Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Vamos por Mas!

Scenes of La Cruz...

Pedro Vargus and his hard working crew at Sea Tek have been busy preparing Moonshadow for her cosmetic makeover by removing everything... no everything from her decks has been removed, bagged up, labeled and put somewhere safe.  

Cleats, lifelines, stanchions, pulpits, vent cowls, genoa car track, mainsheet traveler, you name it, they've all been unbolted from Moonshadow's decking.  

This means all the interior overhead panels have come down for access to fastenings so the boat just doesn't look anything like we remember her.  

Meanwhile, all of the bottom paint has been stripped off and the bottom has been sanded smooth.  

The topside paint has been prepared for primer, the paint magician has mixed the colors and the lettering artist is preparing Moonshadow's new transom name and hailing port. 

Moonshadow doesn't appear much like her old self but we know in a few weeks she'll look good as new. We are at the yard each day to check on the progress, but there's really not much for us to do but stay out of the way.

Our experience so far has been nothing like the dreaded time we call boatyard hell.  There are a several of reasons for this:  

With our floating home high and dry and all torn up, we now live at Casa Por Fin, a charming old home right on the beach just a five minute walk from the boatyard and the rest of La Cruz.

We feel absolutely safe in the little village of La Cruz, a sort of Mexican version of Mayberry, but this secure gate and the sign warning of vicious dogs seem likely to persuade any would-be bad guys to try somewhere else.


Learning our guard dogs were named after heavy-weights Tyson and Muhammad, we were convinced we'd be well protected.



Casa Por Fin's
newest guard-dog Bonito takes his job seriously. He can hurl a big vocabulary of insults in dog-speak at suspects passing by the gate. Alas, Bonito's warnings would be a bit more convincing if he wasn't cursed with such a high pitched tiny-dog-voice.

In reality, the worst any mailman, delivery-man, or other intruder might suffer would be a bad case of slobbery ankles. These three underdogs are seriously altitude challenged and very sweet.

So, free from fear of intruders, we have time to enjoy our surroundings at Casa Por Fin, which must have been fun to build.  

With a little hunting around you can find lots of gargoyles and other fun surprises built into the walls...

...Some are scary and some are funny...

No doubt, all of these have some story to tell.  

If the walls could talk... well, we wouldn't have a clue.  Our spanish is still in it's infancy!

When we get tired of Casa Por Fin's architecture, there's the garden to enjoy.

Four of the dozen banana trees have stalks that are just about ready to harvest.  We can't wait to eat the papaya !

It's really beautiful and feels like we're living in a botanical garden

Wherever you look there are flowering exotic plants.

And it's very nice to know we don't have to do the weeding!
Just beyond our little oasis at Casa Por Fin, is the beautiful town of La Cruz which has a killer market on the waterfront every Sunday.  We can see it from our balcony.

We attend every Sunday to stock up with the freshest veggies, berries, home made yogurt, and baked bread. 

Besides produce, at the market you can find just about anything.

We were tempted, but decided Moonshadow interior decor was not quite ready for this palette.

Some of the hand made offerings by local artisans are quite nice.

They're very hard working and take pride in their products.

There's always some music playing and other entertainment to enjoy.

These yoga enthusiasts are showing off for the shoppers.

Deb has been attending a Yoga class every morning, but will wait to try it on a paddle board.  We get a lot of exercise walking around town and enjoy the sights.

If you love your homeowner's association CC&Rs and architectural committee, walking through La Cruz might give you a shock...

In Mexico, exposed rebar is an architect's signature

... but you'll also see a variety of creative decor choices...

...Pretty sure there's a story behind this one...

...And the creativity isn't limited to exterior design.  My Dad always taught us kids to be frugal, coining the phrase we hate waste. Perhaps that explains my curious appreciation for this ingenious discovery of a second life for an old bedspring as a staircase bannister in Bucerias, Mexico.

Turn the corner and you're greeted by a community garden with beautiful flowers...

These guys seem to love the tropical climate.

Around another corner... geese?

When we venture beyond La Cruz, the Colectivo is how we get around.  It's a van that will pick you wherever you are standing and drop you off whenever you want, so long as it's along the route painted on the front windshield, like say, Waltmart.

Its February 10.  Santa Claus is still hanging from the mirror.  It's Mexico.

When we aren't walking or riding in the Colectivo, we're zipping around on our motorcycles.  We picked these up in Virginia and find the electric motor to be the best cycling invention ever.  

See if you can pick out our hogs from the lineup in front of 
Philo's Bar:

Speaking of Philo's, Meet Leon.  He's a six foot something retired school superintendent and basketball player. Now, at 82, Leon is a local icon as the washboard player at Philo's Bar in La Cruz Wednesdays through Saturdays. With steel tipped gloves, two cow bells, cymbals, a brass horn and whopee whistle, Leon rips up the place as a regular part of Philo's band. His bolo hat, knee socks, huge shoes, constant shit-eating grin and personal repertoire which includes songs like "I wanna be a dog" and "I think I just kissed a man" completes the act. What a hoot!

If you like live music, La Cruz is your town.  There are probably a dozen places within walking distance from our casita where you can find live entertainment and excellent food for a fraction of what we're used to in the States, Caribbean or Costa Rica.

You can't go wrong selecting from the menus in the restaurants of La Cruz!

This is Anna Banana's.  We like it for breakfast where we can meet lots of other cruisers.  They have a tradition for friends who've departed this world.  They're all hanging from the ceiling in Crown Royal bags.

If we don't feel like eating out, we have a small kitchen in our casita and a lovely view where we can see local fishermen launching their panga's for an evening of catching huge tuna...

... followed by a walk on the beach and another beautiful sunset.

La Cruz.  Vamos por Mas!