My friend Ellen over at The Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick does these monthly posts called “ (Name of month) in Numbers”. They are amusing posts about lots of different things she has counted in her life in the last month. How many cookies she has eaten; how many times she has hailed people on the radio, how many cool things she has found on the ‘free pile’ at her marina. You get the idea. Those posts always give me pleasure. I’m shamelessly riffing off her idea for this post. This also gives me an opportunity to plug her new book, Murder at the Marina; the first in a series of cozy mysteries she is writing. I am hopeful they will be the grownup equivalent to Nancy Drew books. I’ve preordered the first one and I hope you will, too. I’m dead excited to know a real live author.
Anyway, we’ve been hanging out in the Loreto area and having a grand time. Here are some numbers associated with this part of our trip.
Number of weeks we’ve been hanging out in Puerto Escondido/Loreto and the islands right here: 6. When we find an area we like, we tend to stay awhile. We’ve been here long enough now to feel like we are familiar with the area.
Number of guests we’ve had aboard Galapagos: 4. We discovered how fun it is to have guests. We hope for more next season.
Number of largish grocery stores in Loreto: 3. Most people know about El Pescador, which caters to the gringos here and carries items from Costco, if you can believe that. But the good shredded meat by SuKarne is not at that store; at least not when we’ve been there. To find that, you have to walk down the street to the Super Ley. Their produce is also better than El Pescador’s, as a rule. But El Pescador has incredibly good bacon and ground beef. Then there is Mi Bodega, which is further down the same street that Super Ley is on. Now we’ve been here long enough to know which stores have which good things. It’s almost like we’re locals!
Number of brands of cooked, packaged meat we tried before we found ‘the brand’: 5. Only SuKarne passes our taste, texture, and ingredient tests. It’s hot here and I don’t enjoy cooking and heating up the interior of the boat. So we have found these SuKarne meats to be terrific for easy chicken salads or tostadas, or tacos, or whatever. They are high quality and delicious.
Number of brands of packaged meat we threw out because they didn’t look or taste like food to us: 2. One brand was so bad that I used it for a cold packs for my knee when I twisted it. The stuff inside, which was pictured as strips of steak for fajitas, was more like play dough in texture. It made a perfect icepack. But food? Not so much. SuKarne is now our go-to brand of prepackaged, cooked meat, as well as marinated meat ready for the grill. Accept no substitutes.
Number of times we tried to call the local recommended dentist before giving up: about 15. We tried all the combinations of numbers and prefixes. We finally had our friend call from his phone. He uses AT&T. We have T Mobile. I don’t know if that’s why we were telephone failures, but his call went through the first time. All I know is that making a phone call in Mexico is not a straight forward process. People have shown us flow charts, we’ve dialed all the prefixes and combination of prefixes. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. I think it’s just part of being here.
Number of days in advance we had to wait for an appointment to get our teeth cleaned and checked: 1
Number of cavities we had: 0
Number of Pesos we were charged to have our teeth cleaned by the dentist using an ultrasonic tool and to be given a clean bill of dental health: 700 pesos each. In US dollars that’s about $36. The overhead is low. He has an office, good equipment, and not much else. No cushy chairs or TV screens blaring. No huge office staff. He does his own cleaning. No insurance nonsense. We loved it.
Number of forms we had to fill out in the waiting room: 0. We walked into the modest waiting room, chose which one of us would go first, had a pleasant conversation about our dental health and history, answered brief questions about whether we were on medications and how often we took them, asked about our coffee intake, then got our teeth cleaned. It was outstanding. Not only that, but when our friend called the office from his cellphone, he was able to make the appointments for us with no problem. No questions asked. Just ‘Mike and Melissa? OK. We will see them at 10:00 and 1:00 on Wednesday. Gracias. ‘. Good lord. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
Number of dental x rays taken: 0, because we didn’t need any. He asked if we had any issues to be addressed like pain or sensitive teeth, etc. Then he checked the teeth for sensitive spots. Had there been any indication something was amiss, he would have taken x rays. But no need to go looking for problems unless there are concerns.
Number of cool old guys in a beat up pickup truck who stopped and offered us a ride to a restaurant for lunch: 1.
This was a total hoot. After my dental appointment and a trip to the local Ferremar for some fishing lures, we were standing on the street corner deciding which way to go when this old Chevy truck (and I mean OLD) pulled up to the stop sign and the guy asked if we needed directions. He was a local but spoke fluent English. We responded that we were considering lunch. “Perfect!”, he said. “I’m going to lunch now. Want to hop in and come along?”. Mike looked at me. ‘Want to go to lunch with this guy?’. I think Mike was in love with the guy’s truck. Well, why the hell not? So I said, ‘Sure.’. After all, he didn’t look like a murderer to me.
So we threw our bags in the big old truck bed and hopped in. He took us to Orlandos, which happens to be a favorite place of mine because they serve outstanding fish tacos and delicious margaritas. He went to park the truck and we got a table and ordered drinks.
Turns out Enrique has lived in Loreto his whole life and his family owns some lovely property on the Malecon that they are planning to develop into a high end housing area. Houses (not condos) will sell for 1/2 million US and will be beachfront in Loreto. They also owned some nice property, which I had noticed previously, behind a hotel on the beach. He sold the property today to the hotel owners so they can expand. Looks like Loreto is growing. Enrique says it’s growing very fast.
He was a wealth of information about the real estate market here and buying propery while ‘gringo’. We had a very enjoyable lunch and then he drove us back to the dentist for Mike’s appointment. Sometimes you meet cool people when you take a chance.
Number of degrees of heat on the inside of the boat when we got back today: 90. I think summer is here? No? Still going to get hotter, you say?
Number of frozen margaritas I’ve had in the last 6 weeks: um… I’ve lost count. Just make up a number and call it good.
Number of ripe mangos that fell from the tree and landed at my feet: 1. It’s mine now.
Number of days before we move further north. 1 We’ll be leaving this area tomorrow to move further north; ready to do more exploring. We plan to sail over to San Carlos and haul the boat out for some maintenance before sailing back down to Puerto Escondido and putting her on the mooring ball for a few months.
See you later, Loreto. We’ll be back.
S/V Galapagos, out.