita vendors.  We watched asd someone took a manual auger, dug a quick hole, spliced into the marina power cable, and voila, we had lights!  We do have some video of this event, which we'll put in our next entry.

At the moment, the marina grounds are filling up with carnival rides and the like.  Apparently in a few days, a week long celebration will be starting up.  Not sure what all will be there, but we'll try to get some video for you.

So for now, know that we are settling in for the summer, not really sure what we're in for.  We hear they have huge rain falls and thunder storms, and we'll have to rig up a ground or something.  We'll know more after this Wednesday, we'll be attending a seminar on preparing for the summer.

Hasta Luego, Amigos

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of Spring in La Cruz

Hello all,
We are enjoying it here in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.  Its starting to get hot here.  Most days now its around 30, but the other day it was 34 degrees.  
We've started taking Spanish lessons.  So far, we've learned clothing, foods, things around the house and animals.  We should be able to get a half dozen more lessons in before we leave.
We did some calculations based on our route and the stops we want to make.  The "gold coast" of Mexico is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world, so we don't want to rush through it all.  It should take us 50 to 60 days to get to Costa Rica once we depart.  We're looking at leaving around the 12th of April or so.
We got hooked into a timeshare presentation.  But we loved it so much, we traded in our Hawaii timeshare for this one in Neuvo Vallarta.  It is the most beautiful resort we've ever seen.  We spent a day there a while ago and got some video, as you can now enjoy.