Things we have learned in our attempt to live local, none of which will really come as a surprise: 1) fruits and vegetables, if bought from small local shops, are one tenth the cost of those in Vancouver 2) rice and pasta are one fifth the cost 3) pastries, cheese, fish are one quarter the cost 4) beer, meat, and sauces are half the cost 5) milk, cereal, wine, and coffee are the same price 6) bus transport is one quarter the cost Entertainment, for us in the form of beach bars, averages $35, including tip, if we share one order of food. The little cutie below was fighting with his leash at Mango Beach Bar.
Beach vendors are relentless, coming in waves along the beach like the incoming tide. And speaking of waves and tides, you can see how strong they are here at Playa del Camarones, where they have carved a bank in the beach.
People work very long hours for not very good wages and few days off.
Lots of people bring their beasts here; many people adopt stray dogs locally. Schnauzers are a favourite. It seems like the new pier may have changed the water currents in the Los Muertos area; new expanses of sandbars are being carved out and the big waves are breaking in a different area than I remember from last time. The fishing must be good off the pier; these pelicans know a good thing when they see it.
If you can speak Spanish, you usually get a better price for almost everything. My crummy Spanish occasionally gets us cheaper donuts… Las Brazzas grill has fantastic grilled shrimp in soya sauce and garlic.
Walking around Gringo Gulch the other day, not having any idea where I was but wanting to explore the hilly area behind the church, I stumbled across the Hacienda San Angel, a beautiful boutique hotel and restaurant with a tremendous view of the entire Bay and wonderful old wooden religious sculptures.
At one time it was a convent, then the villa of Richard Burton, bought while he was starring in the 1964 John Huston film that put this place on the map, The Night of the Iguana. Attached to the villa by a pink Venetian-style bridge was Casa Kimberly, the house given by Burton to his lover Elizabeth Taylor. Unfortunately, even though everything was intact when sold by Taylor in the eighties, it was not kept that way and the place is now a gigantic construction site. The only evidence of that famous filming remaining here is a dilapidated sign, barely legible, just south of Mismaloya where the film was set.
We sampled the South Side Shuffle delights once again and enjoyed an interesting chat with Jack, the owner of Ambos Galleria. A really great show of paintings is on view at the Contempo Gallery by Cuban artist Yoel Diaz Galvez; I recognized his work as being by the same person as a show that we had seen in Guanajuato in 2012. Obviously others liked it, too, because the gallery was packed.
The “husband’s waiting area” benches get a pretty good workout on these evenings. We also met Linda, originally from Victoria, the owner of Banderas Soap Works, who was stirring up a storm of lovely smelling handmade soap.
Sunday nights El Centro comes alive with locals and visitors. The municipal band plays in the square in front of the church, all decked out in traditional white. After they finish, a DJ spins contemporary and traditional Latin hits for a big throng of dancers against a backdrop of incredible deep blue sky.
Strolling around the back streets we discovered the Que Pasa bar, an expat haven, and the municipal market, with several butcher stalls.
We took a moment to visit the 5th of December cemetery, walking among the colourful headstones and family tombs, one of which had an interestingly painted portrait of Jesus.
Below are some closeups of the plants at the Botanical Gardens, where I went back another day to take some infrared photos.