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Week 8 - Puerto Vallarta and Lo de Marcos 5-24 through 5/30 Our last week

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Last week in Lo de Marcos was a blur……..I can’t even believe how much we did. I had some favorite days for sure, but there was much much more than I can write about. I am going to do my best to cram into a few pages of what we did in the past 7 days. Larry and I have calculated out that if the average person our age gets 6 weeks of vacation each year to play…….we get 8.66 years of play each year! We’ve been traveling for 22 months now and we've had 15.876667 years of fun! We are so spoiled!

I feel like I balanced many activities so I could include more training with the Lifted team. I appreciate the flexibility of the online program with live and on demand classes everyday. I am super proud that I was able to include 3 of Holly’s amazing workouts. I did power yoga live with Holly and another HIIT class live too. I sweated through an equally hard on demand HIIT video. I feel like those are the hardest but best. Hard when I’m doing them….a lot of the time in moderation but I finish every time! Larry and I did many bike rides averaging 10 miles each time. That’s about an hour but if we make a goof off stop...longer. LOL I swam ½ mile in the ocean one last time. It was pretty wavy and bumping. I still enjoyed the fact that I’m a good and comfortable swimmer in pools, lakes, oceans and rivers. How often in your life do you have the opportunity to swim in the ocean, only a few yards from your campsite? I tried to appreciate it and take advantage of it whenever I could.

We are pretty well past our flea infestation but we went into Sayulita to pick up some non toxic flea spray to continue our efforts. It was good to give ole’ Lucy Love (airstream) a thorough cleaning before we take off next week. While we were goofing off in Sayulita, we made some fun little discoveries! I found an organic shop that had specialty teas in bulk plus other weird stuff that I LOVE!! We walked down the short street to see if we could find the beach.

We discovered a super french bakery, Paris Delice, that is not open on Mondays and Larry was sad. I told him we could come back another day. We bought a small colorful dreamcatcher and Sayulita magnet…..this is my last week here and I bought a few souvenirs and helped to stimulate their tourist economy. Calle Miramar was only 3 short blocks and we ended up at the beach. Before we got there, we saw a trailer park we needed to check out. It was super cute...small just like we like and right on the beach. It reminded me a lot of El Caracol but the beach was busier with folks and a restaurant. We walked around and chatted with some guy from Ventura….a diehard surfer at 70 years young! He and his wife keep the trailer at the park year round.

They fly in to stay for 5 or 6 months at a time. He told us to check with the owner about prices and availability. He said to give yourself at least an hour because Theis (the owner) likes to talk and has many interesting stories. We absolutely loved the park. Not sure if they had a pool or not because what we saw that resembled a pool was empty. We found Thies at his house in the middle of the park and he started up a conversation. We found out that he was very good friends with the owners of El Caracol and he’s almost 87 years. After an hour of getting to know him, his history and hearing his fascinating stories, we had negotiated a fair price for 6 months of camping starting in November. We figured we could stay here when we rent out the Ajijic house for winter.

We walked around the other side of his park and down to the beach to check out the restaurant….by now it was way after lunch. Our trip to Sayulita was only going to be an hour…..we were at 3 now! We had tasty adult beverages and a small snack at La Terrazola right on the beach. Afterwards, we walked around the trailer park one last time to see the spots that were opening and get an idea where we might want to park when we come back. We met a very friendly young woman next to a sight we liked. She wanted us to know she had a baby there with her. We said we were coming in November. She was french and said she had some connections with people that sailed in Europe. I want to take a trip to sail around, living on a boat and visiting beaches….some day. We exchanged information and she said she’ll get back to us. I looked at her Facebook page and discovered she’s this really cool singer. Her name is Ninka Nassif and she had wonderful energy and light. She told us a little of her journey from France to (Turkey?) and eventually here to Mexico where her son was born. I feel like we might see her again somewhere. Her music is unique and interesting to me. Check her out.

We made another trip to Vallarta Botanical Gardens because it was Free! When I looked through their brochure from the last visit, I realized that we missed about ¾ of the garden and grounds! I had to go across the shaky bridge. While we were eating our lunch at the river a friendly couple came down the trail to where we were. They spoke English and were from San Diego California. I offered to take their picture together by the big rock in the river. We ended up talking with them for at least a half hour. They had just looked at property not far from the gardens and said it was a good price for a lot. We are looking for somewhere to build a treehouse to spend part of our time.

Interesting….I saved the phone number to call and inquire because you never know. Martha and Carlos made sure to exchange numbers with us. They enjoyed hearing about our travels. We ended our trip at the Restaurant for a drink before we got back on the road for the 2 hour drive back to Lo De Marcos. I found a fabulous skeleton decoration to bring home to Ajijic for our jungle.

We got a message from Carol and Marvin, that they were leaving back to the states the next day. It didn’t give us any time to plan a goodbye/corn hole party. I was sad about that but understood….We beat them a lot! LOL... Just seeing if Carol reads this. Fortunately we were able to meet them on the beach in front of Cruz Maria Rv Park and have “so long” cervesas…..provided by them. We have really enjoyed the time we spent with Carol and Marvin, here in Lo de Marcos and at Roca Azul in Jocotepec. They did leave their son John and his wife Stephanie with us. I hope we see them before we leave next week. They are planning on heading south east heading toward Chiapas. We are confident we will see all these folks again….somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. We are keeping in touch on Telegram…..we are happy campers!

We had a big day on Saturday. I literally tried to kill Larry...not knowingly, of course. We were able to schedule a time to see some acres by the Vallarta Botanical gardens. Larry had to drive us 2 hours on the highway 200, through PV and the malecon to a little village that I never really got the name of. We met Omar (the translator), his wife and Senor Ramon at 9am by the gardens. We followed them a few miles down a dirt road with tons of cracks and holes. It was good we have 4 wheel drive...we used it once to turn around on a steep hill. I love this kind of adventure. Next we followed the owner down a washed out road to the creek we had to cross after we went under some barbed wire fence. We all made it safely! Yeah! The property borders the river which Senor Ramon through Omar told us we can dam it up and catch pescado (fish). Awesome! We walked behind as he told us where the property lines were….up the hill to the power lines right by highway 200. We couldn’t hear any vehicle noise. Across this cleared valley with a few enormous rocks and a couple of larger trees to the side with 3 rolling hills, he pointed. We walked up one hill to get a different view and then back down to the creek in the corner. 11 acres is a bunch.

The property was gorgeous with a lot of potential but first we would need better access since the road is washed out. We went to see another property not too far from this one that actually borders the Vallarta Botanical Gardens but was way too steep for us to use for it was less green and less trees. The hike around took less than an hour. When we were departing, Senor Ramon told us that he owns a ferreteria in the small town close by and he had good people that were locals that knew how to help us with whatever we needed. We enjoyed the time we spent with them so we asked to come see his hardware store. We all went into the tienda on the corner and Senor Ramon bought us all a Victoria. We opened it and walked to his store. It was small and I think they live in it. There was a small bed in the back. When I used their bano, I saw it had a shower as well. We felt obligated to buy something so as we drank, I picked out 3 paint brushes and a Phillips head screwdriver. We can use these!

We sat down at a small one table restaurant in the street called La Clavellina. The owner spoke english and said he had just opened it a month ago. I had a delicious veggie omelet and Larry had some traditional meat thing that I didn’t remember the name of but he loved it. The young man said he moved his family to this small village called Las Juntas del Tuito.

He didn’t want to raise his kids in Puerto Vallarta. He says it’s too busy and stressful, especially now with Covid19 going on. His family owns 3 tequila factories in Puerto Vallarta but that wasn’t the life he wanted. We enjoyed chatting with him and the whole little village too. I’m sure we will be back again. It’s close to the Botanical gardens and I will come every time we are in the area.

It was still fairly early, so I suggested to Larry that we stop by Puerto Vallarta on the way home to play tourist. He rolled his eyes but agreed. We’ve been so close to PV for 2 months, drove through it twice already, I needed to stop once before we left. I was happy to find a big parking garage at the south end of the Malecon. I figured we could walk the Malecon and get a beer and snack. They had these super tall skeleton figures that were outside the museum. I had to take pictures of them all. I stood next to the Mariposa Skeleton to remember my little butterfly with the crumpled wings.

We walked a block up to see the beautiful church as an old sedan pulled up to the church with a young and beautiful bride on her way to get married. I wasn’t the only one taking pictures of the bride, she caught the attention of a few others and we were all taking pictures. It was going to be a joyous day! We headed back to the Malecon to continue our walk around Puerto Valiarta and to see what other wonderful and interesting things we could see. What a beautiful and fabulous town. We had fun exploring the area.

We stopped at Murphy’s Irish Pub and had a cervesa and chips. After our beer we still had a bit of time before we wanted to drive back to Lo De Marcos. We found a tourist information booth and chatted with the young men inside. He asked us if we walked up to the Cerro de La Cruz. He pointed it out to us on the hill. He said it was easy to get to from there and over 400 stairs up! Of course I wanted to do it. Larry was slightly enthused. It was about 4:30pm and the hottest part of the day. It was hard and sweaty to get to the top. They have a gondola that would save 200 stairs but it wasn't working on this day. Beside the amazing 360 degree you can have, they had cerveza a la venta (beer for sale)!!! It was awesome and so glad we did it. They even had banos. Trip advisor reviews of this hike.

The last day of the week was packing day. If we spread it out the whole day, it doesn’t seem like such a big chore. A few things we have to do the day we go but usually we can get Lucy Love on the road in an hour. We had two magical encounters before we left. Manuel the manager of El Caracol offered us some fabulous plants for our new house. He gave us a wonderful fruit bearing tree call Brazillian Cherry. He also added 3 other flowering plants to the back of our already overloaded truck! So generous. We told him if he ever comes to Ajijic, he is welcome to stay at our house. He used to travel there a lot to meet his girlfriend halfway between their homes. Cute story.

The other interesting thing that happened was Shar from the Lo de Marcos facebook group contacted me. She was in the area and asked to meet us…..what? She read the blog and enjoyed the stories and pictures. She was able to stop by for about an hour to share some stories. She bought a trailer that is permanently placed at the park close by. She compared prices since we were right on the beach. Shar is from Langley, British Columbia. She is leaving on Tuesday to fly to Seattle and then Bellingham which is right on the US/Canadian border. She got a ride to the border and walked across into canada and then to her 14 days of self quarantine. Playing by the silly Covid rules. We had an enjoyable meeting and wished each other well on our journeys.

We ended our last evening in Lo de Marcos at Tomatina’s Restaurant and a beautiful sunset in our little off the beaten track sleepy beach town. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent here and felt like we were able to explore much of what this area has to offer. We will definitely come back as it will only be around 5 hours from our new home in Ajijic.

Lastly, please reach out to me to ask any questions or to send me a travel story.

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