Friday, February 13, 2015

Mexico: Sunset on Jaltemba Bay

This evening we had a nice little gathering of the guests in the condo unit (8 units housing about 20 people). Every second Friday, the guests meet on the lower deck for an appetizer potluck. We took some of our fusion guacamole and tortilla chips and it was a complete hit with everyone. It packed a bit of heat but the masala gave it an unusually delicious taste. Someone asked if this is how we do it in Guyana. I said that guacamole is not a Guyanese thing. 

Just at sunset which arrives at almost the same time every day - approximately 6pm, I went up to the sunroof deck above the third floor and took some stunning pictures of the sunset over the bay. The last few days have been spent reading and napping on the beach during the day and enjoying dinner and the crashing waves at night. We have not had a single meal in the condo. Every meal has been on the veranda - breakfast, lunch and dinner. I say: "Why waste a good view"? 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mexico: Catch of the day - straight from the ocean

This is how I start my day in Los Ayala. Get up early, but not too early, clean up and get dressed - which consists of shorts and a tank top, and no shoes or makeup. Sometimes I may even comb my hair - but only if I feel like it. Then off I go, down the spiral staircase at the front of our condo to another short set of stairs from the upper deck to the lower deck and the beach, then I do an hour's walk up and down the beach (25-30 minutes from end to end depending on how wet or dry the sand is). Then I go back to the condo for some pesos and head off to the fishing boats to buy fish or shrimp for the day's meal or ceviche. 

It's hard to decide what kind of fish to get. There is red or grey snapper in various sizes and Dorado or mahi-mahi. There is also shark and some other fish which I don't recognize. It's all so good. Shrimp comes in various sizes as well and it is so fresh that we have to take them home and soak them in water for a few hours to remove some of the salt from the ocean. We made ceviche today and with fresh lime juice and loads of cilantro and jalapenos, I was in total heaven. 

The fishermen (and women) will gut and fillet the fish if  you ask them but I like the whole fish to BBQ and I use the fillets in curry. I brought some of my own masala and used it in guacamole. First time to do that but it was delicious! That's Guyanese/Mexican fusion food. I might have to include that in my recipe book. Loving Los Ayala. 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Mexico: Condos Casa Rey, Los Ayala

It's finally arrived - my Mexican vacation in Los Ayala, Mexico. For several of the past 10 years, we have gone to Isla Mujeres off the coast of Cancun for a couple of weeks in February. It is a little piece of paradise and a lovely place to hang out for well-deserved rest and relaxation. The pace is slow and the beaches and food are just what I need to forget a Manitoba winter - at least for a short while. Last year was so brutal that after two weeks of hot sun and another 2 months of brutal winter, I was hard to remember that I even left. 

Last fall, we decided to try the Mexican west coast. We had taken the kids (when they were teenagers) to Puerto Vallarta many years ago but on the recommendation of friends (who recommended Guayabitos), we found a one bedroom condo in Los Ayala. It's right on the beach and with a pool which I am not sure we'll use but it's there, nevertheless. 

We could not have asked for a better location. Los Ayala is about an hour and a half from the Puerto Vallarta airport. We got a taxi service to pick us up at the airport and the driver, Viviana, stopped at a Mega (the name of the store) grocery store to buy some groceries prior to going to LA. 

We bought staples that we thought would last us for most of the two weeks but no meat or fish. We were told that early each morning, sometime between 6-9am, the fishermen bring their catch of the day to sell on the beach. The fish is usually caught that morning so it still smells like the sea - meaning there is no fishy smell. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning. We arrived this afternoon but it was a bit early for check-in so we sat at the lower front deck and ate some lunch we bought at the supermarket - chicken, salad, fruit and some cool drinks. 

Condos Casa Rey is exactly as it looks on the website and more, really. You know how sometimes you see lodgings on the internet and when you arrive it looks nothing like the picture? Well this one is exactly as it looks in all the pictures but there are other features like the huge bathroom and the wall-to-wall closets for storage. The pantries are very big and the veranda is large, breezy and roomy. The best thing about the condo is it has two entrances - one from the street and one to/from the beach. I know I am going to be loving my stay here. When we are on the veranda, it's like the rest of the world doesn't exist. The view from the front is the beach and Jaltemba Bay and the view from the back balcony is the Sierra Madre mountains less than 500 metres away. My 16 day stay is going to be good. I can feel it.