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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday on Playa Matanchen

Sunday a.m.

For the first time since we’ve been here it is foggy out this a.m. But the sun is trying to peek through. The families are starting to show up to spend the day in the sand and surf. Don’t know what we’ll end up doing today.
We watched an old movie last night – Written in the Wind – with Rock Hudson and Robert Stack – they sure did over act in those older movies. I discovered another author I like Kyle Mills – we picked up a couple of his books in Mazatlan and I downloaded another one. He has a continuing character an FBI agent always in trouble.

Sunday later – the sun has come out

I’m hoping some of the clouds will hang around and make for a pretty sunset. So far they have been kind of blah – Just a big orange ball sinking into the water. Although last night I did see the “green flash” until then I’d thought it was just a myth.

And the beach is crowded – well for here anyway. Can smell all kinds of bbq cooking and hear all kinds of music playing. Lots of vendors going up and down both walking and in vehicles. Sell all kinds of stuff – one truck just went by selling pork tamales. A kid walked by with a tray of brightly colored coconut candy and another with bread.
Some people are under the palapas others have brought umbrellas or screen tents or just blue tarps.

I’ve been doing some beading – made this necklace but haven’t finished it yet – still have to finish the clasp for it. (I don’t like the one I made it is too big – will have to do it over I guess.)

No sign of the mechanic today – so Jennie sits here with one set of wheels off.
Waiting for new brakes

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A couple of quiet days on the Playa Matanchen

Saturday p.m.

Friday was a quiet day. Didn’t do much of anything except go into town for breakfast at where else – The Social Club. Again Phil, the chef, didn’t disappoint – Denver omelet to die for with freshly grated hash browns and toast.
Phil fixing omelet
The bicycle is a very well used mode of transportation all over Mexico – just a few sights from today.
Carrying this blanket on his head. He wasn’t hanging on to it when he was moving.
Awkard load
Child seat? Seat belts? Helmets? Child transportation

We took a short drive on the road towards Puerto Vallerta just to check it out. Have pretty much decided to just go to Guadalajara instead of going south along the beach. Lots of pretty scenery along there – Papaya orchards, mango and banana fields. Pink morning glories everywhere.
This morning George came over and visited for a while and his mechanic happened to show up at the campground while he was here. Introduced Bill to him. Bill asked about getting the back brakes on Jennie done as they were starting to wear. No problem – he could do it here at the RV park. We also need gas before we can go very far. Both gas stations in this area require drives through towns over rough roads. Again No problem.
He left for awhile and returned with a large container of gasoline and prepared to take off one of the back wheels so he would know exactly what he needed to do the job.
George, Bill and I left to go into town for lunch – hamburgers and fries – delicious.
When we returned the wheel was off, Jennie jacked up and the mechanic gone. He’ll come back when he has the parts.
I came in to go on line and NO INTERNET connection!!!! AGGGHHHH! Bill mentioned that I might want to put the dish down and back up again as Jennie was in a different position than she had been in. We are jacked up in the back left so tilted a little. So down it went – up it came – bopped around for awhile and then picked up the signal. Whew. It was here in Aticama where it quit working last year….. It’s amazing that just a fraction of a bit could make it lose its signal. So all is well
Got my NASCAR fix last nite – Kyle won the truck race – Go Kyle – and got the pole for the Nationwide race and so far he’s led 76 of the 77 laps. Now if he would just do as good in the Cup series
Because of the brake job we’ve decided to stay here another week – we'll be here until a week from tomorrow. Maybe I should take another Ultra Lite ride......

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old San Blas - Fort and Church

Friday a.m.
Just wanted to post a picture of our guest for lunch Wednesday. Hopefully George enjoyed his Italian meal.

And a pic of the palapa finished – it should be good for another couple of years.
Just about finished

Thursday we had to go into San Blas to go to the panaderia to get some fresh bread and while there we stopped at the Social Club again for breakfast/lunch. I had bacon, hash browns, eggs and toast – The Driver had a cheeseburger and fries
After eating we figured we’d try to find the way up to the ruins of the old fort and church. Well it wasn’t too hard as there were signs pointing the way – once we saw them. Up a steep cobblestone hill and we were on the grounds. Ten Pesos admittance per person.The view of San Blas from up there was spectacular.
Click to make bigger
The fort’s ruins had to be rebuilt after Keena a category 5 hurricane hit the area in 2002. A view of the rebuilt exterior

Outside in the back – the cannon is not real – made of concrete but gives the idea of what they were using to sink the attacking galleons out at sea.

The interior

Part of the original stone work can still be seen, especially in the corners.

Looking down towards San Blas – lots of palm trees.

This is all that is left of one of the real cannons

In December of 1529 a contingent of 267 Spanish soldiers invaded this area. At that time there were about 60 homes here with about 200 Indians living in them. The Spanish took over and eventually built the fort and settlement. This area was one of the major sea ports at that time. And because of the wood available in the area it was a ship building port also.
In 1768 the Spanish established a naval station here – it is still in operation. From there they sent expeditions as far north as Washington state.
Fray Juinpero Serra left from here in 1768 to establish the California Missions. So it was quite an important little town. Now it has about 20,000 residents in the area. The tropical foliage, estuaries and lagoons are popular with the tourists – us included.

From the fort we went down the hill a little to look at the church. It has not been restored. It was built in 1781 Looking up at the top of the front of the church – trees growing out of it.

Bell Tower

A carving of a man that is up near the top.

Looking in towards the altar. The ceiling is gone but the arch supports remain.

Another look at a couple of the arches.

A niche with lots of stone carving on it.

Looking towards the front of the church from the altar wall

Just one of the old pillars with some decoration carved in it.

These ruins were across the street from the church – Might have been a house?

A pretty flowering tree that we saw as we were headed back towards the highway.

Almost to the RV park we noticed a sign about a Crocodile Farm – of course I had to go.
Up into the hills by way of a dusty rocky road. Finally found it. 20 Pesos to get in. The Driver gave the lady 50 Pesos and she handed me the change which I just put in my pocket. Later I would discover I only got 20 Pesos change Humm 50 – 20 = 20 – new math.
We got to park right at the door to the farm cause we are old folks. Everyone else had to walk down and up a lots of stairs. It has its advantages.
He was just sleeping in the sun

A closer look at another guy/girl

And a real close look.

Wouldn’t want to meet those teeth when he was hungry. Speaking of hungry – they eat two pounds of fish once a week and one chicken a month. The handler told us they have a very slow digestive system. So maybe if you meet one in the wilds he won’t be hungry. Nice to know.
Then back to the RV to watch the activity on the beach. Fixed steak and potatoes for dinner. Was good.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday - visiting with a Friend

Thursday a.m.

After Tuesday, Wednesday was an uneventful day (action wise). Stayed at the RV all day. It was pretty cool in the morning – the coolest it’s been since we’ve been here. Last night and this morning are warm again. Other than that the weather since we’ve been here in Playa Matanchen has been near perfect.
I worked on catching up the blogs – especially the Ultra Lite one and around noon George came over for a nice visit. The Driver fixed us a delicious Italian lunch. Fresh bolillos (buns) with chimichurri dipping sauce. Italian red sauce with meatballs and gnocchi and salad. He even did the dishes. What more could we ask for – beautiful weather, good food and great company.
Two Class B RVs pulled in for overnight so now the park is almost full – only one full hook up space is empty (there is another RV in one of the no hook up spaces) – of the six RVs here all but us are Canadian .
Today will probably be another relaxing. Have to go into San Blas to the bakery – other than that…….Maybe I can talk The Driver into finding the old fort that is somewhere up on a hill there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flight in an Ultra Lite - Another one off the "bucket list"

Still Wednesday afternoon -
Tuesday flight in an ultra lite.
About 5:00 the wind had let up enough to take up the Ultra Lite. The pilot Chip told me to dress warm – so I put on long pants, long sleeved shirt and my fleece vest. And headed over to the “plane” Chip was doing his pre-flight.
Pre flight check
The “plane” - that's going to take both of us up in the air and keep us up there?
I"m going to get in that and do what!?
Me all dressed up and waiting to go.
First Chip put the thick earmuffs on me and then a helmet with a clear visor. The earmuffs had a speaker and mike attached so we could communicate while in the air.
Got my hat and pants on - Ready to go.
Getting strapped in. A seat belt and a place to put my feet. Chips seat belt also came across my chest. So I figured I wouldn’t drop off anyway. Seemed kind of strange not to have any “walls” around me though. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. Too late.
Off we headed.
Bye Bye
 Taxing down the sandy runway - other wise know as the beach
Had to stop at the end so Chip could remove some poles that might obstruct our landing. Oh good – wouldn’t want anything to obstruct the landing.
A quick shot of the instrument panel.

Not much there.
He got back in and told me to put the visor on my helmet down we were going to take off!!!!!!
Bill took this as we took off – WOW all of a sudden we were headed UP UP…..

After I let go of the seat belt strap I started to take pictures – God I hoped I didn’t drop my camera. But Chip made me put the strap around my neck before we took off. We headed north towards San Blas – some of the country side with the houses

A lot of the pictures you will see Chip’s hands and or elbows in.
Still going north but the wind had really picked up so he turned us around and headed south.
Going over little town of Aticama - starting to really enjoy this now.  The wind was wanting to push my head back so I kind of hand to hold the helmet down with one hand and take pictures with the other.
Lots of palm trees and vegetation.
Mango orchards
Just a shot of the waves and trees
blue blue ocean
Can see a long way now
Looking south towards Puerta Vallerta
Looking out towards the ocean and setting sun.

Unfortunately the wind was picking up even more and it was starting to get a lot colder so we turned around and headed back. Going over Aticama again

Coming in for the landing – had to go around as there were people in the way this time.

Here is our landing. I was holding on to the camera for dear life. Flight was over way to quickly.

A picture of my intrepid pilot Chip

Thank You Chip
This was kind of like my ride in the race car - over way to quick. I wouldn' hestate to do it again - for a longer time.