We are back onboard after a whirlwind trip to Portland to renew our tourist visas. We had a tight schedule to get in visits with all our family members, but it was good to see everyone. With our return, we received the all-important new tourist visa. Upon entry into the country, you get an automatic 180-day tourist visa, however you must leave the country to renew it. You can do this as many times as you want. You can also apply for temporary or permanent resident status, however, this is quite involved, and the process must be initiated in your home country after an outlay of about $1,000. For us, it works out better to just fly home for a quick visit – besides those grandkids are all growing up way too fast.
Back on the boat, we are settling in and getting busy with projects. Dan installed an AC unit, and the boat interior is now in the 70s despite daily outdoor temps in the 90s. The locals all tell us this is nothing, wait until August…hmmm. Dan has also removed the high pressure fuel injection pump and atomizers from the diesel engine so that it can be rebuilt. I will be focusing on exterior paint touch-up and re-varnishing the teak forest that adorns Anjuli.
We have also been taking time for fun – and lots of good food. I have been attending Spanish class three times a week, and we have been taking some great walks. Yesterday we walked several miles to the main entrance of the golf course where there is a small zoo. I am excited to say we scratched behind the ears of a leopard – he obviously liked it and made “cat” noises.
We went on a pub crawl along the malecon with another boat crew, stopping at five different places, all of which had either $1 or either 2 X 1. Mexican coffee, Mojitos, Margaritas, and beer – good thing we were riding the bus!
Another couple (who fed Kitt while we were in Portland) took us to the super-fancy Insu Sky Bar. The “Especial” gets you three glasses of good wine and three appetizers, made even better by the fact that you are sitting on the roof of the seventh floor looking out over the bay.
We accidentally found a new favorite right across the street from the airport (food inside the airport is just as expensive as in the US -$7.50 for a Carl’s Jr. burger – really? ). El Tacon Marlin serves only burritos, but they are stuffed with cheesy goodness and seafood. And you can’t forget the plethora of awesome little taco stands, like Tacos El Gordo, where the meat is roasted right in front of you, and they don’t press and cook the tortillas until you order – another accidental find.
We are easily amused, and get a kick out of the funny little differences between home and Mexico. Like the portable car washers that operate in every grocery store parking lot. Pull in with a dirty car, and when you are done shopping, the car is clean. What a time saver! At stop lights you can also get your car windows washed, enjoy a juggling show, or have snack delivered – all for the price of just a few pesos.
Despite the fun and awesome climate, it is still a bit disconcerting to be “on vacation” all the time. We both feel like we should be doing something “useful”. All my life I have done what was required of me, putting kids and job first always. Now that I get to be first, I have forgotten what I am about. It just seems bizarre that someone doesn’t need something from me, and I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I am looking forward to getting the boat under again way in the fall so I have a purpose. We are currently leaning towards continuing on to Panama, but hey, that is a long time away, and we may change our mind three or four times before then. We have family coming for the last week of August, and the last week of September. In mid-October we will move the boat up to Mazatlan to get new bottom paint and meet up with a bunch of friends who will be visiting that fair city. Somewhere after the first of November we will head out again, with a couple from our old marina aboard so they can get some offshore experience before they start their adventure.
In the meantime, if you are looking for cold beer, good food, and really hot, humid weather, come on down. Mexico in the off-season is a bargain!