Dinners and more bikes

Rosalie wanted to have someone over for dinner so we invited Glenn and Cheryl who are in Melaque for the first time; and Mike and Faye whom we’ve known a few years here.

We had a great evening. Rosalie as always did a nice meal. We ended up playing the same dice game that we had learned in PV from Giselle and Gordon.

The following day Rosalie wanted to have more people over as she still had fresh ingredients left from the previous night’s dinner.

We invited our neighbours Gerry and Elaine and Elaine’s brother Hugh and his partner Lori. Again we had a great meal. After dinner Rosalie and I wanted to play dice again but no one else did. Instead, Lori had brought along her guitar and started to entertain us. She was very good and we are trying to encourage her to try open mike.

I have been trying to relearn the guitar for a few years but got discouraged so, I haven’t played for a while. Watching how Laurie played though gave me a lot of encouragement. She played the basic cords, nothing fancy, no twiddly bits, just good rhythm guitar. I realised that I had been trying way too hard. So, when I get back to Canada I’ll bring out the guitar and try again.

Both parties were a great success. we ran out of Tequila but other than that we had a great time. So goes life in Melaque. I love to watch my Hockey games while down here but have missed the last three because of ‘social engagements’. Life’s tough!

Because we enjoyed riding the rented bikes so much we decided to try to buy a couple of used ones. There are a number of bike repair places but the prices seemed a bit high. As we were sitting on the beach having a few beers when we decided to buy a couple of new ones. We had seen some earlier and the prices were only a little more than the used ones.

When we go to the store, we did a bit of  hemming and hawing and finaly selected a couple. “Okay,” says I “now we can dicker,” Buying two new bikes should get us a nice discount. However, the shop owner didn’t think so and only offered us $100 pesos ($6.50) off of the price. We wanted the bikes so bit the bullet.

The bikes are more practical than fun. We like to walk uptown, but often have to carry groceries back, so both bikes have carriers front and back. I wanted a mountain bike but Rosalie wouldn’t let me have one.

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We thought we would be running up a bill with accessories. Locks were needed so we bought a couple. These are heavy duty cable locks that sell for $20 -$30 in Canada but we got them for 75 pesos (about $5).

The bikes had to be assembled so we had to pick them up the next morning after 10 am. We got to the store at 10:30 but it was still closed. As we were about to walk away the shutters went up and we got our bikes.

As soon as we started up the road Rosalie stopped. She tried to start again but said that the pedals wouldn’t turn. I checked and found that it was in the wrong gear. Boy, she has a lot to learn yet.

That afternoon I noticed Rosalie’s tire was flat so I borrowed a pump and re-inflated it but it soon went down again. Meanwhile, my right brake lever snapped. Back to the store,  They were busy so we had to come back in an hour.

To kill time we went to the bank and then ordered our two cases of beer for delivery. Still having time to kill we wandered down to the beach for a beer. Having ordered we drank and listened to the waves crashing on the shore.

Once back at back at the store, we found that everything had been fixed. We had ordered two kickstands, these had been installed for a cost of 110 pesos (about $8).

 

Weekend in PV

Rosalie’s sister Giselle and her husband Gordie were in PV for a destination wedding, so we decided to go and visit them for the weekend. We were told that I would need long pants so we hustled around Melaque trying to find some. I finally borrowed some from a friend.

When we bought our bus tickets a few days earlier in Melaque, the lady selling tickets probably didn’t like us as she refused to give us the senior rate. So we only got one-way tickets and did get the senior rate from Puerto Vallarta for our return.

The trip takes about 4 1/2 hours on a first class bus. We are given a snack as well as a drink to see us through. There is an entertainment system with individual screens for each seat. We didn’t use it though as it’s hard to find a movie with subtitles.

There are also bathrooms on the bus. I’m sure they are there for entertainment purposes. As the bus hurtles around the tight mountain roads, the object is to get to the bathroom without ending up on someone’s lap. Once in the restroom, even the men have to sit down or there could be a nasty mess.

We arrived safely at the PV bus depot and hopped a taxi to the hotel. This was the first time we had stayed in an all-inclusive so we were curious as to what to expect. We met up with Gordie and Giselle and while we waited to check in, Giselle ran and got me a cerveza and Rosalie a Paloma. I was beginning to enjoy this place.

We got a lovely room with a view and a balcony, then went to find some late lunch as we hadn’t eaten for a while. We also had to have a few cervezas to start the party off. 

That evening there was a floor show with dancing girls and the whole deal. It was quite good and we had good seats that Gordie had scouted out for us.

The following day we went downtown for a walk along the Malecon. Gordie decided he needed a pedicure so he went walking with the fishes. 

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Gordie and Giselle

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Miss Marples and the old Geezer.

That night there was another floor show but this was more tuned to the kids. We watched part of it then had an early night.

The following day we took a walk to check out the local shops. In the afternoon back at the hotel, we got a table, a couple of cervezas and played a fun dice game Giselle had brought.

We wanted to have a nice last dinner before we left, so we had to dress up. Turns out I didn’t need the long pants after all but had to wear closed-toe shoes (my runners) and a short-sleeved shirt. They let me in, so all was well.

That evening was Karaoke we saw a few acts (horrible) and called it a night again.

In the morning we said our goodbyes and Rosalie and I grabbed a taxi to the bus depot. We were feeling a bit hungry so we got a burger and shared it. On the way, on the bus, I started feeling terrible. Luckily we had some Gravol with us and that got me through. There is a bit of a bug going around so it was probably that. But, isn’t that what everyone says…?!

“I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been”

Winnie The Poo 

 

Another strange week

This was written last week.

I don’t think the weeks are that strange, it’s just that we are no longer on holiday but actually living here. It just feels different. When we go uptown we don’t wander around the shops ogling tacky tourist crap, (T.T.C.) We go for groceries and things we need in the house.

We’ve had some fun with our bank account. First, we couldn’t access our online account. Apparently, we have to use it every month or else they make it inactive. That got sorted out but then the property manager couldn’t cash the cheque we had given her. Off to the bank once more while the property manager waited in the branch in Manzanillo. We got that sorted out too. We didn’t know that we had to Activate the cheques. We are now waiting for the next unexpected bank problem.

I miss the Big Green Egg so we went and bought a charcoal BBQ. It took me the best part of the afternoon putting it together (?) as I only had a bent fork to work with. I did try it out last night. It lit up fairly quickly with help from my personal little fan. We tried hamburgers but they mostly broke up; the sausages were good though. I’m looking forward to our first turkey cooked on the beast. Or perhaps a rooster.

Rosalie has had a few hassles and had to go and see Dr. Rosa. She’s fine but can’t drink alcohol for a couple of weeks. I’m disappointed because now I can’t blame her for drinking all the wine. So now I have no idea where it all went.

I got another new hat last week, lighter than the last one, looks like a Tilly hat ($85) and only cost 80 pesos ($5.22). I love it so far.

It’s starting to cool off here. 21 C when we got up this morning. But it hits 28 C during the day. Our bedroom faces south so it warms up during the day. We keep the curtains drawn and that helps. As soon as the sun goes down we open them up and get a nice cool through – draft from the front bedroom. We have to close our window at night though because of the f_cking rooster.

I tried riding a bike for the first time in years. I haven’t lost the knack, I thought my knees wouldn’t take the strain but they were great. The seat was a bit high and the first time I turned a sharp corner was a bit hairy but I didn’t embarrass myself so all was good We are now looking for a couple of bikes as the walk uptown is getting a bit tedious. We were told we can rent a bike for about $100 a month. We also found out that you can buy a used bike for about $50. Decisions, decisions.

Gerry and Elaine, our neighbours, arrived last night. We ended up with ten of us at The Red Lobster for ribs followed by drinks at their place. Rosalie still can’t drink so she had to drive me home to our casa next door.

Boy! life down here is so hard.

 

A strange week

A strange week indeed. We went to the bank one day last week to get our account sorted out. We then walked over to the Banamex to withdraw some cash. “Why a different bank from our own?” you may ask. Well, the Banamex has a better rate for withdrawing pesos from our Canadian account than our own bank.

On the way, Rosalie spotted a sign offering two for one margaritas so she had to drag me in to try some. They were very good but after one Rosalie starts to giggle so we were a bit concerned that she may not be able to take advantage of the two for one.

At about this time we got a message from Mike and Pat asking if we wanted to meet them at Tito’s bar on the beach at 5 o’clock. We decided to go but, as it was only 3 pm and we had time to kill, Rosalie, being the trooper she is, ordered her second drink.

We eventually strolled to Tito’s and met up with the rest of the guys. We only stayed a few hours as we had been out since noon and were getting tired. Rosalie wanted to walk home. It only takes half an hour but I was insistent on getting a Tuc-Tuc. We walked as far up the town centre but no Tuc-Tucs so we ended up walking the rest of the way.

The following day Mike and Pat took us to Manzanillo on a shopping trip. That blew our budget for the month but we did stock up on a lot of things for our whole stay. For instance, we bought two 1 ltr bottles and two 750 ml bottle of liquor for $42 as well as few non essentials like food and paper towels.

On Friday we went with Mike and Faye to La Oficina. Before we left, Rosalie locked up the house not knowing that I was still in it. When we got there we bumped into Mike and Pat again. We ordered our meal and I got a bottle of wine as we thought it would be cheaper that way. After eating, just as the music started, Rosalie said she wasn’t feeling well and would I get Mike to run her home in Pat’s car.

They left, I put some money on the table for Faye to pay the bill, grabbed my bottle of wine and hurried after them. When I got home Rosalie had locked the door on me again. She managed to get her head out of the toilet long enough to let me in.

Poor kid, she was up all night throwing up. The following morning she was feeling a bit better but I started to feel a bit queasy. I had a dentist appointment to fix a cracked tooth ($32) so I went even though I wasn’t feeling 100%. That afternoon I felt a lot worse and slept a lot. The next day we were both feeling better but hung around the house and napped all day.

This is the first time Rosalie’s has been sick down here. I think it was a mild case of food poisoning but we will never know for sure.

We met Dave Spinks at the market yesterday and apologized for leaving early and assured him it had nothing to do with his music.

The rooster’s still at it. I’m hoping to hear, at about 4 am, “cockadoodle BANG!” I’ll go back to sleep with a smile on my face. The next morning I’ll ask Rosalie to get bbq chicken for lunch and hope it’s him.

A day out

We went to our new dentist today. The 14-year-old women doctor that we saw last year got married just after we saw her and has just had a baby. Her 17-year-old brother is filling in. This pleased Rosalie a lot as he is a good-looking young man. Now the groping issue is not so important to her! He did a good job and much to Rosalie’s delight she has to go and see him again for some more work.

More of our friends are showing up so we went walkabout to find Jim and Ylda. We had a great visit and I did a scientific experiment on the way home. I found that I could have three beers, take a half an hour walk home; stopping for shopping on the way, and still make it without peeing my pants…Just.

I’m going to kill that F…ing rooster! We just heard of a couple who bought a noisy rooster for an exorbitant price on the condition that the people didn’t buy another one. We have no idea what they did with it but my imagination became very sadistic.

The mystery of the Mexican/Chilean wine is solved. Lucy our waitress told us that Chile has produced a wine with a Mexican label to honor Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Lucy and I were both disappointed as we thought the idea of a Mexican wine having a Chilean cork was great fun and purely Mexican.

Rosalie bought a new dress yesterday and another one today. My job was to sit outside the shop muttering impatiently under my breath and wondering what happened to all the other dresses she had bought on previous trips down here. A least she seems to be past her purchasing silver phase.

A few days ago we ran out of beer and Rosalie started to panic so we walked uptown and ordered a couple of cases of Estrella.  24 bottles to the case, about $18 each case. They said they would deliver it between 4 and 5 pm. 5:30 came around and no beer, so we started to get a bit anxious. By 6 we were both pacing the floor. Rosalie in need of a beer; and me wondering if we had been ripped off. But we remembered this is Mexico and sure enough the booze showed up at 6:15. Saved!

A lot of the streets here are one way; with the exception of bicycles, motorbikes, the odd Tuc-Tuc, the local garbage truck as well as, anyone going the wrong way and decides to do a three-point turn rather than go around. We always look both ways no matter what street we cross.

As mentioned earlier, Rosalie sent us a letter from Canada to Melaque a few days before we left. It’s been nearly a month and it still hasn’t arrived. It should have been a Christmas card as we may get it just in time.

La Oficina

Mike and Pat asked if we would like to go to open-mike night at La Oficina. We had been there on our last visit and it was great fun so we said “Sure.”

Dave Spinks, the cousin of Bill of the famous Bill and Michael couple, was the host. He plays and sings and invites others to play as well. We saw some great talent even though it’s early in the season.

The videos are a bit dark because of the low lighting in the restaurant.


We always get there early so we get the table in front. Even if we got the table in the back it wouldn’t matter as the place is fairly small. It’s owned by a young American guy Aaron and his family. His wife is Mexican and they have two lovely kids.

The evening is very informal. The young son, about 4 years old opened the proceedings by singing to us on the mike. Later when Dave started his act the same young man accompanied him on a bongo drum. All the while a large friendly dog wandered around looking to be petted. The place wasn’t overly crowded as most of the Canadians haven’t arrived in town yet.

We had the added fun of watching the Canucks play a game on the big screen TV. They won in overtime.

La Oficina isn’t unique. There are several small restaurants in town where very talented bands play through the winter. We plan to follow the music this year and see a lot more of them.

This quad is underloaded and the driver much too old.

We had booked our dental visit for next week but heard that the dentist may be a groper so we canceled. We will go back to the same cute 14-year-old dentist we saw last year. She was very competent and I’m not as concerned about the groping bit as Rosalie is.

Another storm just missed us. I woke at 6 am to the sound of rain and in the distance, the sound of drums playing. I guess a celebration of some sort was going on. It woke the bloody rooster up though. We ‘re noticing the temperature is slowly going down at night. We are getting into winter after all. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

2nd November

We went for a walk into town today to get more supplies. On the way back we saw a house for sale. We’re curious folk so we stopped to check it out. The interesting thing was that the house on the left was number 12. The one on the right was number 19 and the one we were looking at was, of course, number 75. Such is Melaque.

Further along, we saw some guys taking down a tree bit by bit with a machete. It looked dangerous but I guess they know what they are doing. We just looked the other way and bravely scurried by.

The rooster next door is still at it. We’re hoping he’s soon big enough for the cooking pot. I’m sure another one will soon take his place though. We are close enough to the beach to be lulled asleep by the crashing of the waves as we soon nod off again.

Today is Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). We haven’t seen too much activity associated with it but perhaps that happens more after sunset. We are going out for dinner and some musical entertainment tonight so we will see.

More and more Canadians are showing up. Our friends Mike and Faye arrived yesterday so we went for dinner at our local restaurant ‘The Red Lobster’. Lucy, the owner’s daughter, and our waitress took our drinks order; I ordered red wine. She asked if a Mexican brand was okay. I said”fine”. She went off to open the bottle and returned with it with a grin on her face. She then asked if I wanted Mexican or Chilean. I’d already agreed to Mexican so was a bit confused. Then she showed me the cork, which was printed with ‘Chile’ on the side, while the bottle said Mexico.

Lucy also reminded us several times that Sunday is BBQ rib night. We didn’t need reminding as we have been there several times before and wouldn’t miss it.

The Red Lobster also does a Tour of their banana plantation. For $500 MX ($35) each, you get breakfast and lunch. A trip to the plantation where you sit around the pool and drink free drinks until they bundle you into the bus for the return journey.

The problem is though, as, with many local tours, they have to have enough people to make it worth their while so if you want to go you have to persuade as many friends as possible to join in.

I’ve noticed that the temperature is dropping slightly overnight but is still a  balmy 26 C. With 75% humidity. It gets up to about 30 C during the day and is still quite humid. It’s been cloudy for the past few days making it a bit more comfortable so we don’t have to wear our sombreros when we go walkabout.