Showing posts with label Bucerias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bucerias. Show all posts

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Land crabs in Bucerias

by Jack Brummet, Mexico Travel Editor

One night last week in Bucerias, we were watching a movie in our casa after dinner.  Keelin heard a noise and walked over to investigate.  She didn't quite eek, but she had found something.  We turned down the volume on the movie and you could hear it walking, clicking, across the floor.  It skittered under the couch, which Señor Daveed and I moved.  Standing on the floor looking up at us was a land crab.

We had never seen one before in all our trips there.  I don't know much about them other than crabs run the spectrum from fully aquatic to fully terrestrial.  Even the most fully terrestrial land crabs must return to the sea to lay their eggs, so they don't live too far from the beach.  In our case, the beach was about half a block west of us.  It would have gotten pretty interesting if, say, thirty of them had invaded our house. . .


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Francisco Villa and Emiliano Zapata tote bags

Not unlike Che, I'm not sure if Zapata or Villa would laugh or cry at the way their images are used these days.


Forigners -- hijacked found sign from Nayarit

Maureen's comment:   I took lessons from him for a week straight and my Spanish got worse. I do not recommend this teacher.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Public address trucks in Bucerias

By Jack Brummet, North America Travel Editor

I always love the public address trucks in Mexico.  These days, sound systems have far better fidelity and tend to be carried around in vehicles more appropriate to the size of the loudspeaker.  In earlier years, it was not uncommon to see a 1970 Volkswagen with a gigantic speaker duct taped and shock corded to the roof of the car.  The speaker was often almost as tall again as the car itself and wobbled precariously on each pothole and turn. You could not always decipher the message being blared because the speaker was so overdriven that you heard more distortion than words (and the words were often laid on top of blaring banda music).

You don't hear them nearly so often now, and when you do, it is a little more professionally put together sound system.  I suspect if this was mid-election cycle, you would see and hear far more of them.

Walking up the hill to Billy's Gym today, I did bump into this one:


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The best bus driver ever - a wacky ride from P.V. to Bucerias

By Jack Brummet, Bus, Plane, Ferry, Taxi, Autorickshaw, and Train Editor

Today we went to visit our long lost friend Pegeen White who lives in Puerta Vallarta. We had a great time as she showed us the parts of PV a native sees (the parts we had never seen before as tourists visiting from Bucerias for one day). It was a fantastic day of hours of walking, poking around, saying hello to various of Pegeen's friends in restaurants, on the street, and in doorways, and exploring, climbing hills and visiting shops, parks, the river, and la playa.

The fun continued on the bus back to Bucerias. We took one bus from her neighborhood and caught a Bucerias bus on the highway out of PV. You often see sleek, modern, air-conditioned buses along that route. But they are generally not destined for Bucerias/Punta del Mita/Sayulita. The bus for Bucerias is almost always a bus that has seen better days--not dangerously malfunctioning or hideously tattered, but a bus whose best days lie sometime long in the past. Other buses have clearly legible analog destination signs that the driver can flip by turning a lever. Some even have slick digital signs. The buses headed headed north from PV generally use an analog white shoe polish destination system (see illustration below).

As soon as we mounted the worn steps, I knew it was going to be a great ride. The bus driver dug around in his wooden box to hand me a few pesos in change, and at the same time swung the bus around a water truck taking a left turn. As soon as he cleared this objective hazard, he fumbled with, and answered his cell phone. As he chatted briefly with whoever was on the other end of the line, he violently veered the bus back over to the right lane and onto the parking strip as he handed me my change. A woman was flagging the bus down. Probably one of the sweetest things about buses here is that, while you can catch them at officially designated bus stops, you can also catch them anywhere else. In short, the entire road is a twelve mile long ad hoc bus stop. This is one of the most charming things about Mexican buses, and one of the most maddening when you are in a hurry, or tired. . .

As we made our way along the road, we not only stopped at the official stops, but at twenty more unofficial stops.

a picture of just about every bus driver in Mexico's co-pilot

Our bus driver was in his early 20's, and seemed like a great guy. At almost every official and unscheduled stop, a friend or acquaintance would come up the steps and chat him up. These exchanges often involved small sums of money given to the friend. These sums came out of the wooden transit fare box. At one stop, another guy walked up the steps of the bus.  He and the driver had an amusing conversation that ended with the bus driver handing him a few pesos. The young man walked off, and returned in a couple of minutes, trying to cadge a few more pesos. The bus driver said something like, "get me a few more passengers, and yeah, I'll give you some money. " The young man rounded up a few more Bucerias and Punta del Mita riders. The bus driver handed him more pesos from the transit kitty. I just read this to Keelin and she said the kid told the driver he would not get off the bus until he got some more money, nor would he step on the bus and actually pay. He would just linger at the entrance and block anyone from getting on. It was a good natured hold-up with lots of joshing and smiling. It was a game. And it was hilarious. Then the guy said he'd ride along to the next stop, where he also rounded up additional passengers for one more payout. We were back on the road for another minute or so and picked up a cute twenty-something woman. She may have handed him a transfer, but it looked like she rode gratis.

As we continued, every mile or so, the driver would make a wild turn around a turning vehicle, usually cradling a phone on his shoulder, and trying to make change for the latest passenger.

Back on the highway, we headed away from Puerta Vallarta, and there were fewer people not at the official stops. However, at almost every official stop from here on, a guy with a clipboard—apparently some low-level transit system functionary/apparatchik—would step on board, do a fist bump with the driver and chat back and forth for a few minutes, after which the driver would dig back in the box and hand the clipboard guy some coins. There was always a lot of good natured chatter and best wishes. This happened five or six times before we got to Bucerias and stepped off onto the highway's shoulder to cross the street.

As we exited, there were four people working the cars on the highway stopped at the light. One person was selling bouquets of local flowers; another had a bucket of water and soft drinks; one person sold soccer jerseys; and another was performing various tricks with a flaming stick.  And then we stepped onto the calm, quiet, verdant side streets of Bucerias.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Dinner in Bucerias at the Trini and Ishmael Lopez home

By Jack Brummet, Mexico Travel Editor

We went to Easter dinner at our friends Trini and Ishamel Lopez's house today.  The live across the arroyo on the hill above Bucerias.  We brought along our entire crew--Keelin, Dave Hokit, Maureen Roberts, Eric and Megan Sanchez, and their two kids, Otis and Olivia.  The Sanchez's departed for the airport and San Francisco after dinner.

On Thursday, the Lopez extended family (eight of them) comes to our house for dinner (I'm cooking).    And on Friday The Ericksen-Curran family arrives (and we depart for Seattle on Sunday). 


Photographs and video from Good Friday's crucifixion procession (Santa Via Cruces) in Bucerias

By Jack Brummet, Mexico Travel Ed

We first saw Santa Via Cruces maybe six years ago.  Many towns and cities have a full blown pageant on Good Friday.  This is more a religious instructional exercise than any sort of entertainment.  Probably 150-200 people followed the procession as it wound its way up the hill.  The procession stopped 12 times for song and prayer at each of 12 stations of the cross along the way.

Station of The Cross Stop No. 8

Vegetables in Bucerias

By Jack Brummet, Mexican Cuisine Editor

This is a pile of vegetables that were the snack and salad/verdure part of the dinner I cooked last night for the Sanches, Curran-Brummet, and Hokit-Roberts families.  There was also a big pot of four chili carne, another pot of beans, and a mess of sauteed mushrooms.  The availability of vegetables has much improved since our first trips here in the late 90's, and it's wonderful.

We discovered--via Eric Sanchez--a great new snack:  sliced cucumbers sprinkled with lime juice, salt, and a mild chili.  Amazing.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

A painting for Good Friday/Black Friday I saw today in Sayulita, Nayarit

By Jack Brummet, Mexican Travel Editor

A fascinating and probably controversial painting I saw today in a gallery in Sayulita (a town maybe 20 miles up the coast from Bucerias, about which more later tonight...).


Monday, April 02, 2012

Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico - first two days

By Jack Brummet, Travel Editor

Casa Andrea (our home for two weeks)

Outside the Roman Catholic church in Bucerias on Palm Sunday (standing room only)

What did they cross out here?  My son Colum took this horseback excursion
a few years ago--an all day trip into the jungle.

Strange dust writings on a car from Oregon

My brother-in-law Eric Sanchez airs out his 'tats.

my niece Olivia Jane Sanchez
My nephew Otis Valentino Sanchez

A sad sign...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Architectural Cupolas in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico

I have always loved cupolas on stucco and stone buildings. In Mexico, they must stem from the Moorish influence on Spain that migrated to Mexico later. When Mo found out I liked them, she took photos of a few around Bucerias... photos courtesy of Maureen Roberts. [click them to enlarge!]



A final beach shot from Bucerias

click to enlarge

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A last night with the Lopez family and more Bucerias kids...

Tonight we spent another night (our last in Bucerias) with our friends Ishmael and Trini Lopez, and their surviving children Ishmael Jr. and Erica. It's another story, but since we last saw them in 2003, their oldest son has died of leukemia. They didn't tell us at Trini's 50th birthday party, but waited until they came to our casa for dinner. Finally someone asked "where is Alfredo?" And we heard the sad story of Alfredo's death.

We walked up to their house on the hill above Bucerias--where few gringos set foot, because it is the residential area for local Mexicans. When you go there, people are not hostile. You're not really intruding. They're curious just what brings you there.

What brought us there was our old friends The Lopez Family. Tonight they were holding the traditional February 2nd feast early--for us. We had excellent chicken and pork tamales and had the traditional drink atola, made with milk, coconut, and spices. And we talked about how their life has changed over the last few years, and how the growth in Bucerias has affected them.

Mostly, they're doing OK. Their daughter Erica had a baby four years ago, not long after we last saw them and he is the apple of everyone's eye. Ishmael is now a contractor, and they are planning to build a couple of apartments to rent out on their property. Mostly what Trini wanted to know is when we are coming back. We watched a video of a party they had, and talked about Alfredo. And after three hours, we left, promising we would try to come back in two years. We stopped in at Karen's Place--a bar owned by an expatriate Aussie, and had a nightcap and trudged home along Lazaro Cardenas.

As we were walking to Trini and Ishmael's, we encountered some children, and Maureen, as she always does, wanted to take their picture:

After Mo took the picture, one of the girls walked up to her and said she wanted her picture taken by herself "Solamente me."

And in the middle of all this, some of the kids started jostling Keelin's purse. Keelin is the last person who would ever cast aspersions, but she said they were absolutely trying to get to her money. At that very moment, Trini walked up and shooshed them all away. Nothing like this has ever happened to us in Bucerias; it was a little bit of an anomaly. It did nothing to harden our hearts or change our minds about this paradise we keep returning to visit.

I hope we do return in two years. If I could figure out a way to survive here, or make my savings stretch, I'd return in a month, after wrapping up my affairs in the states.

Adio, Bucerias!