In the morning, I helped Juan secure his t.v. cable high up to a tree so it will be here next time he comes out to the coast. He got the rest of his gear packed up and quietly slipped out of El Pequeno Paraiso bound for Guadalajara. He gave me some tips and his contact info for when we make our way through the city. Adios Juan, we’ll miss the entertainment and good humor.
Our friend Khichi arrived at the tower at around 9:30 this morning with her friend from home, Rosalee. We secured the canines then boarded her rental Yaris and drove down to La Penita for the Thursday market.
We found parking on the main road in and slowly worked our way down to the tianguis near the beach. Rosalee and Khichi had taken a cooking class the day before and Rosalie was on the hunt for specialty ingredients to make a seafood soup. We found dried shrimp in a produce store and were looking for some piloncillo to complete the recipe.
We arrived at the central market and split up to browse the many city blocks of market offerings. The area around the zocalo, or town square, had the prettier booths of artisans and jewellers vying for the high gringo dollars, as the blocks progressed away from the center, the booths had more mundane household goods and school supplies more focused on the local population.
PJ located her basket weaving guy and started in on a long bargaining session, eventually buying three of his large woven floor mats because, of course, she got a better deal for buying more. She shook hands with Paulino and the deal was struck. With her arms full of straw goodness, she walked away with a big smile on her face.
Khichi found a comfortable spot in the shade and monitored the world from there. I found a complex of bakery tables and was compelled to buy a loaf of soft, freshly baked bread. The ladies were laughing and congenial making the whole experience memorable and fun. A gringo named Karen had a small booth selling gourmet bakery items, so we picked up a couple of focaccias for dinner and some small cakes, banana and lemon. Of course, I can never get through a tianguis without hitting up the garapinado guy. Oscar filled me up a bag of the regular caramelized peanuts then a smaller bag of the deluxe pecan garapinados.
PJ bought a nice table runner for the bar out on the deck and a few other small items and I found a little shoulder bag to carry my extra hooks and lures when I go surf fishing. Rosalee spent a fair amount of time working out the intricate details of a jewelry purchase across from our shaded perch. She finally negotiated a number that was to her liking and came away with a pair of silver and Mexican opal earrings.
Before any more hard earned money could spent at the bazaar, we walked over to a nice sidewalk restaurant that commanded a view of the people passing back and forth to the market. The food was decent and the company was excellent. After lunch, we left Khichi (the only one who hadn’t felt the need to buy anything) guarding our purchases while Rosalee went back to the market to buy something she missed. PJ and I headed up the main street to the furniture stores and bought ourselves a small microwave to use up in the casa.
PJ grabbed the car from its parking spot and drove it up to the restaurant while I picked up a few things at the pharmacy. We loaded up the car and then took a backstreet tour of La Penita. Khichi drove us along the waterfront where fisherman were landing their boats and mending their nets. From there, we wandered around the back neighborhoods and eventually popped out on the lateral for highway 200.
A few kilometers down the road, we took the entrance into Rincon de Guayabitos and explored around that area. A few RV parks and tons of hotels. Nice area, but a little built up for our taste. We found a back road at the far end of town and again found the main highway. We drove along until I spotted a small nursery on the side of the road. Khichi pulled a u-turn and took us back to the roadside stand where PJ and I selected three small bugambilias to put up on the deck. We squeezed two in the trunk and sat one in the back seat with us being careful not to get skewered by the thorns. Thanks a million Khichi for being such a good sport about loading greenery in your car and chauffeuring us all over the place.
Back at El Pequeno Paraiso, we unloaded our wares, said our farewells, then hauled them all up the four flights of stairs. We placed things where we wanted them and put things away then decided a swim in the sea was next on the agenda.
We took our goggles and walked out onto the sand. We grabbed a couple of plastic chairs and got comfortable under the shade of a small palm. Tom and his wife came by and chatted for a while. We really enjoy their energy. Made a date to visit their house and play some guitar on Saturday.
Miguel came down with his mom, Pilar. They went and put her toes in the water, but she claimed it was too cold and decided to relax in her chair instead. Miguel put Bruno on a boogie board and swam him out past the anchored boat at the point. Bruno seemed to relish the chance to cool off and get his fur wet. It looked like Miguel enjoyed having a moment to escape the constant demands of running the property also. The water was refreshing and gave us renewed energy.
PJ swam the farthest out she has ever gone. We swam nearly to the rocks on the point. The water was clear over the reef, but the sun was block by the point and the visibility wasn’t that great. Not many colorful fish today. A few camouflage colored species but all of the life was in the band of baitfish further in near the beach where huge flocks of pelicans were in a frenzy diving into the ocean to gorge themselves on the massive school of small fish.
We swam a big loop around the anchored boat and dodged the plummeting birds. Pelicans, terns and frigates all out to get their share of fish. We dived down into the bait ball and scattered the swarm directly below us to watch them form back up on the other side. The evening was feeling a little cool as we emerged up onto the sand.
Our friends Larry and Judith were down for a swim with their sweet little dog Lolita. We stood around shooting the breeze while watching a crazy fit beach dog swim all the way out to the flock of pelicans floating near the boat to chase them all away. He then turned around to swim back in. He was a good 150 meters out there and PJ was getting worried about him and goaded me into swimming out to make sure he got in o.k. I swam out to him and went blazing by on his way in and I couldn’t keep up. This dog laughed at the idea of needing any help from me.
Ran into Bob and Wanda walking out of Cruz Maria and checked in with them. Bob had gone out on a boat with his local friends and caught a couple of big fish. A snapper and another good eating fish. He busted out the iPhone and showed us pictures. Both were about 20 pounders. They were taking the camp dog for a walk down the beach. We sat for a while at the gate with Nancy, Miguel and his mom before heading up to the pad to cook up our focaccias for dinner.
Bob came by and dropped off a couple of fish filets. Relaxed evening watching a bit of CNN and basketball, the only two English speaking channels on our cable offerings. Internet is crap and cell phone service is down for the area. Maybe get this posted tomorrow. Ciao.