Friday, September 29, 2006

The Oat Bran Quest

After failing to find oat bran (to add to our morning cereal) at any of the first three supermarkets we went to, we decided to catch a bus out to Bucerias, a town on the north side of Banderas Bay.  We had been advised by a fellow boater on the morning marine radio net that there was a great tienda de semillas (seed shop) there.


We found the shop, La Abejita, easily, however, no oat bran.  We learned there were two other seed shops in town.  The second had none either, nor did the third.  However, at the third shop we learned that salvado, which we thought meant simply bran, in fact means (at least in this area) a mixture of brans.  His salvado was a mixture of wheat, oat and sunflower seed bran.  We decided to give it a try.  We are certain from the look of it that both horses and cows would love it.


At La Abejita we also purchased some brown rice (hard to find down here) and dried peas.  The store has just about every grain you could imagine in bulk form.  Just grab a scoop and a plastic bag.


For lunch we found a place just off the central plaza and near the beach called Miguel Angel’s Restaurant-Bar.  The atmosphere was nice and the service good.  However, the Tortilla Soup was the most uninspired recipe we have yet tried (we have had Tortilla Soup at at least 10 different places).  However, the people from Chicago at the next table were raving about their seafood meals, so we won’t gong the place just because of their soup.


Partly sunny today, still very warm and humid.  The pool feels great in the afternoons.

"Oh-oh Mexico....

….sounds so sweet I just had to go.”  (James Taylor)


Well, here we are back in Puerto Vallarta.


Our Alaska Air flight from Seattle was uneventful except for Kay’s being strip-searched because she forgot she had a tiny tub of lip gloss with a metal lid in her jeans pocket.  OK, they didn’t actually strip her, but let’s just say that Steve was glad it was a woman doing the searching.


For those of you who haven’t been to Mexico, whenever you come down here by air or by road (boats get off easy) and you go through customs you pass through a special traffic light. If you get a green light you pass through without an inspection. If you get a red light…. 


Kay pushed the button (so it’s her fault) and got a red light for the first time in three or four border crossings.  The inspection is usually pretty cursory.  They didn’t check any of Kay’s bags, just Steve’s.  In his biggest bag, he had a brand new marine VHF radio that he had not declared on one side, and about one-fifth of Kay’s shell collection on the other side.  The customs agents found the shells first and spent a lot of time looking at them; first because they are very beautiful and second because they were a little concerned that we might be intending to sell them in Mexico. After assuring them that they were for our personal enjoyment they closed up the bag and let us go.  They never looked at the other side of the bag.


The temperature and humidity were about 90-90 when we caught a cab.  Our favorite security guard, Alejandro, was at the gate at Las Palmas II to welcome us back.


We found our condo unit all ready for us.  The sheets were all off the furniture, the bed was made and everything was shiny clean.  All we had to do was turn on the electricity and light the pilot light in the gas hot water heater.  In just a little while the air conditioning had the temperature down to a comfortable 77 degrees.


Just after midnight we were treated to a slam-bam thunderstorm.  The weather is about what we expected.  We intentionally came down early this year so that we could experience the end of the summer wet season, and so that we could get a head start on making the condo more our own.  In addition to Kay’s shells, we brought down a few other items with that in mind.  We are also on the look out for a plant or two and possibly a bookshelf.