9th March 2007

From Janet:

Yesterday we spent the day inland and it was wonderful and quite unique! Salto Falls is about an hour away up into the hills and the bus only cost $2. There was a scenic waterfall and a small water park nearby with water slides and pools. I wanted to go on Sunday because that's when Mexicans spend time with their family and do outings like that so I knew it would be crowded and therefore interesting. Also, our guidebook said that on the weekends they have taco stands up there but otherwise you have to bring your own food. Sure enough, there were three vendors selling various kinds of grilled meat so we had cheese quesadillas and chicken later in the day. When we first got there, we were confused because we only saw the water park, with dozens of families camped out for the day around picnic benches. So we got some food and observed the scene for a little while, then we figured out where you have to climb down into the canyon to see the waterfall. It was small but quite beautiful -- the water was crystal clear and quite inviting! However, there were big signs that said it was prohibited to go into the waterfall, and a couple crosses with flowers which you see everywhere here when somebody died there.. we did see some people farther down the canyon in the water but we couldn't figure out how to get over there. So we hiked back up and I started talking to this older couple. I gave my usual "my Spanish isn't very good" disclaimer, and then asked them why it is prohibited to swim in the waterfall (which was pretty obvious anyway) and how we get to the other side of the canyon. Well they were super sweet and helpful even though as usual we only caught about 1/10 of what they were saying. But they pointed us in the right direction and we made it down where we wanted to go.

I jumped right in the water which felt fantastic because it was super hot, and Eric sat on a rock reading a trashy novel. We hung out there for a couple hours during which several groups of people came through including young boys who were fishing and their parents, teenage boys who were horsing around, and a few others. Everyone was super friendly to us. We walked back up to the main road and only had to wait about a half-hour for the bus back. There were two Canadian couples waiting with us whom we had seen walking around earlier. They told us that they hadn't felt very welcomed and that it was clear the Mexicans want to keep this spot for themselves. This is the exact opposite of how we felt, so it made us feel great about our interactions.

Well there is not very good news to report on the outboard motor today. Eric spent most of the day with a mechanic who took it all apart into tiny little pieces. He showed Eric some kind of part that attaches to the cylinders and it was clearly toast. He said we need a new one of these parts, it costs about $200, and we may be able to get it fixed in Guadalajara. This guy and the mechanic in Zihuatenajo had much different stories so now we're not sure what to believe. The guy down South said that there was a parts dealer here for this manufacturer, which doesn't appear to be the case. We have also been having some electrical problems. Today while Eric was at the marina with the outboard mechanic, I was writing this log and the computer stopped getting power from the inverter, and I also noticed that even though our fridge was on, we had no ice, so I thought perhaps our house bank of batteries had gone dead. The display that shows the amount of charge has been somewhat flaky so I couldn't tell by using that. So I turned off everything that wasn't absolutely necessary. When Eric came back, we started the motor to charge the batteries but it doesn't look like they are getting any charge...

The other day we were invited for a drink on the nicest boat we have ever stepped foot on. 65 foot powerboat and the main floor looks like a main floor of a regular house -- real couches and chairs, and full size appliances, stereo equipment etc. I used the bathroom and it was a normal flush toilet (most marine toilets you have to pump water into it and pump water out of it); they had double sinks and real marble countertops... they looked at one boat before buying this one that was $4 million, but they said that was out of their price range. I'm not writing this from a position of envy believe me, I wouldn't trade boats with them for anything (except we could sell theirs for a lot of money says Eric). It was just such a different experience.

We have met many different permutations of couples -- people on their second, third, fourth etc. marriages; people who have been partners for several years; people who answered want ads for sailing partners; people who intend to get married when they find a special spot... we have met a handful of guys by themselves but no women single handing yet :-( One guy we know who is single handing said the next time he thinks about getting married, he is going to save himself a lot of trouble and just find a woman who hates him and buy her a house.

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