Settling in

We are starting to settle into a somewhat normal routine. We still don’t do a lot but we are having fun doing it.

We don’t have lunch on the beach as much as we used as it does add up. So we have lunch at home and then go and sit on the beach and have a beer and discuss the language. We’re picking up more and more Spanish and use it whenever we can. Mostly when ordering food.

We came home a few days ago and a gecko dropped out from the door frame. It startled me as I was thinking: a great big spider. I almost stood on the little guy but somehow we managed to avoid each other. I call him Ramon. We also have a wee one roaming around. Rosalie found him this morning trying on her jewelry. I think we’ll call him Brucie.

Rosalie has been walking around with an absolutely stupid looking hat so we decided to buy her a new one. As I had just got my new one too we make a great looking couple. I call this photo”Miss Marples and the old Geezer”


We sleep with the bedroom windows open at night to let a breeze in. The only downfall is that we have a rooster with a sore throat right behind the duplex who loves to wake us real early. We are getting used to him, as we often sleep right through his morning recital.

The temperature is hovering between 28-30 C with 76 humidity. It is quite humid but doesn’t bother us too much. We read that Sage leaf tablets help cope with the heat so we have been taking them from before we left. It does seem to help or perhaps we’re just used to it.

There are a few more tourists coming into town. You can tell who they are because when you say “hola” they come back with “Hi”. Heavy sigh, there goes our quiet solitude. This week starts the influx of our friends. We look forward to seeing them again. Even though we saw some of them just a few weeks ago.

I’ve been trying to include shot video clips in the blog but have had some technical difficulties. (I don’t know what I’m doing). I seem to have sorted it out though and will try to grab the local scene.

This one happened when we were walking uptown. The little bar at the side of the road is opposite where we stayed last time and we know it as a party place so we weren’t surprised to see the band.

Living here does have its downfalls. We lost a brother-in-law this week and wanted to head to Prince George but when we started adding up costs it became too expensive so we will have to send our thoughts and prayers instead.


The storm has passed, the sun is out and things are returning to normal.
We, of course, have been rushed off our feet doing nothing. We’re sitting in the forecourt of the duplex at the moment. We are pretty warm and sitting in just the right place to catch a breeze. Kids are playing in the street, the palms are swaying softly, there is always music in the air and all is mostly alright with the world.

The following video is experimental so so be prepared for any bad language, violence or nudity.


We just returned from a trip to Centro to get a few supplies. On our way back we stopped at a restaurant on the beach and had a snack and a couple of cervezas. The walk home with backpacks of supplies can be a bit tiring. We would get a tuc-tuc if one came by but none did so we walked.
The town is pretty quiet at this time of year and we like it that way. Very few Canadians or Mexican tourists. Next week will be different as they start to come then. We already saw one travel trailer from Quebec.

You get your money’s worth when you get your car painted down here. They do your licence plate for free.

The Mexicans are so friendly and helpful. Yesterday we were in a restaurant in Barra de Navidad trying to get help from the waiter to pronounce the word ‘empanizado’ which means breaded and how I like my fish. I asked and then forgot so asked again. The young man was very patient and after about five tries I eventually got it.
I’ve been reluctant in the past to try too much Spanish until I got it perfect. This time, however, I decided that if the Mexicans looked at me uncomprehendingly I would suck it up and try again. Rosalie has been a great help as she can converse fairly easily and correct me when I ask for help; which is often. We both also rely heavily on Google Translate and it’s settled many friendly arguments. Most of which take place at lunchtime on the beach over a couple of cervezas.
Rosalie wanted to test the Mexican postal service so she sent a letter to this address just before we left Canada. It’s been 14 days and so far no sign of It. I’ll keep you posted. (A pun.)
I managed to replace my hat with one bought in Barra. The nice young man told me it was made from Palm leaves and that I would be able to grow my own coconuts. I’m not too sure whether to believe him or not. Time will tell so I water it every night just in case.

Yet more rain

This was written yesterday but because of the rain, we lost our Wifi and I couldn’t publish it.

Just when we thought we had missed the main storms from Vincent, he fought back.

We went into town again today. It wasn’t raining and was getting warmer and brighter so we dropped off our laundry on the way. After we got home we decided we need to go up to town again to get a few more important supplies like more wine and a bbq chicken for lunch.

As we were walking back we saw a few blue spots in the sky. Nothing to get excited about but encouraging just the same. I even put my sunglasses on. When we got home, I went for a nap and later picked up our laundry while Rosalie waited for the one-legged repairman to come and fix our hot water heater.

It started to rain again but we had been through this before so weren’t too concerned. Then, it …started…to …rain. Holy smokes, it poured down.

I took a couple of chairs out front to watch the show. We have a four-metre overhang so no fear of getting wet. As we were watching, the rain got stronger then started to lightning and thunder.

I was taking a few pictures and a video when all hell broke loose and a crash of Thunder like I’ve never heard before. I was so startled I almost spilled my wine.

I’m from England and used to rain but nothing like this. I was fascinated by the way the Mexicans handled it. They didn’t, they just a carried on as usual. People would ride by on bikes with a garbage bag for protection…or not. Cars drove by at the same speed. The only difference that I could see was that the kids went swimming in the streets instead of the ocean.

Anyhow, we are only about a foot above street level so before we turn in at night we take the precaution of raising all our electronics above floor level, just in case.


It rained all night but started to clear up this morning.

We haven’t got a lot of news about Willa but I suspect the damage will be less than in Florida. The structures down here are mostly concrete or brick whereas further north in Canada and the USA we build our houses of sticks. Remember the story of the three little pigs.

Also, water damage is less of an issue. There are no carpets to get wet. Any water coming in would run on tile and be easily swept out. Our duplex is close to road level which is often flooded so just in case the water rises we make sure all electronics are off the floor. Flooding and mudslides seem to be an issue.

The door to our rooftop patio leaked yesterday and some water ran down the stairs to our bedroom level. We didn’t worry about it as we knew that in a few hours it would be dried up.

Things are starting to brighten so we can soon get back to normal.


We arrived in Mexico a week ago today and we’ve seen about 5 minutes of sun. When we were in Puerto Vallarta we just missed a tropical storm but got all the rain from it.

Having arrived in Melaque, it’s been cloudy most of the time. Then we heard about hurricane Willa. We checked it out on “Windy”, a very neat site, and saw that it was going to miss us, but another, much smaller, storm “Vincente” was in our area. It mostly blew out but at the moment we’re getting the rain from it.

It’s not much of a problem as the temperature is 26 C (brrrr, chilly). we have plenty of supplies….a case of beer and a jug of wine. Oh yes, and some food. The good thing is that with the temperature being lower we don’t feel the humidity so much.

I’ve been under the weather in more ways than one since before we left Canada and am only just getting over it. In fact, I was so bad the day before we left I thought we would have to leave later and lose our flight. I also had to winterize the trailer. I got over it after a while with help of a couple of Gravol.  We read that there is a Salmonella outbreak in BC and Alberta. I don’t know if it was that but I have all the symptoms. Just to add to my misery I mysteriously lost my new hat on the bus down from PV. I took it off and put it on top of my camera on the floor and haven’t seen it since.

While my illness was temporarily in remission we went for lunch with Mike and Pat. We had a nice lunch, drank too much and went home to rest up. On the way, we picked up a case of beer. They had stored a tote for us since January and dropped it off before going home. When we opened it, it was like Christmas.

I just took a break and we walked uptown with our umbrellas. We did a  bank deposit and then activated my phone. We got unlimited phoning and text to all of North America plus 1.5 Gig of data for the equivalent of $13.54 Canadian. I think we’re being ripped off in Canada. Rosalie’s Canadian plan with unlimited calling and text, only in Canada, and 2 Gig of data costs $44 a month.

This whole huricaney thing should be finished by Thursday so we are looking forward to that. Although we will no doubt start to complain when the temperature goes up.

Puerto Vallarta

As I mentioned earlier, it’s raining here. When we arrived at the airport one of the light fittings was pouring water so it was only a light rain. (I can hear the groans from here.)

We decided to get our bus tickets ahead of time so I asked one of the young ladies at the hotel how far the bus station was. She said it was within walking distance so off we went. Mexicans walk more than Canadians so what a short walk was for her, was a 45 minute hike in the heat for us.

We bought our tickets with, of course, the senior discount, then grabbed a taxi and headed down town. We walked the Malacon for a while, chatting with some of the merchants who wanted to sell us time shares. After we blew them off we found a nice restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we were both a bit tired after our morning hike so we went back to the hotel for a nap.

Early in the evening we walked to the marina to find a place to eat. We settled on a restaurant called “Victor’s Place”. There was a nice table facing the marina so we settled in and placed our order. We had both ordered wine and this came with a complimentary shot of tequila.

While we were eating Victor himself showed up. He was very friendly, but more so toward me. He said he was going to have another tequila with us and sure enough he showed up with a tray full of shots. He gave us one each and we had to shoot them quick.

We eventually asked for the bill and a few minutes later one of the waiters showed up with a complimentary Kahlua and cream for each of us. Now I was a bit worried that I might have to carry Rosalie home.

Rosalie went to find the restroom and Victor showed up again. This time with a pair of complimentary shot glasses. He was somewhat touchy feely toward me but I shrugged it off as just being friendly. After all there is only so much I will do for a free shot glass.

We will go back there sometime, as the food was great and the waiter was very patient with my bad Spanish. However I do need to improve as I had ordered garlic fish and ended up with rhubarb pie. Also we got three free drinks and a pair of shot glasses.

It started to rain as we walked back to the hotel but this has been another great Mexican day. We watched Netflix for a while as we anticipate our trip to Melaque tomorrow.

The great car chase

The first part of our grand plan is over. We found out that we can easily live in the trailer for six summer months. We had a great year. I worked too much but it’s mostly done and I only have a few chores to do next year.

Part of our plan was to arrange transport to Comox where we were flying out from. Nobody would want to pick us up at 3 am so we decided to drive to the airport the day before departure and rent a car. It almost worked out that easy.

We got to the airport and checked in with National car rental. As we walked to the car for an inspection I gave Rosalie instructions where to meet me. I checked the car out and waited for her.

After a few minutes I checked around but couldn’t see her anywhere. I waited about ten minutes and called her. She informed me that she was following me about 5 km away. (???) The interesting thing was that she had no idea of the make or colour of our rental. Now you know why I want to keep her on a leash.

I told her to wait where she was and went to find her. Fortunately she was on the road to Costco where we needed to go next. We had a giggle at the side of the road and carried on with the plan. She will follow anybody so I have to keep an eye on her.

On the way home I was feeling a little nauseous but thought it was because I hadn’t eaten much that morning. As the day progressed I started to feel a lot worse. By the evening I was in bad shape and our trip looked to be in jeopardy. I took a bunch of antacids and that helped a bit, but it wasn’t until I took a couple of gravol that things started to improve a bit more.

I had a lot to do to finish closing up the trailer for the season so I had to be okay. I got through it and drove us to the airport next morning. We checked in and went to security where we found out that I had printed Rosalie’s boarding pass but not mine. I had to go back to the check-in line which was twice as long by now to get a pass. Back to security where the line was now three times longer.

We got to Calgary okay but I had no appetite so had to force myself to eat a banana. I was still taking the gravol.

On the flight to PV I started to feel a bit better and decided to try to eat something. I had a sandwich and with that, the problem mostly seemed to go away. After we checked in, we went out for a bite to eat and I felt a lot better. We still don’t know what caused it. The guy across from us at the park had a touch of stomach flu the week before so I can only think it was that. We did get the flu shot 10 days ago.

There seems be a shift in the universe. We left Nanaimo in beautiful sunshine but when we got to PV it was raining. That’s a bit barse akwards if you ask me. But it is nice and warm here and Rosalie says “it’s a polite rain.”

Anyway we are sitting in the hotel room with glass of cheap wine each and happy to be back in our second home.


Our old chiminea that I built a couple of years ago has given us great service. On cool mornings I would get up and light it and we would enjoy our morning tea in comfort. The only problem we had with it was that we had to cut the firewood in half because of the diameter of the tank.

The old chiminea. Needs a new coat of paint.

I vowed to built a better one from a 30 lb tank laying on its side. So we went to our local refurbishing propane tank guys and I saw a 50 lb tank and fell in love. It was perfect, this would make an awesome fireplace. The problem was that they refurbish this particular size of tank and had no used ones. I could buy a new one for $78 but I’m way too cheap to do that. I pleaded with the guy and asked him to turn his back so I could steal one, but he wouldn’t budge.

I was thinking of all ways I could get a 50 lb tank. I even looked it up on Kijiji but only came away disappointed.

As I often do, I put it out to the universe and waited to see what would turn up. One morning we went into the ‘big city’ of Bowser for some groceries. As we were leaving I remembered that the local gas station served propane and just might have a used tank.

We pulled in and spoke to a young guy serving there. He took us to the back of the lot and low and behold we saw a veritable field of used propane tanks. They didn’t have a 50 lb but he showed me a very nice 40 lb tank that I was sure I could work with.

He had to clear it with his boss and after the usual warnings that I could blow myself up, (as if!) he gave me the tank for my favourite price of Free.

I’m very cautious around used propane tanks as even the smallest amount of gas can be dangerous. The first thing I needed to do was remove the valve so I could fill the tank with water to force out all the old propane.

Well, I hammered and smashed that darn valve but it wouldn’t budge. Plan two: open the valve to release any left over gas; turn the tank upside down to let any more gas escape. Then, very carefully drill two half-inch holes in the top, then fill the tank with water.

In the meantime there was a smell of propane in the air with our neighbor Bruce running around trying to find out where the leak was coming from. He had just got a new tank and thought it was leaking. I explained that it was only me making that smell (well not actually me) and he went home happy.

My next challenge was to cut a door in the tank. The neighbours must love me because I used a cut-off disc on my hand-held grinder so it was some noisy.  What the hell, I have rights too. Besides, I’m sure they have fun referring to me as that mad English bastard doing something stupid again.

The new tank with the door cut out.

I had a bit more grinding to do but had to put it off  because of the extreme fire hazard condition. The grinder kicks up a lot of sparks.

Well, the door’s cut out so we will have to see how it goes from here.