Archive | November, 2014

The Faces of Bacalar

23 Nov

Two years ago I started this blog to chronical our adventurous move to Bacalar, Mexico. We bought property with the intention of building a retirement home, had never-ending garage sales, quit our jobs and packed. People were endlessly asking, “Why Mexico?” and “Aren’t you afraid?” The Adventures of Dos Tortas was born to address those questions and a million others.

Pulling out of the drive in Austin Texas to live our dream in Mexico.

Pulling out of the drive in Austin Texas, Aug 2013 to live our dream in Mexico.

Today the burning question seems to be, “What do you do all day?” Having given it some thought, I can honestly say, I don’t know. No two days are alike. We try not to be too attached to things looking a certain way because life is full of surprises, like our recent eviction!

This week has been raining and I invite you to ride along while I run errands, and meet some of the people of Bacalar.

First stop, drop off the trash.

First stop, drop off the trash.

Trash is only picked up within the city limits of Bacalar. All others bring trash into town and dispose of it at one of these handy drop offs. It also serves as a punto de reunion which you will find all over Mexico. If there is a fire or earthquake, the idea is to have a central meeting point. It’s a good idea but some of their odd locations have been the brunt of many jokes.

Doctors Leticia

Doctora Leticia

Doctora Leticia is a fixture in Bacalar. She runs a small government subsidized clinic and farmacia. In an effort to shop locally, we asked her to stock the medications we use regularly. It seems that large pharmacies get deep discounts and our request is not an easy one to fill. She is not used to her customers taking her picture.

Pharmacy adjacent to the clinic.

Pharmacy adjacent to the clinic.

Next stop – laundry. Here you meet Carmen who washes, dries, and folds our clothes. Lisa practices her Spanish and Carmen always greets us with a smile. Our new place will have a washer and dryer, so we will have to just stop by and say hi. It’s been nice to be spoiled by Carmen who does a great job with our laundry.

Lavanderia with Carmen.

Lavanderia with Carmen.

Last stop is to visit our friend – the water guy! Drinking bottled water is the norm in Mexico. While we can never remember his name, he certainly knows ours. He hustles business and has earned our loyalty. A new little vehicle allows him to make rounds and provide excellent service. Business must be good because he always has a smile.

Our cute water guy.

Our cute water guy.

Visiting these lovely people makes even a rainy day fun in Bacalar. I will continue to share what it is we do all day, as soon as I figure it out!

image

Sunrise of the week.

Sunrise of the week.

Friday I met Claire and John, Canadians who are visiting their daughter in Bacalar. It’s a kick to meet blog followers and these two were as sweet as they come.

Claire and John - blog followers from Canada.

Claire and John – blog followers from Canada.

As The World Turns – Bacalar

16 Nov

Being of a certain age, I recall my mother avidly attached to her “stories”. Daytime television was where our boring lives were spiced-up vicariously by Days of Our Lives, The Young And Restless, General Hospital and of course, As The World Turns. Glamorous, wealthy and seductive characters had affairs, met mysterious strangers who turned out to be their long lost sibling, and were sometimes kidnapped or even murdered. In their defense, the soaps lead the way, introducing scandalous topics such as single parenthood, mental illness, interracial marriage and gay relationships long before they were dinner table conversations.

Saturday afternoon waiting for the storm at La Playita.

Saturday afternoon waiting for the storm at La Playita.

While there haven’t been any adulterous liaisons in Bacalar this past week, there certainly has been the opportunity for drama. On Thursday, we received notice that we have one month to vacate our beautiful and comfortable house. It was unexpected and briefly sent us into a tailspin. We have to pack, it’s high season in Bacalar, where will we go, what if, what if, blah, blah, blah.

Sunrise photo of the week.

Sunrise photo of the week.

Spoiler alert, we’re fine, we’ve alredy begun looking at accomodations and have some lovely options. Yes, it’s inconvenient to move, but we’ve been blessed with this lovely house for ten months. Besides, we’re the queens of packing. Bacalar feels more like home today and we continue to make progress, albeit at a snail’s pace, on our house project. Also this week, I got my residency card for two more years, Home Depot opened in Chetumal and it’s raining! No soap opera for us, the blessings keep flowing!

image

Yesterday I got to meet one of our blog followers Carmen from Los Angeles and her mom Carmita from Cozumel, passing through Bacalar. What fun!

Beating the rain at La Playita.

Beating the rain at La Playita.

Please subscribe by hitting the “follow” button in the top right corner of this page. As always your comments are appreciated.

Kicking it Old School in Mexico

9 Nov

While walking in Bacalar, I observed a young boy sitting in his front yard hacking at weeds with his machete. Children learn young and are comfortable using Mexico’s version of a multi-tool. I have a friend who recently hired workers to build a dock. When living on this amazing laguna, one of life’s pleasures is hanging a hammock under a palapa at the end of your own dock. Docks are constructed out of very hard Yucatan-grown wood. She asked to have the dock constructed with screws rather than the traditional nails. The men looked at her as if she had three heads. image The workers patiently explained why screws weren’t a good idea. Apparently if there’s a hurricane, which does happen every few years, it’s better to have a few boards come loose and fly around, rather than the whole dock blow away. image Not having lived in Bacalar during a hurricane, I have no firsthand experience to confirm or dispute their claim. However, I’ll put money on the fact that none of them has ever seen a muelle held together with screws. image Learning anything new takes repetition, a willingness to make mistakes, and in some circles, look foolish. In the land where no one uses power tools, the added expense of broken drill bits and costly screws must be taken into consideration. What little profit made, quickly dwindles. We live in a world apart here in the furthest reaches of southern Mexico, where machinery of all types is often expensive, of poor quality, hard to aquire, and without replacement parts. It is easy to understand why a rock to drive a nail, a pan to wash clothes and a machete for everything else is the norm in poor, rural Yucatan. Even our friends from Mexico City scratch their heads at the backward ways.

The puppies like the new dock.

The puppies like the new dock.

Awaiting roof and hammock.

Awaiting roof and hammock.

A palapa built in the ancient Mayan tradition.

A palapa built in the ancient Mayan tradition.

When we build OUR dock, Lisa will undoubtedly haul out the extension cord and electric drill that she lovingly brought with us and reinforce every board of our dock. So if you ever hear about a hurricane hitting the Carribean coast of Mexico, and see a dock flying through the air like Dorothy’s house on its way to Oz, it will probably be ours. Just wave.

View from our current dock.

View from our current dock.

image

The Tortas Welcome Their First Texas Visitors

2 Nov

The week leading up to Day of the Dead has been busy. It is a fun time of year in Mexico and we got to share it with our first visitors from Austin, Pat and Don. Many people have said that they would visit us. Pat and Don have been the first to show up. I vanpooled to my job at the State Health Department with Pat for many years and we have kept in touch.

Art showing in Chetumal for Día de Los Muertos

Art showing in Chetumal for Día de Los Muertos

We got to show off our town, visit the Pirate Fort, swim in Cenote Azul and shop in our lovely mercado.

Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul

The weather was perfect for a boat ride to float the channel and enjoy botanas,  a glass of wine and snacks near Bird Island. Turn up the volume and enjoy the cacophony.

Thank you Gabriel and Monica.

Thank you Gabriel and Monica.

We called ahead for a memorable sunset and Mother Nature did not disappoint. Our gift was the most spectacular sunset imaginable for our friends. We anchored for the birdsong, lightshow and good company, a perfect evening.

Breathtaking Beauty for our guests.

Breathtaking beauty for our guests.

Pat and Don boarded a bus for the Cancun airport on Tuesday to continue the second leg of their trip, visiting Oaxaca. Oaxaca is known for its Day of the Dead celebration. I hope the rest of their trip was as enjoyable for them as their visit to Bacalar was for us.

image

image

Hokett Would Work

A premier maker of fine weaving tools and equipment

The Soulful Word

Woo-woo words for heart-centred women, spiritual leaders and goddess warriors on a mission to impact millions

View From Casita Colibrí

gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca

Your Hand in Mind

Musings of a human factors engineer after her brain was released...

Our House In...

Living where we are

Creative Hands of Mexico

Handcrafts, folk art and more

Surviving Yucatan

Smoothing out Mexico's rough spots.

A Boy and Her Dog

Traversing the Border between Butch and Transgender

Surviving Mexico

Adventures and Disasters

emilievardaman

travel and random thoughts

Just Another Moment in Paradise

Snippets of an Adventure's Life in Cozumel, Mexico

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

Mexico Retold

There's more to Mexico than meets the media

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Amazon Express

From the most distant source to the sea.

Compass & Camera

Travel, Culture, Life

Biketrash Holiday

Adventures on Two Wheels!

%d bloggers like this: