Saturday, 18 August 2012

A day out in Mexcaltitan

Normal service is resumed with photos!! 

Tepic cathedral


Loretta-the nun!!

The end of one of the streets in Mexcaltitan

Eugene and Lexi
Apologies to those of you that I confused last week.........we leave here 18th September and head to Peru on 19th and travel in South America till February 2103 and only THEN will we fly from Brazil to Barcelona and then home!!

This week we have had variable weather from boiling hot Sunday to cooler with a bit of refreshing rain some days but the whole place continues to be greener than green and plants in the field next door have now grown to over 6 feet. Various wild flowers are appearing and last Sunday there were half a dozen small parakeets in beautiful shades of green. We are also blessed with thousands of butterflies everywhere, they just flutter up as you walk.This is all around us, it is a very relaxing place to live..........if it wsn't for the drummers!!

On the food front we had Chris' special BBQ ribs yesterday-they were yummy. On Sunday Chris, Miguel and I drove out to a restaurant in the countryside called La Sierra. It was Mexican fast food and definitely not MacDonald's!! Its was a BBQ place so as you sat down they came with a salad ( which we found out to our cost was chill++), some home-made cheese, home made gorgeous tortillas and the inevitable salsa.......which can be red or green and is always hot!! There were no menus just choice of lamb, beef or goat. After four months of abstinence I had lamb and it was to die for, they cook whole legs of lamb and then shred the meat..........muy rico-as they say in these parts. As we entered the restaurant there was a BBQ with loads of different meats on, so I asked the waitress what it was and she brought us a taste......a large plate with pork, grilled lamb and chorizo. Although it was simple food, beautifully cooked and speedily served in simple surroundings we nearly fell over when we got the bill. Three plates of lamb, the starters, two beers, two drinks, a coconut ice cream endless fresh tortillas and it was 235 pesos which is under £12. We pay that for two plates of coconut prawns in the laguna. As you can't really buy lamb in the butchers we will definitely be back!!

Chris was up in town on Wednesday for his Spanish class and I nearly lost one of the dogs.......thankfully he turned up. We all went into the field and the 3 dogs went racing away and five minutes later there was still no sign of them. I walked the usual route and Lexie turned up so I put her lead on to avoid losing her again, got near the end and little Lily turned up..........but still not a sign of Eugene and usually you can see where he is as he moves the plants around. 

So I took the other two back to the house and set off again to look for the final bit of the jigsaw---------I love the Spanish word for jigsaw el rompecabezas. It was hot and I walked around the field again until a very tired looking and sheepish Eugene came out from the undergrowth. It took him about half an hour to cool down but at least by Chris came back I had all 3 dogs!!

Yesterday I had a fabulous day out with Miguel. I picked him up at about 6.45 am and the laguna was shrouded in low cloud -it looked fabulous. We were heading for Mexcaltitan, an island where it is believed the Aztecs first created a city. We drove north to Tepic and then out north west on the road to Mazatlan ( just in case anyone wants to look at a google map!) 

About half an hour past Tepic we stopped for breakfast at a roadside never know what to expect in Mexico........quite a big place we had huevos revueltos mexicana y frijoles y tortillas ( Mexican style scrambled eggs, with onion and chill and beans and tortillas) Behind where we sat was a large swimming pool with bright yellow painted walls and a couple of of which had  a Marilyn Monroe style blond in a purple bikini!! Random!! 

We then drove through Santiago Ixcuintla and you then take a road heading north that ends at the ferry at La Batanga. The road goes through a couple of villages , one with a church painted Wedgwood blue, then it becomes a  fabulous flat and straight road. It changed from pasture to miles of wetland with beautiful waterlilies and  storks, heron and egrets. Then it became mangroves as we drove up the middle -you could see for miles if another car was coming-the only obstacles were herds of cows enjoying a dip in the water. It was so peaceful and different.

The information we had suggested there was a ferry timetable across to the island ; so we weren't sure how long we would have to wait. But a little old man came across to the car said horita ie NOW , he hinted he would look after the car ( I gave him 5 pesos) and off we went. 

The lancha was 80 pesos for up to 5 people but we looked up the road and there was no sign of anyone else so decided to just go. It was a ten minute trip through the mangroves and then for 50 pesos more we went right around the isand. We were both staggered at how small it was ..........and a very simple design a central square ( it was circular!!) with streets radiating from it and then one parallel street going all the way round. We had planned to enjoy the local speciality Shrimps-most of the work is shrimp fishing but it was too close to breakfast. We wandered round town , it was hot as we were now at sea level ( SAMAO is quite high) and visited the tiny museum and the church of St Peter. It was a lovely little place but there are no signs of the Aztecs, no artifacts etc , so who knows?? We were the only tourists on the island and gringos to boot so we felt pretty noticeable, but as usual everyone was really friendly. Surprisingly there was no queue , or wait, for the return lancha. 
Mexcaltitan-from the air
P.S. This is not my photo!!

The car was still in one piece and the little man was now the toilet attendant , basic but clean!! We set off to retrace our steps and drove slowly down the road enjoying the flora and fauna of the wetland. 

As we had driven through Santiago Ixcuintla we had spotted a Jesus statue on a hill so thought we would stop off. It was easy to navigate the town centre , mostly one way, and we parked outside a beautiful church in the Plaza Principal. Sadly, the doors were closed but to the side there was a gate open so I thought it was an alternative entrance but it was only the church offices. I asked a woman in the office if it was open today and she said 4pm ( it was about 12.45) . She then asked if we wanted to look and she opened up the church specially for us. Such lovely people xx

It was the parish church, so quite large, very peaceful and a lovely interior with pale green walls, a beautiful cupola and carved pews etc. From there we walked out into the full heat of the day and ended up in an open door ice cream parlour.........seemed a better option than lunch in the heat. Again we chatted with alovely man from anearby town who gave up his table for us. We looked  at a few of the colonial buildings and then set off to find the Jesus statue.........we got part way up a very cobbled street but it petered into nothing. 

So we headed off home.......... bought some lovely biscuits from a guy filling up at the petrol station........this is Mexico!! 

 It was a long day I got back to the laguna about 4.45 pm but it was very enjoyable. I was glad Miguel had suggested it, it was a place I had hoped to see on our beach trip but we changed those plans at the last minute.

Today is Saturday so, once the dogs are walked ,we will have breakfast out and then unless I can think of an excuse I need to do some cleaning in the house it is cloudy and cool so it would be a good time to do some housework. Chris isn't too good at the minute he has a bad heel.........plantar fascitis ........I think .......and it has set his knee off!!Chris is beavering away on the plan for Chile and I need to get the Argentina one started, it will be better to have a rough outline before we go as you don't get much time when you are on the road!!

We want to come back to Mexico someday and see the country, together with other parts of central America. A camper van would be possible as the distances are not huge like in S America but that it for the future!!

Hope life is good wherever in the world you are.
Till next time

Norma xx


  1. Good morning Norma! Your blog was posted at 09.06, so I think I may be the first to read it. It sounds like you had an eventful day out! Mexico sounds absolutely lovely if you're of the adventurous persuasion - which you obviously are. Maybe being a year older makes you more of a homebody! I wish you well with your South American trip - it sounds exciting! It will be a bit of a comedown getting back in February though.... heaven only knows what we can expect weatherwise then - it's like a game of roulette weatherwise at the moment. I loved the pictures of the dogs - they sound like a right handful - particularly Eugene! The photos were lovely, particularly the Cathedral in Tepic. It looked so tranquil. Your picture of Loretta was certainly not what I expected. Was the pic taken on her day off? or is South America rather less formal than Europe? She has a lovely kind face. I hope Chris's foot is better soon - plantar fasciitis is very painful indeed, and affects other joints as you tend to 'carry' the injury and rely on other joints, thus straining them (George has had a bout of that, and it's not good) still, planning your trips will hopefully take his mind off his pain.
    We're off to Italy for a fortnight in Sept/Oct ourselves, when hopefully, the temperatures will be a bit lower. Not up to your temperatures, but I've never been great in really hot places. This has only been possible since the sad demise of our 16 year old cat Mandu who passed away a month ago.

  2. From the way you described the island and the buildings I feel like I was right there with you!! it sounds like you're having a fantastic time and clearly your Spanish is doing great!! looking forward to the next post :) xx