Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Day with our Little Red Car

Joe and Ian are going to turn in our cute red car today at the airport. JetBlue is bringing us 2 more friends, Jess and Keenan, at noon. The plan is to pick them up, get the birding car Ian arranged with Blueway Car Rental and then they take off tomorrow on their 18 day road trip in search of the birds of Mexico. Ian's doing so much better today, looking good. Now one of the birders just has to volunteer to give him his antibiotic shot in the butt while they are on the road.

So yesterday Joe, Luke and I did some errands in Playa Del Carmen before we are carless.

First stop was Chedraui, a 183 store supermarket chain the likes of which we don't see at home. Stacks of product as high as 2 stories, selling everything from stoves to pastries. 

This part of Mexico loves their pastries, and they are excellent! I made a big mistake yesterday, the woman bagging our selected pastures ran some bread up at 500 pesos/ 39 dollars, instead of 50 pesos/4 dollars, and I missed it! Not sure if I'll be able to go back and resolve the issue... no car and a long taxi ride.

The Telcel store that offers a sim card that works in our iPhones. The small tiendas around here can't do that, they sell the extra minutes to add to your card, but not the card and installation. Plaza de Américas on the north side of Playa Del Carmen, by the Sears store. Very upscale store!
We were able to arrange for a card, 149 pesos.  600 mb of data, no voice no texts, for 15 days for Ian's phone, 200 pesos. Total $27. It took an hour or so to do this and it was all in Spanish. They take credit cards.

Christmas special.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Doctor Drama in Puerto Morelos

A follow up about Ian's sore throat from a previous post.....Turns out the antibiotic Ian was on was the wrong one. At 1am last night Ian came in to wake us up, when was the last time that happened!?? His tonsillitis was much worse, his throat was so closed he couldn't sleep, and breathing was becoming a problem, Yikes!!

We found the best doctor ever in our sleepy little mexican town, in the middle of the night and he fixed Ian right up. Dr. Victor Ballesteros. After looking in Ian's throat he pronounced it "muy feo", very ugly. He gave him a shot in the butt, antibiotics with some steroids, had him inhale something soothing that took the swelling and inflamation down, dealt with a minor panic attack on Ian's part, and did all this competently with a smile and a great attitude.

Thankfully good medical care at any time of the day or night in Mexico is available, excellent and affordable!

 We went back this afternoon for a follow up visit, and another shot.

Ian revisiting the scene of the fixing of tonsillitis gone awry.

 Getting ready for his shot... Turns out that Joe is going to have to administer the next 3 shots! The infection is still very much active. Our doctor showed us what to do, and Joe is agreeable to doing it, he's not squeamish about doctor things at all, not like me.

Ian's very grateful for the good medical care he received!! We'd recommend Dr. Victor H. Ballesteros Q. to anyone!
If you need to find him, ask the taxi drivers at the main plaza for the Medico, even in the middle of the night they can direct you there.
It helps a lot if you speak Spanish, his English is limited, and we had to discuss a lot of ideas and treatment options together, I'm really happy I was able to understand him.

His diagnosis in Spanish is Faringoamigdalitis or in English: Pharyngotonsillitis. 

Beach Bar "Unico" in Puerto Morelos, Mexcio

About a block from our condo, on the sand, is a little beach bar tucked into the neighborhood called 'Unico'. It's a very small stand alone bar, that can be boarded up at night, in the best location ever. You can grab a beer, go for a swim, listen to live music, get a bite to eat, lounge on chairs or bean bags, all on the sand! Very casual and inviting.

On the 23rd Joe, Ian and I went to listen to the German singer, Sara Lugo, she was perfect for the setting, beautiful voice and happy to be there.

She has songs on YouTube

 The entrance off the street. Children, dogs, everyone is invited.

Enjoying a beer with Ian, now that he's 21, not that it matters much here in Mexico. Priceless!

 Swings for chairs.

 Pano of the scene.

Since this is so close to the condo, and we pass it on our walk to town, I photographed it again...
It's hard to find from the street, but this sign helps.

 Beach view.

Luke and I went here last night for a drink and dinner, no live music, but still a good place to be. Unfortunately, Ian is still under the weather and not feeling very good.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Luke in Mexico

Late Christmas day Ian's friend Luke made it to the Cancun airport after a very long day of many flights from Maine. Joe and Ian picked him up at the airport after a little drama, that airport is not user friendly!
Always a welcomed guest, we're happy to have him visit for a week before they all leave for their big Mexican birding trip next Monday. Details of that trip are HERE.

 First thing the next morning, Ian and Luke are on the patio looking for birds, after they've combed the neighborhood on foot.

 A beautiful Oriole they spotted that I got a mediocre photo of, at least the fronds are in focus.

 Getting some rest :-)

 Just an odd candid photo, but I like it.

 What, Ian's sick??  Turns out Ian has come down with a really bad sore throat, dore de garganta, and is now on antibiotics. Hoping for a fast recovery, too many birds out there to take time off to be sick!

I really like our big comfy condo.

At the Farmacia for the antibiotics, and sundry items for Luke.

In Mexico you can tell the person working behind the counter your symptoms and they will give you antibiotics. No prescription needed.

Luke making an effort to take some non bird photos. Puerto Morelos plaza.

Beach where they are taking scuba diving lessons for PADI certification. There's a great reef out there.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weekly Produce Market in Puerto Morelos

Once a week, on Wednesdays, there is an outdoor produce market in Puerto Morelos, but you need to get there early. Last week we arrived at 1pm and there wasn't much left. Today at 9am there were plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from, even though there is only one vendor. I assume most of the produce is local, but I don't know for sure. 
You'll find this weekly market on the sidewalk next to the church in the main plaza.

We filled 4 large bags with papayas, limes, tomatoes, baby bananas, potatoes, cilantro, black beans, tangerines and other goodies and the total came to 180 pesos. $13.88 dollars! Exchange rate is 12.97 pesos = 1 dollar.

 Baked goods by Barbara sold out of her car next to the market. I brought home some apple cake for Luke and Ian, gone in a flash, guess it was good :-)

Cute dog!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Food Shopping in Puerto Morelos

So where do you go for your food when there are no Stop and Shops around?  Having a full kitchen in our condo we like to use, the challenge is finding the food. Most Latin American countries have small one man shops scattered around town where you can get beer and packaged sweets, but fresh food and a big market are harder to come by.
In Puerto Morelos there's the local larger store in the square by the ocean, and that's fairly well stocked and walkable for us. We've been to the WalMart in Playa Del Carmen, and that's bigger than most markets at home, but a good half hour by car, and soon we won't have a car.
Across the main highway, in the old colonial part of town, there are a few more markets and that's where we went a few days ago.  Great selection of fruits and vegetables, if you can take the over the top music. From a block away you can hear the music blaring and while shopping we couldn't make ourselves heard, what a trip! Louder than any disco, wish I could show you loud in pictures.

 A beautiful and abundant assortment of produce!

 Champagne mangos, our favorite kind. 

 Only locals shop here, too bad I couldn't ask any questions because of the loud music. Can you tell who the American is?

 Back to our car. 

 Lunch nearby afterwards.

The chocolate shop where our Christmas cake came from, a popular place judging by all the gringos that were there.