Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a Wrap!

Just when I'd got my sealegs and was finally into a daily routine and used to being solo, it's time to go home! Five days ago, I literally was ready to go. Now not so much! I'll catch the 1:00 p.m. ferry and will soon be on my way back to Phoenix. My flight gets in late tonight, so Saby will have to spend another night at Dog Bone Ranch.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon wandering El Centro. I finally tried Dopi's across the street from Sancochos. Gringo had posted on his blog that those burritos were fantastic, and OMG! That gives me something else to crave until my next trip! Craig's gonna kill me because he'd been wanting to try the place and I just wasn't in the mood for another burrito. Maybe he won't read my blog. You've got to try Dopi's! Put it on your list. I want this place to be here on my next trip! Dopi's Dopi's Dopi's!!!

The Chipotle Chicken Burrito!

After catching up with some friends, I wandered the streets shooting some last minute photos and ended up down by the docks. I love Sunday's on Isla because all the locals are out enjoying their time at the beach. Somebody must have been chillin' in this hammock earlier!

I ended up down at the pier just in time to catch a photo of the sunset. It was a beauty!

I wish I could transpot myself instantly to my house in Arizona, but maybe I'll finish that book I've been reading on my flight and get all my photos edited!

Hasta luego!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

From the Porch

I finally found the sweetspot for the WiFi where I'm staying, so thought I'd do a quick update before I leave the island tomorrow. The weather has been especially fine the last few days. Friday, I spent a few hours at Playa del Sol eating guacamole and taking in the sights. The beach was fairly quiet, the service from Roger was great, and I didn't notice anyone at the Caribbean Queen. Am I missing something?

I'm not sure where I'll head today. I took my morning walk, bought orange juice, and now I'm doing some laundry. My camera wasn't charged when I left on my walk to Ronco, so I missed getting photos of the belching goat tied up in someone's sideyard and gates on a street I'd never walked before. I think I'll wander into town and get something for lunch at Bobo's since I've never tried it. Hope they're open on Sunday!

I apologize if I've already posted any of these photos. I'm a little A.D.D. sitting on the porch watching the island go by while my laundry dries and I gasp at all the gossip on the Isla board. I'm too distracted to check out my recent posts!

I have lots of photos I can't post because I'm so far behind on editing. Guess I can use my long travel day tomorrow to get that done! I should be back online with a little somethin' on Tuesday if I find time after I pick up Saby from Dog Bone Ranch.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beach Day!

When people ask me what I find to do on a tiny little island for extended periods of time, I usually just respond with 'a lot of nothing'. Well yesterday, I truly did do almost nothing other than a trip into town for a little bit of breakfast. It looks like today will be more of the same, but I vow to at least go into town tonight for dinner! Last night I had a carryout salad and it wasn't too tastey.

The day before this last El Norte began, Tuesday, was a glorious beach day. Thankfully I took advantage of it! My bones have gotten too old to do a towel throw down in the sand, so I headed to the area in front of Ixchel where I can usually get a good deal on a single umbrella and lounger. The guy with the pretty pastel striped umbrellas wanted 100 pesos for a single lounger and umbrella and wasn't budging (Papa Leydi's), so I wandered on down to Chimbo's, the much dreaded former purveyor of the late night sound blaster. Sure enough, Chimbo's offered a deal of 40 pesos for a single lounger and umbrella and that price was just right for me since I only spend a few hours at the beach.

As my handy beach helper was digging the hole next to my lounger for my umbrella, the French woman next door threw an angry fit that my umbrella might cast shade onto her territory. God forbid! The man from Chimbo's quickly demonstrated to her that any shadow would be cast over me and not inhibit her ability to acquire melanoma. Later on, as she was flicking her cigarette ash on me, I contemplated throwing my own little French fit, but decided against it.

After a few hours of reading my novel and basking in the warm sun, I wandered on down Playa Norte to have a look. The sand seems to be doing well, especially in the area of NaBalam. I decided if this weather ever improves, I'll head to the Avalon Cove next trip because the water felt a little warmer there.

The pretty striped sombrillas.

I see this guy pushing his Tuggui cart down the airport strip every morning on his way to Playa Norte, where he drags it up and down through the sand. This has to be one of the hardest jobs on the island!

Finally got my toes in the sand pic for 2011! Don't look close because the pedicure and toes are battered!

This wide expanse in front of NaBalam is a vast improvement since my last trip. I noticed they're rebuilding their beach restaurant, and there's now plenty of room to walk past it without wading in the water.

The beds in front of Maria del Mar. I noticed the new Buho's palapa is doing a lot of business!

House on the Rocks

My favorite view of Avalon Cove.

For the last two days, the view from my room has reminded me of the Oregon Coast! Cool and cloudy. The only boat I've noticed passing out front the past few days was a cruise ship in the wee hours. I did walk down this morning and pick up a few pieces of seaglass. I hope it warms up over the weekend so I can go to the beach a couple of times, but if not, I'll just continue to enjoy the view and sound of the waves from the room. After all, I have warm weather and sun in Phoenix, but I don't have the ocean!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From the Bally Hoo Chair

One of my favorites places to eat on Isla is Bally Hoo. I've always wondered where the place got the name, so I tried Wikipedia to see if ballyhoo really is the name of a small fish. I was able to quickly eliminate the song option because I doubt it's named after an Eddie Arnold tune! And yes, I found the Ballyhoo fish!

Anyway, Bally Hoo has the most comfortable dining chairs on the island, and the food's also pretty dang good. It's a great place to watch all the action at the marina and docks. On a hot day, it's also one of the best cool dining options. If it's a Norte day, take a sweater!

One of the best seats on Isla!

The marina.

All kinds of boats!

The Isla waterfront.

Simple panga below my chair.

And my favorite, the shrimp tacos with tamarindo sauce.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hotel Garrafon de Castilla

Craig and I hadn't been to Garrafon Hotel in a few years, so we decided to walk down the road and check it out this trip. Literally, Garrafon was about a block down the dirt road from Villa La Joya, so very convenient.

The same older man is still selling tickets at the front desk, only now the admission has gone up slightly to 50 pesos. I didn't take his photo, but he doesn't look any younger or older. Just the same.

The beach definitely has more sand and more loungers and umbrellas than the last time we visited. The dock is still missing. I have fond memories of photos taken from that dock. The snorkeling was good with lots of brightly colored fish, in addition to a large manta.

Lots of people had on colored wristbands. One of the daytripper boats must be combining snorkeling at Garrafon Hotel with the golfcart tour.

They've also built a new dining palapa since our last visit. After snorkeling, we decided to pass on eating there and walk across the road to El Pueblito.

The grounds still have all those beautiful flowers!

We ordered guacamole and chips at El Pueblito. If we'd wanted the four beers, the tab would have been the same as our guacamole, beer, and Coca Lite, but unfortunately, I'm not a beer drinker. What were we thinking! In hindsight, why the heck didn't Craig just get the four beers to go and walk three of them down the road to our refrigerator at Villa La Joya? Hi yi yi!!!

The guacamole was good! El Pueblito was busy with the same people from Garrafon Hotel with the tour armbands, so it must be on the daytripper list.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Pretty Sunset

I waved goodbye to Craig at the ferry dock this morning, then took my morning walk through El Centro. While I'm contemplating just what to do with my day, I thought I'd post some photos of last week's sunsets. Believe it or not, I haven't been to Playa Norte yet. Craig hates to sit on the beach, so I decided to reserve my beach days for my remaining week. I guess I'd better get hoppin', but just being lazy feels pretty good! Maybe I'll just hang at my own beach today and hunt some seaglass!

Sunset through the palms.

Sunset over Cancun.

Fishin' off the dock at sunset.

Playa del Sol dock at sunset.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Walking Past the Blue Iguana

Craig and I have eaten at the Mango Cafe several times this past week and keep pestering the owners as to when the Blue Iguana will open. On our walk out to our favorite seaglass beach on Saturday, we noticed the iguana perched on the sidewalk, so we stopped for some frappes and I snapped some photos.

Love the decor at the Blue Iguana!

Cool blue tiles.

Craig and Iggie.

Menu board.

So sweet!

Look at the old yellow floor tiles!

No Dorothy, we're not in Kansas. It's not the world's largest ball of twine.

I'm hoping they'll have a full lunch menu this next week before I leave so I can try the chicken salad! Can't wait!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chocolate Temptation

Oh geez! We were driving round and round yesterday afternoon trying to burn the tires off the golfcart when I suddenly remembered that somewhere I'd read about a new bakery in the colonias that had wonderful cakes. So we drove north along the main divided street in La Gloria and didn't find it. Then we turned around and drove south. And suddenly, there it was! Dulce Tentacion!

Why I failed to get a photo of the bakery case is beyond me, but it probably had something to do with gluttony. It all looked wonderful! We decided on two chocolate brownies and polished them off on our way into town to view the sunset from Playa Norte.

These weren't the first baked goods consumed on this trip. We've also been making evening runs past Emmanuel's Bakery in La Gloria for cookies and rolls. Today we move farther in towards town, so maybe distance and no golfcart will be a healthy alternative for me. At least I'll have to hike a few miles to buy a brownie!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to G-Rated Photos

Hopefully, some new photos will help scour yesterday's images from your retinas!

We started off yesterday morning with a seaglass hunt below the malecon followed by breakfast at the market. Around noon, we headed to Garrafon Hotel for snorkeling, then stopped at El Pueblito for some guacamole. Craig went fishing while I took a nap, followed by dinner at Mocambo's. Busy day! From this morning's view out over the bay, it looks like we're in for another bright sunny day.