Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mexican Diary, part 4

3/3 (David) If one was going to spend time down here it would be good to work on Spanish more than the week or two before coming down. Bird has a great workbook that looks like a HS primer. It would be good to look at words and verbs to refresh the little knowledge I have of the language.
Today I am going to see Jim at the fishing store and take the shore reels with me. I want him to do a quick assessment to see if they are worth repairing, or maybe I should purchase a new one to leave at Bird's house. Then they could use it for a quick trip of beach fishing.
(Joanne) We spent yesterday in La Ribera, doing laundry and playing with the puppies. When all the dogs are barking and running around the yard it is a pretty wild scene. The dogs will all bark at anyone who is walking past, and at horses and cows that wander by, and at rabbits and at other dogs and the list goes on. It can be a noisy place.
Dave and I went to the restaurant bar on the beach, LaCosta, and had a drink. It is an outdoor sports bar--big TV and all. Good margarita!

3/4 (David) Yesterday we went to Los Barriles to the recycling center, the pharmacy and to do some banking with Bird. Then on to the spa Buena Vista. I have never been there when it has been crowded. There were a few more vacationers there this time, but all in all I think the spa has been passed by.
I talked with Jim at Flyfishing in La Ribera about the 4 reels Smokey had given me. He suggested I throw 2 away and one spinning reel one trolling reel were usable. Clean them up and put line on them and they should be usable when I go fishing from the beach. He suggested mid-October through November as the best time to fish. August and September are great, but it is so hot that it makes fishing a chore.
I have been thinking about things in the states as our time comes to an end here. I have decided to make an appointment with Dr. Tewes in April to begin the process of knee replacement. If the insurance company says no I will look into a trip to Singapore and drop my insurance. why not live on the edge? Joanne will have to come to her own decision about insurance--pros and cons.

3/5 (David) Still windy. The wind has blown and blown the past 3 days. Huge dust clouds are going through town and across the roads when you drive. The sand of the Baja is on the move. The wind and dust have limited our adventures outdoors, so I have begun a project of cleaning and oiling the two reels that I kept; once I get them put back together. I might have line put on them, or do it myself.
We went to eat last night at La Trinidad. Smokey always comments that their food is great but too expensive. The food was great! Joanne had a fish platter, I had shrimp and Bird had a fillet mignon. The soup and salad bar were wonderful. The dinners were superbo and the strawberry cheesecake was excellent. It was perhaps one of the best dinners I have had. After the lobster on Magdalena Island and all the other food I have enjoyed here on the Baja I am afraid to see what the scale might say.
Some exercise will be in order when we return to Nebraska. For now I resolve to eat less while I am here.

(Joanne) Yesterday we called DeVonna Simpson, a Coldwall Banker realtor, and she took us to look at four properties in the area; 3 in La Ribera and 1 in Cabo Pulmo.
First was Casa Castro, a 3 bedroom home on a large corner lot with very nice landscaping. $290,000 US. A lovely home, but more than we require.
Next we looked at a row of apartments that is close to Bird's house. Four are finished, six more started. They sit on a bare city block. Each is a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom with a small kitchen and a patio. $280,000 USD. They are new and nicely furnished, but we are not looking for a business. LasBrisas Apartments.
Next we drove to Cabo Pulmo to the National Park to look at Cabo Pulmo Casita #19, a studio casita in the Eco Resort of Cabo Beach Resorts. It is off the grid so uses solar panels and propane for electricity. It would be a good choice if you were into snorkeling and lots of outside beach activities. Short walk to the beach. But, it is very small, basically one large room with a bathroom. $115,000 USD. It is a 25-minutes drive from LaRibera. Six miles of the road is gravel and very bumpy and curvy.
Back to La Ribera to look at a fixer-upper, Casa Ramona. $35,000 USD. Two small bedrooms, 1 bath and the kitchen and living area in a separate building. I need a lot more imagination to figure out how we would fix it up!
If there would have been a property about half the size of Casa Castro and about $200,000 USD I may have been more interested.
Bird has offered to rent her upstairs to us as an apartment and that is the idea that makes the most sense. There are definite drawbacks: Eleven of them are barking right now.

3/6 (Joanne) Yesterday was too windy to do anything outside, unless you were a windsurfer. The sand and dirt were flying and the view toward Los Bariles was almost obscured by the haze of dirt in the air.
In the morning I went with Bird to buy items from the Veggie Man. He pulls up and parks at Cliff and Carol's and a lot gringos show up to buy fresh produce, eggs and tamales. We had fresh tamales for breakfast even though we thought we might never have to eat again after our supper at La Trinidad on Friday night.
The rest of the day we spent puttering around--Bird made some delicious strawberry ice cream for dessert and we had a chef salad for supper.
I am glad I brought a library book, a knitting project and a sewing project along for something to do.

3/7 (David) An eventful afternoon with Harold. We went sight seeing around the area. First we visited a cave in the arroyo at the Los Cuevas bridge. The cave was created by the floods in the arroyo during rainy season. There were nests of bees, bats and a watering hole for cattle, horses and local wildlife. Harold likes to drive around the area looking at local sights.
On to Santiago. We had visited this town on our trip last year to the hot springs. We went to a waterfall which is mostly dried up due to a lack of rain. The Mexican government has declared the sight an ecological treasure and has built guest houses and cooking areas for 8 families. Weekends and holidays are popular, but it was deserted when we visited. Beautiful place. Far off the beaten path.
Back to Santiago for dinner. Harold usually purchases a beer and when it is gone he stops at another store for a trade in. We had an excellent dinner and then visited Harold's casa--a two car garage and a camper. His garage houses a boat and SUV and a living area with table, chairs, cots, refrigerator and freezer. A real man cave! He is having an addition to the garage with a lean to constructed to cover his camper and space for outdoor dining and a cooking area.

3/8 (Joanne) Our last Baja sunrise for a while! Time to go home to Nebraska where the snow is falling again.
I am really glad we had the opportunity to visit Sol d mayo yesterday. It is west (and north?) of Santiago--an alternative tourist destination. There is a "secret" waterfall that we hiked to see. The flow of water was diminished because of low rainfall, but it was beautiful. I think I would like to stay in one of the casitas in the park.
Harold, Bird, Dave and I ate at Paloma, a restaurant in Santiago. We ate there a year ago when we were visiting. Good food. I can't say we have had a bad meal while we have been here.
Harold likes to take off and explore the back roads and arroyos so he knows lots of great stuff to go and check out. We told him several times he needs to start a tour guide service. Manly Dog Tours--look for it when you are in La Ribera!

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