Chilmulco and the warm mineral pools

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-01-2010

As we departed Melaque, our friends  bid us farewell and we left with  tears in our eyes.  Ken kept the video camera rolling on the dashboard so we can see ourselves leaving  under the  low arch of Laguna Del Tule and jostling down the rocky roads of Melaque.  We were looking forward to our next destination , Chimulco, as we love its cool dry weather (5000′ elevation) as well as their warm mineral pools.  We arrived and decided to dry camp it out  on the grass overlooking  a pretty little lake as the campground was a bit tight.

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The weather was superb and we couldn’t wait to soak in the warm mineral pools each night.  After school, the kids took off for the water park and went down the slides over and over again.  One of Lauren’s best friends is Natalia and during a bike ride, we found a quaint little hotel called,  “Casa Natalia” and across the street was a little market called,  “Loren”.  Quite the coincidence!   Ken, Nikki and I road our bikes one afternoon into the lovely town of Chilmolco and on our way home, we found a great new pollo man.  We put in our order for chicken, ribs and chorizo sausage and he delivered it to our campground that evening.  One of many things we love about Mexico! 

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Now northward to  Mazatlan.

Hasta Luego Melaque!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2010

 Our last week in Melaque was bittersweet. Our visitors had come and gone and we then focused more on our neighbors who were really wonderful people. A darling British couple moved in next to us – Keith looked like Hugh Grant , Louise was adorable and both were VERY funny! When Louise asked us how we were able to take this trip for so long without working, I began to explain how we worked hard to save money and blah blah blah. She suggested we tell people something a bit more colorful. “Tell people”, she suggested “that the two of you are ex porn stars”. Oh my!  They  kept all of us laughing the whole time. Keith had a big appetite and was oh so happy to be next to Ken who kept providing him with tasty treats! (Ken is a good neighbor to have if you like to eat!)  On our other side were a great couple, Richard and Terry. They have had such an interesting life including cruising the Caribbean and traveling all around the world. Across from us were Don and Jackie who were great to swap stories with.  Jackie was a hairdresser and cut Andrew’s very long monkey hair one day, leaving him looking more boy than monkey! We enjoyed other couples too and it was fun to watch the sunsets while everyone shared stories of their adventures.  

 
We loved our weekly appetizer parties while  in Celestino and thought we would bring this tradition to Melaque. We posted flyers all around the campground and had no idea if two people would show up or 30.  Ken went about cooking up enough for 40 – always erroring on the high side!   He whipped up stuffed mushrooms with chorizo and cream cheese and another favorite – pablamo peppers stuffed with cheese and plantain bananas -very yummy and unique. The time came for our little soirée and, much to our delight,  it was a big hit.   People streamed in and we kept having to increase the size of our circle. Quite fun and it was great to taste all the different tapas people brought!

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While we had such fun with our new friends from the campground and will miss our conversations with them all, we will also miss so many of the local people of Melaque. There was “Lobster Man’, “Orange Juice Girl”, “Oyster Man”, “Taco Surf Man”, “Ice Cream Man”, “Rosa” (we actually know one of their names!), “Flan Children”, “Liquado Lady”, “Churro couple”, “Pollo Man”, “Bread people”, “Bicycle Repair Man”.    Who knows – perhaps one day we will find ourselves in Melaque again and we hope to find these same wonderful people again who added so much joy to our time in Mexico.

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Welcome to Melaque Marcilynn!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-01-2010

With one day of rest, we then welcomed my great buddy from Indiana, Marcilynn, to Melaque. She and I booked her flight during our visit to Carmel Indiana last May so we have been counting down the days for seven months! I picked her up at the small and manageable airport in Manzanillo, just 30 minutes from Melaque. It was so great to see her and we couldn’t wait to spend 10 days together on vacation! She stayed at the bungalows at the end of our campground, a mere 50 yards from our RV. She had a small clean room with two beds, a refrigerator, a bathroom and most importantly, a balcony overlooking the ocean. All this for about US$32 a night. Gotta love Mexico!  No sooner had she arrived when we started our evening margarita tradition, accompanied by guacamole and chips. For dinner, we enjoyed pollo asado from our new favorite “Chicken Man”.  ( One day, I have to find out these people’s real names!) 
 
Marcilynn was looking forward to getting a nice bronze tan she could show off against the backdrop of the snow in Indiana. However, her first full day wasn’t a good start for this endeavor as the skies opened up and we had one of the biggest storms we’ve experienced in Mexico. (Heck, last year, we didn’t have anything but sun each and EVERY day. What’s this with the rain??) She and I watched a movie in the back of the RV and could barely hear it as the rain was so darn loud pounding on the top of the RV! We did have a few more days of odd weather but she did manage to get a nice tan in spite of it all. 
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 I really enjoy having people visit us in Mexico as I get to see it all new again through their eyes. We had such fun with Marcilynn, bike riding to the center of town, drinking “liquados” (smoothies) and shopping at the fruit and vegemarket on the day they get their new supply of stuff (Wednesday and Saturdays)and just immersing ourselves in the local culture.  She is a true “foody” and enjoyed all the interesting and yummy traditional dishes of Mexico and those cooked by Ken.  
 
On her final day, the two of us made our way back to Boca de Iguanas and just relaxed in paradise.  Getting to spend so much time with this dear friend I feel very blessed to be able to make memories with friends that will last a lifetime.  
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Reunion with the Canadians

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-01-2010

Our next big event was the arrival of “The Canadians” on December 28. We were busy making preparations for their arrival, including the all important menu planning.  On the day of their arrival, Ken and the kids put together a fruit bowl, some beers and kids drinks and delivered everything to their bungalow. Around 4PM, the two girls, Ariane and Myrina, were spotted walking down the campground road and the reunion with our kids was sweet. All the girls were so happy to be together again after 7 months. An hour later, Ken and I welcomed Roch and Helene and the reunion was complete. We enjoyed guacamole and chips, “Daddy pasta” and salad. The conversation flowed smoothly and it was as if we just saw them last week. What luck to have encountered such a great family during our travels – a family we plan to visit with for years to come. 

 
 The next evening, the adults went to dinner at Maya, a culinary masterpiece, located on the sands of Melaque.  We enjoyed an amazing dinner and listened to music preformed by a band who opened for the Gypsy Kings years ago. The girls spent the night (one of three) at the Canadians’ bungalow, a beautiful and quaint place called, “Tennis El  Palmar (and yes, they do drive  their guests to and from their tennis courts down the way daily). 

We decided to check out the nightlife in Barra de Navidad for New Year’s Eve. Having never been to Barra at night, we weren’t’ sure what to expect. It turned out to be a great choice as the town was full of festivities, the stores were all open and the restaurants were hopping. We didn’t have any reservations as we wanted a bit of flexibility. We found an amazing French/Italian restaurant owned by a French woman and had one of our best dinners in Mexico.   After dinner, we walked along the malecon enjoying the warm breezes and just being all together. At about 11PM, we opted to drive back to Melaque and watch the fireworks from the roof of Laguna del Tule. (Okay, we were all getting a bit tired). We had a great view of the spectacular fireworks show put on by the Grand Bay Hotel, said goodnight and were in bed by 12:30. Not quite the party animals we once were! 

 We enjoyed many more conversations and meals with our dear friends, including hamburger night at their patio,taco crawl night, delicious nachos and burritos on the north end of the beach of Melaque and our final yummy chicken dinner together at our RV.  We met the Canadians on the morning of their departure (5:15 AM pickup for a drive to the airport in Puerto Vallarta) and bid them farewell with Ken’s breakfast burritos and orange juice. We look forward to our next visit with our  friends and missed them as soon as they drove off!

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