Petroglyphs and more

We decided that we really had to do a bit of exploring in this area, particularly knowing that a short distance away, and a very decent hike …. are petroglyphs over 2000 years old.

Heading towards Alta Vista we set off on a 3 km hike into the jungle.  This area is unbelievably lush, and once you get off the beach I think the vines would threaten to cover everything if left unattended.  I truly expected Mowgli to come along, swinging from the tree tops on those long vines.  Vivian was more than a little nervous …. a few squeaks out of her as she claimed that she was WAY out of her comfort zone.  I think she was afraid that it would be Ka she saw, not Mowgli.

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We were very happy that it was a bit overcast today, and we were  thankful to be in the jungle for enough of it that we weren’t collapsing with the heat.  (just the humidity)

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The trail led us through citrus groves and guava orchards – incredibly beautiful.

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The most colourful butterflies kept us company along the way.

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Love the way this little guy blends in with the flowers.

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Orange trees everywhere.

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We did try one that LOOKED ripe …. it most definitely was not.

More than a few cows wondered where we were going …

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It was 3 km in for this hike, and so lush in that jungle setting.

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These “strangler” trees wrap their way around other trees until they have virtually taken over!

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Some of the petroglyphs were moss covered, others very easy to visualize.

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So many spots in Mexico contain areas like this – something created by the human hand thousands of years ago – still here for us to view.

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Hot, tired and happy – perfect photo opportunity.

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It was quite a strange feeling in this area, where people lived and worked thousands of years ago, and it still contains a bit of that mystical feeling.  This is certainly one of those moments that stays in the memory bank.

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We really had to wonder if an earthquake sometime in the past scattered all these boulders.

This area is well known for pineapples, bananas, and salt production …. the sea salt definitely has the taste of the ocean, unlike sea salt we have purchased in the stores at home.

Just as critical as salt …. sweet!!  Mexicans love their sweet treats and they are in abundance everywhere.

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Sweets galore, mostly made of coconut or tamarind.

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Bags of sea salt for sale.

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I forgot … limes also!  They are growing everywhere.

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Far off in those hills they also have coffee plantations.  We bought some today that was roasted last night!

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Fresh pineapple here never seems as acidic as it is at home.

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If you haven’t had fresh ceviche at a beach, or beach town … what are you waiting for?

We’ve certainly had a few adventures trying to find beaches  ….. signs stating that a beach is ahead, however we come to a locked gate or such a big puddle we can’t progress any farther.

I think we we would all agree that Chacala is a wonderful destination for a relaxing beach holiday.  If you do happen to see a beach vendor, go ahead and buy those peanuts – they are amazing!

This is a very small village, our casa is right beside the kindergarten – naturally a family lives there also.

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These kids are probably 6 and 4 – they have been busy folding their own laundry off those clotheslines!

After tonight it is time for us once again to say:

Hasta la vista la playa (see ya later beach) and head back to a cold winter at home …. until January!

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Beach life ……

Thursday began with a rude awakening at 5:30 a.m., in order to meet our driver down at the Teatro Principal for the journey to Guadajuanato Airport.

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Through sleepy path ways our suitcases rattle along.

At this point we feel like the only people in Guanajuato awake.

However, of course not!  Right at the steps of Teatro Principal we found our driver, Israel.  Off we went …..

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If possible, the tunnels seem even more eery when we are the only car driving along …..

The flight itself was smooth and quick, a far cry from our lengthy journey by bus to get inland.  Oh, if only that volcano hadn’t been acting up!

My brother Bruce and our cousin Doug met us at the PV airport.  Bruce seemed to think that we were all going to fit into that VW bug, along with our luggage.  Not a freaking chance.  I ended up with Bruce and the luggage and the rest of the crew went in a taxi.  Doug had his own version of a Mexican Harley … his scooter.

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This does look a bit like a cartoon ……

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A far cry from the world of Mexican VW beetles, we stopped at Doug and Mona’s swanky condo …… However, that world is out of our budget and so off we went.

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At long last … the beach!  We have arrived in Chacala, which will be our home for the rest of the trip.  Time to relax, swim and just soak up some vitamin D.  So fabulous to have a visit with Bruce.  After lunch he and the VW bug made their way to PV, but we know he will be back!

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Our first sunset from the deck at our home, Casa Monarca.

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No groceries purchased yet, so we wandered down to the beach for dinner while listening to the waves crash on the beach … these coconut shrimp were just delicious!

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Waiting for the collectivo to take us into Las Varas, the largest centre to get some groceries.  Chacala has a decent assortment of small spots to get fruit and vegetables, but that is about it.

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As you can see, it is really busy here, not sure we can handle the crowds.

With about 300 full-time residents, Chacala is a small fishing village – very rustic and quaint.

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As  we arrived in Las Varas the parade celebrating the Revolution of 1910 had just begun.  Or, as Grant would say, it was his planning that had us arriving there in time for the parade!  In any case, this is a big deal down here, with people of all ages taking part.  Probably the longest parade we have ever seen.

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We missed the youngest children, but the kids of all ages were wearing the most beautiful outfits.  I had to feel sorry for them as we were sweating without wearing elaborate clothing!

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Just loved the way this group were dressed in the traditional regional attire from around Mexico.

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Cutest little daycare group sitting watching the parade, needless to say their favourite part was having candy thrown at them from the floats.

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Although worn in the parade as depicting the traditional attire, don’t think it isn’t still used as such – when we are in rural Mexico, in small villages, this is still what people are wearing.

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It’s not all traditional though ….. these little cheerleaders were high energy and very good.

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Unless you live in Mexico, I am sure you haven’t seen this in your local parade – teenagers making margaritas and passing them out to other teenagers!

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Sorry Vivi, but I had to include this photo …. It makes me think of that expression that goes something like “a picture is worth a thousand words..”  Hot, tired and hungry all Vivi wants is to be fed, not try and understand a menu.

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Taken from our balcony, after a strenuous and exhausting day getting groceries, parade watching and bobbing in the Pacific Ocean it is very nice to be able to come home and sit on our loungers while still listening to the waves crash behind us.

Chacala is about 1 1/2 – 2 hours north of Puerta Vallarta and a great place to come if you want to get away from it all.