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It Takes Three Days...

...to switch gears

sunny 27 °C

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Well it took just three days, but Stephen succumbed to the Mexican Cleanse. It also usually takes about three days to stop comparing Mexico to Canada and just start living here.
He’s coming around now, thanks to lots of sleep and the local cure – take an entire coconut, drill a hole, insert straw, and let the healing begin. Actually a kind lady at a fresh juice stand did this for me – all for about $2.00. We will be drinking fresh coconut juice now as a preventative – that, some local honey and local yogurt and it might make a difference. We need to be careful and let our Canadian systems catch up.

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So how do you get sick in Mexico? It’s confusing. We take precautions - drink lots of filtered water, brush our teeth with filtered water, and wash our fruits and vegetables carefully. The bugs are out there, and sooner or later, they get you. All part of the deal, I guess.

We drove to Bucerias yesterday to stock up on groceries and to find a lightbulb for our right rear turn indicator that burned out on the trip down. More adventures as we learned to navigate this stretch of road, where left turns are actually made from the far right of the road, and right turns have to be made from a side road running parallel to the main highway (or else you will be nearly T-boned). So now we know.

Driving in Mexico can be very entertaining, especially around towns and cities. The highway is not reserved for cars alone. We did not see cattle this time, but came across this horse on the way out and then followed these little horses in their precarious-looking pen on the way back. Vendors are everywhere, walking between two lanes of traffic that are moving at all speeds, with NO way of stopping even if we did want to buy piñatas and peanuts.

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The drive back to Sayulita is quite pretty, with curvy roads and lovely jungle canopies. Unfortunately, what is scenic to us presents driving challenges that simply INFLAME the Mexican drivers, as buses, trucks and cars rev up behind us, disappear in our rear-view mirror and ignoring roadside shrines and “Curva Peligrosa” signs, blast past us.

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Topes (pronounced toe-pay) are another hazard, as warned by this innocuous sign. They are, in fact, evil constructs of steel and concrete designed to slow traffic (?) and will take out your undercarriage or puncture a tire, if you hit them at full speed. There are countless impromptu roadside stands, offering everything from food to clothing to brass. Many of them are located right after a curve, so you run the risk of being rear-ended if you slow down to take a look.

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The dogs of Sayulita. Despite the best efforts of Sayulitanimals, an organization that spays and neuters at no charge, many of these strays are still proud. Strangely, there are few acts of aggression, as the dozens of dogs that roam the streets and beaches all seem to get along. They tug at your heartstrings though, even the pit bull around the corner from us, who is on a chain all day and BARKS, BARKS, BARKS,BARKS for 10-15 minutes at a time. I have had Seinfeldian fantasies about creeping over there and setting him free. The owners of Macondo (where we’re staying) have a wonderful dog, a wolf-husky mix found in the Alberta bush, named Coda. He is very sweet, but for some reason barks at any man wearing a ball cap, so the maintenance guys are a bit wary of him.

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Sayulita has changed a lot over the past six years we have been visiting. It has gotten quite spiffed-up and overrun with gringos (of which we are two), yet it is still a Mexican town. We were out on a long walk a couple of days ago, and noticed this sign, a “gringo command” posted on a high fence. The funny thing is that Mexicans do not walk their dogs, nor do they pick up after them. They let their dogs out and sooner or later, the dogs come back home. So this snippy and pointless directive falls on deaf ears.

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We went to the Friday market this morning, and Steve bought a pound of “wild” Mexican coffee – grown and sun-dried (as opposed to roasted) not far from here. Shopping in Sayulita is varied and interesting. There are the markets on Sunday with everything from Chinese electronics to handmade jewellery. The stores run from tourist traps to surf shops to very upscale shops with tiny dresses and imported leather bags.

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Stephen learning about "wild" coffee

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Friday market

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Marco the man and Franco the bird, at a produce store

Restaurants run the gamut as well – taco stands, American style steak houses, great seafood, great breakfast places and wonderful fresh juice stands. You can find wood-fired pizza, really great hamburgers and sushi (all good), and you can find delicious tacos with really fresh fish and shrimp and Argentinean beef.

Christmas has arrived in Sayulita. We watched the school kids coming home this afternoon – all excited as today marks the break until the New Year. Each of them walked down the street carrying wrapped boxes – very cute. The town is trimmed here and there – a Christmas tree has been erected in the main plaza, and some of the stores have decorations.

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Christmas tree in the main plaza

Talk to you again before the big day.

Posted by millerburr 19:06 Archived in Mexico

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A wonderful taste of Mexico, we love it! Enjoy the sun and heat, as we see only rain and gray on Gabriola.
Looking forward to future blogs.
Feliz Navidad

by Hawkson

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