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December 29, 2007

Humming Birds La Penita Mexico

Rob and Lori Nason















     We have made so many friends here at the La Penita RV Park.  Sometimes it is just fun to go for a walk and see if anyone is sitting out and if they are you will usually get an invite to come sit a spell.  Two people that we enjoy visiting are Rob and Lori Nason from Saskatchewan.  Rob retired from the Canadian Mounted Police.  Rob and Lori are full time in their fifth wheel and look forward to many years of travel.  When paying Rob and Lori a visit you might have to duck when approaching their pad as they have a couple humming bird feeders that are very active.  Rob says he has to refill them a couple times a day.  They have counted up to 15 humming birds on their two feeders at one time.  Lori is an expert photographer and has captured some excellent photos of the little critters as they use the feeders.  The slide show below is offered with the permission of Lori as these are her pictures.

                                                                Slide Show

December 27, 2007

Volley Ball Tournament

U.S. Winning Team















     There are always many different ethnic cultures within and staying at the RV Park.  Of course the majority one is Canadian, but there are some U.S. citizens, some from New Zealand,  a couple from Holland and on this week of Christmas and New Years celebration time there are lots of Mexicans camping wherever there is a small space available.  The Park is jumping!


     It is traditional during this week to hold a volley ball tournament.  Each Country, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. field a team of 20 players and it is a double elimination tournament.  Cheering sections quickly form with flags on prominent display.  Kids and Pets also enjoy the action.  One has to come down to earth a little because with all the cheering and chanting, if you close your eye’s and fantasize a bit, you could think an Olympic event is about to take place.


     There are T-shirts with the 1st place logo for the winners and a victory cake to be shared by all.  Of course the bragging rights go along with the win.


     A pat on the back for the U.S. team who came away victorious. 

     Click on Slide Show below to see pictures taken throughout the tournament.

                                                         Slide Show 



December 25, 2007

Christmas La Penita Mexico 2007

     This time of year and celebration we miss our families and friends and perhaps a little of the comfort zone of our previous lives in and around Stoddard Wisconsin but there is a whole other world out there and we are doing our best to discover some of it.


     As those who have been following our adventures know we are living our dream and doing our best to see “just what is around the next corner”.


     Christmas in a foreign land, with temperatures that border on “perfect”, sand beaches, and the soothing sound of surf coming ashore, and most importantly to be surrounded by new found friends don’t completely make up for the missing of our family and friends but being here sure doesn’t hurt a whole lot.


     I know one thing for sure, I have never in my life sat down to a Christmas dinner, outside by a pool, in the evening, dressed in a short sleeve shirt and wishing that I had selected to wear my shorts rather than long pants.


     Christmas eve we participated in a celebration of sorts for the kids that are around the park.  Carols were sung by first the gringos and then were followed by the Mexicans.  Then it was time for the little ones to “bash the piñatas”, till all the candy spilled out.  It was a joyous celebration by all.


     This Christmas of 2007 is one that Kathleen and I will remember for a long time to come.  We started the day off by joining many of our new found friends for a Christmas Day Breakfast Brunch at 10:00 a.m.  Since we had volunteered to do one of the turkeys for the evening Christmas Celebration we got that going in the oven as we were to have it to the turkey carvers at 2:00 p.m.  We were doing one of about 11 turkeys.  Others in the park were recruited to do various crock pot vegetable dishes, etc.  The whole event came together in grand fashion as about 170 of us gathered to feast and celebrate Christmas.


     I am trying a new little slide show program and have included here a group of pictures that represent Christmas eve, the Christmas day morning brunch, and the grand finale, Christmas Dinner by the pool.  Click on Slide Show below to see the pictures.


                                                Slide Show


December 19, 2007

Kathleen and Iguana Close Up

Recovering Iguana















     One of the smaller resident Iguana near the pool either got chased by a bigger one until he fell, or perhaps he just fell on his own.  Whatever did happen, once he hit the ground he ended up in the pool?  Some of the Mexican children who are here in the park with their parents for Christmas were swimming in the pool at the time.  Something I didn’t know, is Iguanas can not swim so the little guy was struggling on the bottom of the pool when one of the Mexican workers in the Park came to his rescue and brought him to the surface with a net on the end of a long pole.  The lady you see in the picture with Kathleen is the mom to one of the young couple who does the breakfast daily at the pool.  She assisted in the rescue by grabbing the Iguana by the tail and laying him out on the concrete.  Even though the little guy was under water for over 5 minutes and very groggy from the ordeal, I believe that he later made his way back up the tree from which he had fallen.  Our pad and coach is so close to the pool that we were able to respond to the commotion and Kathleen got to touch the little guy and I was able to get a few photos.

Up Close












December 16, 2007

Iguanas Getting Restless

Medium Size Iguana















     There are Iguanas every where around the park and from time to time we see them as they move through the trees.  Apparently next month will be the height of mating season for the Iguana.  They are known then to be so engrossed in the act of reproduction that they can momentarily loose focus and fall out of the tree.  For now they are staying in the trees and that is OK with us.  I did catch a few of them with my camera as they were moving around chasing each other the other day.  There were four in one tree by the pool and I managed to photo three of them.  Two of them are about 4feet in length from nose to tip of tail and the other two are a little smaller.  They are very colorful and the two big ones have huge colorful loose skin below their lower jaw and they take to shaking their head vigorously for display.













































Big Fella













December 12, 2007

Ascend from the Beach

La Penita RV Park Beach















     Webster’s Dictionary says the word ‘Ascend’ is to climb, to succeed to (a throne).  To ascend from the La Penita RV Park beach to the park itself using the stairs could be fantasized in many ways.  The bottom line for which one can not argue, it for sure is a beautiful climb.  Weather you are king or queen or just plain winded when you get to the top makes no difference, all you have to do is look at all the beautiful flowers in bloom, and with just a little imagination you can be whatever you desire.


     When you do get to the top, turn and savor the view as this is why you came to La Penita in the first place.

Stairs to Beach

















Beach Stairs
















Flowers along Stairs
















Flowers along Stairs














December 11, 2007

Cemetery Beach



La Penita Beach Cemetery
















Bigger Boys Spearing Fish
















Big Wave Coming---Scramble















     Just below the RV Park and toward town is one of the Cemetery’s that service La Penita residents.  At the end of Cemetery road it dead ends right at the beach. (Poor choice of words, I know.)  There is just enough room to park one car, and if you get the spot, that little section of beach will be yours for the afternoon. 


     Kathleen and I were there today.  There were two young boys in their teens spearing fish and gathering clams near the rocks to our right.  At one point a group of four younger boys came by as they were playing along the beach.  No doubt their homes were not to far away.  Even though it was about 3:00 in the afternoon, one of the young boys had to try his English on us and said “good morning”.  That got Kathleen going with an English lesson and the young boys in turn gave us a Spanish lesson.  We had fun with them as they practiced their English and we our Spanish.  They also enjoyed posing for pictures and even took one of us.  The scene reminded us that boys are boys, fun is fun, and it doesn’t matter if it is the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.

posing for the camera
















Young boys gathering around
















class in session
















no boredom here













December 10, 2007

Cave Beach Outing

Cave Beach
















Ken and George















 There has been talk of a small beach called “Cave Beach” that was not the easiest place to reach.  It was said that a four wheel drive vehicle was advised.  Apparently the land owner who owns the land that you need to ultimately cross to reach this beach does not charge “Gringos” to go to this secluded beach, but it is said that he does charge any Mexicans that wish to visit it.


     It was approximately a 5 minute ride to the road that turned off the main hiway but it was a very bumpy 30 minute ride from the hiway to the beach, and yes, I am glad we had our four wheel drive jeep.  In a few words, it was a goat trail with big rocks here and there.  The jeep did great.


     As has become customary here in the park a group is usually assembled by who ever is organizing the outing and everyone piles in to the vehicles and away we go.  On this outing there were five vehicles and a great group of people interested in an adventure.


     What a beautiful secluded beach we were privileged to visit.  The beach itself was about the length of a footfall field and was formed at the back of a small cove.  Along the walls of the cove leading toward the beach were a series of caves that one could reach by swimming if the waves entering the cove were not to big.  Several in our party had snorkel equipment and those of us who didn’t got an opportunity to try our hand at it.  I borrowed Ken’s equipment and must say I will be going in to town soon to get my own.  There were not a lot of fish but there were enough to hold your interest and the color of them as they scooted about was incredible.


     We all enjoyed a great afternoon exploring a new beach, the conversation that went with relaxing in the sun, and the chance to meet a few new people from different areas of our La Penita RV Park.

Heading toward the caves















Cave Beach Relaxation
















The sum of the whole Beach















     Click on the word Photo's below to be taken to an album of the Cave Beach Outing.



December 08, 2007

La Penita RV Park Hells Angels

La Penita RV Park Hells Angels--George, Debbie, & Ken















     Ken, Debbie, and I get together and ride in to town.  The scooters are easy for getting around.  Debbie is an early morning walker.  She and her group have been on some interesting hikes and today she wanted to show Ken and me the route that they sometimes take.


     As we were leaving the RV Park the park manager, Grant, walked by and said, “Well, if it isn’t the La Penita RV Park Hells Angels”.  Were ok with that, but somehow with Deb on her pink scooter, dressed in pink, and those pink sunglasses I don’t think we are as threatening as Hells Angels should be.


     We did ride to the backside, inland foothill of La Penita and the below photo is looking out over the town as it sits in somewhat of a bowl.  The Island in the background is a good mile off shore from the town’s beach and provides shelter from the waves for some Shrimp Boats as they rest during the day and do their shrimping at night.




La Penita Looking West

















December 06, 2007

Market Day La Penita

Fish Vendor
















Colorful Bowls
















     Thursdays are Market Day in La Penita and it is hard to fathom anything more important to the community and surrounding area than the market.  It becomes the focus for everyone who lives and works here, but also for those of us, who are guests in this foreign land. 


     A small space in the market might be a family from some surrounding area with fresh vegetables from their small garden plot laid out for your purchase or a spice vendor with large bags of various spices and his postal type scale to weigh out the amount you would desire.  There are the craft type goodies that are not only practical, beautiful, and colorful but one can not possibly examine them without wondering about the hours of work that went in to making each one.  It is difficult to barter a price at times because you know a lot of work went in to making the piece you are interested in but it is virtually expected of you to do so.  Most of the vendors know just enough English to try and gain your interest in their wares, for as you are passing by their space, some will call out to you, “come look, almost free”.  There appear to be ethnic groups who must come some distance to hawk their wares as some pieces of pottery, or bead work, are only done by certain indigenous people from other states in Mexico.


     As I look around for interesting sites for my camera I am held captive by an elderly gentleman balancing an old five gallon plastic pail on his shoulder and in a voice that has many miles on it, he is calling out “honey” to the gringos who are nearby.  This is not the States or Canada where freshly sealed mason jars would probably appear from the pail, filled with honey, this is Mexico, and without doubt this bee keeper has worked just as hard to package his wares as those North of his land have, but instead of mason jars he has re-filled plastic Pepsi and Coke bottles.  I have been told by those who have bought his honey that it is the best in the area and that he takes great care to sterilize the containers before re-use.  If each week he sells a five gallon pail full of plastic pop bottles filled with fresh honey, he will be contributing greatly to the family economy.


     There are so many little stands that the whole area, stretching for block after block, seems to take on a county fair/flea market type atmosphere, but for sure this is different, in the sense that those who came to sell their wares will recycle some of the money they have collected for their goods into goods that they will need to carry them through the coming week.  Then come Thursday next week, they will do it all over again.


     Right in the middle of the market and town square as we walked along the doors to the church were open and it was obvious from the praying and singing that church was in session.  Seemed strange that at 11:00 a.m. in the middle of market day, church would be taking place.  On closer examination it turned out to be a funeral with the family members all gathered around the coffin as the priest conducted the service.  Now tonight as I sit on top of this hill in the La Penita RV Park just up from the cemetery I am hearing an occasional pop from a large firecracker and I am reminded that this is customary to ward off the evil spirits that may have accompanied someone to their resting place.  These explosions will go on through the night.  Perhaps next Thursday there will be an empty space at the market.




Hand Made
















Mom Shops














     Click on more photo's below.


                                                     More Photo's

December 05, 2007

Chacala Dinner

At Dinner with Friends
















     Last week I had the thought of asking our original “Hookers”, several honorary hookers, and who ever else wanted to join us, to go to Chacala for an afternoon at the beach and dinner under the beach palapa at Chico’s bar and resturaunt. 


     We ended up with twenty plus who wanted to go and today we piled in to as many vehicles as were needed and away we went. 


     Some went walking the beach, some went swimming, some sat in the shade of the palapa and enjoyed a brew, and some headed in to the town, such as it is, to do some shopping.  We all later got together and enjoyed a great meal ordering what we pleased from the menu and then returned home to our La Penita RV Park just before dark.


     This little outing again is testament to the great friendships that are forming as we enjoy our stay here in Mexico.  I believe everyone had a great time and perhaps we will do it again before our stay ends.  It is becoming more difficult to organize such outings as everyone’s social calendar is nearly full with all the organized activities that go on every day in the park.  Click on the word Photo’s below to be taken to an album containing photo’s of the Chacala Dinner outing




December 03, 2007

Location, Location, Location

Kathleen Holding Metate















Location, location, location. That is what one hears when searching for THE place to live. In fact, when folks are deciding whether to take the step and live full time in a motor home, this phrase helps to make that very important decision. Where ever you park your motor home, it can be in that perfect location.


We are in one of those places. On a small hill over looking the Pacific Ocean. In fact the site of the RV Park was, in fact, a perfect location for occupancy for thousands of years. Our park is growing continuously. An area beside our site recently has been excavated. When we arrived, there were piles of rock debris beside us. The other day a back hoe rumbled in and began moving the rocks and dirt. I raced outside to watch him as his monstrous machine picked boulders and big clumps of dirt up and dropped them in deep holes. He was filling and leveling this area in preparation of completing another parking site for a motor home.


I had heard of Pre-Columbian artifacts being found in the area. I was very curious of what might be uncovered here. As the wide bucket pushed soil and rocks out of the way, I spotted a curious looking rock. About a foot long, it appeared to have feet on its bottom with a smooth upper surface slightly bowl shaped. The machine operator spotted it, as well. He turned his back hoe around and with the smaller bucket, gently picked the metate up and set it just outside of the area being cleared. He finished his job and steered his big machine toward the road and lumbered down the hill.


I walked toward the artifact, very carefully watching each step I took. I figured the noise and vibration of the back hoe would have startled any critters, sending them scurrying. The ground was covered with fallen palm branches and other foliage. I certainly did not wish to disturb anything so I was cautious with my steps. Upon reaching my treasure, I could see that, yes in fact, it was a metate. I picked it up and carried it back to our site. We have a hose connected and ready for use. I washed the artifact, as I called to George.


I knew that I would be unable to take it with. I talked to Grant, the manager of the park, wondering what to do with it. Is there a museum in La Penita that would want it? Grant told me that many of these things have been found. Lots of them much bigger and complete. This one was broken. He suggested just leaving it on the corner of the site or setting in by the office? For now I am enjoying having it on the corner of our site. We photographed it, see below.


I took some time and tried to learn about the people who lived here 500 hundred years ago and earlier. I have come up with nothing from the internet. The artifacts found tell me that the people made colorful pottery. They grew corn, as the metate is a grinding stone for maze. One would place the corn on the stone and with a mano, a roundish stone (hand tool) the corn would be ground and processed into meal. The same process is done today, in many parts of Mexico, to make tortillas. Last year, I was told, a site was excavated, and another stone artifact was uncovered. I can only describe it as an effigy having to do with fertility and probably blood letting. The few artifacts that I have heard about give clues of a civilization that depended on a God who gave them sunshine and water in return for a bit of a sacrifice.


Ah, the curious archaeologist in me. How fun it would be to conduct a full blown excavation here at the La Penita RV Park. Alas, I am retired now and have not even a shovel in the basement of our motor home. All I have is a big window in front and a spectacular view of the roaring waves that come crashing in. What a wonderful location to be in.

backhoe working















backhoe working
















site workers
































metate with mano
















Mexican Indian Village 1995 Metate in use
















making tortillas


















making supper

























The above three photographs were taken in 1995 at an Indian Village in the mountains of Mexico. I had the the wonderful opportunity to visit a family and to dine with them. I witnessed the lady of the house making tortillas and cooking supper. She graciously allowed me to photograph her as she worked. Notice the metate that she used to make her tortillas.  

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