Sunday, February 28, 2016


It seemed like I would never get to Mexico this year.  I had enrolled in courses to earn my certificate to teach English as a second language and the semester did not end until just before Christmas.  The Baja Ha-Ha left at the end of October, leaving me stranded on shore.  Having stayed home until nearly Christmas, it seemed cruel to leave Scott’s mom alone for the holidays, so we booked our tickets to return to Fool’s Castle in Chiapas for New Year’s Eve, which is always a cheap time to fly.

Christmas Dinner
On Christmas Eve, I cooked a nice dinner and stayed home to clean up while Scott took his mother to church.  Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from Scott telling me his mother had fallen getting out of the car and broken her hip.  We spent Christmas in the hospital with her, holding her hand while she moaned in pain.  On the 26th, they performed surgery to put a titanium pin in her upper femur.  She remained in the hospital until the 29th and then was moved to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation.  We could not leave a 92 year old woman with a broken hip alone in a nursing home in what was for her still a strange place (having lived the first 91 years of her life in Iowa.)  Scott had to go to the boat to see to the engine repairs which had already been delayed for a year and a half.  I made the decision to remain behind with his mother.

January was torture for both of us.  I wanted to be in La Cruz.  She wanted to be home.  Both of us were trapped in a routine of medical procedures, physical therapy, and mundane errands.  For the first few weeks she was in a lot of pain from her hip.  Once that passed and she stopped needing the pain medication, she was tortured my headaches that were the result of withdrawal from opiates.  I was very glad to see Scott when he finally returned from Chiapas on January 30th.  I stayed home for a few days to see Scott and brief him on his mother’s situation.  Finally, on February third, I left for Puerto Vallarta, feeling like a bird released from a cage.

My troubles, however, were far from over.  Having waited
so long to return to La Cruz, I was unable to find an available apartment online.  My friend Don, the skipper of Comet on which we had done the 2014/2015 Ha-Ha, was originally due to arrive in La Cruz ahead of me and had offered me a place to stay.  Unfortunately for me, some old friends of his decided to visit about that time, changing his schedule and leaving no space for me.  I had contracted a respiratory infection which may actually have been whooping cough two days before I left.  Fortunately, I had been able to book a room at the Cactus Inn in Bucerias for 500 pesos a night (about $23.). I arrived there sicker than a dog and spent the next three days huddling in my room with barely enough energy to get up to find food.
 Delicias Mexicana in Bucerias

The Cactus Inn was a nice motel for the price.  Located on the south end of Bucerias, it gave me a chance to explore parts of town I had rarely visited in the past and it was close to the banks.  There are a lot of very nice homes and restaurants in that part of town once you get a few blocks down from the highway.  If I were not so entrenched in the social circle revolving around the La Cruz marina, I could see living in Bucerias.

On Friday, I mustered enough energy to take the bus to La Cruz to look for a temporary home.  The first familiar face I encountered was my friend, Betty.  I had tried to get a room in the guest house where she stays, but found them fully booked through March.  She told me that our friends, Jen and Gregg at Casa Mango, had rooms available.  We went over there and I arranged to stay there until there was room available on Don’s boat.  I did not, however, have the energy to move there until the following day.
My Room at Casa Mango 
Casa Mango is a beautiful place and, while it has often been party central in years past, seems to have outgrown that phase.  I found it quite serene with the exception of neighborhood parties and some other guests on holiday from Mexico City.  My room was large and sunny and the bed was the most comfortable I have ever encountered in Mexico.  At 700 pesos a night, the price was a bit steep, but it was only for a week and worth it to me to have a place in La Cruz.  I made the most of my time there and enjoyed drawing in the lovely garden, surrounded and inspired by beautiful murals.

Despite still being under the weather, I got up Monday morning and set out to deal with the other major problem in my life.  Just before I left, I had been locked out of my new computer by Windows 10.  I didn’t know it at the time, but my keyboard was defective, making it impossible to enter my password properly.  I left the USA hoping that I would remember the password or find some other solution once I recovered from my illness enough to think.  Eventually I did some internet research and managed to change the password online via my smartphone.  This, however, did not solve the problem since my keyboard wasn’t working properly. 

Eduardo, La Cruz’s resident computer guru had been robbed the previous year and had subsequently moved his business nearly to Old Town Puerto Vallarta.  Before setting out on that journey, I decided to try a couple of other suggestions I had received for people in La Cruz and Nuevo Vallarta.  I never did locate the guy in La Cruz and I suspect my informant had actually been referring to the now departed Eduardo.  The guy who supposedly worked out of the Telcel kiosk in the mall in Nuevo Vallarta was not there, either.  Apparently, he was closed on Mondays.  Updating my blog would have to wait.







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