1/11/2013 – Good time to catch up

There’s a chilly north wind blowing right now making it much more comfy to be down below than out and about so this seemed like an excellent day to get the blog brought up to date.  The prediction is that the wind will continue to blow and actually increase in strength until it reaches the 20-25 knot range on Monday and Tuesday so the next few days will probably be more about reading and eating than doing any kind of boat work or touring around town.

Motor mount update:  I think the last time I wrote about the broken motor mount I’d mentioned that I was having a new one built but that it wasn’t ready when originally promised.  Well, I waited until after the weekend and went back to Marco’s shop.  This time Marco was there but still wasn’t quite finished with the mount.

Marco finishing up the motor mount.

Marco finishing up the motor mount.

Once he was done, he gave the mount a quick paint job and here it sits alongside the original.

The red one is the original repaired cast iron (or cast steel?) mount.  The copper colored one is the new steel mount.

The red one is the original repaired cast iron (or cast steel?) mount. The copper colored one is the new steel mount.

The new mount is definitely beefier.  Marco did a great job.  The mount fit perfectly.  The whole job cost me $350 pesos or about $27.50 USD.  Still haven’t heard back from the Westerbeke dealer so I have no idea how much I saved but I bet it was a bundle considering a can of red spray paint with a Westerbeke part number cost $8.00 four years ago.  Thanks Marco.

Marco

Marco

I installed the motor mount and, after a bunch of struggling and cussing I think I finally got the transmission/propshaft aligned correctly.  Had a little mini scare when I went to start the engine.  It wouldn’t start.  Again.  But this time, it didn’t do anything.  No click, no crank, no movement on the ammeter.  Clearly there was just a wire disconnected somewhere.  Sure enough, I found a wire running to the starter that had backed out of its connector, probably due to me laying on it on top of the engine while trying to reach the right-front vibration isolator.  Reconnected it and the engine started right up.

Comida:  We finally had a couple of evenings when the wind died down enough so that it wasn’t too cold to venture away from the boat. We’d been wanting to visit Rico’s Tacos.  It’s an open front taquería just down the road that’s only open in the evenings, starting at about 5:00 PM.  But, being open, it would be kind of uncomfortable if it was cold out.  We’d heard about Rico’s from Glenn, Anca, and Ava of s/v Ava Skye while we were still in San Carlos.  Also, Jay (s/v Wind Raven) had e-mailed us about the best tacos he’s ever eaten which just happened to be at Rico’s.  Toby from s/v Pear-D right here in the marina also recommended them highly.  What could we do?

On our first visit, I forgot to bring my camera along.  Too bad as the puerco al pastor was much fuller the first time and therefore, more photogenic.  No more delicious, though.

Puerco al pastor

Puerco al pastor

Pretty sure I’ve written about tacos al pastor before but just in case you missed it, the mass of meat is made up of layer after layer of relatively thin pork “steaks” that have been marinated in a spicy sauce and are then built up on a vertical spit until you have a hunk of meat maybe 15-18″ high by 12″ or so across at the middle.  The mound is usually topped off with a pineapple but sometimes, as here, with an onion or two.  A cook in La Paz told me the topknot had more to do with tradition than flavor.  Anyway, the spitted meat is rotated slowly in front of some sort of vertical burner, in this case a propane burner.  As the outside gets done, someone slices the outer layer off and puts it on a tortilla.  They use a really tasty picante sauce at Rico’s.  This is far and away the best pastor I’ve had so far.  What seems to separate it from the rest of the herd is the sauce and the fact that they let it cook enough to get nice little crispy pieces on the ends.  I had a couple pieces on one taco that were almost like bacon.  SO GOOD!  In most of the other taquerías we’ve eaten at, you get basically meat on a tortilla, sometimes with a few grilled vegetables and then you just add various salsas at the table or at a walk-up salsa bar.  At Rico’s they dress them up for you.  You get a very generous helping of meat on a tortilla along with the picante salsa, some chopped onions and topped off with guacamole.  At the table you can add grilled onions and lime and also nosh on cucumber slices and radishes.  We each had 3 tacos on the first visit.  On our second visit, I had 4 tacos but Lulu opted for a papa rellena (stuffed potato).  Although I took a photo of my taco, I’m not going to include it because, frankly, it doesn’t look that appetizing.  The tortilla is so overflowing with stuff that it just looks like a mess.  I’ll try to get a better photo on our next visit.  And, yes, there will be more visits.  Here’s a photo of Lulu’s papa rellena with a bite or two missing.

papa rellena al pastor

papa rellena al pastor

So what is a papa rellena?  Well, here at Rico’s (they’re different in different parts of the country) they start with chunked-up baked potatoes which are then topped with corn, cilantro, cheese, probably some crema, chopped onions, and your meat of choice (Lulu chose puerco al pastor, por supuesto*) and then topped off with guacamole.  The whole thing is assembled on a piece of foil and then warmed up directly on the griddle.  In La Paz, they started with mashed potatoes and also added lots of butter and mushrooms but omitted the guacamole.  However, they provided a tray with 3 different salsas as well as grilled and pickled onions so you could customize your spud at the table.  So what did these delicacies cost us?  The tacos are $15 each (~$1.15USD) and the papa rellena was $70 (~$5.50USD).  The first visit we each had 3 tacos and a drink (bottled water, Coca-cola) and the bill came to $112 (~$8.75USD) plus tip.  The second visit was $152 (~$11.90USD).  Rico’s reaffirmed our belief that the simpler the facility and the lower the prices, the more flavorful the food.

Buzzard palms:  We’ve seen a lot of different kinds of palm trees since we’ve been in Mexico but this is the first place that we’ve seen so many buzzard palms.  What the heck are buzzard palms you’re probably asking.  Well, on our walks down to Rico’s in the evening, long about sunset, we often look up at the palm trees that are near the malecón.  And here’s what we see:

Buzzard palms at sunset.

Buzzard palms at sunset.

See all those black things in the trees?  Those are all full-size turkey vultures, each one weighing probably 10 lbs or so.

buzzard palms at sunset

 

The more we looked, the more we saw in the trees around the area.  Just after sunset, you can watch hundreds of them come flying in to roost.  You do not want to walk underneath these trees when the vultures are roosting as a look at the ground around the base of the trees will attest.  Matter of fact, the really nice thing about the north winds is that they blow the smell away from the marina.  Summertime, with its predominantly south winds along with elevated temperatures, must make the old marina a bit less pleasant to be around.

OK, that should catch you up on the highlights.  Hope the wind dies down pretty soon as I can hear Rico’s calling my name. ¡Esteban! ¡Easteban!

 

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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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16 Responses to 1/11/2013 – Good time to catch up

  1. John Dakins says:

    As someone who is trying to get a Westerbeke 30B Three rebuilt, I can tell you how much you saved with that mount, $239.50. The cost of a new one from torresen marine in Muskegon, MI, one of Westerbekes’ authorized dealers = $267.00.

    Oh, and the paint is now $20.00 a can. Interestingly enough, Torresen refuses to rebuild westerbekes, because, quote “the prices for parts are outrageous”. Torrensen’s advice to me was, “buy a Yanmar”. Sorry for the rant, I’m glad you’ve found away around this issue.

    • sryoder says:

      WOW! In my wildest dreams I expected maybe $100 for a mount. $267.00!!!! That’s freakin’ outrageous! And $20 for a can of spray paint?!?!?! Unbelievable! Sorry for your pain, John, but thanks for helping me feel even better about Marco’s work.

    • sryoder says:

      Just my luck about parts costs. When we had one of our Subarus, I was looking around for a mechanic. Found this one guy who sounded promising until he said he works on everything except Mercedes and Subarus. I asked whet the heck a Subaru has in common with a Mercedes. he replies, “The cost of the parts.” And now Westerbekes, too? Crap-o-rama!

  2. sryoder says:

    Whoops! Just realized that I forgot to fulfill the promise my asterisk made. So here it is”

    *”por supuesto” means “of course”

  3. Glenn Wilcox says:

    Hey guys – sorry to hear about the motor mount problems. But glad you liked Rico’s!! We actually made it to La Paz on Jan 1st! Had some great sailing days down the coast – close to 50 miles everyday. We were able to get cooking fuel in Puerto Escondido. Had some alternator problems but nothing we couldn’t handle. We have some pictures of the trip posted on our Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwilcox123/
    We will be back in La Paz in June – maybe we’ll see you then! All best, Glenn, Anca, Ava (s/v Ava Skye)

    • sryoder says:

      Wow, you guys did make good time. Of course, with all the blustery northers this winter, I’m not surprised. You guys take care and we’ll see in La Paz (maybe).

  4. Lisa Goldman says:

    Steve, Rico’s is my favorite place for pastor too! I can’t wait to hear your review of the Chinese Restaurant at the south end of the malecon. Beware of the portion sizes- you won’t go home hungry 😉
    See you in La Paz. Happy New Year.
    LIsa and Neil
    S/V Gypsy

    • sryoder says:

      Hi Lisa. Good to hear from you. We’ll check out the Chinese place. I think we’ve walked by it but it wasn’t open. Is it a nighttime only operation like Rico’s?

  5. Chuck says:

    So how close did you get the alignment? less than .0003

    Better putt putt away from the dock to give it a real test. Maybe Sweet Pea for a couple days?

    All the best

    C
    Huatulco headed to Chiapas manana

    • sryoder says:

      Definitely less than 0.003″, assuming I’m doing it right. I’m following the engine manufacturer’s instructions so I’m probably doing it right. Sweet Pea sounds good but not till the brewing norther passes. Bet it’s warmer where you are than where we are.

  6. Tony and Marquita of S/V Seaclusion says:

    We are really enjoying the blog from sunny Thailand! 90 here today, snorkeling is great, I do miss a good taco! Thanks

    • sryoder says:

      Thailand! Nothing like a jet airliner for making a Puddle Jump in style. You might be missing a good taco but I doubt that you’re suffering from not being able to find good stuff to eat where you’re at.

  7. Chuck says:

    You know the friendly Gray whales should still be in San Ignacio lagoon. Its only a few hour bus ride north. You may want to throw that in the hooper. Linda did this with her kids years ago and hasn’t stopped raving about it. The mother whales bring the babies right up to the pangas and you can lean over and scratch their heads. We have always been in SR in Mid July and went up for the festical of SI. It was a refreshing break from the intense heat of the summer. Always wish we did the whale thing. But never that far north in the winter. We stayed at SI Springs B&B run by a Canadien couple. They have a 1/2 dozen Yurts.

    C
    Huatulco 85-88 degrees

  8. Allan Foster says:

    Steve and Lulu We continue to enjoy your adventures; sorry about all the engine, transmission problems you have been having. Glad you are in Santa Rosalia. We have enjoyed our stays there, not sure if the hot dog vendor is still there. Hot Dogs Chuyita, a street vendor who is open after 6PM on the street between the city square and the Eiffel Church is supposed to offer the best hot dogs in the Sea. We don’t have personal experience but this is what we have heard. Please check it out, we have eaten at the place you had dinner and loved it. Great food, great service and great price. We splashed s/v Solana in La Paz Nov. 1, finally and are currently in Marina Palmira trying to get equipment working after a year and a half on the hard. I’m sure we will be here when you head south from Santa Rosalia and look forward to seeing you both. Al and Sharon Foster s/v Solana KP 44

    On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM, yodersaflo

    • sryoder says:

      Hey, Al, good to hear from you. We tried the dogs at Hot Dogs Chuyita a few nights ago. They were very good but definitely not the best the Sea has to offer. In my experience those would be either in La Paz, across the street from Casa Buena (open only in the evenings) or maybe the place in San Carlos (can’t remember the name for sure). But, really, most of the hot dogs are pretty much the same: bacon-wrapped and topped with all kinds of goodies. One thing that Chuyita definitely had in their favor was the use of boletos instead of the regular hot dog buns (medianoches). But still, even if Hot Dogs Chuyita were the best dogs in the Sea, 16 pesos for a dog or 15 pesos for one of Rico’s al pastor tacos? No contest as far as I’m concerned.

      We’ll see you when we get down to LP or maybe somewhere along the way. Looking forward to meeting Sharon.

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