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Our First Little House in San Blas, Nayarit

The little house turned out to be a disaster! We cleaned, scraped, scrubbed that first day. The next morning we woke up, the front room filled with water! It had been raining before our arrival, much harder than is even usual for the tropics, and we learned first-hand why the original indigenous people lived in palapas: thatch roofed huts on stilts!

We were so lucky we had to clean up Joe's place. If we had not had to clean, we would've unpacked that first day and everything we owned would've been soaked, and much of it ruined. After talking over our options ... Off we drove in search of another home.

 Marco runs a small restaurant and internet cafe in San Blas, Mexico where Rainy logged in every afternoon to attend online school when she was with us last February. His place is about a block from Playa el Borrego.  We learned when we were last here that Marcos parents have a nicer Mexican-style home for rent. We had looked at it in February but didn't like the parking, or rather lack of parking on the very narrow street. We looked at it again. 

His parents decided they would rent it to us for $160 US/month, a bit more than we want to pay AND the house would need some upgrades. We'd have to put a sink in the kitchen, security grates on 3 of the windows and 1 of the doors. Some of the tiles on the kitchen counter needed repair and the entire place needed to be painted inside, including wall repairs. We would also have to buy a stove and fridge.

We drove around looking for more 'Se Renta' signs. We arrived in San Blas before the High Season (tourist season). High Season is from November through March. By the end of April, tourists have left. Because we're here before the part-time regulars, virtually everything is available. Plus, we want for year round occupancy, so everyone hopes we will choose their rental. We had all but given up looking for the day when we drove by a rental we'd driven by at least 2 dozen times in February. We inquired and immediately a teen boy was sent to fetch the landlady who, fortunately, spoke English, slowly as she processed the translation in her thoughts, but very well. 

We looked at the home, and negotiated the rate. I was able to bring her price down another $300 Pesos from her 'best price' ($24 US dollars) and we were given the keys immediately on a handshake. Paying about a third what seasonal tourists pay, we're in our price range and the home is just darling. Furnished, clean. Large closet. Huge for Mexico modern bathroom. Automatic water (meaning we won't have to go outside and turn on the water pump before taking a shower.) Yes, we can paint if we want. Yes, they will remove the extra beds (there are 3.) Yes, she will come by to pick up the bedding and dishes we won't need since we brought our own. We even have air conditioning which is a rare in San Blas and a luxury.

The landlady explained that tourists who had rented for a week had just left that morning and it needed to be cleaned. What that really meant was the bedding wasn't taken to be cleaned because the house was spotless, everything in place. We didn't need the bedding and told her we'd do the cleaning to save her the time. She agreed to this. FINALLY .. after traveling with our things packed for so long, we unpacked the bed of the truck. New neighbors came out and introduced themselves. One older man asked two strong teen boys to help unload which made it all go much faster than we expected. I looked up the words and asked the boys if they would go with me to the other home to pick up the last of what we had left there and to bring back our little 4x6 trailer. They agreed.

I paid the young men after all was brought inside. Then I sat down, exhausted, even dehydrated. I downed a good deal of orange juice, sat there in my sweat-soaked shirt, too exhausted to remove it. Finally it came off and I began to cool. I didn't have the strength to even think about a shower. What might have taken me all day, or even two days to unload had taken a little over an hour, including the drive to the first home with these two teenagers. The teens, Javier and Junior (pronounced Hah-vee-air and Hoo-nee-or) moved so quickly that I had a hard time keeping up and I'm in pretty good shape.

I finally showered and relaxed for a 20 minute nap. We began to unpack. The unpacking is fun. Discovering our things again and moving them to the areas we expect to use or store them. We want to bring in cinder block and wood boards to make a few more shelves for books and such but even as is, our little Mexican home is adequate. Three ceiling fans. An actual air conditioner, not just a water cooler. French doors in front, in back and off the kitchen. Two balconies. Upstairs so no water will be coming in during the rains, though that only happens with some of the homes in town that are either build in the lower areas or are not on high enough foundations. 

The rain coming in as it did also only happens rarely. Pompis, (Mexico's Long Board Surf champ) told us this has been an uncommonly wet season. A light, sprinkling rain every afternoon is common like Florida, but a few days before we arrived, it had rained very hard for 4 days and nights. The ground was swollen and not soaking up the water as quickly. Even though the first house had flooded, the streets and yard were damp but only a few small puddles were seen by mid-morning. Even the water in that first house swept out easily and a quick dry mopping took care of the last of the water. Still, being high and dry on the second floor seems such a luxury right now. We're so happy to have arrived before the Season (tourist season) to have been able to secure the year-round price we wanted to pay!

This morning it's still early. There are signs of life on the street outside. An occasional person goes by on their bicycle. The bakery across the street is opening up .. I am having my first cup of coffee. We expect to be mostly unpacked today .. and by tomorrow, we should have even our clothing and books in order, waiting for the board and cinder block shelves we are planning.

After coffee, I'll begin again my old routine of going to the beach to check the waves, maybe surfing for a bit and either coming back for a shower and change of clothes or if I don't surf today, I will go early to the market for the daily grocery shopping. Gayle has the kitchen to organize and the cooking to do. In Mexico, the big meal of the day is eaten at 2 to 2:30pm. Our stomachs are still on USA time but we'll make the switch as soon as we have stocked up a little on the basics. Gayle is eager to pull out her cookbooks and enjoy some tasty meals!

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