Not Sure Who Will Sleep Better Tonight…

A few days ago, a gentleman living in the RV park approached me to ask if I could dog sit for him today! Wow, I don’t know what made him think of me or that I’d be a suitable dog sitter, but I was interested in the job! I went over the next day to meet the dog, a sweet Labrador Retriever (I think) named Cody. I knew right away that we’d get along just fine today.

A bit disoriented by the time change, I headed over to the RV park around, oh, 9:00ish this morning, knowing that Cody had last been walked around 5:00. He was happy to see me. I clipped on his leash and took him to a nearly deserted beach, where I let him off the leash, having been assured that he is not prone to running off. He found a giant stick and we had fun playing with it, me throwing it into the surf for him and him bringing it back to me. He essentially told me that he’d had enough by eventually dropping at my feet. I clipped the leash back on for the walk through the more populated part of the beach, brought him home, and hosed him off.

We repeated the exercise around 12:30 and just past three, after I’d fed him. I can’t believe what a good boy he is, so obedient and vital. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much, especially when we played tug of war and I ended up going for my first real swim here. In a full skirt, no less! I swear Cody was laughing his head off. He attracted the attention of a lot of kids and I felt comfortable letting them pet him and throw the stick too.

When we came back to the RV park the third time, neighbours who are friends of mine were out on their patio and invited me over for a beer. I had a Modelo Negro for the first time. It was veeery smooth and would give Guinness a run for its money! One thing led to another and I ended up going home with a much appreciated eggshell topper for my bed, brand new and in the bag, a leftover from a project that didn’t need it! Yes, I have a 1″ memory foam topper, but it really isn’t enough. Wow! I had refused payment for taking care of Cody today, so I guess this was the universe’s way of giving me recompense for my time…

I came in, put the new topper on the bed, and then tried it out. Next thing I knew, it was an hour later ! That’s what a time change, beer, sun, exercise, and a comfy bed do to me! 😀

While sitting with the beer, Cody’s dad called to check in and to advise my neighbour he wouldn’t be in till about 9:00. He asked for a final walk around sunset and that would be good for the day. I just got in from doing that.

What a fun day! I really want a dog and know having one would be good for my health, but I’m just not ready to give up my freedom to travel at this point. Borrowing other people’s dogs is a good compromise!

Savour the Moment

Semana Santa has come around again. Isla is so busy, but, again, it’s not rowdy. It’s a family friendly atmosphere ripe for entrepreneurs. Even yours truly joined in on the action and rented out parking spots in her yard! 😀

This was the beach this past Saturday (the 19th of March):


And this was the beach on Friday (the 25th of March):


This is an interesting time of the year where most of the Gringos have gone home and the beach belongs to Mexican nationals. But I live here and don’t feel like an interloper. I like to steal a moment a day to soak in the atmosphere on the beach, get a treat, and do some people watching. Because I know I can retreat to my quiet, almost secluded, home, I can be revitalised rather than drained by all the energy that comes here.

After visiting the botanical gardens on Friday, Sue and I went back to my place so I could pick up my wallet, then we headed to her place via the beach in search of a BBQed chicken to split. There were lots of stands along Calle Principal, but she prefers the shorter beach route and knew that there was a chicken stand along the ATV access route near her place. $100 got us a chicken that was divided up into two containers as well as a pile of tortillas each and a mountain of grilled onions (which Sue doesn’t like, so I got them all, yum!) and some grilled jalapeños. She offered to buy me a beer, so we went and sat at a little makeshift bar overlooking the beach. I’ve been on a light diet the last few days, so I tucked into my chicken so I wouldn’t be drinking on an empty stomach.

The moment was magic, with the sunlight hitting the water and bouncing off all the coloured umbrellas. This was a moment to savour. You never know the turns your life will make, when the bitter will turn sweet or the sweet bitter.

We talked about that and watershed moments of our lives. Ten years ago, I was living a perfectly ordinary life and starting to think of marriage and children with the man I was dating. But fate happened and we went our own ways. Now, he’s married with a child and I can’t imagine myself in that situation, but I don’t feel bereft or like I’ve lost anything. It’s just one of those moments of my life where I can clearly see the road diverging between the life I chose and the life that could have been. I own my choices, I accept that I can’t do everything, and as long as I keep moving forward and bettering myself, I refuse to mourn what could have been and instead focus on what I’ve accomplished.

Sue said that she couldn’t have imagined herself here eight years ago. Me neither. And yet where was I in March of 2008? On a gorgeous beach escaping the winter for the first time in my life… And then I spent three disappointing winters in British Columbia before running out of steam and wintering in Lethbridge. I couldn’t see the way forward then, thought I was at a pause, and yet, it was the beginning of the end of yet another chapter in my life. I bought Haven, had a major accident, and many meanderings later, found myself on yet another beach thinking the good times had finally come. A year later, I was wintering in an RV in Saskatchewan. It would have been easy to see that as a setback, to fall into depression and be convinced that there was nothing ahead of me. But I kept my focus and where did I end up spending the next two winters? Right here, on Isla de la Piedra, Mexico. Every setback that eventually led me here was worth it.

Who knows where I will be next winter. Right now, I’m thinking Greece, Portugal, or northern Africa, but I know better than to set my Path in stone. I have an idea of where I’m going and where I’d like to end up, but I’m open to what the vagaries of fate have in store for me. What’s important is that I’m excited about the journey.

It’s been a decade now since the last full year where I felt trapped, where I couldn’t see a way out of the mind numbing routine and ordinariness of my life. Where I was surrounded by people who liked their lives that way, so predictable that they could accurately guess where they would be ten, twenty, even fifty years out, and who made me feel like I was broken for wanting something different. I feel like I was born in the fall of my 29th year, that this is when I started to live the life that was meant for me. Even though I’m snowbirding now rather than RVing, I still very much feel like “Rae from Travels With Miranda,” like I’m still continuing on that same Path.

Leaving Ottawa in the RV in September of 2008 was another one of those major divergent points in my life and I rather feel like I’m on the cusp of another one. I know that if I go back to Europe for the first time in nearly twenty years, a floodgate of new opportunities will open that could derail my plan to move to MĂ©rida. I recognise that. And much as I’m excited about the move to MĂ©rida, I’m willing to jeopardise it for this new adventure I’m considering. Because I can’t do everything, but I must do something and that something cannot be another summer at Haven. That is all I know for certain right now.

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

A Perfect Day For an Impromptu Beach Lunch

I was having a frustrating work day, so at 3:30 I decided to go for a late lunch/early dinner on the beach to regroup. It was a perfect day for an impromptu beach lunch because it was cold and overcast. So the beach wasn’t busy and there was service at the restaurants.

Something told me to go to El Velero, so I did. I wasn’t going to get anything heavy to eat but then conceded that the reason I wanted to go to El Velero was for the coconut shrimp with the pineapple dipping sauce. So I indulged. 🙂

My timing was perfect since I ran into friends who are heading back to Quebec tomorrow. So we and another couple had a beer together, I ate, and we gals perused the jewelry from our favourite vendor!

Last week, I found a “placeholder” pendant to tide me over until I find something more permanent to replace the scarab I lost on the beach:


The gals have several years of experience buying jewelry on the beach here and confirmed that the $150 I bargained the pendant down to was what it’s worth. So I’m pleased with my bargaining skills. I know an octopus wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, but it sure is to mine (literally — yum!) and I love the detail on the legs with all the suckers.

Today, I picked up a pretty ring:


I don’t need to haggle with this vendor since he always gives me his best price, in this case $100! Again, that’s pesos folks, so just 7.70CAD for the ring.

It wound up being a longer break than I had expected, but the social time did me a world of good. Now, back to typing!

Crap, the Revenge!

I was invited today to the Crap Grudge Match at Palapa El Mirador/Chivos Beach. I wasn’t going to miss my chance to take my revenge and possibly win the trophy! I arrived around noon and was one the last to show up, contrary to last time. Thankfully, everyone had waited to start!

Chivos Beach was pretty as a postcard.


Here’s one of the two targets with some rocks in it, just to give you a visual on what the game looks like (go to my previous post to get more details).


Even though I’d had three beers before my first round, I still managed to win it at the very last second and go to round two! There, I was profoundly defeated… Oh, well. 🙂

Lunch was the shrimp quesadillas, which were very tasty and came with a nice smoky salsa that wasn’t too spicy.

The tide was very low on this side when I walked home around 3:30.



Lots of people are going home in the next few weeks, so a lot of goodbyes were said. The winter is winding down…


It was incredibly windy yesterday, with huge waves breaking on the beach and a storm warning for today. It made for a very dramatic ride.

I woke up really early this morning and when the sun finally rose, it wasn’t sure what it was doing. It would shine for a moment and then be blocked out by heavy grey clouds that would spit angrily. This went on all day.

Because I had worried about losing power if there was a storm, I only had a very light load of work that I was able to complete by about 10:00 this morning, and that included an unexpected proofing project that had dropped into my inbox around 7:00. I puttered all through the rest of the morning and into afternoon, then decided to go out.

Even though there was more blue sky than cloud cover, it was still spitting and quite cool as I reached the nearly deserted beach. Semana Santa is coming up fast, so I might as well savour these quiet beach days while I have them. No restaurants had seating set up on the beach and some were cleaning up palmas from their palapas. So the beach saw some action that I missed in the last 26 hours.

I came off the beach at the Goat Island causeway and headed towards home. The empanada guy was coming out of someone’s yard as I did so and I called him over to see what he had left. It’s a good thing I don’t run into him often because I cannot resist his fruity flaky treats! His empanadas are basically a folded over circle of pie crust with a jammy filling. Today, I went for strawberry. They taste best with a cold beer, so I stopped off at the Mercado Isla de la Piedra, a tiny shop kitty corner from the butcher shop, to get a few Tecate Light. They don’t carry Pacifico, but otherwise have a good selection of beers for such a small shop, including XX in cans.

Here’s a map of my world (and my walk today — click to embiggen):