Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chacala Fun Times and Some Gossip

I think I will start with some gossip.

Terry, who built the nice yellow rental units near Trini's a couple of years ago, is back in town . He is working with Paul, another American who has been here all summer, to get a surf shop and gym ready for the tourist season. Paul is also building a two or three or ??? rental units behind the shops. I think he is hoping to be ready for the rental season coming up. Paul told me they are expecting to put a pool in at some point.

Some people have been working on the restaurant on the beach right across from Juan's tienda. I think someone from the States bought it and someone else from the States is organizing some remodeling or cleaning with what seems to be Mexican women workers. But it's not clear exactly what they are doing to the site.

Maria Palila (sp?) and her husband, have been told be the owner of the large lot next to them to remove their structures that had kind of eased over unto his property. It's kind of sad because I liked their nice shady little piece of the world. It will still be nice and shady, just smaller, and possibly with a building right next to them. Changes Changes. Someone told me that lot next to Maria's is selling for $90,000 US, and there are interested buyer. I hope it's not true. Maria and I counted the animal populations at her place yesterday day, which 36 individual cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, chickens, chicks, roostes and ducks and ducklings. Plus some birds in cages.

Okay, now for the fun stuff.

Yesterday some of us went back to the Chacailla beach via launcha, and spent the day eating, swimming, and talking. Very nice day. The weather was perfect and so was the company. The water was just right for the little kids, clear and calm. Gora went snorkling and found a beautiful large conch shell about a 100 feet outand 8 feet down. We all found lots of shells on the beach and brought a few home.

Today was Aurora's mom's, birthday and it was another very nice day. Naricissa, or Checha,
was having a nice day with some working and alot of visiting with everyone. Eating, drinking (for some of us), music, dancing, cake, and fun talk with lots of laughing. I also spent some time playing domino's with the waiters and went swimming with the Scottish family at MardeJade.
Got a ride almost home with Paul and his girlfriend.

I think the general appearance of Chacala is improving, at least there is less trash and the beach is looking good. Less trash and the sand is starting to fill back in in front of the restaurants and around the rocks on the MardeJade beach.

There are a couple visitors here right now, who didn't know each other and arrived separately. They were both on their to their respective homes after visiting Equator/Panama in one case, and Boliva/Panama in the other. One hated Panama and the other loved it. Takes all kinds of countries and people I guess. One of them said that you can get permanant residency visa in Panama with proof of only $500 a month regular income. As compared to Mexico, which requires $1500 a month regular income for an FM3 visa.

If you know someone who is looking for an inexpensive or long-term rental in
Chacala, you could give them this website address: or click here for Chacala budget rentals. Or to look at a another version check out Chacala Budget Rentals, which is kind of a practice website, in progress.

Or email me at

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chacala's Fiesta for San Rafael, patron saint of Chacala

After nine days of 5am and 5pm processions (perigrationces ?) all around town, accompanied by very loud fireworks and church bells ringing, finally the big day arrived in Chacala. Yesterday most of the town and many visitors celebrated the saint day for San Rafael, the patron saint of Chacala. I have no idea what that means, but it was a very nice day.

Procession at eleven in the morning with many people, all carrying flowers and singing, a mass at the church, and then a potluck in the church yard. The potluck was attacked by very aggressive bees or wasps and the whole affair was moved over to the library/bibliotecha/school yard and went on most of afternoon. Then, after dark, about 7:00pm or so, setup for the dance and crowning of Chacala's princess began.

Alot of the women brought, sold, and served a variety of food and drink. Admission was 20 pesos at the gate. My understanding is that the dance was a fund raiser for something in Chacala, but I don't know what. (Later) It turns out both the dance and the cash votes for the princesses were for a Chacala fund, of which Aurora appears to be the treasurer. I think.

There were maybe two hundred people from ages about-to-be-born to me. There might have been someone older than me there, oh there were, Chico (Aurora's dad), Cundo's dad - can't remember his name, and Don Beto (father of Isreal, Berta, Beto, etc) are all older that I am. And a gringo visitor named Glenn, who said he had worked on Aurora and Beatriz's Techo de Mexico houses five or six years ago.

There was lots of not-as-loud-as-usual music, and lots of dancing, and talking, and kids running around having fun. My two favorite females were 2 year old Mariana (daughter of Patti of massage and hot dog stand fame) and 15 month old Fernanda, (granddaughter of Chico). Mariana was dancing beautifully to the music in a sexy little black number, only occasionally lifting her skirt to show us her pampers. And Fernanda was wearing a beautiful cerise/red full length gown with a very full skirt and bare shoulders. Very beautiful. All the other little girls came up to her when she arrived and touched her dress gently with their fingers.

Really, I hate the concept of sexy one and two year olds and they did look precious. And so did the princesses, Monica (daugher of Chapina and Paco) and Antonella (mom lives at the Casa Maria Techo house) and the oldest daughter of Patti (mentioned above), who actually won. All three girls are EBACH students here in town.

My impression is that the winner was determined by how much money was put in voting boxes around town. But I am not sure. Actually, I hate the whole idea, but they did look lovely.

My favorite couples on the dance floor were Trini and Cundo, who danced alot, and David and Emma. David is the new volunteer doctor at La Clinica and he and his wife Emma, are here with two little, very blond, kids. They are Scottish and may be be here for five month.

Speaking of current visitors, we also have Brigid from Switzerland with her two small (2 and 5 year old ) sons, Ramon and Simon. The boys are bi-lingual in Spanish and Swiss/German and the mom also speaks English. The whole family (Dad is in Switzerland for a couple of weeks) live in San Luis Potosi and have a coffe shop there.

Anyway, it was a very fun night, except for me losing my house keys out of my pocket and having to search abit to find them. I love seeing everyone dancing, especially ten year old boys dancing with their little three year old cousins/sisters. The girls look so raptourous, being twirled around the basketball/volleyball court. AND, there was no fistfight between the Las Varas and Chacala young gentlemen this year.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Electricity in Chacala - learning more than I ever wanted to know

I am getting ready to move into Laura's new Techo de Mexico rental apartment here in Chacala sometime in the next few weeks. It's located near where I am now, Casa de Gordon's, and the gate to Marina Chacala. And it's the last house on the left walking from the schoolyard to Casa Pacifica.

It's built on top of Laura's house, where she lives with her two lovely young daughters. There is a new cement open staircase going upstairs and then a small (maybe 9-12 feet) patio area facing the street.The front door also faces the street. The roof of the house next door, where generally no one lives, is to the left at the top of the stairs, and it's a big open space. Maybe I can hang my laudry there. Or open a cantina and have wild parties. Just kidding. People would probably fall off the roof. The new rental only takes up half the roof space of Laura's house, so that is a big open area on the other side of the house too. I think it will be shady there during the morning and afternoon. I hope so.

Then the is a main room with two windows, tiled floor, and a nice local-style brick ceiling. On the other side of the big room is a little hall, that goes to the back door (and outdoor kitchen) with the large bathroom with window on the left and a built-in cement "closet" space on the right.

Then out the back door into the kitchen, which has three walls and a roof and a little wall across the back so you don't fall into the back yard. It great, and shady almost all the time (I hope). Has a little running water sink, a tiled counter, and place for the stove and my fridge. I like having the kitchen outside because of the endless tiny ants problem. Better to keep them outside. Laura picked nice green fixtures and green and white tiles for the bathroom. It is very nice.

I am hoping Laura will be okay with my having some plants in pots on the front patio. I am very excited to be moving. I have been moving every six months since I got here, this will be my fifth move if you count my arrival at Aurora's a couple (almost of years ago). Its kind of fun to change house.

I just realized a couple of days ago that the new wiring at Laura's is not grounded. It has a two wire/two pronged outlets. Laura and Paco don't seem to understand that using a two to three prong adaptor does not ground the system. I am pretty worried about my computer, but I have been collecting ideas about how to retrofit at least one plug with a ground, via copper wire and a long stake in the ground. I asked for suggestions on the Lonely Planet Thorntree message board for Mexico and got nine good helpful answers in a couple of hours. Pretty amazing and reassuring.

I didn't know until this week that surge supressors and the cheaper UPS (uninterrupted power supply) units do not work in un-grounded electrical systems. I had just been taking it for granted that surge supressors would work in both two and three wires systems. Stupid me. I lived in a house in the US for five years with a two wire system and used those 2/3prong adapters and a high quallity surge surpressor and thought I have covered all the bases. Stupid me.

I know that all the new houses built by pro's around Chacala have grounded systems. I have been checking, but none of the older places, even the techos, seem to have grounded systems. So even if I wanted to, moving wouldn't solve the problem. I really appreciate Gordon's meticulousness about the dual system wiring (solar and AC) in his house.

I am still practicing doing "active links" on these blogs, and in this case I will try to hook this post up to my only website (as opposed to my four blogs), which lists of blogs and websites about Chacala mainly.

Someone asked me for a little map of Chacala where I could identify new building sites, etc, but so far I haven't figured out how to do that. Maybe in a big.

See you.

Oh, if you are coming down soon and are interested in being picked up at the airport by Cundo (bigger groups/more luggage/in a van) or Cheecho (in a taxi, room for two or three) let me know and I will connect you or you can find their phone numbers here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Chacala rentals for tourists / two blogs

I have been entertaining myself when it's too hot and humid to be outdoors with learning about blogs and websites, etc.

I have also been trying to find ways to support rentals at the Techos de Mexico houses here in Chacala. One of my efforts has been to to create a new blog about Chacala budget rentals, which can be reached by clicking on the highlighted word. I also have added a blog called for visitors called Chacala with more basic info about staying in Chacala.

I just learned how to do "active" links, where you have highlighted words the reader can click on and go right to the website. I spent about five hours figuring that out. I am not a natural at computer stuff.

This is a hot and humid Saturday, but there's a nice breeze and the sun is shining and the birds and butterflies and cars with loudspeakers are all flittering around town. I am about to walk down to the beach to swim and play dominos and eat peanuts in the shell at Chico's. Its a tough life, but....... It's a great life and I am so lucky to be here enjoying it.

The town is gearing up for the fiesta for San Rafael, which will be fun. Last year was great everyone says there will be a dance again this year, even though it's on a Monday, and last year the dance ended with a fist fight between the young studs of Chacala and Las Varas. I had gone home by then, and missed out on the highlight of the evening. The police who were attending were gone too. And they refused to return when the fight broke out. I don't think anyone was seriously injured, but it kind of added to the excitement, I guess.

I went to a fiesta baby shower for Claudia, who runs Koranee hardware here in town, with the help of her husband Pepe and Pepe's mom (just kidding Pepe). There were about 20 moms and 25 kids, with games and gifts and food and cake, and the music was turned down (yah !!!) so we could hear each other talk. Aurora was the hotstess and she did a great job. The party was announced for 4pm and I think almost everyone was there by 5:30, mas or meno.

The event took place in the new aerobics studio in the building where there used to be a store at the corner near the school. I guess Patti, the instructor cleaned up the place and painted it and it looks great. I think I already mentioned the aerobics classes before.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pig Farms and Chacala Taxi Services (Cundo and Cheeco)

Last week I was waiting at the Crucero de Chacala corner for a ride home and Cheecho (local taxi driver who makes airport runs for people coming and going to Chacala) picked me up. He had his up daughter Erika (11), and nephew Adrian (3 years old) in the truck. We took a truck load of old vegetables out to his pig farm on the way to Chacala. There were about 40 pigs of varying size including a huge, huge guy and ten brand new (two hours old) little baby pigs. We sprayed the pigs off (he does that twice a day, to keep them clean and also to keep them cool, I think). Cheecho shares a pump from the shallow (15 foot deep) well he shares with his neighbor, who is, I think, a family member. Cheecho's spread is 5 hectares (almost ten acres) in the middle of the various fruit orchards and jungle.

Then we came to my place and had Cokes and Cheecho talked about having a water truck business from his well. He will be driving taxi again and gave me his cell number for those who speak Spanish. He does airport pickups and returns and other trips to various places in a three or four passenger taxi.

Cundo's airport pickup and tourist sightseeing tax service is going great. He has two beautiful, clean, licensed, insured, and seat belted vans ready to go. His phone number from the US is 011 52 327 219 4018, and Trini, his wife, speaks English.

For more info about bus and taxi services to Chacala click here or go to

If you want to see a list of websites about Chacala click here. I am practicing how to do "active" links, and will probably delete these if they work.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Elections in Chacala!!!

Yesterday Guillermo, owner of the newish little white hotel (Casa Chacala) on the paved road and currently very involved in the water situation in Chacala, came by handing out papers and gave me two papers. One was a summary of the monthly expenses for the water system for September, about 8000 pesos again. I really appreciate the water boards efforts at transparency.

The other was a full paper letter from Lalo, the current "judge" in Chacala, whose term ended today. It was a short term because Lalo replaced Cundo, his predecessor in an apparently impromptu election about six months ago.

Anyway, I asked a local resident what the letter said, and she said "where did you get this?" sort of angrily. I said that Guillermo had given it to me with the water summary and that person started reading it, but didn't tell me what it said, and did say:
  • there was an election for the "judico" position
  • the election was tomorrow (Sunday) and
  • that the election was announced at the water meeting last week.
  • that Juan (Concha's husband) was the only person interested in running for office, and wasn't it sad no one wanted to run.
Then this morning I ran into that same person, who told me that:
  • both the Judico and the Town President (currently held by Laura Sura) positions were open
  • and that Isreal (Chata's husband), Juan (Concha's husband) , and Benico (husband on the Aurora without a Techo rental) are all running for office, but it wasn't clear which office.

  • I wasn't clear if the currrent officerholders wanted to retain their positions or not. My informant seemed to be saying that now Lala wanted to be town president.
  • It wasn't clear if Lalo and Laura were also running for their current offices.
I knew Lalo was in office but I didn't remember that Laura was the current President. When I ran into Laura this aftenoon, she told me that the election had happened, but the votes weren't counted yet, which struck me as odd. How many votes could there be in a town this size?
And who counts the votes?

I am probably just a little paraniod. Many people may not remember this, but the International Commission that monitors elections all over the world as asked by the Mexican Election Commission to oversee all the elections all over Mexico for the election where Vicente Fox won the Presidency. The Commission published a report, which is on the web. It described the election process in Chacala, which is probably why I wondered about this election. Anyway, still haven't heard to results. Not that it's any of my business. Just curious I guess.

Juan was elected to the "Judge" position and Lalo is the other official. Now I am being told that it isn't "presidente" but something else more like an informal but elected and unpaid representative. Laura, who formerly held that position, was not interested in running for that office and didn't. I noticed that Tuesday afternoon there was a meeting of some sort at the restaurant across from the deposito and Juan and Lalo were walking over to the meeting together. Don't know what the meeting was.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Construction going on in Chacala

The newest work project is at Casa Pacifica. Juan (the Juan who painted Ana's house last year) is repainting most of the interior walls with beautiful new colors. Noe is building the structure for a new shade/rain fabric-type roof for the cafe. I think it will have cement and brick pillars supporting a steel beam framework for the fabric roof, which will cover the whole area. Noe is also working on a new room back behind the kitchen area.

The building across from Pepe's Koranay hardware store is going up quickly. I like the detail around the windows, which is a little differnet than usual.

When I went looking for the Telmex/phone bill yesterday, Viki at the bibliotecha told me that Lalo was holding mail for the people in town. So I went down to his new fish place and he said, no, Marta, the older woman at the restaurant next to his old fish place has the mail. So I walked around to the restaurant and Marta did have the mail. Marta said they had sent kids out delivering the mail (mainly Telmex) in the morning but they didn't know who Gordon was and they did have my Telmex bill. This may work out better for me because you never know when the bibliotecha is going to be open. The schedule is extremely flexible, which can be annoying. And the restaurant is always open.

Lalo's new fish shop is all set up and the old place has completely disappeared. The new place (kind of uphill and right next door to the Hotel Glorias), is in his mom's front yard. Yesterday he showed me the new place. He has an office area, with a phone. The office is kind of to one side of the place where they cut up the fish. I guess the office area is for his duties as "judico" or whatever it's called (the elected unpaid position in town that officially represents Chacala to the police and government agencies), and attempts to resolve various town problems. He took Cundo's place in an odd election process that I don't understand. Anyhow, it's none of my business anyway. But it is interesting.

There is another water meeting this morning , going on right now. It is interesting to me that the town meeting is scheduled for the exact same time at the weekly mass. Don't know why, but it seems odd. They had about six government people at the meeting last week, but I don't know if anything happened. I got a little water today for about 20 minutes. Too dirty to wash clothes in so I watered all the plants in pots.

Today's meeting is also to plan the Fiesta for the town's Saint Day (San Rafael) later this month. Last year was really fun, and lasted from about 10am to about 2am. Lots of music, food, and drink. A procession, a Mass, a huge potluck, a band, and in the evening a dance with food and drink. Music was so loud I almost became deaf. Maybe three or four hundred people last year. Friends and family mostly, I think.

The two new house projects near the upper end of the paved road are moving along quickly. The one back in the woods has two stories now and looks very nice. The other house, down in the creekbed below the road, was completely surrounded by moving water during the two day rainstorm last weekend. But the second story is going up. I keep meaning to walk around that way and take a closer look. The layout looks interesting. My neighbor Jesus told
me the house belongs to a friend of his who is from Las Varas and has spent many years earning money in the US. He also said the new eijido government, which just took office, is still opening to eventually sell alot of the eijido land to a new developer but that the lots the eijido has already sold will not be included unless the current owner doesn't want to keep his ownership. Who knows what that means or what he really knows about what's going on.

Laura Sura's Techo unit on top of her house is about 2/3's completed. Her brother Paco is doing the electrical, gas, and plumbing. Which kind of surprised me.

The first floor of the house/rental unit of the guy, Paul, from the US who is planning to open a surf shop and gym is about 1/2 done. I think it is going to be three stories, although someone told me that area is "zoned" for two stories. The concept of "zoning" on that road is an little bizarre in my mind. But whatever, and I may have misunderstood.

The big hotel on the paved road is now trying for a December opening date. It looks very nice. A local person told me the owners are marketing it to US/Canadian people. That is kind of reassuring to me because US/Canadian tourists tend to:
  • Not have cars with them. The hotel has 15 rooms and 7 parking slots and I assume the other cars will be parked on the road. Actually parked cars car all along the road may slow down the very, very fast traffic (often huge construction trucks) coming and going from the Marina (the gated community at the end of the paved road). I guess there is an upside to everything.
  • Tend to go to bed quietly and early-ish
  • Do not play their music an maximum decibels (anyone who has been here during Semana Santa knows what I am talking about)
  • And generally don't throw trash on the ground. Litter is on-going problem in Mexico, reminiscent of California in the fifties, when the side of every highway was ankle deep in trash.
I guess that remark has some negative connotations, but it certainly seems to be reality.

The new restaurant down the the non-beach side of the beach road is going to have a second story, apparently for the view? Or maybe there will be rental rooms up there. Different workers tell me different things and often I misunderstand. Any, it looks nice, with rock designs on the front wall.

And Chico's new bar is moving along. I don't quite understand the layout but I am sure it will become obvious soon.

I think I mentioned before that Majahau's new spa is really, really beautiful, and worth a walk to see it, and maybe to have a massage or one of the other services.

The ocean as calmed down about about a week of kind a wild waves. And it has cooled down a little in the evening. Still very hot and humid during the day. Everyone will be glad to know at the bug and spider life is alive and well, and probably propagating madly.

This is another practice at installing an "active link", which directs you to my first little website that is really only a list of Chacala websites.

Chacala Kids Collecting for Chiapas

Yesterday afternoon I heard the voices of a whole bunch of kids coming up the stairs beside this house, from the direction of Casa Pacifica. By the time I got the door open there were about twenty local kids (3-11 years mas or menos) and a couple of moms on the patio. I invited them in, not knowing what was happening. But they didn't want to come in. They had a big baby strowler half-full of food and diapers and TP etc. They were collecting for families in Chiapas who have recently suffered from terrible rainstorms, mudslides, floods etc after the laswt hurricane. The kids were so excited and proud of themselves. Later I saw them down on the beach road and it didn't look like they had gotten much more stuff. One of the women said people had been giving them money, especially at the restaurants.

It sort of shook-up my view of Chacala to realize that people here (who I think of as poor) feel like they have enough to share. I have noticed other times that the charity in Mexico is basically between family members and what is offered by the government. There doesn't seem to be many organized charitable organizations except for those run by people from the US and Canada. Maybe I am missing something. The charitable organizations in Mexico that I am aware of seem to get their primary funding from the US branches of those organziations (Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Rotary) or from groups made up of US/Canadians who live in or visit PV and support various groups working with children). But maybe I am missing alot here.

I think the pictures of Chiapas on TV helped the cause. They were very sad. People who already had nothing but a hut now have nothing at all, or are dead. Alot of the newspeople on the TV are blondes, which is a little disconcerting. On the soaps the evil-plotting women usually are dark haired/dark skinned and the lovely sweet young things are blondes. Creepy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Chacala Websites

Collection (incomplete) of Chacala Websites

If you are looking for photos of

Techos de Mexico rentals, click here.
(has photos of techo de Mexico rentals)
(many photos of Chacala)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Rain rain rain and poison sprays

I thought the rainy season might be over, but yesterday late afternoon and last night we had a lot of rain, and it went on most of the night. And of course all the little and big creepy crawly critters came in the house to get out of the rain. No scorpions though. And it is very overcast today, and I expect it will rain again later.

The four bouganvillas along the south wall of this house are all starting to bloom and look great. Actually, three look great and are growing tall and blooming. One was sprayed with an herbicide by a neighbor and doesn't look so good. I heard the neighbor outside and ran out to stop him, so he only really damaged one of the bouganvillas. But he killed a whole small garden I had nutured right outside the door to the downstairs unit here.

I guess the good thing (cynically speaking) is this whole strain of herbicide-happy men will probably become sterile or die young from pesticide exposure. I am only half-kidding and half not kidding. Most of the people I see spraying with pesticides and herbicides use no protection. I have even seen them jokingly spray each other. It is frightening. I would be very surprised if any of them washed their hands after spraying. I am picturing them going home in the clothes they wore for spraying and holding their kids on their laps and exposing them to the chemicals too.

I don't believe many of them read the instructions and warning on the labels. Of course, many of them may not be able to read the complicated warning labels anyway. I think is another version of corporate genocide: offering extremely toxic chemicals to people with little or no education about their safe use.

This is turning into another very negative post, but I guess no sunshine does that to me. Or something.

Young Chacalean's Moving On

Chacala's young adults are starting to attend university or other post-high school educational programs. Chuy and Javier, who are part of the Munoz family, and who have been working with Laura de Valle at MardeJade are both in Puerto Vallarta. One is attending the PV branch of one of the Guadalajara universities and the other one is getting ready to study at one of the two-technical programs. I can't remember which is which. Lundy (sp?) is in her last year of university.

Three of the EBACH young men who graduated last spring are attending higher education options. Geraldo is at the state University in Tepic. I don't know which branch. Pablo (Arturo) and Gustavo at studying at two year programs in PV. Pablo is studying tourism and I can't remember was Gustavo is doing.

Unfortunately, the competition for the public university spots in Tepic is very high. Highly qualified students, including some from Chacala, are not accepted because of space limitations. More kids are graduating from high school than ever before. And many more students are applying for university seats at the public universities. But the funding isn't there to add spaces for more students. And to make things more difficult for young students, the public opinion seems to bethat those applicants with good connections with the powers-that-be and/or some cash are first in line for admission. I don't know if that's true or not. In the US, it is definitely true at private universities, but I don't think it's very common at publicly funded school. Who knows.

There are places open at some of the mid-ranked private universities in Nayarit and Jalisco, but they are very expensive. It seems to be generally accepted in Mexico that a university degree does not automatically result in a good job. Same as in the US. It is scary to see some of the kids to town who have worked so hard to get an education still in Chacala this Fall, with no plans on the horizon.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Things Change Fast Around Here

Things change fast around here. A couple of days ago there were three gringo tourists here and today I counted three couples (one set were day-trippers from PV), two families totally seven people, and a single man. Plus the doctor and his wife and kids at Mar de Jade. And I was only around "downtown" and on the beach for an hour or so and there maybe more. Maybe tomorrow no tourists will be here.

One of the owners of the hotel, Casa Chacala, gave me a ride when I was walking home late this afternoon. When I asked him where he was headed, he handed me some notices and said he was now (newly) on the "Water Board" or whatever they call it, for Chacala.

One notice was an explanation of the water expenses last month, which totalled about $8000pesos. The other paper was a notice for a town meeting tomorrow morning (these meeting always seem to be called with very short notice) to talk about the water problem in Chacala. Four dignitaries from various government offices have been invited to come. The newly elected government in this State just took office about three weeks ago, so people seem to be expecting some real action. I have no idea how realistic that is. Several people have mentioned to me that the newly elected people replace everyone possible with their friends, family, supporters, etc, so that things are kind of mixed-up for awhile. I don't know if that is true or not. I know one of the contruction permit guys seemed to be expecting to be replaced.

The new spa at Majahua is really lovely. It's worth the walk just to look, and maybe have a drink or a massage or soak or whatever. Actually, I am not sure when they will be fully open for business but that's probably on their website.

Chico's new bar for serving "real" drinks in now under construction. Looks nice.

The construction projects (maybe 12 are currently being worked on) are almost all moving forward or are completed. I think it is a little easier without all the rain and mud.

That's it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Not so much rain anymore

It's the first week of October 2005, and I think the intense part of the rainy season may be over. The bug season is still here however. Last night, as I was about to turn off the light, in the bedroom I felt something on my neck and instinctively brushed it away. It was a very large cockroach which I ended up stomping to death with my flip-flops. The little monster clearly had not intention of dying. It really gave me the creeps and I had a hard time going to sleep. Oh well.

About ten days ago the ocean was very stormy for about five days, with some intermitment large waves. I am starting to think that the ocean acts up at the solstice and equinoxes.

Things are pretty quiet right now tourist-wise. I think there is one family with a little kid and an older gentlemen. And not very many Mexican tourist on the beach either. Maybe this is not considered good camping weather (nightly rains until about a week ago). There is a Scottish doctor and wife and two kids staying at Mar de Jade while he volunteers at La Clinica in Las Varas. I was kind of surprised this last year to reallized how many medical facilties and doctor's office and labs there are in LV, including a small hospital with an ER/triage function.

People in town have started the planning meetings for the annual celebration for San Rafael, who is the patron saint for Chacala, I think. It's on Monday the 24th of Octoberand it a pretty big deal and lots of fun. A week of processions thru town to the church, and then on Monday, a mass, a huge potluck type picnic outside the chuirch, music , fireworks, and a big dance with LOUD music late into the night on the basketball/volleyball court.

Streets are still pretty muddy, even though it hasn't rained for days. The street in front of the little cuestos across the road from the beach campground is still barely passable.

Lots of plants and trees are blossoming and there are many many butterflies and birds all around. If I just stand still for a minute when I am outside they treat me like a tree or something. Landing on me and flying right close. I like them. It's the bugs I hate!!!

Still in the mid-nineties most of the day and very humid.

Most of the construction projects around town are moving rapidly or abandoned (probably waiting for an influx of cash for materials and labor). The big new hotel on the paved road is hoping to open mid-November. Worker bees climbing all over the building every day, doing this and that. The proposed real estate office across from Concha's is looking good, except for the giant hole in the front yard (water storage). But they are working on those project every day. The real estate guy is planning to open the office this month. I guess it's a satellite office for a large realty firm in Sayulita. The man who is setting up the office says his focus will be on selling lots/houses in Marina Chacala. Who knows.