Difficulty Camping, a Sick Birthday for Danaka & Some Instant Friends

We’ve picked up a bacterium somewhere and many members of the family are under the weather now.  We packed up the water toys last night so we thought it would be a good day to drive.

It’s Danaka’s 17th Birthday and she’s not feeling up to snuff.  She staked out her solitude in the back seat alongside mountains of bedding.  We don’t see nor hear from the birthday girl until evening.

We purchased a recommended map book while in Puerto Vallarta, more detailed than our weather-proof foldout map but we’ve discovered that some of the roads it says are there…aren’t.  People look quizzical at us when we ask them about the road along the coast.  There isn’t one in these parts so we have to backtrack.  We find ourselves traversing huge puddles & low creek beds, dodging overhanging branches and bouncing along miles and miles of cobblestone roads with nothing but brush alongside of them.

The roadway

The roadway

Afternoon treats are roadside coconut meat sprinkled with chili-lime powder, a little salt, and squeezed lemon.  Two chilled coconut aquas.  Our healthy snack costs $2.50.  Gotta love it!

We checked out beaches near Punta Perula with poor access for the van & boats.  It’s all private (ie security guards) around Playa Negrito.  Tenacatita seemed like it would work but No, some millionaire supposedly bought up 42 hectares and thinks its fine to secure 140 hectares for himself with intimidation and security swarming the roads.  Anders had to pee so we pulled to the side of the road about ¼ mile away from the beach and security guards.  Before he was done his job an armed man is running down the road towards us yelling “Hey!  Stop!”  Everette gets out of the van and approaches the guy while I usher Anders back into his seat.  He tells us we can’t stop anywhere along here, we have no rights its private land, blah blah blah.  We claim Anders was sick (since peeing might be illegal) and that we’ll be right on our way.  He shoos us on.

We stop and meet Tony at a distillery to ask for suggestions for camping since the sun has set again and we haven’t had any success finding suitable camping for the past 3 hours.  He gives us a quick tasty sample and sends us on our way.

The other side of Bahia Tenacatita is La Manzanilla which is where we head.  We are now willing to pay for RV park if need be, but $800M is steep for us @ Boca Beach.  They claim 10+ yrs is an adult, and that will only cover the cost of water usage.  Bah, humbug I say!  We drive into La Manzanilla proper and ask around for tenting places, then ask amongst the strip of tenting places until we finally find a place that will allow us to camp.  Only $440 for the night.  Still steep, little for amenities but its late and dark so we put up camp and eat a simple supper.  We hit the sack.  Not much of a birthday for Danaka.

The 27th, we awake hours before sunrise to rain.  Not a short hard shower but a heavy Pacific Northwest kind of rain that goes on and on and on.  We postpone our morning pack-up-and-leave, meet other BC campers (seems like half of Vancouver Island is in Mexico for Christmas) and drive to town for Everette to find a coffee.

We discover we’re in for a few more days of this rain so although we don’t like the idea of it we decide to pack up our wet camp immediately and hope for a cheaper place to hunker down.  Foolish to leave at 2pm but call us crazy!

Before we pulled out of town we passed by the cocodrilio where we spotted a crocodile up near the chainlink fence.

croc head

Just 15 kms down the highway is San Patricio & Melaque where we find an almost-free camping spot.  $60M per night, $1,500M for a month.  That’s about $5US/night $125US/month.  Suits us fine to wait out the rain here.

We headed into town to look for more tarps to keep us dry and stayed for supper to celebrate a belated Birthday for Danaka while there was a break in the clouds.  We were all feeling better and up to an evening of scouting out town, a bit of shopping and eating a feast.

We always look for the busy street side restaurants, particularly where Mexicans are eating.  Just before 5pm the plastic tables and chairs start crowding out the vehicles on the streets, claiming their territory as a literal street side restaurant.  We’re not talking sidewalk cafes; we’re talking out on the side of the street!! 

Dinner out on the street!

Dinner out on the street!

Tacos

Tacos

 

We finished the birthday meal off with a stop at a cart full of pastries, cakes and donuts.  Everybody got to choose their own delicacy.  Supper and dessert, for the 9 of us, came to a grand total of $27.

Some of my family has been thinking of coming to visit us so we’ve had to pick a place to stick around so they could book a flight and visit while we were close enough to an international airport…we picked Manzanillo.  It’s a challenge, to pick and place and make ourselves move!  With so much rain we’re tempted to pack up and spend several days driving south to sunshine.

Almost-free camping at San Patricio-Melaque

Almost-free camping at San Patricio-Melaque

Amidst many days of rain we drove into Manzanillo on Sunday to check it out and stay dry.

First we strolled the crowded narrow cobblestone streets of Barre de Navidad and had lunch.  We walked out the malecon and looked back onto the other side of the bay where we’re camped.

Entrance to Barre de Navidad

Entrance to Barre de Navidad

At the far end of the beach is an island with a hotel you reach by boat.

At the far end of the beach is an island with a hotel you reach by boat.

From Somewhere Near You?

From Somewhere Near You?

We drove into Manzanillo which was described to us as a ‘dirty port city’ and the recent days of rain doesn’t sell any city well.  Not knowing where we were going we ended up traveling down an empty canal until the pedestrian overpasses didn’t look like they provided enough clearance, then we ended up in a tight and steep neighborhood with power lines drooping close to our height, and vehicles parked as if to keep us out.  I started to get a bit nervous, but soon we found a main artery and sailed away.

Part of the travel adventure is Getting Lost!  We can do that pretty well.

As soon as we entered the mall to pick up a few needs an excited lady came up to us with our SmoothieTribe website scribbled on a piece of paper.  In decent English she asked if she could checkout our site, and Brenda became one of those instant-friends….where your hearts touch and you know it was destiny that brought you together.

Brenda was in the store to choose some orphans names from under a Christmas tree that she was going to buy gifts for.  In many countries, Mexico included, January 6th is the traditional gift-giving day in remembrance of the Magi presenting gifts to baby Jesus.  Brenda, single mom to 3, was there to give to those less fortunate than herself.

Heading out of town we pulled over at a roadside stand to buy some produce and again met wonderful people.  What treasures these Mexican people are!!

Gloria and Francisco surrounded by the Johnsons

Gloria and Francisco surrounded by the Johnsons

Gloria had breast cancer years ago but she cleaned up her diet, drank noni juice morning and night, ate lots of fresh produce and is now cancer free.  Gloria and her husband Francisco taught us so much about local fruits previously unknown to us, and we had such a delightful time in beneficial language lessons with Francisco we plan to go back and see them when we have to make trips to the airport.  We left with tummies full of fruit, bags brimming with more, so excited that we had stopped in.  Our hearts are full.

Yaka fruit.  It's sticky & messy, but I let Francisco deal with it.  The fruit is pockets of orange flesh with a stone pit, all surrounded by fibrous creamy white strips.  Francisco uses the white stuff to ferment--he says its a great detox.  It tastes absolutely horrible.

Yaka fruit. It’s sticky & messy, but I let Francisco deal with it. The fruit is pockets of orange flesh with a stone pit, all surrounded by fibrous creamy white strips. Francisco uses the white stuff to ferment–he says its a great detox. It tastes absolutely horrible.

The orange flesh within the flesh  is sliced open and the pit/stone pops out.  The fruit, they say, tastes like 7 different fruits.  It truly is a mixture of flavours, like peach, kiwi, pineapple and other.  I LOVE IT!

The orange flesh within the flesh is sliced open and the pit/stone pops out. The fruit, they say, tastes like 7 different fruits. It truly is a mixture of flavours, like peach, kiwi, pineapple and other. I LOVE IT!

4 thoughts on “Difficulty Camping, a Sick Birthday for Danaka & Some Instant Friends

  1. Kruz says happy new year everyone….hopefully the rain will let up….and the bacterium dissipates….love your photos….

    • Thanks, and Happy New Year to Kruz (and you and Wayne, too). All the best this year to you all.

      Still waiting for the rain to quit. It’s intermittent but haven’t had a dry day for more than a week now. Odd for Mexico but still much warmer than Canada!!

  2. Pingback: Week (Year) in Review 5/1/14 | Acrobatic Thoughts

  3. Pingback: Crocodiles & Shaved Ice | Acrobatic Thoughts

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