Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
91Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
After a crazy month of tying up so many loose ends – sorting and chucking, hauling and carrying, all the while doing it with the use of only one arm – (seems I injured my right triceps carrying boxes too heavy for my weak muscles and continued to reinjure it every day for a month), I was down to a small little storage locker of possessions, the largest thing being my super cool bicycle which was my retirement gift from my dear friends. I was so lucky the weather held out and even luckier that the buyer of my lovely Murano agreed to let me keep it to the day before I left.
By the time I did the last load and snapped the lock on the storage locker, I was far too tired and sore and still had a million more things to do, that the moment had no significance for me. I had simply and completely run out of time and energy and was leaving at 4:30 am the next morning. Sorry to all that I did not have time to say proper good byes – and thank you to those of you who were there for those last crazy 24 hours. Homelessness and vehicleness just felt exhausting!
First Mexican stop was the small town of Guayabitos on the Pacific side. I found a great deal….what a surprise huh??? for a week all inclusive that was even cheaper than any one way flights I was looking at. My friend Josie and I flew to Puerto Vallarta and were picked up by the tour company…how easy is all that? and whisked up the coast about 45 minutes from PV. I choose to start in Mexico because I had ended up with two weeks of timeshare that were about to expire at the end of December 2010 and was able to find space to use them in Mexico.
Guyabitos was the perfect first week after the exhaustion of the last few weeks in Calgary. I still had only one working arm and extreme pain, so swimming and tennis were out. In was great fun at the beach watching Mexican families enjoy their holidays. The resort we were at was primarily Mexican – maybe 1000 Mexicans and 50 or so Canadians. The town is delightful, a little fishing village, really sleepy and friendly. Josie was pretty burnt out from her job as well so we loved the ease of nonstop drinks and buffets and really fun entertainment every night.
The week flew by and I said goodbye to Jose at the airport in PV and headed over to my timeshare in the Marina area of Vallarta. I have owned timeshare at this particular resort for nearly 20 years so it was like coming home.
As always with me and my ‘small world’ stories, there was yet another one in PV. I had been downtown PV, saw a bus with ‘Costco’ on it along with a whole bunch of other place names. The buses in Mexico chalk the names of all the towns or streets or places they go onto their front windshields. They used to be privately owned, with crazy decorations and rickety seats and off and on singers and mariachi bands, but now, more and more, look like mainstream buses, except for all the writing………I had heard that a Costco had opened in PV since I was there last……so hop on I do. After a nice trip thru Costco with a couple of gay guys I met on the bus, I figured I would try and walk to Walmart . Problem was I had no idea where Walmart was. Why not just go and find it? I knew it was near the ocean and I could see para sailing way off on the horizon so I headed that way. After quite a while cruising through completely deserted streets in the midday heat, I finally saw a woman – actually a blonde woman who looked like she would speak English and know where Walmart was. I approached her and asked her where Wal-Mart was. She looked at me as if I was a crazy person…perhaps it was the sweating…..maybe it was because I was in the middle of a residential neighbourhood, not near much. We started talking – she was really nice, hadn’t ever walked to Walmart herself, so wasn’t sure about all of that, but she did invite me to see her place up the street. WOW! Many many homes in Mexico are behind tall, solid walls so you cannot see them – you see gates and can never be sure what is behind those gates. She (Leslie) opened a little gate and invited me in off the hot dusty street. Behind her wall was a magnificent old Hacienda. A Hacienda is like a ranch – this one in the middle of the city – a big property with a number of buildings including a stunning house, two casitas (apartments), a beautiful pool and tall ancient trees that shelter the spaces from the sun. It was beautiful. Leslie explained that she and her family had moved to PV a few years ago from Edmonton and her husband was working there and they found this Hacienda which was the original ranch before the rest of the subdivision was built. While we were talking, I noticed a guy across the property. I thought maybe I knew him…….what are the chances? In my world, pretty great it seems, so I asked her about him. I said “ that looks like a guy who was a cop in Calgary…” She said, yeah he was from Calgary and called him over. Sure enough, a guy who we hired when I was in Recruiting a zillion years ago. A really nice guy who had quit policing about 6 years ago and was now living in Cabo San Lucas with his family and he and Leslie’s husband are friends and colleagues. He was heading back to Cabo the next day. I told this guy that I was hanging around the Vallarta area for a couple of weeks and then heading inland to the Guadalajara area, specifically, the Lake Chapala area. He told me his aunt lived where I was going and she would be happy to show me around…… nice.
So, another interrupted journey, another head shaking moment, one new friend made and the opportunity to reacquaint with an old one, one new friend waiting to be met in the next town, all inside the walls of an ancient Hacienda somewhere between Costco and Walmart in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. These are the days and weeks that are the richest – when I just let the days unfold and welcome any and all the interruptions that come my way.
I did eventually get to Walmart – it was a long way, and another 45 minutes past that I arrived back at the resort, ready for another movie. Life is good – very good.