margie takala

tak1

margie takala

We are a retired couple from Minnesota. We travel economically, use buses, stay at inexpensive hotels and look for the restaurants where the locals eat. But sometimes we splurge. We meet many fellow travelers and end up on a first name basis with many locals.

We try to post our adventures and photos every day if we find Internet. Join us as we travel along. We welcome your comments.



North America » United States » Minnesota » Minnetonka January 31st 2017

This morning we left the warm weather in Zihuatanejo and headed back to the snow and cold of Minnesota. The trip went smoothly, no problems. We had a great trip, but it is always good to be home. Bob The highlight of this trip was to see the butterflies. Things went well but there are some things I would do differently. All of the information sources said the butterflies would be active in late January. We found that most of the butterflies were dormant so I would go a month later. It was difficult finding information on buses to Angangueo from Morelia. We found the bus to Zitacuaro and we knew we would need a different bus line but couldn't get information on these buses in Morelia. We went to Zitacuaro and found a lot of ... read more

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 30th 2017

Today is our last full day in Mexico. The time has gone by very quickly. I think I will miss the doves cooing and the roosters crowing in the mornings! This morning there was a prowling cat on a lower roof of this hotel. He looked ready to pounce on the sparrow-like birds in the area. After breakfast we walked down to the municipal pier area to catch the boat to Las Gatas beach, across Zihuatanejo Bay from the municipal pier. The boat driver said he uses his boat for tuna fishing when not carrying passengers. Tickets were 50 pesos per person round trip, or $2.50 each. We found a quiet table and settled in. One of the waiters came over and said he remembered us from a few years ago. We were impressed. He said ... read more
View from the Beach
Working on a Crossword Puzzle
Snorkeling Area at Las Gatas

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 29th 2017

Made our breakfast at the hotel and had another fairly low-key day. Walked to Playa Madera again, got a table in the shade, and took out books and crosswords. We ordered drinks. They have the best homemade lemonade ever. I should learn how to make it. The spot was called Rana Rene. We searched our dictionary and Internet, and finally found out that it is the Spanish name for Kermit the Frog. The beach was fairly empty for a Sunday. The boardwalk goes around this area of the beach. Saw several people sitting against the stone wall under the boardwalk, where there is some nice shade.There is a massage area set up along the beach here too, but we have never tried it. One guy was walking the beach with a metal detector, presumably looking for ... read more
Massage Station on Playa Madera
Our Stop along Playa Madera

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 28th 2017

After breakfast at the hotel, we took the bus to Playa Linda. This goes through Ixtapa and out to the pier area for Isla Ixtapa. Since this was a weekend, there were many more locals than on a weekday. The boat was filled with locals. They were very friendly, always smiling, and tried to speak a little English to us. Boat tickets were 100 pesos per person for a roundtrip, about $5. The boat first stopped at the smaller beach, where we were last time. We picked out a table right by the beach, bought a large bottle of water, and took out books and crosswords. Walked the beach for shells again. There were a few kayaks out on the water. People like to sit on the beach at the water's edge, and have the waves ... read more
Boats going out to Isla Ixtapa
Crocodiles by Playa Linda Pier
Our Boat Leaves Playa Linda

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 27th 2017

Today we decided to take a down day, just take it easy. We ate our breakfast on the hotel balcony, our usual fruit (with pineapple this time), banana bread, and Bob's good coffee. We then took out our Scrabble board and had a hard fought game. This was one of the very few times I have won, but just by a few points. We walked down to Playa Madera, which is to the left of the municipal beach, and found a cool spot for drinks. They make very good homemade lemonade here. Good spot to walk the beach, read a book, or do a crossword puzzle. The beach was quite empty and very pleasant. Did a little bit of laundry, the quick-dry stuff, and hung them on a line in our room. Later in the evening ... read more
Sea Monster on the Beach
Waves Coming into Playa Madera

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 26th 2017

Today we took the bus back to one of our favorite off-the-beaten-trail places, Barra de Potosi. Our timing was perfect. We walked out of the hotel and the bus to Petatlan was just coming around the corner. Most drivers decorate their buses a bit. Some have religious icons by the front window, some have stuffed animals hanging. This bus had a lacy red curtain with birds and flowers over part of the window. It also had a baby shoe and small toy hung over the mirror. All buses play music, some much louder than others. $2 took us both to our destination. We knew where to get off and how to get the truck, but the bus assistant pointed the stop out, even got out of the bus to show us where to pick up the ... read more
Pelicans by the Boat
Tour by Boat in the Lagoon
Fishing in the Lagoon

North America » Mexico » Guerrero » Zihuatanejo January 25th 2017

Now on the bus from Morelia back to Zihuatanejo. Left at 11:15am, a little late getting out. Internet works! We are going back to warmer temps now. Decided very quickly not to blog on the bus. Internet goes in and out in this area, too easy to lose entries. Leaving Morelia, at the foot of the mountains, we saw hundreds of plastic-covered greenhouses. Also saw some funnel-shaped cement structures with door entries. Not sure what these were. Variety of scenery along the way--pedestrian bridges, pastures with cows and horses, rectangular adobe homes placed very close together, orchards, corn fields, patches of cactus. There were a few farms with rows of crops. Crossed over a couple rivers, then hit some plateau areas. On the bus ride up I didn't notice the many strings of beautiful mountain lakes, ... read more


It was 31 degrees F at 7:30 this morning in Angangueo! No heat in the hotel, but we had gotten extra blankets so stayed warm. We walked up the hill in town and found two old ornate churches and a plaza with a fountain. Right across from the plaza was a charming restaurant called Los Arcos. The food was very good, huge portions, and usual reasonable Mexican prices. We explored the town a bit more until it was time to meet our ride to the butterflies at the hotel. This turned out to be very convenient. He gave us a ride to the butterfly refuge (Sierra Chinchua), waited for us in the parking lot, and took us back to the bus so we could go back to Zitacuaro. The road up out of Angangueo was very ... read more
Horses at Butterfly Refuge (Sierra Chinchua)
Trail to Butterflies with Guide
Monarch Butterfly


After breakfast we took the taxi to the bus depot for our trip from Morelia to Zitacuaro. Morelia is a big, sprawling city and the outskirts are not as attractive as the historical district around the cathedral and hotel. The city is 6300 feet above sea level. Taxi, $2.50, bus $7 per person. About 32 degrees F, so very chilly. Got to depot early, found a warm spot for a cup of coffee. The bus was comfortable, made a few passenger stops in Morelia, and stops at the depots in a few larger cities. Zitacuaro is straight east and a bit south of Morelia. Hit some road construction so the ride turned out to be about four hours. We were the only non-locals on the bus. At one stop in Morelia, a man got on with ... read more
Lots of Dogs in Town
Colorful Flowers Along the Street
Church in Angangueo

North America » Mexico » Michoacán » Morelia January 22nd 2017

A good breakfast in the dining room was included with our room. Not bad for about $20 a night! The hotel contained a lot of marble and wrought iron rail and wall dividers. This morning we went out to explore the city. It is difficult to know how to dress in Morelia. It is 37 degrees at 5am, 57 degrees at 9am, and 77 by 3pm. We began by walking some of the side streets near the hotel. You see many balconies with wrought iron railings and plants. We heard many pet birds (probably parakeets or parrots) behind the windows. The city is very clean and well kept. We tried to find the Michoacan state museum (Museo del Estado), which contains details of Michoacan' s past. But unfortunately it was all boarded up and under reconstruction. ... read more
Morelia Rose Garden
Avenida Madera, Closed for Biking
The Aquaduct




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