Monday, November 25, 2019

Ladies Lunch at Poncho's on the beach. Friday Nov.22

Friday was an odd day for us as …to start with the maid was late.  Apparently 9am means 9:40 for her and now that it’s happened twice we’ll just roll with it.  We had decided to go out shopping while she was cleaning the house and I needed to be back at around 11:30 so I could head out on the bus for lunch with the ladies. Things didn’t quite work out that way as we got a late start and in the end Eric ended up driving me into the Golden Zone so I could make it. 

When I arrived late the party was in full swing.  Drinks and appies were on the table and the first thing I did was order beer! 

Lots of chat as we had a few people who had just arrived as well as ladies who sometimes join us for lunch.  The table was crowded but they squeezed me in.  After all….I do blog them every week!

Jeannette and Marilyn intently listening to Sandi.

The waiter is taking the orders for food. 

Everyone has a drink except me but….it showed up soon. 

See there’s my Pacifico light.

Food arriving already.  Marilyn has tortilla soup and I can see Jeannette has breaded shrimp.

Sandi has taco’s with a lot of guacamole.

A delicious looking shrimp caesar.

Susie’s avocado shrimp salad.  I usually order this but today I branched out.

I had shrimp meatball soup and it was pretty good. 

Another shrimp caesar.

Jeannette’s breaded shrimp.

Lillian and one of her friends ordered chicken fingers and fries which I find a bit odd when there is such a varied menu but…each to there own.

It quieted down a bit at this point as the ladies started to eat.  We’d already been given the free appies like marlin stuffed jalepenos and chips and salsa.  And….don’t forget the shots of a fruity tequilia. 

Ruth ordered a plate with a seafood mixture.  I’m sure some of that is octopus.  She always tries to pick something different which is kind of how I like to do it too.  Unless…it’s something I really love that I keep going back to.

See Joy….I have two Pacifico lite beers today.

Time to draw for next week’s lunch.  Everyone writes down  their choices of a restaurant and then…someone draws.

Today it’s Cathy. 

So…the meal is finished and they bring either kahlua and cream for dessert.  Plus…more shots of tequila which no one drank, well…almost no one!  And ….it got really loud again.  I think we drove some people out of the restaurant who were close to us.  Hard to have a quiet lunch in a concrete building with a bunch like ours.

More saluts…etc. etc.

Sandi and I having a laugh together.

By this time I’d had enough and left the group behind to head up to Michael’s to have a look.  This is a store that sells, jewellry, furniture, art, glass etc. etc.   This photo looks out the end of the restaurant onto the beach.  A lovely venue and a staff at Poncho’s that always keeps you happy.

I was walking back to catch the bus and I saw some of the ladies getting into a red truck on the other side of the busy road.  No problem…I yelled “ Alto” and the driver jumped out and stopped traffic so I could get into the truck.  Only in Mexico!

The tunes were blasting, the ladies were singing Macarena and everyone was happy.  Some of the die hards were still back at the restaurant but this group was ready to head home.  The photo of me is my attempt at a selfie.
It was a good lunch as it always is at Poncho’s,  everyone was happy and fed and next week we’ll do it all again.
When I got off the bus at Marina Gardens to head home Cathy and Marilyn got off too as they are in the condos right next door.  I asked if they wanted to come in and see the house and they did.  We haven’t had any company yet as we’ve been busy getting everything in order so they were happy to have a look see.  They both thought it was very nice.  I should also mention that it was Eric’s 73d birthday.  He said “ who needs another birthday” but the alternative isn’t that great.  He got KD for dinner which is his favorite.  Only thing missing was weiners but with no RV fridge I couldn’t bring any. 

All in all a good day.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ladies Lunch at Chayito's Wednesday Nov. 13th.

 Finally this blog is posted...from last Wednesday the 13th.  I don't have wired internet yet so it's a struggle to get this together.

Wednesday we were all off to Chayito’s for ladies lunch.  Located in the north end of the Golden Zone and noted for it’s fine breakfasts. When we were there two years ago the very personable waiter told me I couldn’t have dessert because I hadn’t finished my lunch! I did remind him of that today.

Now that’s a fine looking group!  We’d all met up at the RV park (Las Jaibas) at 11:30 to take the bus to lunch and since we’ve all known each other for a number of years we were really happy to be back together.  From the left Susie (BC) Helene (New Mexico but born in Canada) Marilyn (Alberta) Jeannette (BC) Sandi (Iowa) Cathy (BC) and our fearless leader Ruth from Wisconsin! The only one who has not been an RVer in Las Jaibas is Ruth. 

Jeannette who just pulled into Las Jaibas a couple of days ago was catching up with Marilyn who now winters in the condos just a stone’s throw from the park.  In the back Ruth and Helene. 

We were a bit early for lunch so the drinks arrived.  Two for one…yikes …I can’t drink both of those Pina Coladas!  Cathy, Sandi and Susie.

Lunch started to arrive and Helene is having a traditional tortilla soup.  All the fixings on the side and a big jug of broth to add as you wish.  This is where I got into trouble two years ago when I ordered what I thought would be a regular size bowl of soup and…a chimichanga.  Way, way too much food! Hence …the no dessert thing.

Ruth and Helene each had tortilla soup and then thought they’d share something else.  Again…way too much food.

Keep an eye on what you’re doing Ruth.

                                                          Jeannette’s breaded shrimp.

Sandi ordered coconut shrimp and the meal was so big she ended up taking most of it home.  By the way…these are not expensive meals. 

Susie had posole which is a meat stewy soup.  This one has a number of different things including tongue.  It was a half order and she took most of it home.

Cathy had a shrimp chimichanga which is a meal by itself.  I just love saying “ Chimichanga!”

                                                    Hmmm….more breaded shrimp.

Everyone had a great time chatting and catching up after our summer apart. 

My enchiladas suiza which were just stuffed with chicken.  I couldn’t finish them and didn’t manage the second Pina Colada either!

I think I look very tired and need some relax time on the beach.  That’s coming soon! 

Another good lunch with friends!

Friday, November 15, 2019

So…let’s recap…no post since we left Navojoa and now we’ve been in Mazatlan for 8 days!

First off the trip from Navojoa to Mazatlan was as we expected, the roads in Sinaloa are crap and you get charged large tolls for driving on them.  At least we weren’t towing the RV and bashing it to death. 
We arrived in Mazatlan around 2pm on Thursday Nov. 7th.  Doug (the brother in law of the woman we bought the house from) was here to help along with Rueben the park worker.  First part of the story was that there had been a rat in the house.  Not all winter but long enough to make a big mess.  Rueben and the maid had done their best to clean the place up (which we paid them for) but of course there was still lots to deal with.  First off..the pump in the front patio was put back in  and then the pump on the roof along with the on demand hot water heater that is attached to the back of the house were both reinstalled.  They are taken out and put in the house for the summer because of all the rain and high humidity.    That night …I found enough sheets to make up our bed and then we went out for dinner just a 1/2 block away.  Next morning…the coffee shop 1/2 block away and then we started assessing what needed to be done.  Long story short…all the bedding and towels etc. needed to be washed as they’d been “ rattified!”  Nice big washer and dryer in the house so that sure helped.  I’ve done at least 20 loads over the week!
The past week was spent scrubbing out cupboards and shelves so we could store our stuff and then …a big wind storm covered the back patio in a ton of fine red dust from the construction sight next door.  Yesterday Eric spent the day sweeping the back patio.  What a mess!  He has also been doing maintenance that only a home owner would do.  The house has been lightly rented and is in good shape but there is lots of maintenance to catch up on. 
Today was a good day.  I met our maid.  She has been cleaning the house on a regular basis and after a short chat (she has some English) we left her to it and went off to shop for things for the house such as a ladder to get on the roof from the top patio, gas shocks for the kitchen cupboards etc. etc.  I’d told her to just ignore the back patio till next week and just do what she usually does.
When we returned at 12:45 after leaving at 9:30 am she was just finishing up.  She’d cleaned the whole house (two floors) and mopped the whole back patio as well as everything out there including the outdoor table and chairs which were all covered in dust.  I’ve never had a maid before and Eric and I were just amazed at what she’d accomplished in the short time she was here.  I’d given her all the accumulated toiletries left in the house as well as some kitchen stuff that I didn’t want.  The cost for cleaning was 300 pesos and I gave her another 50 pesos which she didn’t want to take.  She will come every Friday and I am just so greatful to have her.  I know this is good money for her in Mexico but for me it’s pretty darn cheap.  About $21.00 Canadian for 3 hours work. 
It’s been a busy week and although Eric has been out on his bicycle neither of us has been to the beach.  We’ve been shopping twice and I’ve been out for lunch with the ladies.
I also forgot to say we brought a full size portable dishwasher with us that we can’t hook up to the tap in the kitchen as the tap is too shallow and the connection pops off.  Bummer!  Eric researched the net to find parts that will hopefully make it work and they are being shipped to his brother Ian in Kelowna.  Ian and wife Linda will be coming to Mazatlan for December and January so they’ll bring the parts with them.  Till then….Eric is back doing dishes!
We still don’t have internet or TV but…that will come. 
It’s been a whirlwind of a week.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Day One in the house was an interesting one!

I really should do a blog post with pictures detailing yesterday’s travels, our arrival at the house etc. etc.  However…I’m now on cell data till I get our Wifi hooked up and since that’s not happening for a few more days and I'm just too tired this is the best I can do.   
So….night before last we stayed at the Fiesta hotel in Navojoa. Dinner was at the Best Western just down the street and it was good.  I had a Mediterranian salad and Eric had Tres Marias enchiladas.  Early to bed and on the road the next morning by 7:30 am after another continental breakfast and this one was less than mediocre.   Yesterday's travel was on Sinaloa roads and they aren’t like the new concrete Sornora ones.  Some areas were repaved but a lot were rough and ...lots of expensive tolls.    However…we weren’t pulling the RV so it was a lot easier on us because the fifth wheel wasn't bashing around behind us.  I might also add that in the two days travel from the Mexican border we did not see even one RV.  No motorhomes, no trailers or 5th wheels.  Odd.
We arrived in Maztalan and to our new house by 2pm yesterday afternoon.  Made good time and only stopped for fuel once and ate our sandwiches as we drove.  Eric wanted to get in early as we had to get the water started in the house and Doug, the previous owner’s brother in law and park worker Rueben were ready to help us..  Doug and Rueben have been maintaining the house since it was built so they have their method of doing things and that's fine with us. In the end that wasn’t the biggest issue.  Turns out we’d had a rat in the house which has never been an issue anywhere in the complex before.  It came up the drain pipe in the laundry room and chewed it’s way out. Now it was free to run rampant in the house.  It wasn’t in the house all winter and was discovered recently by the maid. Rueben set traps and bait and tried to hunt it down.  In the end it tried to get back down the drain and got stuck and died.  Hope it was the only one in the house! While it was inside it was everywhere.  Into, over and under everything which means everything has to be washed.  Even chewed up the toilet seat trying to get water.  Rueben and the maid had cleaned after it was dead but you know how it is when you come into a place that hasn’t been your own.  You have to clean everything…which I would have done anyway...even without a rat!  Very hot and humid right now so the A/C is running full tilt.  Las night dinner was at Latino’s just a bit up the street.  Excellent food.  Mexican salad with seared tuna for me and ceviche with yam chips for Eric. 
Today I spent about 6 hours scrubbing out cupbords while Eric  swept, unloaded the truck and put things together.  Hot and sweaty work even with the A/ C on.  By 4pm we’d unloaded the canopy and the Jeep washed what we could and were done for the day.  A few beer and back to Latino’s for dinner which was a truly good culinary experience.  Poblano fettucine for me and a tuna appetizer for Eric.  Delicious.  This morning we went to El Seis for coffee and huebos rancheros. 
Tomorow …groceries and water.  The portable dishwasher has been unloaded and set up so hopefully it will be in operation tomorrow.  All the bedding and towels have to be washed as well. 
Not the best welcome but…we’re happy to be here and hope there isn’t more than one rat.

Luckily I'm not squeamish about rats as I've been exposed to all sorts of vermin over the years.  This summer I had a packrat in my garden shed.  When I went in one day I heard it thumping...which tells you that it's a pack rat.  I found it in a big garden pot and managed to dump it into a small cage.  Eric was out on the motorcycle or he would have disposed of it.  I on the other hand drove it over the bridge next to us and relocated it to Kleanza Creek Park.  Not because I'm a wildlife freak but....because I was to wimpy to kill it!  Once it was over the couldn't get back. 

Eric did also mention that since no rats have ever been a problem in the complex and that now they are it's likely got something to do with all the brush removal for new development and loss of....Rat habitat! 

Tomorrow is a new day!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

In Mazatlan

All is well made it to the house
 Lots to do to get set up. More tomorrow. Very hot and humid.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Nogales Az. to Navojoa, Sonora

This is a long blog with lots of pictures.  First off I've been asked if we think it's worth it to do our paper work in San Luis before we cross the border.  Yes it's easy there (except for our tow bill!) and saves us time at the border.  We didn't go in through Lukeville because they usually check our load and we have lots of new stuff such as a dishwasher under our canopy and didn't want to pay duty if we could help it.   At Nogales they rarely check so better safe than sorry.  If we'd gone through Lukeville we couldn't have made it all the way to Navojoa in one day.  Just all our preference. 

Last night Eric was really tired and still fighting his cold.  Slept before dinner while I did the blog.  Then we had dinner in the bar, chicken caeser salad for me and carnitas for Eric.  Again under $20.  I watched a movie on Netflix and Eric went to bed.  

Up early this morning at six am.  We had free continental breakfast in the restaurant and it was the best one we've had on the road.  Actual scrambled eggs, tater tots, beans, fruit salad, buns, sausages etc. etc.  We ate light and packed up and were on the road by 7:30 am.  I did tell the young woman on the desk about the horrible smoke smell but did say that the room was very nice and the breakfast the best we'd seen so far.  

 Heading out.  Crossed over on Western Ave. to head south on Hwy 19 to the border.
 Cloudy this morning and threatening rain.  Heading up to the border crossing.
 We were questioned by a young Mexican border guard.  He asked to see the registration for the truck and the Jeep.  Eric pointed out that we had our stickers so would have already produced registration.  Then he wanted the banjercito papers.  Eric got out and he looked at the Jeep papers and we were on our way.  I guess he had to ask us something but he didn't ask to look in the canopy. 
 A bit of rain and we're on our way.
 Nice concrete highway.
 Always a large tope in every small town.
 Pretty quiet at this point.
 And....some construction.  Not all the road is done close to Nogales.
 One lane here.
 You can see how steep it is and how much fill it will take.  It will be a while till all of this is done.
 Slowing down in Ligurta for a big tope that seems to be there for people to sell food.

 Farther ahead and they are sweeping the highway.  At least it's new highway and not one filled with potholes.
 The saguaros are just beautiful.  Must have been lots of rain here this year.
 Look at those beautiful green fields.  Sun, good soil and water.

 Edgar and Anna's RV park is still open and being run by their family.  They were both lovely people and it's nice to see that the park is still open. 
 North bound military check point by Benjamin Hill.  Huge line of trucks today.
 I wonder how many thousands of acres of grapes are grown here.
 Okay now for the important part "the new Hermosillo bypass."  Here we are leaving the highway to the right and the signs are good. 
 Turning right.
 Get in the left lane as the next sign will tell you to make a retourno to Guaymas.  Not much traffic and easy to do.
 See the sign...make an easy retourno.
 Now...stay left and head for Guaymas.  To the right and you're into Hermosillo.
You make a big loop that takes you into the northbound lane where you will turn right onto the bypass. 
 A big loop around just follow the signs. 
 Right turn off the northbound lane and you're on.  Up ahead you can see where they are building an overpass.  I would guess that by next year we will go over that and not do all the silly stuff we are doing right now.  All very easy if you just pay attention.  Google maps shows it all in detail if you have a phone with data on it. 
 Away we go.  Two lanes and a bit rough but who's complaining!
 Beats the hell out of downtown Hermosillo and all the pounding the RV's take going through the old way.
 There are many overpasses in partial completion.  Eric noted that the fill on the sides is already washing away.
 Toll booth. We paid for two autos.  Some of the toll booths north of this are by donation only right now as the Mexican people protest the tolls.  We gave a donation when asked.
 End of the bypass stay left or you'll go back into Hermosillo.  The whole road is a long way out but you can do 100 K so it's quick and pain free.  Except for the toll of course!
 Back onto 15D south. 
 The Army was out and about.
 Here they are weed wacking their new highway.
 Here is our fuel bill.  3/4 of a tank and a full tank used to cost $900 pesos.  More than we pay at home now.
 We fueled up here just after Guaymas on a part of the highway we've never travelled as we always took the RV into Guaymas and went through town.  Ate lunch here too.  The stations are privatized now so I guess they can charge what they want.
 Federalie check here.
 One of the many Yaqui stops today.  They block the highway and ask for donations to help with their fight for their water.  Not sure if the donations help as one collector was very drunk!
 See that beautiful soil.  Nothing was cultivated here last year but...if agribusiness gets water they will grow crops. 
 Still nasty two lane pavement through Vicam.

 Lots for sale here.
 Who buys that stuff?
 Yummy oranges.
 One of the new buses.  We usually see old beat up ones but today we saw lots like this.
 Now for Obregon.  This is an easy one but expensive.  You leave to the right, go over the overpass and you're on.
 This Yaqui stop before Obregon was nasty.  We thought it was a wreck on the highway but they had turned a truck sideways to block the highway.  Some of the trucks got quite aggressive about it and it got a bit dangerous at one point.  The Yaquis were collecting again and trying to direct the traffic through but it was a huge mess.
 Stopped in the northbound lane as well.
 You can see the truck behind us blocking traffic.
 Well marked sign to skirt around Obregon and continue on to Navojoa.  Next year I bet Hermosillo will be this easy too!
 Turn right.
 And then pay a hefty toll.
 We paid 332 pesos for two autos.  Oh well it's better than downtown Obregon.
 Lovely and quiet on the bypass.  You can see the dotted lines on the side.  If the traffic moves to the side there is room to pass in the center.  They do this from Caborca to Lukeville as well.  Works well if the drivers move over.
 Stay left or you'll end up back in Obregon.  Getting back onto 15D here is bad as they have a stop sign instead of a merge lane.  Dangerous.
 Another one of the new stations.
Here we are coming into Navojoa and our motel.  That old bus is blowing horrible black smoke.  We found the Fiesta Hotel and pulled into their parking lot but Eric couldn't turn around.  He had to unhook but he says our hitch is so easy it really doesn't matter.  750 pesos for the night which is cheap and there is free continental breakfast here too.  We left Nogales at 7:30 am and got here at 3pm.  Did 105 to 110 kph today because the roads were so good.  The best we've seen since we started in 2009.  The Yaqui stops slowed us down a little but we still got in early.  A good day and tomorrow on to Mazatlan.

I must post this now and go drink some beer!