Punta Los Chivos

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    • Day 32

      The Muelle (Dock) and Making Ceviche

      January 11, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      In 1524, 32 years after Columbus’ trip, Hernán Cortés' nephew Spaniard Francisco Cortés de Buena Ventura arrived in the Chacala bay. A long time before that, it was inhabitated by the Tecoxquin (sometimes referred to as the Throat cutters) from approximately 2000 to 2300 BC. They left petroglyphs in nearby places.

      The indigenous who lived here when Cortés came, were mainly fishermen and farmers . They also traded salt and cotton and coaco.

      Chacala was a small commercial port in the 1800s (coffee) but didn’t become a big port like San Blas or Puerto Vallarta did. The old port is still used by local fisherman who go out early in the morning to catch shrimp and all sorts of other fish.

      The muelle is at the end of the street and so we went down in the morning to see what was being brought in. The shrimp boats had come in because we had heard the vendors over loud speakers announcing that we could buy shrimp off the truck going around town.

      The whole area is very picturesque with boats bobbing in the water, pelicans and other seabirds flying from one perch to another and fisherman doing their thing.

      A big table is set up in the shade where fishermen can clean their catch. They throw the carcasses back into the water for the other fish and the pelicans to eat. I asked what kind of fish they were cleaning and was told Toro (Bullfish) and Truche del Arrife (Reef Trout). I asked what kind of fish is good for making ceviche and was told that a fish called Cochito Bota (Triggerfish) was the one to use.

      They didn’t have a fresh fish but they did have a kilogram frozen package. It was the perfect size so we bought it, thawed it in cold water and made a delicious ceviche.

      Basic Ceviche Recipe

      1 pound whitefish, cut into bite-size pieces
      6-8 squeezed limes
      Couple of tomatoes, seeded and diced
      1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
      1/3 cup diced green or red bell pepper (optional)
      chopped onion
      1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, or to taste
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      salt and ground black pepper to taste
      Place fish into a flat dish; cover with lime juice. Chill fish in refrigerator until tender and opaque, at least 3 hours. Drain lime juice.
      Mix tomato, cilantro, green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add fish and stir. Chill in refrigerator until flavors blend, about 1 hour.
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    • Day 26

      Lazy days...

      January 5, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Believe it or not, Chris and I have never stayed for an extended time in a beach town. This was going to be a new experience for us.

      Pat and Gail have been here before and since Pat grew up in a beach town in California, he loves the ocean, surfing, swimming and snorkelling. Chacala is the perfect place for this. Gail loves the calm areas of the beach for swimming and Chacala has that too. We are fortunate that they found this wonderful little place and we can share it with them.

      There are lots of Americans and Canadians here, mostly from the west coast. They know each other so there is always someone who will arrange pickle ball games in the early morning, ukulele group meets in the late morning, dinner parties or meetups at restaurants, little group driving or hiking trips, seeing the sunsets while drinking margaritas at a nearby restaurant, etc. Always something going on, if you want to be busy.

      Pat and Gail know us well enough, so we don’t always have to do things together but it is fun to
      have options.

      On Sundays, a terrific brunch is offered in a little shaded and secluded area at the end of the
      beach. We all went there for the first time and loved it! Gourmet food and mimosas on the beach. Ahhhh. As added entertainment we watched a whale breaching in the distance. Pretty exciting!

      A group decision was made. We have all agreed to go there every Sunday.
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    • Day 38

      Opening of a New Bakery

      January 17, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      We met a wonderful couple who sell bread at the Saturday organic market in Chacala. Their bread is delicious. They mentioned that they will be opening a tiny bakery very close to our apartment and next door to the laundromat. It is an exciting time for them.

      Today, the bakery opened its doors and we went to visit it.
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    • Day 36

      A Weekly ‘Hole in the Wall’ Restaurant

      January 15, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Chabela, a lady who lives across the street from us, opens up her home every Wednesday to serve a Mexican meal for 10 - 20 people. She posts the time and the menu and puts a sign-up sheet on her door.

      Last week, we ate a chicken mole dish and this week, we had either a shrimp or beef Chile Relleno dish with beans, rice and salad. Jugs of guayabana juice are set on the table, and serviettes and cutlery handed out. Then we get real Mexican home-cooked food that she prepares in her kitchen. The grill is on for warming up tortillas.

      Three long tables with chairs are set up in her patio. Her dog and a cat walk under the tables freely. And everyone talks. It’s like a big family gathering.

      This week, we took a few photos of the experience.
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    • Day 37

      Chacalilla Priv. Beach & Gated Community

      January 16, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      A week of Ukulele workshops with James Hill is planned for the last week in January. Of course, Gail and Pat are involved in the ukulele programs which appear to be lots of fun for the 20 participants coming from the U.S. Chris and I are leaving for New Zealand during this week so will not be attending but know that everyone will enjoy Chacala.

      James Hill’s mother-in-law, Dorothy, stays in Chacala during winters and we have met her on several occasions. She invited our gang for an afternoon visit to Chacalilla, a gated community on a secluded, peaceful beach, where she lives.

      The eight of us sat in the shade under palm trees, swam in the turquoise water and drank cervezas. The life...

      Then we walked to Dorothy and Bruce’s house, had a guided tour and ate the club house’s tasty french fries, and Lola’s guacamole and tostadas. The house is built in a jungle so we slathered ourselves with repellant and enjoyed watching the hummingbirds and other jungle birds flit through the trees.
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    • Back in Mexico

      January 18, 2023 in Mexico ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      We have decided not to do a big blog for our time in Mexico this year. We will be revisiting places that we have been to in the past so Chris doesn’t think that there won’t be a lot of new things to see or to write about. I’m not so sure…

      We are now in Chacala, Mexico. FindPenguins just let me know that we were in Mexico 295 days ago. So funny. And in Chacala in 2020 just before Covid broke out.

      One week after coming home from Egypt, we hopped on a plane and flew to Puerto Vallarta. Originally, I tried to get flights from Egypt to Mexico but it cost way too much and would have taken hours to get here. Cheaper to just fly back home. And we saw our kids and reorganized our luggage for a hotter climate. Worked out just right.

      Chacala is a sweet little fishing village, a 2 hour drive north of P.V. Our long time travelling friends are staying here and booked a 2 bedroom apartment in a small building close to the beach. We are staying with them for a couple of weeks. Their grandson and his wife are also staying close by for a 5 day mini vacation so we were lucky to spend some time with them for a few days.

      Our first full day in Chacala was spent by first of all hiking up the nearby volcano and enjoying the amazing view of the bay and village from its summit. Then we all went to a lovely restaurant near the marina for a buffet brunch.

      Then we unpacked and settled in. We stayed with P and G in another apartment in this building 3 years ago so it feels like home to us.

      At 3 pm, we all went out whale watching and we saw whales! It was pretty exciting.

      But the fun didn’t end there. Since it was the kids’ last night before heading home, we all went out to see the sunset over the ocean and then a seafood dinner at Las Brisas.

      We love Mexico!
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    • Day 39

      Music and Dancing at a Tapas Bar

      January 18, 2020 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      We heard that a very good band was playing Cuban Music at a little weekend Tapas Bar on Saturday night so we made plans to go for dinner and then enjoy some good music.

      Service was slow but we weren’t in a hurry. The music that started at 7 p.m. was excellent and Gail did a lot of dancing!

      We went home at 9 p.m. which is called the Chacala MIdnight. Haha. The place was packed with old geezers. One guy took a photo and then fell over. Someone called out that he was a Rock and Roller.
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    Punta Los Chivos

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