Published: March 4th 2010March 3rd 2010
Hi all, I know it´s been a while, but we´ve been on the move. We left Jocotopec about a week ago and headed to the coast by bus. Let me tell you ... it´s been quite a challenge to arrange bus trips without knowing Spanish. Tried calling the bus line - no English spoken...so we winged it and finally ended up in Manzanillo for a couple of nights. The bus´s (we used Primera Plus bus line) are really comfy and luxurious...and air conditioned. We also get a free drink and lunch with out bus ticket! On the first bus trip I ate half my sandwich (white bread, a slice of processed cheese and a skinny piece of ham)....because I was so hungry....the next trip, I made sure I wasn´t too hungry ! Jim got a sandwich - I got 2 plastic wrapped things that looked like weiners....they went to Jim ´cause he´ll eat anything! One was a weiner, the other was like mushy spam inside a weiner casing....PASS !
When we got on the final bus in Guad to take us to Manzanillo, prior to getting on everyone was searched....including a cursory search of our bags. Some people were even patted down. Once we were all settled on the bus, the driver took out a video camera and went down the aisles making sure everyones face was on video ! I guess they have to be careful going from inland to the coast.
We stayed in an old hotel right on the beach that looks like something out of ´Gone With the Wind´. The best part was that it was only about $26 Canadian a night for both of us! The worst part was that it was quite a walk to any stores or services. Also it was really hard to sleep as the ocean waves were LOUD !!! Some of them sounded like shotguns !
We swam, ate, walked...usual stuff. We walked down to one of the main streets for dinner one night and there were crowds of people standing along the avenue for blocks...wondering what was going to happen, we waited for a while...pretty soon we saw what the fuss was about...Manzanillo 2010 Carnival was starting !!! I have no words to describe the 1.5 hr parade we witnessed....but I have NEVER seen anything like it. Half naked girls, boys dressed in drag, floats on flatbeds with semis pulling them, marching bands, bicycles, music music music ! The costumes were something else...extremely elaborate...my favorite part were the men dressed in colorful costumes doing the salsa down the street....I danced and clapped....and danced some more !!!
It seems like there is always a surprise just around the corner in Mexico !
Time to move on....we´ve now been in Melaque for a week or so and will move onto Puerto Vallarta this weekend to get closer to the airport...and spend a few days there.
In Melaque, we found a family run hotel for about $18 Canadian per night for both of us...very clean and the people running it are so kind. They don´t speak English, but we manage just fine...They have a little chihuaha that runs around downstairs and outside....she is so adorable. I was scratching behind her ears a little tentatively as she is so fragile looking and tiny....Miguel (the hotel owner) told me ´No no...mucho gusto!´...so I started mauling her and giving her a rough massage....she loved it so much she jumped into my lap...we had a great cuddle ! Miguel´s wife came around the corner, pointed at me, then the dog, and said Ámigos´with a smile on her face :)
We´ve been unable to sleep too late most mornings as the church bells (a block away) peal for some time early morning....and THEN....the construction workers are hard at it building curbs on our street - they do it the old fashioned way - with pickaxes and mixing concrete in wheelbarrows....man they work hard !
Went to a ´Canadian farewell party´last nite...found out about it only as it was going on. We walked about a half mile down the beach and joined the party. Met a lot of people from the western provinces. Watched a local drag queen perform....and strip right down to his beach wear....then transformed himself back to a man....it was incredible...a very talented man ! After that, the music went on and Jim and I got up and flailed around on the dance floor for a couple of songs - the party spilled out of the bar right onto the beach....and there was a big platform just a step up from the sand to dance on....chairs and tables set up right on the beach....A good time was had by all ! Needless to say I needed a little extra sleep this morning :)
Met a few of the local people....even with the language problem, it is very apparent to me that Canadians and ´the States could take a few politeness lessons down here ! We are learning enough Spanish phrases to get along....such as how to say good afternoon, morning, hi, etc...
The highlight of the trip to Melague is the plaza. In Mexico, it is a main gathering place for families in the evenings...things don´t really get going until well past 9 PM. Sunday night it was packed with people. The single girls and boys promenade around in their flashiest clothing and eye one another .... you then see some of them paired up and walking around holding hands...shyly pretending that they don´t care...but looking cool is the most important thing. Monday night we went down to the plaza and there was a band playing wayyyyy up on a raised concrete platform of sorts. Tuba booming, cymbols clashing, drums...horns....people were dancing all over the place! Next was a large mariachi band up with a female singer....there was a little girl sitting in front of the singer looking up at her with adoring eyes...so cute ! There were people from babies to grandparents there....and much merry-making!
I´ve been doing a lot of beach sitting under the umbrella at one of my favorite restaurants and doing a lot of reading. Man, there´s no feeling like sitting in front of the ocean waves with a nice cool breeze coming in sipping a cinnamon coffee, pina colada, cerveza, or margurita....I don´t want to come home !!!
Anyway, we have a couple more days here...then onto Puerto Vallarta again....chow !
p.s. at intenet cafes so not sure how to upload pics....may have to wait until I get home (if I go home...haha)