06/18/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
translation; The beach
One big benefit of Paradise Village Marina is that it is very well protected from summer storms that frequent this coast. I am tucked pretty far up the estuary and between me and the ocean are first a row of high-rise hotels, then a road, and then another row of mid-rise condos, a high-rise medical center and a mall. all these obstructions are great protection from storms and/or....God forbid hurricanes. The bad news is that they also keep any kind of normal cooling breeze away. Another BIG benefit to Paradise Village Marina is that I am able to use ALL of the resorts amenities, including their beach (pic). So, it can be sweltering in the estuary on Si Bon, and I can take a quick 5-10 minute walk and be laying under a palapa, with a beautiful ocean breeze keeping me comfortable. The other day i went body surfing and was shocked at how warm the ocean was...I think it was the warmest I've ever felt the ocean....including Hawaii.
Think I'll finish up some paperwork, do a little studying, and hit the waves....adios.
este es mi maestro
06/15/2012, Spanish school Vallarta
Translation; this is my teacher.
Today I finished level 1 of my spanish class. Unlike the rest of the spanish lessons I've taken, this one really teaches you the spanish language. The rest of the courses I've tried really just have you memorize a bunch of different phrases so you are able to ask for a beer or to go to the bathroom. Yes, I had to dust off my thinking cap and try to remember the difference between a noun, a verb, a pronoun, an object pronoun and a bunch of other terms that left me thinking I should have paid more attention in 8th grade english class. I feel that the Warren Hardy learning method really starts with building a solid foundation in order to be able to actually learn the language....I already knew how to order a beer (big surprise there). My teacher, Melchor Cortes, is a fantastic instructor, he is knowledgeable, easy going and extremely patient. Melchor made the three week course easy to understand and I always felt that I was making good progress in my bid to speak spanish. It's been a VERY busy 3 weeks, between the class and the homework I've had very little spare time. So, where do I go from here? Well today I signed up and paid for level 2, so I have the weekend off and start level 2 on Tuesday. The truth be told, I'm not really taking the weekend off, I have plenty of reviewing from level 1 and a little previewing for level 2 to keep me busy over the weekend.
Riding Mexican Buses
06/11/2012, Any city in Mexico
One of the biggest adjustments I've had to make with this lifestyle has to do with the fact that I don't own a car, and I haven't even driven a car since early November. So how do I get around? Well, I take the local city buses, which are called "La camion". These are not to be confused with an autobus, which travels from city to city....a fact that I only found out last week in my spanish class. I guess that's why people looked at us funny when we would ask a question about "the autobus" while we were standing at the stop for "la camion". Many tourists are afraid to take la camion, I myself never really rode one until Sharon and I started riding them in September. I now laugh at myself for walking everywhere in San Carlos last summer, while la camion would pass me by....I guess I was afraid. I must admit that this (pic) can be a daunting sight, but it really isn't that hard to figure out. Unlike the US, there are no printed schedules, the buses have where their destinations are across the top, and then they write on their windshields their major stops....no confusing page after page of times and places...very simple. When we tell tourists that we meet that we take the bus they become very intrigued, they usually quickly admit that they haven't had the nerve to take one, but that they want to. They then start firing questions, "are there chickens and goats?", "how do you get to walmart?", "how do you know how much it costs?", "how do you know which one to get on?".
Well, it's really quite simple, as I said they write where they're going on their windshields, and if in doubt, you can ask the driver, turns out Walmart is the same in English as it is in Spanish. If it's not the correct bus the driver will shake his index finger at you in the international no sign (not to be confused with the international middle finger sign). The cost is usually somewhere between 6 pesos and 13 pesos (.50-1.00 USD), and again if in doubt hand the driver 10-20 pesos and he'll give you back the correct change with your ticket.
La camion is a cheap and wonderful cultural experience, for the most part the buses that service the tourist areas are nice, although some of the ones that service the out laying areas can be a little rough and get a little crowded, but that's part of the fun. If you're getting ready to go cruising get ready for la camion, it's how you'll get around on land. If you're planning on taking a Mexican vacation I highly recommend a trip or two on la camion while here....it will probably be the cheapest highlight of your trip.
Oh, and I've never seen any animals on la camion, including chickens or goats.
06/07/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water....
From about San Blas south Crocodiles are prevalent. There are signs around warning people about them, and you occasionally see one in one of the numerous rivers, or laying on a golf course. We have known that just up the estuary there are crocs, we saw several on a short dinghy excursion one day. We really hadn't seen any as far down as Si Bon....till two nights ago when this bad boy swam by (pic). This picture was taken from Si Bon's stern....and the croc was about 6-8 long. I just saw another in about the same area this morning. Si Bon is scheduled to have her bottom cleaned today....The local divers never seem to very concerned about them, but we'll see.
Hasta Luego Mi Amor
06/05/2012, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta mexico
Just got back from taking Sharon to the airport. Sharon's going home to Vermont for the summer, she should be back sometime in the fall. It's definitely going to be different here without her. Since leaving San Carlos in October we have traveled somewhere around 1200 Nautical Miles, at least half of it under sail. We've been a lot of places and met a lot of people. We've both made a lot of adjustments. If you think it's challenging getting use to a new relationship....try living together in an area less than half the size of a small studio apartment. But for the most part we've made it work and have had an amazing time along the way.
So, what am I going to do now that I'm here by my lonesome? Well top on my list is to learn Spanish. I am well on my way and will be concentrating on becoming Fluent...or as close as I can anyway. I will also start woking on numerous little boat jobs, cruising takes a toll on boats. I will hopefully be back in the US of A in the late summer for a visit. Oh and of course I will be blogging on living the life of a resort cruiser.
Hasta luego Mi Amor...I'll see ya in the Fall.....or sooner.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle cruise
06/03/2012, La Cruz
Last week we decided to Sail over to La Cruz for the weekend. We hadn't been sailing since arriving back to Banderas Bay in late April and being Sharon's last weekend, it sounded like the perfect trip. We were able to get our sails up right out of the marina breakwaters and had about 15 knot winds all the way...sweet.
One of our favorite places in Mexico is the Huanacaxtle Cafe ( pronounced; wanna cast lay). The Huanacaxtle Cafe is a family owned and family (pic) run restaurant/bar. The Huanacaxle Cafe always has great happy hours, delicious food and fun entertainment, and in fact I actually sang Karaoke last night (hope they still let me in the place). We always look forward to seeing Alex, Oliver, Abril and all of their family's smiling faces whenever we visit La Cruz.
We'll be sailing back home later this afternoon and hope that the wind is as favorable today....then I have to hit the books as there is homework to be done!