Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Views of Chacala

This little cutey (NOT little and NOT cute) lives around this area, and is pretty fearless. One came up on the porch of this house repeatedly last summer, leaping in the air to claw at my garbage bag, which was hanging about six feet in the air from a hook. Kind a scary and a good reason to sleep in a house. Thanks to Ann C. for the photo, taken in Sayulita. But this one's cousin lives in Chacala. Can't remember what it's called. Gretchen says it's a coati mundi. I thinnks she is correct.

I am still learning about doing photos on Blogger. These are pictures Karim took last winter from the southern end of Chacala beach.
The top one is from Majahau, looking down from one of the restaurant terraces, and the other one is from in front of Mahajua's beach club area. The tables and umbella's and shade trees are to the right.

One of my small attempts to offer something back to Chacala in return for my being able to stay here and enjoy the town, the setting, and the people, I help landladies find rentors for their rental units. I have a blog, which I have mentioned before, http://chacalabudgetrentals.blogspot.com, where you can look at photos of Chacala rentals.

This time of year there isn't a lot of interest in visiting Chacala (Chacala's not really thought of as a summer vacation destination, at least for Anglo's, I guess). Anyway, during May I helped four (sets of ) visitors find places to stay here. A couple of month-long (or more) stays and a couple of short stays.

The main thing I noticed when I chat with Chacala visitors, is how many things I just take for granted about Chacala, and don't even think of mentioning when I am emailing with people about rentals here.

For example, there are very few sections of streets that at lit up at night. The paved road is totally dark from the new hotel on, going uphill, and quite a few of the other sections of dirt road have just the interior house lights on after about 9pm. Same thing from the palm grove south along the beach road to Mahajua and MardeJade. Of course, the moon is very bright for about two weeks a month, and flashlights are handy gadgets.

Also, the cobblestone sections of the roads around town are kind of hard to walk on, plus, Chacala is built on a sloping hillside, so unless you are staying right on the beach you will be walking up and downhill alot.

At least I usually remember to mention that generally there is only instant coffee served here, and you should plan ahead if you are a coffee addict. People usually don't know that it's considered a good thing in Chacala if dogs bark at night, and they do, because they are considered guard dogs, and let you know if someone unexpected is coming to your place.

And most families here eat their main meals from 2-4pm and a lot of places in Las Varas and a few in Chacala are closed for an hour or two at lunch. And generally the collectivos don't run then either. Although nothing about the collectivo's schedules are written in stone.

Also, there are a number of comments on various websites about Chacala mentioning that it used to be hard to get a taxi after dark. That's not really true now. In fact, last week someone was actually picked up by a taxi in Las Varas at about 3am. He was dozing in front of the Pacifico bus terminal , figuring there wouldn't be a taxi untild dawn, and one came driving up. I wouldn't count on that though.

On a different subject, there is a new dentist, a new woman dentist in Las Varas. Her office is right behind the main Pacifico bus terminal and is newly painted an olive color. Looks good. Some visitors here told me they made appointments with her to have their teeth cleaned, for $20 US (200pesos) each. Don't know if that includes x-rays. I have had a one-shot x-ray here, at Ramon's, and it was $5 (50 pesos). I am thinking I would like to check her out and see what her other charges are like, what the equipment looks like, cleanliness, etc.

My wonderful son sent me a Mother's Day package, mailed on May 6th. It arrived in Las Varas today( May 30th). The bike-riding mailman came up to me on the street in Las Varas and told me my package had arrived. Pretty good. Anyway, I was looking at the wrapping and the package hadn't left the post office in Olympia until the 22nd. 16 days after he paid $24US to mail 4 pounds of sketching paper and a great set of pens. I can't help but wonder why it took 16 days to get the package out of the PO and on it's way. It actually took less than 8 days of travel time to get here, which is a record I think.

I re-organized my work area this morning. It had been outside, on the terrace, but now it's inside, with my pens and papers and drawing stuff all neatly organized on a big table in front of the large window. When the rain starts I will have to rearrange things again, but for now it's great. From this window there are palms, mango trees, bouganvilllas and trees and plants I don't know the names of. Right now, I am sitting at the table and looking at hundreds of ripe mango hanging in the trees about 25 feet away from the window. As soon as it cools off (that would be in November - just kidding) I am going to collect some for a salad. Fruit salad with pineapple and melon. And oranges and bananas. Plus there is a palm, about 25 feet tall that is gradually opening it's palm frond branches as I watch. I can't even think of how to describe how a palm frond opens up.

Some of the older people in this neighborhood like the mangos, which are still ripening, but have a hard time collecting them. Of course, I am an old person too, but I have a good ladder to use. Yesterday I made a net mango-collecting sack on a long bamboo pole that I am going to try to use to pick the highest, tree-ripened mangos. With lime juice from the tree on this very patio. Aurora, Lupita, and Luz were out in the little mango orchard next to this house last night, just before dark, trying to gently remove the mangos that were hanging about 20 feet in the air. All the lower ones have been picked by the Mango Boys, the workers leaving Chacalilla every night.

Making myself hungry, time for lunch.

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