Now that I’ve successfully whittled my readership down to family and some friends who don’t really care whether or not we’re sailing, I guess I’ll tell you what we’ve been up to, mundane though it may be.
So far we’re really digging living in Puerto Peñasco. The first couple of weeks were spent working on the casita. As I’ve stated before, Lulu did most of the work and I did most of the running for supplies, groceries, etc. Since our only rig was Flipper, most of these errands were done on my bike. It’s a good town for bike riding for the most part. Lots of back streets that see very little traffic and a pretty live-and-let-live attitude towards bikers. Most of the bike riders are Mexicans who are riding because that’s the only transportation they have. As time passed, my bike took on a decidedly Mexican look. I call it my Long Bed:
However, we knew that this couldn’t last forever. We needed a truck to get lumber, furniture, etc. I was hoping to find a Toyota pickup and had been watching Craig’s List Phoenix to see what was available. Ideally it would be a 1983 with a 22R motor and low miles. You know, the pickup equivalent of Flipper. However, although a few 83s did come up for sale occasionally, they were definitely not low mileage, in spite of what their sellers were saying. Sorry folks but the fact that your rig has less than 200K on the odometer does not make it “low-mileage”. Also, a lot of the rigs in Phoenix and Tucson were tricked out in one way or another. They were either jacked way up and rigged for extreme desert off-roading or they were lowered way down, rigged with those skinny little tires and fancy wheels and ready to cruise Main, or whatever they do these days. I saw a few that were possibles but arranging to see them was kind of tricky. Many only wanted phone calls or texts and wouldn’t respond to e-mail. That may be OK if we were living in Phoenix but, we’re not. I don’t like shopping for vehicles in the first place so you can imagine how excited I was with the prospect of trying to find one long-distance. I decided to expand my search to include Nissans and also to include Yuma. Found a really promising ’94 Nissan in Yuma. The price seemed fair and the seller preferred e-mail. I e-mailed him about the rig and he responded that there was a pending sale but he’d know by Monday and would let me know how the transaction went. He e-mailed back on Monday that the potential buyer couldn’t come up with the cash so the truck was still for sale. I told him we’d be up to take a look and, since we were coming from Rocky Point, we’d be really bummed if we got there and it had been sold before we even got a chance to see it. He promised that he’d hang onto it until we got there. Can’t beat that.
So we gassed Flipper up and headed north. The upshot is that we bought the truck and it’s better than we’d hoped for. We knew we’d want a canopy and it came with one already. Hadn’t even thought about an extended cab but we could definitely see the beauty of one when a truck is your only vehicle. We weren’t looking for a 4×4 but can also see the beauty of owning one living where we are. Roads tend to get washed out during rain storms, etc. The mileage? Just under 114,000 which is pretty low compared to most of the ads I looked at. Six cylinder engine (would have preferred a 4 cylinder but so be it), with a 5-speed manual transmission. So, here she is:
We spent the next day in Yuma running around spending money like crazy people. Some things we need for the place just aren’t available in Peñasco or, at least we don’t know yet where to find them. There were also things we wanted for ourselves like bread flour, cheddar cheese, butter, sausages, etc that aren’t available in Rocky Point. Note, I’ll use Puerto Peñasco, Peñasco, and Rocky Point interchangeably as they all refer to the same place.
Got the truck licensed and insured (US and Mexico) and loaded down with all our booty. Left Flipper at my uncle’s house (in Yuma) with plans to return in a week or two to get her and drive her back to Rocky Point. The truck drove beautifully all the way home although she sucked down the gas since I was driving near the 75 mph speed limit, just because I could. Won’t be doing that again. We’d gone to the trouble of removing all packaging from our goodies in anticipation of going through Mexican Customs (Aduana). Didn’t want to have a bunch of new stuff to have to pay duty on. At the border, the Aduana agent (a young guy) just peeked through the side window of the canopy and waved us on. Guess he was in a hurry to get back to playing with his smart phone. OK with us.
Back in Puerto Peñasco we decided to get serious about getting a couch. We looked at a couch/loveseat set in bazaar (bazaar’s are what the second-hand stores around here are called when they’re not being referred to as “segundas”). Anyway, it was a nice set but definitely not our style. But it gave us an idea of what these things were going for. We went to a consignment shop run by a gringa and recommended to us by the lady we bought our place from. There were some OK pieces but they were a little pricier than we wanted to pay. We went out back to look at the overflow and the stuff that had come in recently and hadn’t been cleaned up for display yet. There, on a trailer, was a couch, loveseat and big hassock, all upholstered in blue denim, that looked right up our alley. Jill came by and we asked what she wanted for the set. She was not excited about having to clean it up and find a place to display it. So, if we’d take it as-is on the trailer, we could have the set for $250USD. That was real bargain compared to what we’d been looking at so we jumped on it. It was obviously too big to fit in the Nissan so Jill said she’d have it delivered for an extra $20. Fair enough, although I suspect a Mexican seller would have delivered it for free as was done when we bought our bed and kitchen stove, but whatever. The set was delivered later the same afternoon. Lulu did some cleaning on it and declared it to be remarkably clean and well-built. I declare it comfortable.
The next day I went to Sam’s Club and bought a 40″ LED/LCD Philips TV. I compared local prices to Best Buy prices on the internet and found the local prices to be a bit lower than US prices. Unexpected, but good for us. So here we are:
Yeah, the couch has faded areas but so do my jeans. Denim is supposed to be faded. Now that we’re watching TV in the living room, on a real TV rather than the laptop, we really feel like we live here.
Lulu has been busy making curtains, too:
Getting homier all the time. Today I installed track lighting in the kitchen. The kitchen had no overhead lighting at all. When we moved in the only light was the one in the hood above the stove. We bought a couple of under-cabinet fluorescents that helped a lot but there were still some very dark spots in the kitchen. So, on our Yuma trip we bought track lights and I installed them today.
Also bought myself a Weber kettle BBQ while at Home Depot.
Our friend Kevin offered to give me a ride north the other day. He knew I needed to go back to Yuma and get Flipper and he needed to go up to Williams. We left Peñasco early Friday morning and he dropped me off in Gila Bend where I caught the Greyhound to Yuma. My uncle Felty picked me up at the bus stop. As soon as we got to his place I fired Flipper up. Lulu and I had come up with another list of things we “needed” to get from the US and I wanted to get as much done as possible so that I could head back to Mexico as early as reasonable on Saturday. I managed to get everything on the list, had a bite to eat and was back at Felty & Dolores’ by about 9:00. Had a brew with Felty and then headed to bed. I slept great in Flipper except that I had my phone alarm set to go off every 3 hours. “Why?” you ask. Well, you see, I went to the dentist earlier in the week because of sensitivity (read “pain”) on the tooth I’d had fixed in Guaymas a year or so ago. At the time she fixed it, the dentist told me it was temporary and I’d need a root canal soon. Well, the time had come. So I had the root canal on Thursday but, because there was more infection than he expected, the dentist couldn’t finish it all then. So, I have to go back on Monday to get it finished. In the meantime, I’ve found that 3 ibuprofens every 3 hours keeps the pain at bay. But I’ve also found that if I slack off and fall behind, it takes awhile to get back to the minimal-pain state again. Consequently, I prefer to wake up every 3 hours to taking a chance on pain. I’m sort of a baby that way.
Hit the road for home at 6:30 Saturday morning. Again, I’d removed packaging, etc. from everything I’d bought and scattered it all through the camper. Needn’t have bothered. Normally you get either a red light or a green light when crossing the border. Green means you can just go, although they reserve the right to inspect your rig anyway. Red means you will be inspected. I’ve always gotten a red light when driving through with Flipper. This time I didn’t get a red light. Or a green light for that matter. No light at all and total indifference from the Aduana guys who all seemed preoccupied with their phones. Some times I love smart phones. They didn’t even bothering waving me through. I just slowed way down, stopped and proceeded on with nary a glance my way.
It was good to get home. Feels more like home all the time. Went out for tacos with our landlord, Les, and our friends Mary and Rick who have a 53′ sailboat and are staying in the condo here while their boat is being worked on in the yard.
And that’s what’s happening down here. Weather is spring-like. A little cooler the last couple days (high 60s) with some blustery winds. Beautiful blue skies almost every day. Lovin’ it.
An afterthought: I mentioned having our stove delivered. We knew that our kitchen stove had a propane leak somewhere. We had taken to turning off the gas whenever we weren’t using the stove. But, even when we were using it, we could smell unburned propane. I finally tracked it to one of the burner controls that must not shut off completely. It wasn’t something that could be fixed w/o parts and I doubted I’d be able to find a new valve for a Brown stove built for trailers. So we decided to scrap it and get a new one. Went to a local muebleria (furniture store) that had been recommended (Muebleria Colonia). Our stove is narrow, only 24″ wide. They had a bunch of narrow stoves to choose from. We picked on that was mid-way price-wise but was on sale for the same price as the cheapies. They took our info for delivery and it was waiting at the front door when we got home. Installation was easy and now we have no errant propane smells.