Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blue Bay and La Vena Beach

I'd heard of this beach before and pictured it as being much more difficult to access and more primitive than it is. You turn into the Blue Bay road and the first guard is right there near the highway. He only wants to see the drivers ID so he can take your name and know that you are going to La Vena restaurant. A second guard is near the hotel and you tell him you are going to La Vena. Drive past the hotel and along the beach, around the hill and you'll come out at the river mouth. Park anywhere from there to the restaurant.

About 20 of us went last Sunday in 4 cars. Brought our own food, drinks, a tent and tarps for shade and beach toys for us and the kids. Not only is this a beach much like Tenacatita but it's also a river mouth. The river is cross-able near the ocean and swimmable upstream. Someone said snorkeling was pretty good but there were a bunch of 'rays' in one area. One woman walked around the point and came back with a good sized bag of oysters. A really great day with lots of fun.   Nice restaurant for beer and food, 2 public bathrooms with showers and places for your garbage.  Great place to spend a day.

After we got back I wondered what the source of that river was because it is no small stream, at least at this time of year. There are no rivers that cross the highway anywhere near this area. To the south is Boca de Iguanas and to the north is Tenacatita. I asked on a few message boards but nobody knew. I eventually found on a Tomatlan site a reference to "La Vena" being an arm of Rio Purificacion but how did it get so far south. Then I found a .PDF file on a study of the area from the University of Colima and embedded in the study was the map below. It turns out that Rio Purificacion turns south just south of Tecuan and north of Tenacatita, forms the Tenacatita lagoons, and then continues south to come out at the north end of the beach by Blue Bay. That was my detective work for the week.

Blue Bay Hotel

Blue Bay beach

La Vena - Rio Purificacion

Setting up camp

The map showing the river course

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When it won't go any further

Just leave it there for awhile

Monday, January 23, 2012

Best vivero on the Costalegre

I would have waited a little longer to visit this nursery but there was a surf competition in the area so I combined the two into one Saturday. I've passed by a number of times but never really noticed it, tho heard of it. It's about the last place on the north side of town

A great old guy that seems to run it and he'll talk to you about ideas you may have; size, speed of growth, fertilizer, soil, etc. They also have a great garden soil for sale that looks to be mostly shredded coco shells.

I came back with a Carambola (star fruit), a Chico Zapote (Sapote) and an avocado that is supposed to do well on the coast. Also two Sisus vines that are like Ivy. Prices aren't much cheaper than I find in the Melaque area but the place is so large you have a much better selection. There were two pickup trucks filling up with like 40-50 of the same plants making me think they supply the local hotels.

VIVEROS DE LA COSTA Tel: (315) 351 0711
Km 41, Carretera Federal 200, Emiliano Zapata, Jalisco

What you see from the highway

It goes on

... and on

... and on

Young Buganvilla

Friday, January 20, 2012

My new fruit trees

Well the almond tree (almendra or almendro) is not exactly new since I've had it for about 6 months. The winds from hurricane Jova knocked it over and I replanted it a little deeper. Many almendra trees went down during the hurricane. Now that the storms have passed there is a new threat ... the neighborhood kids. The tree is planted just outside my sidewalk on the street to eventually shade the house. This morning the kids were beating at it with a stick. Why they would want to do that I have no idea ... but who knows what goes thru the mind of a 5 year old.

The foto below is not mine but an example of what mine might be someday. You can almost see the layering (levels) of the branches. I always thought you had to "Bonsai" trim them ... but that's the way they grow.

So that got me thinking that I just bought 3 more trees last week at a great vivero (nursery) up the coast in Emiliano Zapata. Huge place and really worth a stop if you pass that way. The three are; Carambola (carambolo) or star fruit, Chico Zapote and a coastal Avocado (aquacate).

I had the idea that a Chico Zapote would be a small to medium sized tree but as you can see below they can get huge. Gonna take some trimming. The Carambola looks just right and I love the fruit when it's fresh. I wasn't paying attention when I planted the Avocado and put it in the wrong place. It's now in transplant shock so I hope it survives.

Almendra (almond) tree

Carambolo (star fruit) tree

Huge Chico Zapote tree

Monday, January 16, 2012

Visa time again

I went to Immigration in Manzanillo last week so I'm almost set for another year. Still have to pick up the new one in about 3 weeks. The Immigration office is now located outside from where the old office was last year. Just look to your left.

With all the changes going on I took everything just like my first year: proof of income, CFE receipts and copy of passport. There was a rumor that after five years you need to start the process over again ... and I'm entering my sixth. That rumor is old information that went away with the new visa cards. Evidently the old booklets only had space for 4 renewals giving you a total of five.

I said I took everything but actually no fotos. The Farmacia Guadalajara in Cihuatlan has a broken machine and the one in Manzanillo didn't have enough help. The woman who operates the machine at the Kodak store near Comercial Mexicana wasn't there yet. Immigration just said to bring in the fotos when I pick up my card.

I used the online computer application form for the first time this year and found that if you are applying for a renewal and don't have changes to make you can go directly to the Application Form and check the Conozco mi NUE box, enter your current visa number and the computer will fill in the form for you (mostly with ****)(print it out). All I was asked for when I presented the form was; did I want to renew and my height and weight.

For those that don't want to get up early and be the last in line - there is a new Zar Hotel on the street into the port offices. Stay over night, pay $499 pesos and walk down first thing in the morning. Hotel has a pool and faces the beach.

Captain of the Port

New Immigration Office

Watch the harbor traffic while you wait

New Zar Hotel

Monday, January 09, 2012

Behind Cihuatlan - up the river

We drove up the Marabasco river valley the other day as far as you can go to the larger dam site (Presa El Naranjo). Lots of work going on there but mostly cleanup and repairs from the rain from Jova. They gave the impression there were no tours like I'd had before so we just took the road to the right outside the gate that leads towards the river.

Down stream you can see the results of the massive amount of water that came down that valley. The access road was closed for over a week while they cleaned it up. The diversion dam area does not look the same at all .... all swimming holes gone and shade trees are down. Totally rebuilding the irrigation canals that feed from the diversion dam

Future dam opening with rocks from up river

Diversion dam

Behind the diversion dam

Rebuilding the irrigation canals

Video of Presa El Naranjo after Hurricane Jova

Some dam construction fotos from about 2 years ago

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Mexico Message Board Hell

Gringo Message Boards in Mexico for me are a great resource for finding out what is going on in your area and around Mexico.   Information on Visas, border crossings and other subjects and areas. If you are lucky enough to have one specifically for your area it can be that much better. Info on where to buy things, worker suggestions, current activities and lots more.

Sadly (only in the sense of message boards) I live in an area where TomZap is the only option.  They run a very loose ship on their board allowing almost anyone to go on and on about their delusions of life and all the negativity that comes with it.

We have a number of mentionable characters who refer to TomZap as the "funny papers" and treat it that way ... but the worst offender is John Alexander: AKA Buzzards Glory West, Buzzard West and a few other "handles".   I refer to him as the resident lunatic for his constant ranting and berating of others.   The best it gets here is often his gibberish is moved to an "off topic" area.   He has taken a particular disliking to me for reasons I don't understand (there is no way to understand this character); for Blogging, for posting and for living.  

There is no "make up and things will be better" here because berating other people is all he does when he is not being a comedian looking for a spot on the Tonight Show.   Here's a recent rant he made towards Carol who is a fixture in the community ... within a half  hour

Buzzards Glory Barra Re: Decision on Meeting Today vs. Monday

January 07, 2012 03:13PM IP/Host: ---.prod-infinitum.com.mx
Will the mayor be there on Monday?

Monday January 07, 2012 03:24PM IP/Host:---.prod-infinitum.com.mx
Hello Carol?

Monday January 07, 2012 03:34PM IP/Host:---.prod-infinitum.com.mx
Carol.............. in the other thread you said "Stay tuned. The folks that were actually organizing something from the ground up and not concerned about their own power, but more about safety and security, are meeting right now to decide how to respond to this top down move which is probably everything that Bill says it is."

Paco said ............. "This is an invitation from the Mayor and the Delegate of tourism as well as all authorities involved, Do not be afraid to attend."

So if there are no conlsuates there, no officials are there, and you stage a meeting in the plaza in front of the municple building, could that possibly be viewed as a "political protest"?

Monday January 07, 2012 03:44PM IP/Host:---.prod-infinitum.com.mx
re "We need to have a great turnout to convey our outrage -- and that it is an outrage shared between the local and foreign community members." your words Carol

This ain´t Haight-Ashbury!

And we are not in California!

His final comment on this without the answers he wanted was:
So the Monday meeting is useless in my opinon?

AKA ... tribute to Buzzard West

Monday, January 02, 2012

Hammock weaver in Melaque

My neighbor is a hammock (hamaca) weaver and has been short of material so we went to Manzanillo a few days ago thinking we could get better prices. It turns out we can buy this cotton (algodon) just as cheap here in Melaque. We definately need to find a wholesale source in the future because we are looking at $1000 pesos per large hammock with these prices just for material.

He learned his trade both in the Yucatan and Oaxaca and hope to find a better source. The past hammocks he's made are of Olefin Synthetic which is what they make large boat/ship ropes with. That will be even harder to find than a wholesale outlet. They sometimes make 'topes' out of Olefin Synthetic Rope, at least along the coast.

Hamaca weaving

The knots

Petate design

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

Archivo del blog