March 15, 2009

Why having a local guide is sooooooooo important

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I spent Saturday morning out and about, buying five large palm trees for the front of the palapa and with Barra de Navidad amigos, Mark and Jackie, who came by the Pink Flamingo for a visit, beach tour, and lunch.

But late in the day, our French surfer-dude amigo Julien came by and asked if we wanted to climb the hill behind the village to the beach, from which he said there was a spectacular view of the ocean and a great place to watch the sunset.

The French are generally not given to understatement, but in this case, Julien definitely didn't tell the whole story.

C'est magnifique!

Playa Chica One
Playa Chica from the mountaintop

View from the hill
Pacific sunset

Playa Chico sunset
Mountaintop view

We hiked up with Julien and Rocio, the veterinarian from La Manzanilla who was Lucky Dog's primary care physician until his infirmities got so bad we had to put him to sleep two weeks ago. (Pardon the euphemism, but it's hard for me to say the more common, 'put the dog down.')

The hike proved to be just the right tonic for me, my lungs complaining most of the way, but I did trot the last 50 feet to the top and do little Rocky Balboa dance to celebrate being able to get a full breath of air. At least most of the time.

Rocky Balboa

Near the summit
Just short of the summit

The three amigos on a rock
Captain, Admiral and Rocio at the top

After the sunset, we carefully threaded our way back down about a mile-long hillside, particularly careful because it was quite dark by the bottom. (NOTE TO CAPTAIN: Carry flashlight on all early evening hikes.)

But the fun wasn't over.

Julien offered to cook crepes for all of us - and our neighbors Chena and Chon and their children it turned out. He used our outdoor kitchen, which proved up to the task. The crepes were like the view from the hill, magnifique.

Julien cooks the crepes
Chena and Julien making the les crepes

The day's fun wasn't over when the last of the crepes were done, however.

Sylvia excused herself to use the bathroom facilities and gave a short shriek when she discovered she was not alone in el bano. Apparently the nice patterns on the curtains in front of the bathroom - and maybe the cool tile - was an enticement to one of our resident toads.

Toad visitor
Toad visitor - evicted by the Admiral

We had another bit of fauna visit, a tiny frog that seemed to take a shine to a big frog-shaped flower pot we purchased at the vivero (plant nursery) along with our new palm trees. The little frog stuck with the flower power (maceta in Spanish) all evening while we ate crepes. This morning he (or she, I suppose) was gone. But we expect he (or she) to return when it cools down the flower pot is not in the sun.

Frog with frog
Frog and frog

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