Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chacala Tourist Season is Heating Up

I moved down to Dona Lupe’s today. This is my first night here, and I am computing off the battery, which I have only done before, when the town electricity was off. Most of my stuff out on the terrace. It feels good to be here. I forgot how nice the view is, and how nice it is to be close to Aurora and Beto's and the store and the beach. I am just here for three weeks. I think I will spend some time sorting through the stuff I have collected in the lasts 23+ months and get rid of stuff.

Changes around town.

The new hotel next to Dona Lupe’s looks nice, if a large three story+ building can look nice in a village the size of Chacala.

There have been meetings every day or evening for a bit, with government officials and other people here every day. A few days ago a team of six or seven people appeared to be measuring the distance of water lines (maybe). Unfortunately one of the men holding the end of the tape kept dropping the tape and they would (apparently randomly) just start measuring wherever. I think most of the meetings are politicians selling themselves but who knows. The agenda is supposed to be getting more water here.

The little tiny lot that was for sale last month has been bought ( I think by a local person) and it looks like someone is getting ready to build on it. It’s the third lot down from the schoolyard on the right as you are walking up the road toward the school. A bunch of tree/shrub stuff has been cut down and holes are being dug.
One of the workers said Juan had bought the lot. I personally know nine Juans in town, and I don’t know which one this is. The lot was for sale for $18,000USD to gringos, and I don’t know how much it went for. And Leo of Koko Bongos has a lot for sale, kind of behind the motel Kenna. I think it’s on a flood plain, but when I asked him he shook his head. The head shake could mean don’t ask, or not it’s not or it could have some other subtle meaning I didn’t get.

The man named Steven who camps on the beach in a red truck with a gold camper, is now developing his lot on eijido land between the Marina Chacala gate and Casa Pacifica. It’s a little confusing that he is building because the building permit people are actively stopping people from building on eijido land right now. I will never understand some of the stuff that goes on here. I have been told that the Las Varas eijido some of their land around Chacala last week. All signed and delivered I guess. I was told the land that was sold was part of the restricted ecological area around the volcano north of town. Sounds like another court case in the works.

There have been yachts in the bay for the last week or to. Three yesterday. There are about five or six adults at Mar de Jade, with three kids. I think three of the adults are medical volunteers. There may be more people over here. In the past the guests at Mar de Jade seem to have gotten the impression that they will get sick if they eat in Chacala restaurants. But this groups seems to be eating around town anyway, which is nice to see. Several people have mentioned that Mar de Jade is getting it’s sewer system fixed. Everyone hopes the smell will go away quickly.

I have been told that the ex-beach restaurant next to Las Brisas (that an American couple from San Diego bought last year) has been turned into a rental house. And the rental price is said to be $1000 a week. These are the people who brought jet skis to Chacala. . It will be interesting to see how their guests will enjoy their rental during the Christmas and Easter weeks.

The new bar at Chico’s looks great, as do the new (new this year) bathrooms, which are being kept very clean.

Polo and Berta’s new Taco stand across the street from Chico’s driveway is doing a great business with both locals and tourists . It’s a very clean and tidy operation. They are open Thursday thru Sunday for lunch thru dinner. Their very bright and vivacious daughter, America, is usually on hand to entertain the customers.

Whatever is happening at the restaurant remodel across from Juan’s tienda is happening very quickly. Can’t tell what's happening there, but whatever it is is happening very quickly.

The blonde guy seems to be charge of the restaurant remodel owns a lot right next to the Marina Chacala gate, to the left. It is now being filled with dirt and cement chunks. About six feet deep. I think it is an effort to avoid the flooding that occurs all summer when the water collected by the new paved road directs the runoff in that area. It will be interesting to see where the flooding happens if it can’t collect on that lot.

My opinion at the moment is that the some of the latest people to purchase property in Chacala aren’t thinking much about how their plans might impact Chacala’s infrastructure (water, sewage, electrical) or quality of life.

Juan’s wife Mimi is back at work at the corner tienda with their new baby, who is now four months old. Very handsome little boy. They have a little hammock for him to sleep in, but generally he is being held by someone. Today it was me for quite awhile. Saw Claudia and Pepe’s (from the hardware store) new daughter, Claudia Patrica for the first time today. She is three weeks old, and looks a lot like her big sister, three year old Maria Jose. That makes three new babies in town that I know of, including Estaban, son of the owners of Jorge’s deposito. Estaban has an older brother, about nine, named Jorge, and a little sister about a year and a half, named Fernanda. All these babies live with both their mom and dad. Which is very different than last year when almost all the 8 new babies were had single moms. Last year all the babies but one were boys, which must be really against the odds.

The beach and the roads are looking pretty clean these days. Some government agency has been busy all Fall fencing off the areas that are shown on the plot maps as “green” areas. Barbed wire fences. I have been told that some folks in town are trying to get the town control over some of these areas, in order to build a park or town square or something for the community. The more cynical people assume that some government official’s brother will end up owning the “green” areas. Maybe in this case, “green” means cash, not parks.

Aurora and Beta’s new patio on one of their rentals is looking very nice. Tomorrow Noe is going to pour a new floor there. The first building on the left as you come into town has two rentals being built on the second story. They are working really quickly. Casa Pacific new sunshade roof structure on the top of the house is looking very very nice. People will really like it I think. And the plants on the roof are looking just beautiful. Las Brisas will have a total of eight rental rooms when they finish construction. The worker’s are working late into the night. I am glad I’m not staying there during the construction.

There will be a special parade at 8:30am Sunday morning to celebrate one of the Revolution days. I watched the kids at the primary school practicing their marching moves under the very serious eye of a marching instructor on the playground this morning. Trini was leading a Spanish class with three Mar de Jade visitors in the downstairs bibliotecha room. And the non-marching kids were playing and running around. And the internet café was open for business. Busy place.

The weather continues to get more comfortable, especially in the evening. Mid to high eighties during the day. Not much humidity.

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