SV Erramus

and our various adventures

01 January 2010
25 November 2009 | Vancouver BC
29 September 2009
06 July 2009
28 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
22 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen
21 June 2009 | Khutzeymateen Inlet
20 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
20 June 2009
19 June 2009 | Prince Rupert
16 June 2009 | Laredo Inlet
14 June 2009
14 June 2009 | Princess Royal Island
14 June 2009 | Emily Carr Cove, Princess Royal Island
12 June 2009
12 June 2009 | Alston Cove, Princess Royal Island
06 June 2009 | Shearwater
04 June 2009 | Fitzhugh Sound

Cosmo Vitral Jardin Botanico

22 May 2008 | Toluca
Built as a public market in 1909 and designed by the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower, this 3500-sq ft building is now a botanical garden with an amazing number of gorgeous stained glass windows by local artist Leopoldo Flores. Yet another unexpected treasure in Toluca!

Exploding efigies

22 May 2008 | Toluca
We left Taxco on Good Friday, travelling by bus to Mexico City. We had left our bags at the Hotel Isabel and planned to stay the night there before travelling to Toluca to catch our cheap flight to Zihuatanejo on the coast the next day. Knowing it was Semana Santa (Easter Week), one of the biggest holidays of the year, we had cleverly made and paid for a reservation on this day weeks ahead of time. Imagine our shock/dismay/suprise/dumfoundedness/etc. when we arrived at the hotel and were told there was no room.

So we exchanged our mountain clothes for beach clothes, restashed our suitcases, and, quietly mumbling and grumbling, headed for Toluca, about an hour west of Mexico City by bus, travelling through some areas of the city we hadn't seen before and a beautiful national park. Luckily, in Toluca they did have a room, for which we were very grateful.

We had heard Toluca was a sprawling industrial town, but were pleasantly suprised by the centro and the attractions close by. The unexpected two days in Toluca were plesant and interesting: we will return some day with more time.

When we arrived in Toluca it was nighttime and after locating our hotel we went on a search for something to eat. Since it was Good Friday, a large area in the centre of town was closed off for a very long procession winding its way through the streets. Every group imaginable was represented, all wearing different coloured robes, many of them hooded like the KKK. And nothing was open. We finally found a KFC so very bizarrly nibbled on KFC while this ancient procession went by outside. However, even though we were VERY hungry, only managed a few bites of our meal. KFC is KFC, even in Mexico, yukky.

The next day, Saturday, we wandered around the centro and came across a celebration with hundreds and hundreds of people watching the exploding of efegies. There were probably three dozen very large paper maiche figures loaded with fireworks waiting in line around the square. They'd hoist one or two up in the air and then the explosions would start, slowly at first, building to a big bang when whatever was left of the figure would be blown to smithereens, at which point all of us in the crowd would clap and laugh. Us, too. It was quite a party.

This figure was of the devil. Another one was a man in a suit and tie holding a bag of money in one hand and a gun in the other. Our Spanish wasn't good enough to figure you exactly what they represented, but we had some reasonable guesses. There is something inexplicably delightful about watching the head of the rich corporate thief blown apart before your eyes. So we ate ice cream and bought balloons and got right into it.

Ahhh ....

23 March 2008 | Zihuatanejo
We caught a cheap Interjet flight to Zihuataenjo early one morning from the brand new and impressive Toluca airport, and spent our last two weeks lolling about on the beach, practising our Spanish when we could, and soaking up the sun.

This photo is the vew from our porch at our bungalow overlooking Playa Madera. You can just see the swimming pool. We spent a lot of time hanging out in that pool, which was tiny but wonderful. Sadly the beaches in Zihua are not the cleanest, so we appreciated the pool, because it was quite hot and humid.

Zihuat is just south of Ixtapa, the government-created resort town that is filled with huge mega hotels that block the view of the water. Luckily Zihua, like PV, is a former fishing village that still retains some of it's original flavour. It's loaded with tourists during the season (and this was during the season), so crowded, but still a nice place to go to take it easy.

We returned home to Vancouver via Mexico City on April 11, speaking a little more Spanish than we did when we left in January and already making plans for next year.


20 March 2008 | Taxco
One day, angels were everywhere, complete with feathers. It was magic. Every little kid in town was dressed up like this for some kind of blessing at the church.

Roman soldiers

19 March 2008 | Taxco
We cleverly (!?!) arrived in Taxco during Semana Santa (Easter Week), along with several thousand of our closest strangers. We won't do that again, but it was interesting. Every night there was a procession through the streets honouring a different saint. These Roman soldiers were taking a rest during the procession on the day before Good Friday.


18 March 2008 | Taxco
The building in the back became our favourite coffee bar. It's a few hundred years old and it was neat to sit on that balcony and watch the world go by imagining what it might have been like in the early days. The people in the coffee shop loaned us a book with archival photos of this building and the zocalo, which helped.

Taxco is famous for its silver and this area around the zocalo is loaded with shops selling jewellry, dishes, candlesticks and sculpture made of silver.

VWs rule!

18 March 2008 | Taxco
The steepness of the hills definitely rivals Guanajuato's. All of the taxis and collectivos are VW bugs and vans. Although the street look like they should be one-way, many of them are actually two-way. Combine the steepness with the lack of sidewalks and the narrowness of the streets and you get some pretty nervous tourists -- us!

Parroquia de Santa Prisa

18 March 2008 | Taxco
Taxco (pronounced Tas-co) is yet another beautiful old mining city nestled into the mountains. This church is absolutely exquisite with amazing stonework and a gluttony of gold gilt (guilt?) inside.


17 March 2008 | Veracruz
We enjoyed travelling by bus in Mexico, which is pretty much how we got around. The deluxe class buses are usually pretty clean, with very comfortable seats, washrooms, snacks and even movies. (Although if you travel a lot by bus, you tend to see the same movies over and over again... good for the Spanish practice!) It's a pretty inexpensive way to travel and you get to see a lot of the country.

We did a marathon from Veracruz to Taxco, leaving Veracruz at 7:30 in the morning, changing buses in Puebla and then again in Cuernevaca, arriving in Taxco about 9 hours later! We couldn't buy a through ticket, but we made great connections both times, getting off one bus, onto another, and on our way in less than 15 minutes!


16 March 2008 | Veracurz
Our hotel was just a couple of blocks from the malecon, the walk along the water. This is the view from our hotel the first night.

We hadn't planned to stop in Veracruz, but were convinced by Mike and Pam, who we met in Xalapa, that we should. We spent about four days there and found it really worth visiting -- definitely on our list of places to go back to. It's really lovely, if humid, oozing with history, with a different flavour than other parts of Mexico we've visited.

See that little island way out there ...?

16 March 2008 | Veracruz
... That's the place where Cortez first landed -- Isla Sacrificios -- in 1519. This beach stretches from the harbour downtown all the way out to Boca de Rio, a distance of several miles. It's very beautiful.

Colonial architecture

16 March 2008 | Veracruz
Most of the historical buildings are in the downtown area. This one is near the harbour, where a number of colonial buildings have been restored. At the southern end of town where the river meets the ocean, the community of Boca del Rio has seen a whole bunch of recent development with mega malls and big hotels, but the downtown area is the historical heart.
Vessel Name: Erramus
Vessel Make/Model: 1975 Valiant 40
Hailing Port: Vancouver BC
Crew: Ron & Meredith
We've been cruising the BC Coast and SE Alaska on Erramus since we bought her in 2001. Check out our book, "Along the Inside Passage", (Altitude, 2004). [...]

About Us

Who: Ron & Meredith
Port: Vancouver BC