When the neighbours moved in across the street they not only brought the noisy dogs, with them came this nasty, vicious chihuahua.

For a while, he was wandering around minding his own business. Then, he started to take an interest in us. He would wander onto the patio from time to time and me, being un-neighbourly would chase him off. I didn’t want him doing his business here.

One thing I noticed about this dog was that he has attitude, and I respect that. He would make a worthy adversary. If I try to chase him away he stands and growls at me. Not to be intimidated, I stand there and growl right back. We got the so-called silent whistles but it’s taking a bit of time for him to get it.

When Rubii was cleaning the place she put the garbage outside to be taken away. The dog saw this and started to close in. I immediately attacked: growling and blowing the whistle. It’s hard to growl with a whistle in your mouth, but I managed it. He gave me a vicious look and just stood there growling back. Finally, he wandered off and I sat back and relaxed.

But I had underestimated the cunning of this guy. He tried to sneak back at an angle so that I couldn’t see him. I once again confronted him and the growling and whistling continued. The neighbours must have been killing themselves laughing. A tiny dog and a full-grown male locked in mortal combat.

Then I brought in the heavy artillery: I ordered up a cup of water from Rosalie. I had to ask her to get it as I couldn’t take my eyes off of this guy for a second. He crept in closer and closer and I struck. He was pretty fast though and didn’t get too wet. He finally backed off and I thwarted him by taking the garbage away, putting it in the bin.

Later Rosalie and I went to the local cafe for a coffee. As we walked back all unsuspecting, we were confronted by a pissed-off chihuahua. I was a bit worried as I had no water with me and I had to protect Rosalie.

We stood facing each other. Me, looking down at him and him looking up at me as we circled each other. Rosalie managed to escape unscathed as I held him at bay. Finally, I too slipped away.

I don’t think I’ve heard the last of this guy: I’m sure he’s holding a grudge. We will have to be more cautious when we’re out and about.

He was almost as big as the spider I fought last week.

A Fishy Story

Christmas day we were invited to our neighbours Gerry and Elaine’s for dinner.

One of the guests, John and I were talking when his wife said: “Did you hear about John’s fish?” That’s all I needed was another fish story. However, this one was a bit different.

John and a few other guys were out on a charter boat run by Jerry, a Mexican. They were a long way out and taking 20-minute shifts on the rod.

When John’s turn came around he got a hit. They started to play it but lost it again. But then it hit a second time and the fight was on. It took them two and a half hours to get it to the boat. They had caught a huge Blue Marlin.

When they tried to get it into the boat it almost swamped them. Two guys had to sit in the bow to balance things out.

When they got to shore there was a crowd to meet them as they headed to the weigh station. The problem was that the scale wasn’t big enough for the fish. They got a bigger scale and tried to weigh the thing. It was 12 feet long and was weighed with the tail still in the boat. It topped out at 302 Kgs. or 665lbs. John told me that his arms hurt for the next couple of days.

Cleaning it was a breeze. The locals took over because they knew that they were about to get a steak or two. After the guys that caught it had got what they needed, the rest was distributed to the skipper and the locals.

The best part of the story is that they couldn’t wipe the smile off Jerry the skipper’s face. He got great advertising for the third largest fish caught out of Barra. Not only that, there was a pool by the local fishermen that went to whoever brought in the first fish over 150 kg. He won between 10,000 and 12,000 pesos ($690 – $830.)

Check this link. It’s in Spanish but the pictures tell the tale.

Feliz Navidad

We are slowly getting used to having Christmas in the heat. 22c in the morning and 26-28c during the day. The humidity has eased off so it’s a lot more comfortable now.

Last night after watching the sunset with Bill and Connie we went up to the square to see the parade. As these things are always late starting we arrived fifteen minutes late. Guess what! For once they started on time and we missed the whole thing.

Yesterday we went up to the square to see what was going on. On the way back we picked up a piñata for the local kids. We thought it would come with candies but discovered that it didn’t.

We met up with Bill and Connie and went to Albatros Restaurant for Christmas Eve. The food was great and the entertainment a little different.

The little kids in the picture were trying to copy the dancers. At one point the little lad went down on one knee and the girl jumped up and balanced on it to the roar of the crowd. Hilarious! The two dancers then did an energetic version of the Can-Can.

Later we walked up to town again but it seemed to be quieter this year. So we walked home and had a nightcap before turning in.

On Christmas morning we walked into town to get candies for the piñata. We bought quite a few because there was a huge cavity to fill. When we got home we found that we had a lot leftover. I’m sure we can take care of them though. I’ll let you know later what happens with the Piñata.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad to all our friends and family.

Dogs and Whistles

Last year we had the noisy rooster in the back of the duplex so we moved to the front bedroom. Great move, cooler in the hot season and quieter. In spite of the odd parade coming by at 5 am we like it better. Or we did.  

Some new Mexican neighbours moved in across the street and they brought two dogs with them. Unfortunately, the dogs are left alone a lot and tend to bark. I think they come from a quieter area of town because when the real noisy vendors come by with their messages blaring out through speakers most of the local dogs just yawn, roll over and go back to sleep. Not these two. One of them sounds like a sea lion with a severe smokers cough.

Our neighbour Gerry went across and gave them a severe talking to the other day and they were quiet for a while. He obviously didn’t impress them much as they soon started up again. Now we have to take drastic action. I thought of a shotgun but Rosalie vetoed that idea.

We read about someone getting a silent dog whistle and letting it rip when the barking starts. This trains the dogs, over time, to stop as they don’t like the sound and equate it to their barking. 

I can see it now; WOOF, PEEP “Ouch! What the f…k? That hurt my ears I better not do that again.” It makes a lot of sense. The problem is where do we get a silent whistle?

I knew that there is a Veterinaria in town so we walked up to see if they had whistles. Of course, we got there at 3:30, right in the middle of siesta time and the place was one that did close. We did a bit of shopping and had an ice cream and went back to wait. By 4:10 no-one had shown up so we decided to go home and order one on Amazon.

I got out the laptop and found just what we needed, three whistles for $13. Alas, they don’t deliver that type of merchandise down here. By this time I’m looking for someone or something to hit. Rosalie didn’t even flinch as she knows that she can take me easily. I need to learn more Spanish swear words  I will have to talk to Rosalie she seems to know a lot.

The next morning I went back to town on my trusty bike to see if the Veterinaria had one. They didn’t! Then on the way home, I realised that I could order one on Amazon. Mx. Which I did.

Later, we had to meet some friends for coffee and while we were sitting there I had a brainstorm. There may be an app for that, and there was. I tried three, and still don’t know if any of them worked. When I try them the dogs kind of look up but I’m not sure if it’s loud enough. Perhaps I should throw the phone to shut them up. Anyway, the new whistles will be here next week so I can throw them instead.

Follow up on a later blog.

It’s chilly!

5 am, kaboom! I usually go back to sleep but only dozed until the next round  of explosions at 6 am. I lay awake for a while and at about 6.45 decided to get up and go on the roof to watch the sun rise. Rosalie was up by this time so I grabbed a couple of chairs while she made tea and we went up to the roof.

When we got up this morning it was the coldest so far at 22 deg. On the roof it was quite chilly as there was a breeze blowing. I stood it for a while and then had to get a better shirt on and Rosalie grabbed her shawl. Perhaps we should have done this when the weather was hotter. At least then we could cool off.

Sunrise was expected at 6.57 but as this is Mexico it was late and we didn’t see it until about 7.15. It was quite beautiful though and worth the wait. It was bright red due to the pollution in the air but doesn’t look that way on the photo.

We sat and enjoyed the sunrise and surrounding country side and eventually had to go and get cleaned up as Rubii  was due to clean the house.

Rosalie has had a few minor issues so we went across to Barra to see Dra. Linda Rubio. Afterward, we walked along the Malecon before stopping for lunch in one of our favourite restaurants.

We had a great meal of Pescado de Veracrusana. Fish smothered in a fresh tomato sauce. Delicious! And of course we had to have a drink with it.

When we had finished and were seeing off the rest of our drinks, a young lad  of about 4 years old came up and started to talk to us in Spanish. I asked his name and he said something like Owen. However, ever time we tried to say it he shook his head.  I listened intently and finally pronounced it to his satisfaction as he pointed at me and nodded his head.

We thought that he wanted us to take his photo but it turned out that he wanted to take ours. He got hold of Rosalie’s phone and we posed. Dang, it was one of the best pictures we have of us.


He didn’t stop there though. Rosalie checked later and he had taken pictures of the floor, the table, Rosalie sideways on and even a few split second videos. He then professionally scrolled through to check that they were good enough.

That evening we had a dinner party with some friends from Spider lake Resort. We talked the night away and had a great old time.

We were supposed to go in the Christmas parade but Rosalie is having some side effects from the drugs she’s taking so we had to beg off. Perhaps next year.

As we went to bed last night I encountered a huge spider in the bedroom. The first one I’ve seen down here. Not wanting to kill it I rushed down to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic container to catch it in so I could throw it out side.

It was bigger than our wolf spiders in Canada and twice as fast. I had a terrible time trying to catch it. Eventualy, I damaged it enough that it didn’t have a leg to stand on and victory was mine. Rosalie proclaimed me as her hero and I accepted the hugs and kisses for being so brave.

Valerie has returned to Canada after five weeks and we hope to see her back next year.


Day trip

As we had the rental car a few weeks back, we had to use it to get our moneys worth. Rosalie suggested a trip to Tenacatita and then Punta Perula. Perula is about an hour and a half away so a nice day trip.

We left fairly early (for us) at about ten am. Just outside of town they are doing a major upgrade to the road so we had to struggle through some very bad road conditions while following a huge tanker truck. At one point the dust was so bad that I had to back off by about a hundred metres so that the back seat drivers could see. Parts of the road had been watered down so the car got quite muddy.

They have flag people on the road but it was still confusing. The first one we saw was a scarecrow made of sticks with a hi-vis vest and a flag. At one point on the way back we were on a single lane part of the road with traffic coming toward us. I didn’t see a flag person so I don’t know what happened. I managed to move over until all the vehicles had passed and then just carried on.

Tenacatita is a bit of a way off the main highway but has a beautiful beach. We were there a lot of years ago and it seems a lot better than when we were there last. I vetoed the trip to Perula so we settled in for a day at Tenacatita.

We found a restaurant by the beach and ordered some food and cerveza. Rosalie and I each had a fish dish which was delicious. Valerie had a hamburger and enjoyed that too. We knew the fish was really fresh as we watched the guys cleaning them on a bench in the corner.

After lunch we picked up our cerveza to go sit on the beach. Valerie and Rosalie went for a swim in the surf while I ordered another cerveza. I figured I needed a lot of booze to face the trip back through the road works.

While Rosalie was in the water she got turned upside down by a wave and lost the new very expensive sunglasses (140 pesos. About $9.50) that we had bought the day before.  She tries to play with the big kids but this time went out a little too far.

While there we got a call about Rosalie’s cell phone. They wanted the password to get in so that they could check if it worked. I wasn’t about to give it to them over the phone so said I would call in later.

We somehow returned safely to Melaque and all had a nap for an hour. Then I went to get Rosalie’s phone so that we could change the password before giving it back for the final repair.

When we got it back it worked just great. Now, two weeks later, it’s bust again. The guy thinks that Rosalie has been too hard on the thing. We will see. We want it to hold out until we get back to Canada, as we want to get her a new one from Koodo.


1st December 5 am. Boom…Boom! The festival of Guadalupe has begun.

Every morning now the explosions start at 5 am and then again at 6. We also hear a few during the day, as well as the odd parade comes by. This will continue through until 12th December We are pretty well used to it but we met some Canadians who were here for the first time and didn’t know what it was until we clued them in.

We are lucky because the parade comes past our house so I get to video it. The song they sing is always the same but I don’t know what it is.

Rosalie and I woke at 5 this morning and watched a small parade go by in the near dark. They play the same music as they walk and are always preceded by a statue of ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe.’

This guy walks behind the parade and is responsible for all the kabooms.

It’s still very humid down here but we are used to it. Valerie is finding it somewhat difficult as are a few other newbies I’ve met. We keep the floor fans going all the time so it’s not too bad.

I’m trying not to drink too much alcohol but it’s difficult when you have to take in lots of fluids. We have been drinking ‘Jamaica’ (Hamika). It’s made from hibiscus flowers and Rosalie cooks up a concentrate in her Instant pot. She does it just right, not too much sugar.We just add water and a whole bunch of ice, some lime and away we go. We can also get it in the local restaurants.

For some reason It seems to me that there are fewer Nordeños this year. I guess they heard that I’m here again. The vendors in the market seem a little more aggressive so maybe they’re having a hard time getting business. It usually picks up again in early January so we will see.

Bill and Connie dropped by the other day. They came to pick up Rosalie and went to pay for our Christmas Eve dinner. When they came back they invited us to go shopping in Manzanillo. We had a great day. We spent way too much but that’s how it goes when you try to stock up.

On the way to Manzanillo there are a number of small towns. Crossing the road in these towns are large concrete pedestrian walkways. They are rarely used as it’s a two lane road and the locals just wait for a break in the traffic and walk across. There are also large concrete bus shelters that seem a bit of an over-kill. Well that’s Mexico.

Mike got a new tattoo. I don’t like tattoos generally but I like this one. Notice the marching soldiers in the feather.

Our neighbours on the way to the festival. Mum Adriana, Camila and Ivan (pronounced ‘Eeban’)