Saturday we take the bus to the market. It’s a small area in the Santiago Bay region, a little gathering of tents that roost like birds and later, disappear without a trace. They sell similar items from booth to booth, clothes, trinkets, pottery, sugary treats. The sellers like to bargain and so does Vince, but I usually just pay whatever they ask. I get a lovely mask for our bedroom here and some pecans fried in butter. They are warm and sticky and taste divine.
Afterward we stroll over to Julio’s, a little place across the street, and have lunch. These little places are amazing; their food is delicious and cheap. Not to mention the cold beer. The rest of the afternoon is spent at our condo unit, lounging in the sun by the pool and the beach, laughing, playing cards. Everything, and everyone, is so relaxed; the warmth of the sun and roll of the waves creates a slow lifestyle where you can lose yourself in little things, enjoy simple pleasures.
Sunday we hop on a couple of buses to get to Melaque, where a fellow Canadian owns a restaurant. At first we can’t find it, because they have moved to a location on the beach. The breakfast is tasty and plentiful and the owners – Gary and Joyce – are interesting people. They live here most of the year now. We marvel at how hard they work. They close up for July and August and go off to northern BC where there are very few people. After breakfast, we hop on another bus and get to Barre de Navidad. We wander around the shops in this lovely little town. There are lots of tourist-type vendors, but there are also artisans and musicians. We hire a boat, driven by Alejandro. He guides us through a short cruise around the canal and some amazing homes, wandering past sunken shrimp boats, the grand Grand Bay hotel, and off to his restaurant, named after the little town, Colimillo. Once again, we enjoy cold beer and margheritas, while sitting in the breeze and sunshine from the oceanside. It’s glorious. Pelicans swirl overhead and gulls land to take someone’s offering from the shore. Alejandro picks us up and we return to Navidad to wander the stores once more, listen to a melodious band on a rooftop, and head for Los Archos Jalisco, another favourite bar. Here we have munchies along with the beer and margheritas. We even take a margherita to go, they are so good. The return on the bus is filled with laughter and later, snores. But we’re not too tired to play cards by the ocean.
Monday is Tanya and Janice’s last full day. All of us cannot believe an entire week has gone by. We spend most of the day by the ocean at Miramar. It’s shallow here, though the waves are still pretty fierce, but we can boogie board. I get tossed on my ass quite a lot, even do one full summersault, but it’s a blast. I know you may find it hard to believe, but food and beer are involved here as well. Dinner by the ocean in our unit, with tequila shooters to celebrate T & J’s week in paradise.