Guest Post #2 – Dad’s Jungle Adventures
My dad’s back with another post about his visit to us here in the Mexican jungle. I hope you like it!
Woke up early this morning and it is already December and I am to go home in 5 days. Jeannie let the cat out of the bag and revealed that I did find my camera after a couple of days… fallen between the seats of the Toyota truck. On it was the picture above of the beach scene at sunset, which we have seen only a couple of times.
The trip has turned out to be days of helping Jayne and Beave with many projects, the biggest being wiring the tree house for power, in anticipation of the Solar System arriving in a few weeks. They are on a mission, to which they are very dedicated, to recover the infrastructure created by the previous owner on this land, and putting it to good use. The plan is to get an income from renting out small apartments in the jungle. The balance is to create comfortable living spaces without costing a fortune, and not provide all “mod cons”, but enough to be comfortable.
San Pancho is a great tourist beach town. An active beach, getting busier all the time, and a main and side streets filled with many small restaurants that spill onto the street offering many kinds of food. We have eaten at quite a few different places… from low end to medium. All meals have been very well priced… many close to half what I would pay for the same meal in Calgary…. and yummy food.
Service is generally great. Most servers speak some English, but being with Jayne who spouts quite good Spanish, and Beave who is learning fast, most of the banter is in Spanish. My Spanish is still pitiful, but I can follow the drift of the conversation at times. Uno Masse… means another when it comes to drinks. Fresh Limonada made with local limes for about 2 Canadian Dollars.
We stop in a nearby town to order wood for Jayne’s composting toilets, and Beave’s window frames for the apartment above the workshop. Heather will go crazy looking at all the woodworking marvels in this shop, made from many hardwood trees that we only dream of. The yard is full of stacks of wood from large trees waiting to be made into furniture, etc. To order.
The road to the La Colina Jungle is a rough one. Five creeks to cross. Large rocks and holes. Some local houses in various states of repair and construction, from simple one room shacks to multi room houses. Two nights ago, the locals were congregated at one farm playing music on their guitars… there is music everywhere in town, with both musicians doing sets in many restaurants, and other itinerant groups travelling from restaurant to restaurant for tips. We saw even more in the neighbouring town of Sayalita, about 5 km down the highway.
This prompted a discussion about renting out a 4 seater ATV to guests, and we went on a mission to look at one that a contact had found for Jayne. It is a Polaris RZR 800. It was bought by it’s owner, a part time resident from Toronto, and he now wants to upgrade to a new one. This has had little off road use and looks like new.
We negotiate a price, and agree to buy it. Since I am investing in this machine, and will get to use it while here, I have to convince Linda to approve the purchase. After some discussion, she reluctantly agrees to my mad purchase. We pick it up today.
My home away from home “Dad’s House”, as Jayne calls it, is serving me well. I only come down here at night and it has been comfortable. The nights got colder and Jayne has provided a comfy duvet which makes getting out of bed into the cold plus 17 degree celcius air more of a challenge. Last I looked Calgary is in a warm spell around minus 2.
We went to a local “garage sale” in Puerto Vallarta and picked up a mirror for it…. along with deck chairs for the pool, light fittings, etc.
The only light I have in the accommodation is provided by the LED lantern I brought for Jayne and Beave as a housewarming gift. Once the solar panels are in, and wiring done, it won’t be needed here.
The jungle does offer lots of bugs of all sizes. One in the house is spiders. The flat ones don’t bite, so I am told.
On the trip to Puerto Vallarta I got to show Jayne and Beave a tower that we had found on our previous trip here a few years ago while geocaching.
It is right in the middle of town, and one would not know it was there if we had not been looking for the cache.
Great views of the city.
Still on the mission to get internet from the town. We climb to the highest spot on the property and find an even better view of the hill with the house in town that we hope will provide a link spot. It is on the left of the right hand hill in the photo. Folks from the house arrive this weekend… so may possibly hear from them before I leave on Tuesday, but if not the negotiation will continue with Jayne and Beave.
All over the property are mystery pipes. In the ground. On the ground. Broken ends… where do they go? Some we have traced. Most are unusable as are so old that they break when water is added. We used a piece from one yesterday to provide a piece to hopefully fix a broken valve on the swimming pool.
Jayne and Beave keep mentioning Tinacos… these are water storage tanks that hold about 3000 litres each. There are five of them on the property, and are/will be refilled from either the waterfall water or the well. A solar powered water pump is somewhere in transit, and the water system is such that water will be pumped from one tank to another further up the hill.
Moving this has come to be done by the local Mexican family living next door and working for Jayne and Beave most days, along with Beave’s assistance. The tanks are now in place, but what a challenge moving them, and Beave acquired several ticks on his body in the process. Somehow he picks them up almost daily, yet I search and haven’t found one on my body yet. Just mystery bites on my legs… not sure what has bitten them but they itch from time to time.
Mousetrappe cat is a real joy… very active in the house and takes an interest in everything. The younger Mexican son Rogelio was playing with it during the Tinaco moving. A few minutes later I see a streak of a cat running at full tilt down the hill as a plastic tinaco swings on the hill from a tree… apparently a planned move by the tinaco movers, but not a planned thing for poor Mousetrappe. Beave removed half a jungle from it’s fur later on, and the cat is still in good form.
I finish with the story of my fall. Not fall from glory… just tripped on the bottom step of the first part of the stairs at the tree house when I was walking down to turn off the generator under the house. Landed flat on my side after stopping my crash with my right hand, creating a 3/4 inch long surface gash. Nurse Philip in Vancouver is consulted.
The major drama was that I just missed a fairly large rock by an inch that could have created serious damage to my hip bones. Close call. (My hip was where my shoe is in the photo)
We picked up the Polaris RZR today…. did part of the paperwork, rest happens Monday. Four different offices to visit. It ran well on the trip home and is great on the Jungle roads. More next blog.
The hand looks quite infected. Try rinsing it in salty water frequently. Glad you didn’t get any worse damage.
Those tinacos look huge and very heavy and difficult to move.
Well done, Beave and co., for putting them in place!
The houses seem to be taking shape rapidly. Won’t be long before
renting one or more out will be possible.
You have all been working so hard, be sure to take some time out.
I knew you’d find a lot to do Alan, just your sort of project. However, the terrain may be rugged but the rustic steps probably need all nearby rocks and tree stumps removed thereabouts. Cuts and scrapes are manageable, but broken hips and concussion we can do without whilst in Mexico! – Vince fell through some rotten wooden stairs once on our old property , thank goodness there was a strong Fijian there to help get him out of the tangled mess and on his feet.. Lemon juice, Aloe Vera and good old hydrogen peroxide are good standbys for disinfecting minor injuries.
Renovating a property in the jungle or rain forest requires continual maintenance, it is never cheap, it adds up.
Congratulations on your new purchase, a lovely thought. Jayne and Beave must be over the moon. Good luck on earning a return on your purchase. it’s always nice to help out financially with a warm hand and see the joy it brings rather than wait until we’re dead and gone before our kids can appreciate the benefit.
I’m fascinated by this project and I’m so pleased it’s all coming together nicely and hopefully a good return can be made in the future from other guests.
Incidentally, it was Heather then Linda that let me know that you’d found your camera. I really felt for you because as you know I lost mine in Mexico never to be retrieved!
Anyway, looking forward to seeing lots more photographs before you leave to go home to Canada for Christmas. We shall be having a mini Christmas this year as everybody will be away.
Enjoy the rest of your stay, hear from everybody soon. xxxx