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Week 4 - Lo de marcos 4-26 thru 5-2

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

Red breasted chat, party boats, fancy yachts and a corn hole tournament!

Each week when I sit down to write about what we did...I think we didn’t do all that much or it’s not that interesting. Then I look at all the pictures and wonder how we got it all done! We did some super fun stuff and I added a few mornings of jogging and exercise. I have a few big adventures in the coming future that will require some strength, stamina and talent. I want to be my best when the time comes. We did a super new hike and discovered a magical birding spot. I’m excited to share what Larry and I have been up to this week around Lo De Marcos.

Since I did my first run in a long time…..or let’s just say slow…….jog, I booked a massage on Monday afternoon. We found this place in San Francisco when we were walking around last week called Angelica Spa. It’s a little more than what we were paying in Ajijic but it’s on the coast. Prices are about ½ or ⅓ more for everything here….at least that’s what we have found so far. For an hour of deep tissue massage it costs 700 pesos ($35 us). Still a rocking deal compared to the US or Canada ones. We have found some very talented masseuses traveling around Mexico. We try to pamper ourselves once a week.

Some days the internet at El Caracol is too slow to upload my pictures for this site. We walked into town because I thought I had seen an internet cafe. I was willing to pay to get this done faster. Sometimes it will take 48 hours to upload 200 pics. When we got to it, the man inside with very little english told us the business was an architectural firm. Lol We walked down further to El Cafe. We got beautiful coffees and the WiFi password. Well… didn’t work there either. I messaged Deb to see how her internet was at La Parota. It was good so we walked over there. This isn’t too exciting but this is how I spend a few days….plus a few hours on the story. The Internet in Mexico is spotty and intermittent. I get super happy when it goes fast. I get many hours of my day back.

On the way out of the park one morning, I glanced over to the lily ponds and on the rock wall was an iguana. He was medium size and different colors than we’ve seen before. He was beautiful and I had to catch him. I popped out of the truck and was walking toward him. He hopped behind the fence and then up this tiny tree. Larry came up behind him and I went inside by the pond and tree. Larry caught his tail and I did the assist by securing him behind his neck...before I got bit. Oh Wow! That was fun and exhilarating. We did a photo shoot and then released him back into the park. He was a beauty!

Some days when I get done on the computer, we head out for a drive. It’s best around 2pm. It’s the warmest part of the day and doing a low key activity in the heat is best. We drove to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle It was a nice drive that took about 40 minutes, no traffic. We weren’t sure what was in this town or what was interesting to see here. I just figured it had a cross in its name so maybe we’d find a hill to hike. Larry drove down the street that had a marina sign. We never found a cross on a hill. There was the wooden cross on the way to the marina. That’s it. They had a guard at the gate and he asked if we were heading to the restaurant so we said yes. I’m not sure if this was the public entrance but we got in. We drove up to this amazing marina with fabulous boats (yachts) and some smaller fishing boats too. It was very well designed and if we could add up the money in all these boats…..OMG!!!

They had a 2 story restaurant and bar, La Peska. We walked around the marina for about an was big. Most of the docks were locked but we found an open one. We walked around and found a nice boat that we would have loved to look around but no one was home. Around 4pm a big party boat came in with lots of drunk people dancing on all the decks. They looked like they were having a blast. We decided not to eat at the yacht club...too fancy for shorts we thought. We headed toward the beach on the north side to find out that the only restaurant was for hotel guests only. We headed to the truck and out to see what else there was. On highway 200 we found a fish restaurant that looked interesting. Larry had fish tacos and I tried the Aquachile. I only ate face was on fire!

We drove to Higuera Blanca just a short way from La Cruz. We wanted to find the Monkey mountain trail. It was incredibly easy to find! We found parking down a short dusty road and got out to investigate. We walked the trail a bit to get an idea. It was more than we wanted to do at the end of the day. We saw tons or hummingbirds and one Citreoline trogon in no time at all. We made a plan to come back early the next day with my Camelbak, snacks and cameras. On the way out, we stopped to watch what we think is a female painted bunting. Larry got a few good shots at her. Yeah!

The hike up to Monkey Mountain took a whole lot longer than we expected. It’s only a 4.6 miles round trip but we spent hours chasing birds in the forest. It was one of one our best days ever for bird watching. So exciting and frustrating too. We saw a bunch of the usual birds like Elegant Trogon, Citreoline Trogon, cinnamon hummingbirds, black throated magpie jays, and orioles. We tried getting good pics but the day was overcast and made many birds turn into silhouettes. Frustrating when we would spot a new bird and it would immediately get lost in the many tiny branches of the jungle. Some things we just saw and guessed what they might have been. My Merlin app helps a bunch. I’m pretty confident I got a short glimpse of a Red breasted chat.

Larry was awesome getting bird pics this trip. He was able to get many great pictures of the blue bunting, western tanager, a sulfur bellied flycatcher and a super cool lizard! We eventually made it to the top of the mountain. I kept looking for monkeys but saw none.

When we were scrambling up over the rocks/boulders, I realized We were the monkeys! That is where the name Monkey Mountain comes from.

When we got to the top, the view was amazing. You could get a 360 degree view but had to move around the trees a bit. We saw a few of the folks that passed us or we passed on the trail on the top. Most people spend about 30 minutes enjoying their accomplishment and being in nature. Larry took some time to call his banker! Lol He was transferring his share of the house money to a Mexican bank. He was able to get good reception at the top. I entertained myself by catching a tiny lizard.

We came back to hike and bird watch at this same place 4 days later when the sun was out and we hoped to get better pictures. We also didn’t dilly dally on the trail on the way up this time…..we focused more on the hike less on the birds at the beginning. We made it up in 1.5 hours! That’s a record time...for us. Ha ha ha. We brought lunch so on the way back through the jungle, we stopped to eat. The bird action wasn’t as good as the first day we came. I was a bit disappointed too. We moved off the trail about 100 feet to a small clearing before a hill. We were nicely hidden under a big tree that had some logs to sit on. While we were eating, the birds started coming out like crazy! We had to stop eating and get our cameras. Larry spied a Motmot but I never did see it. He got a bunch of pictures. He described to me several times exactly where it was so I just pointed the camera and took one picture. When we looked at my pics later, I had actually caught the Motmot on my camera. Dumb luck I guess…..but it was clear and centered. Great job Larry!

We had a cornhole get together since Sara was leaving this Friday. Everyone still camping here came to play and socialize. We hosted it at our campground because we have afternoon shade and that’s where you want to be in the afternoon.

We were driving back late from our hike at monkey mountain so I told everyone to start without us. Sometimes our adventures go longer than anticipated. We were only 10 minutes late. Larry let me be his partner even though I sucked last week. Since Carol and Marvin left the cornhole for us here, I even practiced once and couldn’t get it down again. I felt like I’d never do well again. Well...I was happily surprised when I improved this tournament. We only lost one. We ended up being the winners from the loser bracket...and got to play the winners from the winners bracket, Carol and Marvin. I was happy being the winners again…...thanks for taking me back Larry!

Since we have been here a whole month already, I have gotten a few days of jogging under my belt. We do a lot of walking in town, up the hill and on the beach. I do like to go out and give a little more. This week I jogged 3 times so I was happy. I also was interested in trying Holly’s online training. I did some research and read articles about her. She offers a free trial of her program and free is right up my ally. She sent a link to a live HIIT and Yoga workout for Saturday, May 1st to celebrate her birthday. I signed up through her website. I had to remember that our time is one hour earlier than New York. I had a mat and my 7 pound dumbbells just in case. I wasn’t even sure if the internet would be able to do a Zoom meeting. I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to do the class without the video on me but could see her and she knew I was there. She did a shout out to everyone in the class including me! It seemed to be a big class….60 folks! I’m not going to lie….the class was hard but doable. I also cheated by not doing everything or less. I didn’t want to kill myself. I liked it. I like what she is doing. I feel like this may be a great way to keep my exercise up while we are traveling. She also has an on demand library and I can do all the programs whenever I want. Let me know if you want to join me on this journey. Check out Holly.

This week we have been seeing lizards everywhere. Mostly iguanas of many different sizes and colors. We did see a few smaller undetermined little guys. We’ve been slow trying to find out their names. We caught a few but we definitely have our lizard eyes on! Bird eyes, lizard eyes...It’s all great fun here at the beach and jungle of Riviera Nayarit. We aren’t ready to leave after a month so we will stay a bit longer. Deb’s best friend Clarkette just got here on Sunday and next week her boyfriend Matt from Washington is flying down for a week. We have been hearing all about these folks since we met Deb at Roca Azul in January. We can’t leave without meeting everyone. We even met a few Canadians at the Wine bar this week. I think we will find some more fun stuff to do!

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