This Thursday morning, a hike with the Ladies of San Pancho! We met in the Plaza del Sol, near central San Pancho. There was Margot, who built a place here and also lives in Canada and originates from Holland, Sarah who’s here for a month from NC and then is headed to Mexico City for a while with her husband, Jane, and Karen, with whom I have yet to have conversations. I had sprained my ankle slightly a week ago while trying to get out of the ocean after swimming, so I only walked for a half hour out of their much longer hike and then turned around, but it was great to meet some women here; all friendly! They seemed to be in their 40s and 50s for the most part.

Last night Rob and I also met a couple from Canada at dinner, where we stopped with our bikes after a ride through the polo club looking for birds. We arrived hot and sweaty; the humidity here has been around 95% and any exercise is a sauna experience(!), although the sun had set by now and things had cooled down nicely. The little restaurant, Arigato (“thank you” in Japanese), specializes in home made bread and home made beer (darn it, nothing gluten free) and sushi, so we parked our bikes next to a palm tree and sat at one of the many tables at the edge of the street. Dogs big and little chased one another around the tables, the south American sounding music coming through the speakers had a great rhythm, and we relaxed with some of their tasty ginger lemonade. The tuna and avocado sushi I ordered was delicious! The couple from Canada told us that they come down here every year, usually for a couple of months, and they raved about the town, especially the food. Apparently the Marino restaurant, which specializes in seafood, is closed every summer but is about to open in a week or so, with fresh-caught fish, a bouillabaisse not to be missed, and lobster. Mmmm… !

Our ride through the polo club last night was not very successful as far as birds – we did get some pics of little orange-fronted parakeets, but the belted kingfisher we saw along the river refused to be photographed, the tiny bird calling “soosiooswiss” over and over refused to show itself for more than a split second, and other birds proved equally elusive. The thick, green foliage everywhere, which birds disappear into instantly, combined with cloudy conditions makes it a challenge to get a pic!

Just before noon I drove over to the Intercam Banco Sayulita, as I was notifed that my request to open a bank account has been approved. This will enable me to write a rent check to our landlord next month in pesos, and I now have a debit card too. My “advisor” at the bank (apparently everyone with an account is assigned one) told me she will get me the best foreign currency exchange rate if I deposit money in US dollars. She says this exchange rate will be better than what my US bank will give me. Today’s exchange on my check deposit was 19.4 pesos per dolllar; not bad although not the best as I understand it (but way better than any ATM will give me). It took 3 trips to the bank with the last one, today, taking an hour and 45 minutes, to open this account(!); so it’s not a trivial matter to open an account here! My advisor told me I should notify her ahead of time of any transactions I make – deposits and cash withdrawals. And… just like that, it’s done!


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