May 30, 2009

New rules and navigating the Philadelphia airport

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, USA - I re-entered the U.S. without incident last night in Phoenix, not even raising any eyebrows from either immigration or customs. I am usually not that lucky.

At immigration, I stayed and chatted with the officer for about 5 minutes (an eternity at passport control) because the amiable fellow wanted lots of details about living in Mexico and, he asked, did I think it would be a good place for him to retire?

But early this morning, here in the City of Brotherly Love, the Admiral and I ran head-on into the rules.

Rules?

Yes, rules. You know them, the stand-behind-the-yellow-line kind of stuff that doesn't seem to exist in Mexico.

We headed from our Phoenix-to-Philly flight to a shuttle bus, a bus we have taken at least a dozen times over the past few years. But today we ran afoul of two new rules - and some serious bad attitudes on the part of the enforcers.

The first rule was that in order to board the bus, passengers have to wait in a tiny holding pen - an unmarked holding pen where passengers must stand until a very self-important person, wearing an orange vest, says it is permissible to board the bus.

The Admiral and I, not seeing the invisible signs (Damn these old eyes!), simply stepped out the door to the waiting bus, only to be turned back rudely to the pen by Ms. Orange Vest.

Moments later we were freed and allowed to board.

Then we got to our destination - three terminals away - and ran into New Rule Two.

New Rule Two is that although the bus has three very large automatic doors, (front, back and middle) all passengers need to traverse to the front door of the bus to disembark - even if they have gotten on at the rear door with all their luggage.

No signage on that either, but the bellowing of the driver (directed at another passenger who dared to attempt to dart out the middle door) made it clear that this is serious stuff, taken seriously, at least by this bus driver who goes back and forth from C Terminal to F Terminal all day, one trip every fifteen minutes.

One last flight awaits us, from Philly to Elmira, on which I intend to buckle my seat belt right away and get my tray table folded up.

Those rules I know about, though no doubt in the six months we have been living in Mexico there are other new rules lurking to ensnare.

May 29, 2009

Back in the USSA after more than six months in Mexico

PHOENIX, Arizona, USA - I touched down on American soil a few hours ago after more than six months in Arroyo Seco, Mexico and its environs.

A stopover in Puerto Vallarta last night gave me a chance to say goodbye to Dustin, Cami, and, of course, granddaughter Sasha. Sasha is turning into a real character.

Sasha loves corn
Sasha loves corn - on the cob

Sasha smiles big

As I write this, the Admiral and I are waiting to board a US Airways jet for next leg of the trip to Philadelphia - a red-eye flight that leaves at about 11 p.m., local time.

Yawn.

But the upside is the Admiral used some frequent flier miles to upgrade this leg to first class for both of us. First class - you know, the big seats, the free drinks and perhaps even enough room to stretch out and sleep.

A vodka tonic, por favor, er, I mean, please...

May 19, 2009

Shutting down for the season, just ahead of the heat

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The weather has gone from balmy and breezy to humid and hot. Really hot. Really humid.

But it has its charms, like getting up and being able to water the grass and plants before dawn - standing in a bathing suit. Already the sun is high enough to make it as steamy as a novel set in a South American jungle and work has moved from outside to inside - or in the shade.

The Admiral and I made a quick trip to Puerto Vallarta Sunday to drop off amigos Randy and Karin at the airport and then a muy rapido overnight with Dustin, Cami and Sasha before heading back here to El Rancho Arroyo Seco. In about one week, the Admiral and I will head out to New York, via Phoenix and Philadelphia, just ahead of the rains that start here in June and go until November.

Last night, the forecast said chance of thunderstorms and it looked it.

Dustin's puppy
Dustin's new puppy

Dustin's puppy from an Arroyo Seco litter, which he picked up a week ago, is doing great. At only four weeks old, the pooch is already eating solid food (mixed with milk) and has become part of the Dustin-Cami-Sasha-Max household.

Max? Max is a labrador-mix dog who doubles as a watchdog and pet for the house. Max is quite perplexed by the fact that this puppy gets to go inside the house while Max is banished to the outside.

It helps to be cute, I guess.

Also cute, of course, is granddaughter Sasha who is learning to play catch - sort of.

video

We are already making plans for this afternoon - which probably will include a quick trip (or long trip) over to Playa Chica for swimming (and possibly some cerveza imbibing for hydrating). When we arrived home late afternoon from Puerto Vallarta yesterday, we barely dropped off the bags before we headed out to the beach.

And on the beach we saw our vecinos (neighbors) Luis and Nena exercising their pooches. The brief movie below says Puerto Vallarta - a definite gaffe on the part of the cinematographer. It's Playa Chica, for sure.

The only other person around was a fisherman on the rocks, waiting for that big dorado to grab his line.

video

Sitting on a rock by the bay
Sitting on the rock by the bay

May 16, 2009

Tenacatita boogie boarding and a croc attack in Boca de Iguanas

TENACATITA BEACH, Jalisco, Mexico - After days of sampling the city life in La Manzanilla, we returned to Arroyo Seco Sunday to get ready for a trip to Puerto Vallarta, where we will be dropping off our amigos Randy and Karin at the airport. But on the way from La Manzanilla we diverted to Tenacatita Beach for some swimming, seafood, and - of course - some boogie boarding action.

The waves were down appreciably from a week ago when the southerly swell was driving huge breakers on the swimming beach.

But they were big enough today for plenty of interesting rides.

Intrepid surfers
Intrepid surfers head out for adventure

Randy rides
Randy rides right to shore

Before leaving La Manzanilla, we discovered that the sailboat that had washed ashore a couple of days ago was reportedly owned by some people in La Manzanilla who had taken it out to Tenacatita to scuttle the vessel.

The vessel had other ideas and despite the gaping holes in it, stayed afloat. Sunday town workers used a backhoe and other implements of destruction to break up the boat and haul it off in a dump truck.

We were told that the boat was taken out and sunk in an effort to make it a marine habitat. Unfortunately, now it will become part of the landfill instead and the owners will likely get stuck with a bill to pay the guys who took it away.

Sailboat loaded onto dump truck
Picking up the chunks of the smashed boat

In the meantime, the La Manzanilla message board has several postings today about a crocodile incident in the lagoon by Boca de Iguanas.

A labrador retriever was killed (and presumably eaten) right in front of a family.

Here's a link to the posting:
  • Croc attack in Boca

  • Couple checks out crocodile
    Tourists last year, getting up close and personal

    May 14, 2009

    Taking a 'vacation' from retirement

    LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I are taking a vacation from retirement.

    I know, I know.

    But if you have been following our saga this winter and spring you know that retirement has not meant golf, shuffle board and rocking chairs (hammocks maybe). Between all of the construction, then landscaping and most recently all of the 'save-the-dogs' efforts, we seem to have been running full-tilt, far busier than teaching in Sacramento.

    Far busier. (OK, we have squeezed in a lot of fun, too. But still...)

    For the past couple of days - and one more tomorrow - we have been doing some serious lounging (Is than an oxymoron?) at a house in La Manzanilla, without fixing anything, or chasing (and bathing) a single street pooch. (Oh crap, I hear a hound barking on the street. Somebody grab the Admiral, quick.)

    Surf's up
    Pre-vacation warmup in Arroyo Seco last week

    The days off have been made more fun by having U.S. amigos Randy and Karin in town. They arrived a couple of days ago, getting off the plane in Manzanillo and immediately shifting from their native cold, mountain air (they live near Sanders and Pat Lamont in the California mountains) to the stifling humidity that has suddenly arrived in the last week.

    That humidity was quite apparent went they stepped off the plane and made their way across the 90 degree tarmac to the terminal. Their flight was probably carrying 50 people - on a plane designed for 300.

    video

    But Randy and Karen conquered the humidity the way we all do down here (if you live close to the beach). They grabbed their bathing suits and we all traveled to the La Manzanilla beach for swimming - and a little shade from our umbrella.

    The water has warmed up remarkably in the past two weeks, bringing with it some fear that sting rays might also be wanting to enjoying the waters. And on the La Manzanilla beach, the water is usually clouded with sand when the surf comes up, making visibility a problem.

    No sting rays showed up, but midway through the afternoon we rubbed our eyes as we watched an overturned sailboat drift up on shore. For a captain, this is stuff nightmares are made of.

    Sailboat washes up on shore
    Sailboat drifting in

    It was hard to say how long the boat had been drifting, but there wasn't any green algae growth on the underwater parts so I would guess that the boat was in the water for less than a week, maybe even just a few days.

    Randy and checked out the boat pretty thoroughly - no name, hailing port or rigging at all. It did have plenty of bottom paint which was sloughing off quickly onto any of the young Mexican children who climbed on the boat to get a peek in through one of the major holes in the hull.

    Because I have gotten quite sick from getting that paint on me in years past, I convinced most of the kids that the blue paint was peligroso (dangerous) and malo (bad).

    Most of the children washed the paint off right away in the saltwater, probably enough prevention.

    video

    An added La Manzanilla treat was getting to attend a very small family birthday party for our God-daughter Devani two days ago. Her mother and grandmother and grandfather have moved to a much smaller house as the economic downtown - and H1N1, the malady formerly known as swine flu - battered the economy of this village so much that they lost their jobs.

    No tourists, no money, no jobs for the family. They hope their two-table restaurant will keep them afloat for awhile. But we're not sure. No tourists probably means no customers. Except for us, perhaps.

    The Mexicans we talk with are completely baffled by the fear many Americans seem to have of Mexico. Like folks in the U.S., they understand there are parts of their country to be more careful in. In Mexico, that's border towns and the big cities. In the U.S., it's border towns and the big cities.

    Hmm...

    Devani with shaker toy
    Devani sits on her birthday present

    video

    May 11, 2009

    Mexico's schools are closed again - but will be clean for the students

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The huge puddles of water in the street this morning were the giveaway that some major cleaning project - or maybe a broken waterline - was near us. The first proved to be true. The school was being scrubbed from top to bottom and then back up to the top by parents.

    The state of Jalisco had originally said schools should reopen today (in the wake of H1N1, the malady-formerly-known-as-swine-flu). But later officials said the schools should remain closed one more week, just to be safe, and to give schools time to clean, everything.

    And so today the parents of Arroyo Seco picked up the bottles of the all-purpose Fabuloso cleaner, powerful bleaches, mops, brooms and other implements of cleaning and then scrubbed the elementary school a hundred yards from our front gate.

    Total school scrub
    Scrubbing the school

    Cleaning school in Arroyo Seco
    Moving everything out to clean

    What was particularly striking, was that this was a group of parents doing all the work - not some hired custodians on overtime. And although they were working very hard, they were also obviously enjoying each other's company and the conversations were fast and furious. It was as social as some of the fiestas yesterday for Mother's Day.

    It was also hard not to think what a U.S. response to the same situation might look like. (Or does look like right now!)

    Most likely, school officials would have to check with the school's insurance carrier to ensure that it was OK for parents to pick up a mop, then negotiate with several unions to allow the volunteer help. Eventually these same officials would need to file a book's worth of documents with the Environmental Protection Agency about how they would dispose of waste water, the sponges used and exactly what kind of protective gear (READ $$$$$) the parents needed.

    Oh, and state and city permits. Lots of permits. Lots of fees. Lots of inspectors and inspections.

    In other words, the school would not get cleaned without it costing a boodle of money, even if parent volunteers were allowed to help. (A boodle is more than a lot, but less than a gazillion...)

    One thing is certain. The elementary school in Arroyo Seco looks spotless to me right now. But then, I'm not an EPA-trained inspector.

    video

    May 10, 2009

    North to Puerto Vallarta to visit family and get finance advice

    PUERTO VALLARTA, Jalisco, Mexico - We left the safe confines of Arroyo Seco for a trip to the big city over the weekend, visiting with Dustin, Cami and Sasha at their palatial home in Nuevo Vallarta. Our projects had reached a point of stasis in the rancho and so we wanted to get in a good visit with the family before we go up for our final trip at the end of the month.

    After that, we catapult to upstate New York where our pontoon boat, the Spirit of Louise, will be launched within days of our arrival.

    Of course, in our haste to leave last minute for Vallarta, we forgot all the paperwork we needed to do various things in Puerto Vallarta - like register my motorcyle for the highway - and so it turns out we will zip up the highway again next weekend anyway.

    Quelle dommage! (French)
    Que lastima! (Spanish)
    Oh! Crap!
    (American English)

    Sasha with grandma
    Sasha with Grandma Sylvia

    As part of our hiatus in Puerto Vallarta, we went for lunch at the famous Vallarta Yacht Club in the Paradise Village Marina, the same marina where we docked Sabbatical for several years..

    OK, it's not really famous, but they have a great deck overlooking the channel and the food is very good. We were greeted by the same staff that has worked there almost since it opened and in some ways, it's kind of like going home when we visit there.

    Across the channel, we watched a couple of fishermen throwing nets, after bait fish we figured. Given the number of boats that dump their toilets directly overboard into the marina, we hope they were after baitfish anyway. (NOTE TO CAPTAIN: Do not eat the fish sandwich special at the Vallarta Yacht Club - ever.)

    Wading with crocs
    Wading in the channel - with the crocs

    We did watch one intrepid fisherman casting his net while knee deep in the water, right next to the sign that warns about crocodiles in the water.

    Normally I would be skeptical about such signs, except that some amigos at the yacht club - dining at the next table - said they had seen about a 12-foot croc lounging on the rocks about a half-hour before the fisherman showed up and started throwing their nets.

    No croc action during our lunch - but then we didn't stay all that long.

    Sasha at breakfast
    Sasha chows down some breakfast

    After breakfast Friday, I decided to chat with Sasha about economics, how long she thinks the current recession will last and when we can expect an economic recovery.

    Ok, she is only 8 months old, but her opinion might be as valid as the Council of Economic Advisers. I have been asking everybody and no one seems to have very good answers.

  • The Council

  • Here's a short video of what she told me.

    video

    May 6, 2009

    Forget H1,N1 virus, how about a dog with 'ehrlichia'?

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - While the H1N1 virus was all the rage, (the malady-formerly-known-as-swine-flu), we were battling our own disease issues with El Capitan, the dog the Admiral and I have been trying to nurse back to health for several weeks.

    Sunday, as the world was coming to the conclusion that just maybe it had gotten a little carried away with the potential danges of H1N1, Capitan was projectile-sneezing bloody clots across the palapa and causing a cleanliness crisis.

    But three shots from Rocio the vet later, plus other medicines and, of course, a little dinero for various treatments, and we thought El Capitan had a chance to beat a very bad disease called ehrlichia.

    We're not so sure today.

    Capitan - very tired
    A very tired Capitan

    Yesterday afternoon, the nosebleeds started again, and with the assistance of Chon, we were able to get an anti-bleeding shot into the Capitan. He wasn't very happy about the shot (Capitan, not Chon), and the various antibiotics don't seem to agree with him as much as other medicines have.

    Then last night and all day today, Capitan made a kind of a gurgling sound and seemed to have some problems swallowing.

    And then the top of his head erupted with its own bleeding patch - without even being touched.

    Capitan cut, up close
    Capitan's cut, up close

    Capitan's bloody nose
    Capitan's bloody nose

    The bleeding on El Capitan's head is from a wound that suddenly appeared while the Admiral had Capitan out for a stroll. It has already started to heal, but the spontaneous 'bleeding out' has us worried that El Capitan is going into a serious relapse. He was near to bleeding out when we first treated him three weeks ago. His entire body was covered with barely healing scabs.

    Serious relapse of not, El Capitan trotted off the property earlier this evening in the company of his owner who had come by with some fruit for us as a present. He seemed happy to go home with her, despite the good food and drink we provide him here at the Pink Flamingo.

    If he comes back here tonight to sleep right outside our bedroom door - which he might - we will be ready for another evening of listening for his gurgling sounds.

    And, I suppose, waking up with a sense of dread if the gurgling suddenly stops.

    May 5, 2009

    Buying a lot in Mexico? Buy the fencing to enclose it, too

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - One of the most important things a new landowner needs to do in Mexico is build a stout fence as soon as they take possession. As in right away. As in yesterday, if possible.

    It's the fences that let the rest of the community see that someone is staking claim. And if you don't stake claim, it's entirely possible someone else will come along, put up a little fencing of their own, and then say the property (or a part of it) is theirs.

    And so just a few weeks before we had back to upstate New York, we are tackling our beach lot to get it in shape for fencing - something we should have done last May before we left. And yes, a neighbor has been making noises about encroachment.

    No mas!

    Thirteen dump trucks later, plus several dozen posts and barbed wire (the wire will go up in the next few days) and we will have made our statement. Four strands of it, with damned sharp points.

    We are not sure what we will do on the lot - maybe build a little beach palapa. But it's a great getaway spot and about 150 yards from surf in which to boogie-board.

    Filling the lot - ocean view
    Facing the ocean - access to La Playa is on the left

    Filling the lot, street view
    Admiral Fox surveys the fill application

    The Admiral and I have two other undeveloped lots in town, one is fenced quite nicely, the other will get the fence treatment in the next few weeks before we leave. The unfenced piece is a small lot on the top of the ridge near the Pink Flamingo and is my favorite. It has views of the ocean in two directions, gets a fresh breeze almost always, and is very, very quiet. It has the added attraction of not having a road to it yet, so a trip to check it out makes my cardiologist very happy.

    Next year, tal vez (perhaps), we might build a palapa - or even a small casita on that ridge. Next year...

    Luis, Nena and their dogs
    Luis, Nena and one of their pooches

    While we stood around watching neighbors Chon and Nino do all the work on the beach lot, the Admiral and I chatted with Jim and Vickie (who hail from Texas). The couple is going to live in their beach house across the street year round from now on, after using the house for a few months per year.

    And while we were chatting with them, our in-town neighors Luis and Nena roared up on Luis' quad, taking their four dogs on their daily exercise run. With Luis and Nena was their tiny Chihuahua. (Is saying tiny Chihuahua like saying jumbo shrimp?). The small dog runs the four large dogs around like a boot camp instructor.

    And the tiny Chihuahua exhibited some other alpha dog characteristics while we had our conversations, as demonstrated in the video below.

    video

    May 4, 2009

    A dog day ends up with dinner at a seaside hotel

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - Sunday was another veterinary mini-clinic with the major patients being El Capitan and Leona. Leona has some problem similar to cancer and is getting a shot per week (which she does not like). El Capitan is showing signs of a disease spread by ticks and when he breathes, he sounds like a pig with a bad cold.

    A really bad cold.

    Both dogs were treated by our amiga and veterinarian Rocio on Sunday, with El Capitan getting three shots, several boxes of pills (all for this week) and a lot of sympathy. Most problematic is his runny nose. A runny nose with mucus that is mostly blood.

    Stand way back when El Capitan sneezes.

    Leona - for the first time - didn't squirm like Jack Nicholson in a straight jacket when we put a muzzle on her and gave her an intravenous injection. It was a great relief.

    Capitan's bloody nose
    Capitan's bloody nose -a symptom of his illness

    Holding Leona down for shot
    Leona gets her third injection

    After cleaning up the palapa floor - largely from blood splatters - the Admiral and I headed off to Careyes, where amigas own condos at the swank hotel there. Careyes is only a few miles up the highway from Arroyo Seco, but light years away in terms of opulence and money.

    We were waved through the gate by the guards when we dropped the names of our amigas, then found out we had missed our friends by an hour. (Merde!)

    But because we were inside the resort, we opted to spend some time gawking at the rich and, perhaps, famous. Some time stretched to about four hours which included swimming in the pool, cocktails and dinner. (NOTE TO DINERS: The Cuba Libres served at Palapa Joe's are better than the Cuba Libres served at the Hotel Careyes, though the hotel's pack a wallop, too...)

    Admiral Fox at Careyes
    Admiral Fox at Careyes

    Relaxing at Careyes pool
    Relaxing poolside

    The Careyes' anchorage is famous with cruisers who travel the coast from Mazatlan to Zihuatenejo. We had seen it eight years ago from shoreside when we used our journalist credentials to get by the gate. But while cruising on the 48-foot Sabbatical, we passed it up when traveling back and forth. The anchorage looks great on the charts, but when you see it up close and personal from the deck of a sailboat, the rocks get very big and the swell very intense.

    When we arrived at the hotel and pool - and checked out the anchoring spots Sunday - our earlier decisions to skip Careyes as a waystation seemed like we made good choices. And the very calm safe waters of Tenacatita Bay are only a few miles further south.

    Careyes anchorage
    Careyes channel - pretty from the shore

    Today The Admiral is off helping with a vet clinic in La Manzanilla while my job is to go out and check on progress at our other three lots in Arroyo Seco. Two in-town lots are being cleared and some extra fencing put in place. Our beach lot is getting cleared and filled so we can start yet-another project out there.

    Yet another project?

    Why not? We don't leave for Seneca Lake in New York for oh, about three weeks.

    May 3, 2009

    Not all restaurants pay attention to the governor of Jalisco

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I have dined out for the past few nights - right here in the village - as most of the local restaurateurs seem to have decided that economic survival outweighs any chance of contracting H1N1, the malady-formerly-known-as-swine-flu. The governor of the State of Jalisco had issued an edict several days ago, closing down all public gatherings - including restaurants.

    But the two and three-table restaurants of Arroyo Seco were a pale reflection of what we found at Tenacatita Beach.

    We went out to the area to check on the property of Canadian amigos Doug and Lynn and spotted tour buses parked all over the place (I counted 14. There might have been more down the beach).

    Tenacatita Beach, May 2, 2009
    Tenacatita Beach, May 2, 2009

    I think there were fewer people on that beach and eating at the restaurants during the Semana Santa holiday season. And we didn't hear a single sneeze, though the surf was noisy and crashing a lot.

    Up in Puerto Vallarta, most public places are closed, but across the state line, in the state of Nayarit, there are no restrictions on gatherings and restaurants and bars have pulled in many of the tourists from downtown. The tourists that haven't already bailed out.

    Samba
    Samba hitches a ride back to downtown Arroyo Seco

    Closer to home, the Admiral and I have been doing home health care for dogs, giving baths and injections in what was originally supposed to be a simple vet clinic once a week - with our professional vet and amiga Rocio doing all the heavy lifting.

    However, after Rocio leaves each week, there is a laundry list of things to do for the various animals under her care.

    And several - including el Capitan and Samba - have decided that they would really prefer to live with us, instead of their owners. Samba chases the quad wherever we go. Saturday, we took pity on her and gave her a lift back to the Pink Flamingo.

    Capitan came calling yesterday, howling (the Admiral said talking) at the screen door. My dog-talk is as rusty as my Spanish, but I think he said feed me. I'm not sure I was telling him in response, but he did stick around for food.

    And then he left after taking a siesta on the new grass.

    video

    May 1, 2009

    An afternoon on the beach - with Chinese/Mexican food

    ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I were prepped early this morning to go to La Huerta to pay our taxes, only to learn from neighbor Chon (as we were ready to pull out of the driveway) that we should pay a lot more attention to the calendar - and when Mexican holidays occur.

    Today - May 1 - is a nationwide holiday, a holiday in a nation that is already under a virtual social lockdown because of H1N1 - the disease formerly-known-as-swine-flu.

    So, after making a couple of phone calls to be sure we could not go pay our taxes and take care of some other legal matters, we took a relatively leisurely day around the Pink Flamingo and then attended a May Day fiesta on the beach with Chena and Chon and relatives of Luis. Luis is the owner of a tienda in town and also the proprietor of a beach restaurant called Las Brisas where we shared in the family fiesta.

    I did make one major social gaffe - one that I know of anyway. When the dinner was over and we were heading back to the Pink Flamingo, I shooking Luis' hand to say thanks for his hospitality. Very bad manners when the whole nation is worried about la gripa porcina (swine flu) and is avoiding all physical contact. Luis laughed and said he had enough tequila in his system that a little flu was not going to bother him.

    I fortified with red wine when I returned home in case Luis had slipped some gripa porcina in my direction.

    And, of course, I washed my hands quite thoroughly - even before pouring some vino tinto (red wine).

    Outward bound on quad
    Outward bound on the quad

    Girls on the quad
    Three amigas

    After a very tasty - and picante - Chinese/Mexican seafood salad and a few beers (ok, three beers) at the beach restaurant, neighbor Chon offered to show us a trail to a hilltop overlooking Playa Chica. We had driven past the trail several times, never realizing exactly where it went, so with Chon's direction, up we went to a hill that gives a breathtaking vista of the area around the beach.

    The road/trail had not been used in a long time and so Chon's daughters Juliette and Brianda got whacked more than once with low-hanging tree branches and weeds taller than the quad. Even the Admiral took one square hit while filming a video.

    The girls were good sports however, used to such adventuring with Chon, no doubt.

    Playa Chica from hilltop
    Playa Chica, looking north and west

    Rocks at south end of beach
    Rocks and swimming areas to the south

    T0morrow - Saturday - we will be doing minor chores around the casa and getting ready for another mini-clinic on Sunday with our veterinarian amiga Rocio from La Manzanilla. At the fiesta this afternoon, Luis' wife Nena said she will be bringing one of her dogs by for a look see. And Rocio has to give another shot to a dog named Leona. Leona has no sense of humor about the series of shots she is getting and we have to put a muzzle on her while Rocio administers the medicine.

    I expect to be pressed into service again to hold Leona down as I did last week - but with a lot of help again from her owners.

    Here are two short film clips from our quad adventure this afternoon/evening. The first is coming down the mountain/hillside, the second on the beach.


    video


    video