Sunday, February 07, 2016

A Rough Road

On January 23rd while sitting in a palapa restaurant in La Manzanilla, a woman and her husband sat at the table next to me.  As she sat down she commented about the fact that it was nice to finally be out of bed after being sick for so long.  Then she coughed.

My impulse was to get up and move, but I did not want to be rude.  Now I wish I had done so.

Five days later, in the middle of the night, I was awakened with a racking cough that did not stop for
six days.  No sleep.  No relief.  Acute bronchitis.

It has been a rough road though hopefully I'm on the road to recovery and the road home to San Miguel in the next few days.  I'm too weak to drive so a driver is coming from San Miguel to take
me home.

Not the way I expected to end an escape to Paradise.

I've received many inquiries about whether all is well or not.  Obviously not.  But, this too shall pass.

More on down the road when I'm back in San Miguel and stronger and able to post photos and recollections.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Steve and Barco at Home in the Casa with No Name

In all the hullabaloo of writing about the place I'm staying......I have not found time to write about Steve Cotton's gracious invitation to see his new home........the casa with no name.

I was impressed and awed by the attention to detail along with the use of materials and finishes.

It all begins at the street before one enters.  That sets one up to know that the architecture is Mexican Contemporary and plants the seed to want to see inside.  Unfortunately I did not get a good photo as across from the house is a goat field and I did not want to plant my feet on a goat hill, so to speak..
 So, I took these photos, but when standing back and seeing all the details and lines, it is apparent that it is something unique.

 As you enter the beautiful wood front doors, this is the view.  The pool and angles everywhere.
 Then the house begins to reveal itself.  Everything has a purpose or leads to something else.  The planter in the photo above is actually a natural privacy screen in front of one of the four bedrooms.
A clever solution.
 Looking to the north there are beautiful huge coconut trees to be seen with a bit of a view of the satellite tower.  All the living at present is on the first level which is where the living room, kitchen and four bedrooms are located.  On the second floor are four pavilions that at some point will be furnished or turned into more rooms.  Clever.
I think the kitchen is the piece de resistance!  It is evident that the architect was superb at space planning, being innovative and creative with a narrow long space that mirrors the same size space
as the living room does across the courtyard.
 All the shelving behind the unobtrusive doors is adjustable.  A kitchen designed by a woman architect.

 The view from the second floor.  That machine on top of the roof is a solar water heater.
 Here are the coconut trees!  Majestic as always.  And now I realize that I did not get photos of the living room or the bathrooms which were also a well designed and appointed rooms.  The best photo of all though, was the photo of Steve and his new companion, Barco Rubio.  What a joyful, rambunctious creature he is for Steve to enjoy.  It was a fun adventure to see the home that Steve finally chose.  A very, very good choice in my opinion.  Both the house and the dog!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The "Hawk Whisperer"

The day started out calm and beautiful.  The surf was not up but the usual array of flora and fauna   were around to watch as I sipped coffee and decided to drive up to the beach at La Manzanilla to see what the surf was like and visit some friends.

Upon returning, an event occurred that I have never experienced before.  A grey hawk had almost drowned in the horse trough behind the house where Mariposa drinks frequently.  My friend John on going to inspect that there was enough water for Mariposa the horse,  saw a saturated hawk that was so waterlogged that it could not get out.  He managed to get him out and brought him over by the house.

And then the adventure began.  The hawk was totally docile at this point.  Attempting to get water off of him did not help much.  He shivered and just stood there, not moving.  A few times he just fell over.
 Aha, then the bright idea to use my hair dryer.  I thought it would freak out the bird, but it was too weak to resist.  The photo above was after the hair dryer.  John put a leg wrap on it so it wouldn't fall off the deck.
 He set it on the stump of one of the trees lost in Hurricane Patricia that we use as a table in the evenings while we watch the sun set.  He was placed there.
 Eventually, like about an hour later, when he would walk toward it it would spread its wings and also
let John hold him.  A few times when he spread his wings, he just fell backwards
John talked to it and petted it.  He became the "Hawk Whisperer".   It was quite a spectacular sight to watch a wild raptor be so docile. Then as it began to get stronger, John fed it some watermelon.  It did not eat the pulp but did drink the juice.

Still I doubted it would fly off as it looked so sickly and acted that way.  At one point, John walked away and the hawk jumped up on its feet and started to fly off.  The leg tie was removed, but still
we doubted that it was strong enough to fly.  After sitting and observing it for at least another thirty minutes, we got up to go into the house to fix dinner.  We had no sooner turned our backs then the hawk took off and landed in a tree over at the edge of the property.                                                   We were astonished and thrilled at the flight and recovery of the grey hawk.  Our very own National Geographic episode!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Surf's UP............

Woo hoo!  Walking out under the palapa yesterday morning to drink my cup of coffee and watch the ocean, there was an exquisite sight.  SURF!

The bay has been as calm as a lake since I arrived.  Not yesterday.  It did not take long for the word to travel to the surfers in the area and by mid-afternoon there were six surfers out there riding the waves at the surf break which just so happens to be right in front of the property.  What a treat to

It brought back memories of back in the 60's when my husband and I persisted in our quest to be able
to surf off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.  What fun.  Somewhere I have photos of our adventure.  The children were staying with their grandmother and we actually had a week to ourselves!  It was an infrequent happening.

No sooner was I watching the waves when a car pulled up to the gate with a couple of guys about 18 or 19 who wanted to clean the coconut trees in exchange for the coconuts.  There are nine huge coconut trees on the property that needed some fronds removed as well as dead husk stuff.

These two young men worked for three hours - up and down the high extension ladder.  Cutting the dead debris, the fronds and then the clumps of coconuts.  It too was a sight to behold.  They left with the back of their car loaded to the roof with coconuts...........

I never left the house yesterday.  There was enough activity going on.  From one thing to another.

                  Note the surfers waiting for the perfect wave.  They got many and rode them well!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Views from the end of the Dirt Road - Bay of Cuestacuomate

 These little blue and yellow birds are prolific.  Darting back and forth from the bourganvilla. Such intense color
 The fishermen come out at night and drop three huge nets about six PM.   They are back the next morning by 8AM and loading up the catch of the night.  The pelicans are ALWAYS waiting for a treat or two.
 This section of the bay was not previously visible, but so many trees were blown over in Hurricane Patricia that it is now a lovely sight.  Just on this property 32 trees were lost.
 A few waves yesterday, but not enough for the surfers that come to check the surfbreak from time to time.  Not much since I have been here.
 There is a new sailor in a Sunfish who has been improving his tacking skills in the last couple of weeks

As the sunset became golden, I could not resist this photo.  It is a bit out of focus, but it sure looks different from the one above!

Life is good!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Life at the end of a Dirt Road............

 I find myself succumbing to the "real me".  I'm becoming a nature seeking hermit!  Bet you could have never guessed that.  Especially those of you who knew me in my "business" days.  I have found nirvana.  Truly.
If its not the whales or the yellow and blue birds or the eagle I saw the other morning while drinking coffee, it is the sunsets, the stars and lightning bugs.

Then last night I got up around 2:30 to head to the bano and I saw lights out on the water.  One shining straight ahead toward the house, but the others were shining down on the water.  What the heck?  I found out this morning that it is the lobster divers out there working the waters in the bay as this is lobster season in this part of the world.  What amazing sight next?

Again, while having coffee this morning, whales out in the ocean, not in the bay.  My cup runneth over.

Closer to the house, the two boxers. Tank and Guapo, caught a skunk about five days ago.  The odor lingers, but not nearly as bad as the first day or two.  While I was gone from the house, my dear friend John, hauled the carcass off to the woods.  The dogs could not figure out why we did not want to pet them or even be anywhere near to them.

Even closer to the house, I dragged my fleece robe out of the back of the car where it had last been worn the night before I left San Miguel.  It was 63F yesterday morning but was up in the mid 80's before the day was done.  After shedding the fleece robe and the llama slippers, a day at La Manzanilla, seemed perfect.

Meeting good friends, Linda and Robert up there, a 20 minute drive, we sat at Fiesta Mexicana with our toes in the sand eating seafood and drinking beers and pina coladas.  Fine day - wide ranging conversations and beautiful surf.  How blessed I am.

Today, mundane things, picking up laundry in Melaque and dashing off a post to share a couple of photos.  Now back to the end of the dirt road, where, hopefully, I don't have to leave again til maybe next Monday!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Persistence pays off

Today, as I sit in a little internet cafe in a small fishing town, I finally figured out how to get to my
blog site to post to you.

I've been frustrated in my futile attempts and it was because I needed to remove the email address of the previous owner of the computer in order to write.  All is well now.

I arrived here on the beautiful azure blue Pacific Ocean almost two weeks ago.  So much has happened that I wanted to share, but couldn't.  Now I can.

The first evening after the eight hour drive from San Miguel, I simply wanted to watch the spectacular sunset and unwind.  I did.  It doesn't take long when you have such incredible vistas.

The sunset was extraordinary.  I have photos. My next test is to figure out how to post them on the blogs.  Patience, please.

As we sat there enjoying the display, a totally unexpected surprise happened.  A wonder of nature!

LIGHTNING BUGS.  I have not seen them in at least twenty years and that was last in the Texas Hill Country.  But, even there, it was not anything like the show we had the other night.  Oh my, I was like a kid in a candy store.  Exclaiming and oooohing and aaaahing.  What a magical night.  I have seen them every night since on the side of the mountain in the trees that abut the property of my friend John H.

Spent a few days in Manzanillo the first weekend.  The weekend right after New Years Day. Oh my, it was packed with tourists.  That is an understatement.  Having never been in the city, I was astonished at all the US branded companies with stores there.  I was visiting the new person who has leased the guest house and is leaving Manzanillo.  She graciously invited me to spend a few days at her condo on the beach.  Fun time.

Back at nature central,  I firmly gripped my binoculars and returned to enjoying the views of the bay.

Yesterday we were all rewarded with views of the WHALES blowing and breaching!  First you see the blowhole of water going up in the air.  Then you see the back of the whale and exclaim in amazement.  But the best part is when the whole darn thing comes out of the water and then it kinda flips its tail as it goes back down.  This went on for over an hour.  I was beside myself.  Yes, I've seen it before, but I don't think two years ago the whales were this big.   I'm on a "Nature trip", par excellence.  What a gift.

There are all kinds of other adventures to share with you, but that's enough for today.  Hopefully by the next time I post, there will be photos too.

Adios from Calechosa!