Monday, February 25, 2013

ADIÓS MEXICO!

If you can believe it! 19 days have passed since we arrived at Villa Corona on February 7th - which means we have ONE day left - and that's tomorrow! In some ways it has gone really quite fast and in other ways it has dragged.

Since my last post showing you the Villa Corona Market Day, we have continued to stay close to the van working on feeling better. I'm happy to report that Cassia and I are doing much better (so much so that we went swimming today) with just some lingering sniffles and cough. Derek is a little slower to recover still plagued by his sinuses and cough. 

I haven't posted because - really - there was little to say or show. We've only gone into Villa Corona every few days to replenish our grocery supplies. 

I do have BIG travel news but I'll save that for the end of the post.....

I posted pics of the RV Park here at the Parque Acuatico de Chimulco back in December but it's worth reshowing - pretty busy these days. I hear from a Saskatchewan couple - Judy and Dale - who are on their 14th (WoW!) trip to Mexico - that a few years ago at this time the RV park would be packed, as would the large empty field - and then even more RVs parked by the lake with no services. Boy - times have changed. Busy, but far from full!


Looking back from our site. We parked near the front this time - last time we were in the back corner.


Most of the rigs are at the back - closest to the lake - and in the shade.

The Parque has an RV Park but first and foremost it is a water park. It is much busier now in February then it ever was back in December. The weekends are C.R.A.Z.Y. busy. We tend to hide more during Saturday and Sunday. I did come to take some pictures yesterday just so you can see.


Since the Parque is so close to Guadalajara we are thinking that most of the visitors are from there.


Plus, they are seemingly quite well off - middle to upper class it looks like.


While only one pool is open during the week - the two large pools and three smaller pools are open on the weekends - in addition to the water slides. All the concession stands are open as well.


There are two large picnic areas that are full also. Almost all of the families bring their own food to prepare and eat. As I walk through I can smell BBQing. Lots of music (turned WAY up) and fun going on. Mexicans sure are a social bunch!


This is the internet area right by the office. We can only get wifi from our van with our banda ancha (telcel stick). For Cassia to watch cartoons or for me to look at blogs or post I have to come sit here. I write my posts at night - so right now I am sitting at the white table. Just me and the crickets - it's actually very peaceful at this time.


One of the VERY large bougainvillea trees here at the Parque.


When we walk to town we cut through the front lawn area. For a few days we could not get over the most amazing fragrance. We realized it was coming from the orange tree! 

When we leave here on Wednesday we'll have stayed 30 nights! A blow the doors off record for the Wood Clan. It has been nice - this is a nice place and we highly recommend it to all road travellers in Mexico. The grounds are well maintained, the staff is over the top friendly, and the town of Villa Corona is comfortable - also with friendly people and great food prices. 

I'll be a bit sad to leave.

But leave we must.....

And where to next?

Glad you asked.

A week or so ago I would have started rambling off about our trek back down to the beach and then our stops along the coast going north. I sat down one afternoon and worked out our itinerary all the way back to Vancouver Island arriving April 9th.

But that plan is now scratched - we have a new one!

Late last week when Cassia and I arrived back at the van Derek announced that he had worked out a route back to Saskatchewan not BC, AND it involved going to Texas. 

TEXAS! 

It took me a few minutes to get my head around it - as we had no plan of visiting Texas this year - sadly.

But the more I thought about Derek's plan - it started to make sense. First, after 3 1/2 months in Mexico we are looking to move on, second - we LOVE Texas (most of you know that I think) and third, we are looking for work in Saskatchewan this summer - and it doesn't make a lot of sense to travel all the way to BC only then to have to travel more than 1,200 kms to Sask. (especially with the rising gas prices.)

So - we have a NEW plan (I have mentioned that our plans do tend to change - right?)

We are actually headed to Texas on Wednesday. Yup  - THIS Wednesday - we will be up early - and I mean EARLY - to get ourselves around Guadalajara with hopefully a somewhat lower amount of traffic. Then, it is all north for the next few days. We plan to cross over into Texas on Friday morning via Eagle Pass.

It should be a good ride. We'll see - it will be two full days of driving. 

So - this is officially our last blog post from Mexico. I'm going to spend tomorrow night doing some last minute trip research and getting the van ready for departure. 

We'll see you on the other side - of the border that is. I promise to take a ton of photos so that you can see how our trip went and what the interior of Mexico looks like. I've taken a sneak peak on google maps - I think we'll enjoy the landscape. 

Adios Mexico - It's been fun! You've been a most gracious host! Hasta Luego I should say!

Teresa

TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: I highly recommend a look at Travel with Kevin and Ruth this week - they've just returned from a 6 day trip (4 days hiking) in Guatemala! What an experience. 






Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MARKET DAY IN VILLA CORONA

Market Day - if you've been around here for a while you know that we LOVE Market Day!

Different towns, different Markets, different days.

Tuesdays are Market Days here in Villa Corona.

Having visited last week, we knew the drill. I WOULD have posted pictures last Tuesday except that my camera battery ran out after about five pictures.

NOT good for a blogger - kinda like getting caught with your pants down.

Today was a new day - I was ready.


Thankfully the VC Market is quite close to the park - down a couple of blocks and over the highway. But we got a late start and had to endure the heat.


In a moment of weakness we stopped and bought Cassia yet more dinosaurs. She has been watching the Land before Time movies and is trying to put together the little group of friends. We figured that we did pretty well with that considering they were regular run of the mill dinosaurs. She also got a sea turtle.


As I've mentioned - there isn't much that you can't find at Market Day. Even at small ones.


Since VC is quite small - they don't have big stores with all the stuff - you'd have to go to Guadalajara for that. Or, you could wait until it comes to you. The pink and blue round appliances are washing machines. I LOVE them - they come in all sorts of colours. 


Colour, colour, colour! 


All the Markets we have been to also carry a large selection of clothes.


Almost overwhelming - I don't know how I'd choose!


And talk about overwhelming!








I almost wish I needed some home things - but without a home probably not so much.


We found this set up last week and of course again today!




Cassia was keen on getting another little bag of gummy bears. And yes, I KNOW what's in them and yes, we bought them anyway. Can't wait to be back at Trader Joe's!


It's been awhile since we had coconut - so we decided today was the day.


This fellow - uses the machete to expose a small hole in the coconut ...


 he then pours the water into the bag and scoops out the meat. His son, aged about 13 with very good English, cut it up and placed in a bag. We had a choice of toppings - chilli, salt (fine or coarse) and lime. Taking a walk on the wild side we went for the coarse salt and lime. Yum.


Then is was lunch time. We had pizza last week and it was very very good. 


They nicely reheat it for you when ordered. 


 And dessert?! Why nieve, of course.




 We usually just get the chico size but with a lingering sore throat today Derek went for the grande. And then he went really crazy and asked to have a combo of the three flavours - fresa, limonada and mango. 


Enjoying our nieve in what shade we could find.


Yup - still off chicken.


On the way out we picked up some more strawberries and mangos. (Odd looking photo because the tarp cover overhead is red).






You can find these EVERYWHERE in Mexico. I'm not sure of the name - anyone know? We overdosed a few years ago while in California/Arizona for the winter and still can't bring ourselves to get some. It may still take a few years.


This picture is from last week. Derek and I LOVE to garden - so nothing better for us then to see nursery plants -- in February.


We like the Villa Corona Market Day. It is small, but large enough to have all the stuff. It is well laid out and therefore easy to make your way through. 

Is that all we do at Markets - eat?! Well, yes - how can we not? The food is good and cheap! We also bring things home with us but since we went out yesterday and came home with our pineapple, bananas, strawberries and raspberries we weren't in need of too much. More strawberries today because we had already worked our way through yesterday's!

We leave here a week tomorrow, which means we will be able to hit one more Market Day in Villa Corona. Perfect because we can stock up for our trek north.

Teresa

TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: Have you been to New York?! I haven't - YET - but it's on the list. Dare to dream. But this week I get to visit vicariously through our friends Chris and Juan from Living and Boondocking in Mexico. They are staying with friends across from Central Park (lucky!) and are hitting all THE spots. Why not follow along?











Monday, February 18, 2013

TACOS & BEEF

Since we had stayed home all weekend, today we headed back to downtown VC for some supplies. 

While we were at it we figured we would go check on that penicillin. We were surprised to find another fellow at the Farmacia. He asked for our prescription but we explained that the other fellow - on Friday - had kept it. He pulled two boxes of penicillin from the shelves but of course we had no idea which was prescribed. But - Derek looked anyway - only to see that one box cost $365 pesos - for 7 tablets!

Yikes!

And here we thought medicine was cheap - or cheaper - in Mexico. Guess it is all relative since at the moment we have no idea what penicillin costs at home.

Anyway, Derek figured it was too late anyway - he's feeling somewhat better - enough to forgo the strong stuff.

With that done we headed to the produce stand/grocery store area. Conveniently they are all located on the same corner.

But look what we found first!


Hmmmm - our NEW lunch stand! Guess we'll be calling him the Taco Guy.


It didn't take us long to belly up to the bar to order two tacos each. Nice that they offer grilled onions, chopped cilantro, radishes and salsa.


Since the table was full we sat on the curb - doesn't bother us. 


It wasn't long before this fellow arrived to provide our lunch music.

Here's a listen...


video



We then headed to our most favourite place of all in Villa Corona! The frambuesa y fresa lady. So so so glad she was there again today. 


And even better! Now that I'm feeling MUCH better - I can actually taste them. I know I harp on prices - I try not to really I do - but get this - one of those LARGE raspberry containers costs $15 pesos - same for the strawberries. Just over $1 Can. Amazing! We are eating A LOT of raspberries these days.


Then over to Villa Corona's only 'grocery store' - that we know of that is.


Not huge but they have a few things. I get our yogurt, butter, cheese, soup base and noodles and bread from there.


While I was in the store, Derek was having a conversation with this fellow who had stopped to talk with him. Once I came to join them we continued our conversation. While doing so - the butcher (whose place we are now standing in front of) yelled over to this fellow. (Sorry I have completely forgotten his name and not sure if I could have spelled it anyhow.) 

Derek was quick on his feet and asked if that was a good place to buy beef. 'Yup - he said - that's my son in law. All the gringos go there.'

This was good news because this has been our Villa Corona problem all along. We are ok buying all the other things we need from the markets but as I have mentioned before - with very explicit photos -  the beef has well, turned us off a bit. We are far happier buying our beef from the large grocery stores nicely wrapped in plastic.

For the last 19 days it hasn't mattered much because we have been pretty much on a soup, sandwich, salad and fruit diet - being sick and all. But we have nine days left and had been wondering about getting some beef for more substantial meals.

Up until this conversation we were still a bit leery about buying from the market.


But if 'all the other gringos' shop here - guess we can too! Plus it looked very clean and organized. I know that sounds weird but you haven't seen some of the meat markets that we have seen!


So - we went for it and ordered two steaks. Since we had both our new friend and his son in law's attention and both speaking English - we thought we would ask for bones for Roofous while we were at it. If you can believe he gave us a HUGE bag no charge!


Steaks and scalloped potatoes for dinner tonight! Great steaks - who said you can't buy good beef in Mexico?


On another note.....

This vehicle has been parked here for a few days now - they left today for further south.


This rig (which is a slight understatement - right?!) is owned by Benny and Steffi of Germany.


They've been traveling for 20 months now with 6 more to go. They had their motorhome brought over - wondering as much as me how much that cost! $5,000. It's for sale - by the way ..... any takers?! 


A really nice couple - you can check out their site Reisenomaden
There is a translate button bottom left.

Market day again tomorrow! With today's trip to town we aren't really in much need of stuff but we'll head over anyway - worth the trip for the nieve. Plus I'm sure Derek is up for more DVDs.

I'll have all those pictures for you tomorrow night.

Feeling a ton better Teresa

TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: There are a TON of blog topics that I look out on the internet. Nearest and dearest to my heart are those that talk about homesteading. Ironic - I know, since I don't have a bricks and sticks home. But I'd love too! Maybe. I stumbled upon this site not too long ago -  New Life on a Homestead.







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