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My Mexican Tales Part 2 – Whales, Cruiseships, Sciatica and Eviction?

Welcome back to my Mexican tales series. The vacation begins, and what a busy time it was! It was a fun and social time once again seeing all the ‘regulars’ back – the snowbirds who we’d made friends with through the last few years of renting in the same place with our wintering friends. Plenty of scoop, recommends and whale watching to see daily at our ‘pool of knowledge’ as one of my Canadian friends dubbed it last year. The place where we all congregate to stay cool in the afternoons under the hot Mexican sun.

 

beauty sky

 

Pool of knowledge
Our pool of knowledge

 

Whale season is very busy in the Banderas Bay area of Puerto Vallarta where I stayed. This area is where the whales from the north swim to safety to give birth to the babies in February each year, instinctively knowing where the waters are safe from sharks. Every morning and late afternoons we could see clearly, the whales popping up for air and flopping up and down doing a spectacular show. One day I actually saw a whale in process of giving birth, it was jumping up constantly for a time and before long, a baby whale started jumping as it made its entrance into the world. A magnificent sight for sure, sadly, despite camera ready on hand, I missed every consecutive jump, lol.

 

happy hour

 

Besides all the friends we socialized with daily at the pool and some we had meals with in the evenings at some of our favorite restaurants, we also had family visit and stay with us one week, and a friend of my husband’s for another two. After my longgg trip traveling to Mexico, my Sciatica kicked in big time. After approximately 6 massages later, I was finally in fine form . . . but that was short-lived.

 

One hot afternoon as I entered the first step into the pool, holding onto the railing tightly, it seems all that suntan lotion accumulating in the pool made for a sheet of ice on some of those steps. Down went my one foot to step, and up in the air went the other one as I gripped tightly, but to no avail, landed with a thud on the second step – on my tailbone!

If I’d thought the Sciatica I’d been enduring since a month before going to Mexico, exacerbated by the lifting of luggage on travel day was painful, I had succumbed to a new kind of pain. For the rest of the trip there were more massages (as it had taken 5 deep massages already, to finally rid of the Sciatica pain), analgesics, and taking a good 2 minutes to stand up or sit down, no bending, no comfort sleeping, and the only place I felt fine was floating in the water. I was grateful for my blow up pillow I used everywhere. I’d originally bought it to have behind my already sore back while laying on the lounger at the pool, but it quickly became my seat pillow for a few weeks.

Many of my pool friends had witnessed my slip and rushed to me to ask if I was okay. Of course, I told them I was fine. I stayed in the pool once I slid in, for a good two hours, dreading the time I’d have to get out and assess how I really felt. I found out quickly how nicely I had immobilized my tush. My trustee friends were very accommodating the next few days as they watched me limp and walk like an octogenarian to and from the pool and offered assistance anytime I had to carry something up and sometimes just to help put on my beach cover-up. And thankfully, but only the day before returning home, did the pain subside. Lord had mercy as I had a lotttttttttt of carrying and pushing to do at the airport the next day for the return home.

 

What else happened after that glorious Supermoon full moon coupled with a Mercury Retrograde – that also seemed to have unleashed pandemonium on the world at this time? Oh ya, the friends whose condo we rent there, notified me that first week we were there that she needed to know right away if I’d commit to 3 months next year with a $400 US increase on top of it monthly. I asked her if I could at least discuss this with my husband,  and get back to her, considering we were barely there 5 days when I was just unwinding without having to think about finances and commitments for a year ahead, even though I fully intended to NOT commit. Not 12 hours later did I receive a new message, “Sorry, we couldn’t wait, we have someone ready to commit.”

 

morning moon
The moon was still out at 7am over the ocean while the sun was rising behind us over the mountains. Quite ominous.

 

“Thanks so much for your giving a us a moment to think, not! Enjoy your new friends and remember, when you swim with sharks you get bit,” I emailed her in response. My sarcasm was in direct response to my investigations with my sleuth friend Liz at the pool who knows everyone and everybody. I’m not going to get into all the politics here – yes, there were plenty. But we’d figured out exactly what transpired with the people who mysteriously became the ‘new future renters’. This situation now left us without a place locked in for next year. And everyone who stays there knows well, it’s like finding gold when you find another availability there, and for a fair price without managers scooping extra bucks on top of the owner’s price.

I immediately put out my feelers, asked my pool friends for contacts and within 2 days, I’d sealed a deal for another unit next year. The caution is, to not get ripped off as the the real estate market has been booming in PV this past year in particular and beachfront properties are getting more greedy. Many property owners there don’t live there and hire property managers. Some are good, some are thieves with ridiculous prices and terms. The trick is to do your research on the ‘actual’ going monthly rates, asking around what everyone pays, and try not to get ripped off. This is where my friend Liz was extra helpful, lol. Also, in Mexico, we don’t need US dollars (thankfully), and our Canadian dollar was great value to the Peso. But all rentals are paid in US dollars.

The new owner I made a deal with knew I had no US funds on me and is expecting half the rental as deposit after I returned – that was before the world turned on its axis and our dollar dropped to almost 40% from 30 against the US dollar, once the markets fell in free-fall. I haven’t heard from her yet calling for money, although I had E-transferred her a few hundred Canadian dollars in good faith when we made the deal. I have ZERO intentions of buying US money at this god-awful rate. And since most of the renters there are Canadian, I’m sure these owners and property managers are more than aware what’s going on in the world. If she puts clamps on me for the funds now, she can have it. And no doubts, she’ll come crawling back as she finds that in this era of uncertainty, it’s quite likely that nobody is committing to travel anywhere till the world comes back to life.

Now, for the cruise ships. The Coronavirus was only gaining more acknowledgement in across the world as February progressed. Nobody seemed to be thinking about it in Mexico, not even the snowbirds. But I was. I was on the computer mornings and evenings catching up on world news. And my anxiety grew. We used to watch the ships dock and exit daily there – about 2-3 ships daily in the past, but 10 whole days had passed and no cruise ships. I began to smell a rat.

 

Ship arriving
Ship coming in

 

Ship leaving
Ship leaving

 

I was Googling daily to see if there were any Corona cases coming to light in Mexico and by first week March, there was a count of 3 or 4, said to have been detected in Mexico City – far away from where I was. Hmm, I thought, where there’s a few, there will always be more, and of course, the many cases unrecognized and not reported to consider. Then we began to see 2 ships come in 2 or 3 days a week after that. We also watched one turn around and not dock. Suspicions abounded. It seemed the only ships coming in were the ones originated on the Pacific coast, mainly from California. No big ship names like Celebrity did we see, etc. And as it turns out, the Grand Bahama Princess had in fact docked in PV just before I’d arrived, the same one that was not allowed back in port in San Francisco somewhere along its journey, tendering for days with nowhere to go until it was allowed into Oakland Harbor. Something was definitely up!

By the last week of our trip, anxiety grew within, eager to get home before the airlines started chopping off flights. My husband had also had issues with his health, and I was getting panicky if he’d be able to leave, and how the trip home was going to look like. Many ‘pool’ friends didn’t seem too concerned about the virus, but as my natural intuition antennae became raised internally to high alert, I knew full-well a Tsunami of something was coming.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s episodeObservations, Art and Commercialism

 

©DGKaye

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

39 Comments

  • Norah Colvin

    Oh, I’m so sorry about your fall, Debby. It sounds very painful. I hope you are mending well.
    Watching the whales sounds marvellous, especially seeing a birth.
    The coronavirus is doing its damage around this world. I don’t know what it is about cruise ships but they all seem to harbour some cases. I won’t be taking a cruise for a while. Not that I have the choice.
    Stay well.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Norah. Thanks. Finally on the mend. And I just don’t understand people who would board a ship with a global virus going around. I shake my head, lol. 🙂 Stay safe! <3

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – sounds ‘an interesting’ time’ – just glad you got next year sorted out … despite the Canadian $ v Mexican Peso. I’ve never fancied cruising … and now obviously even less! Glad you’re home and safe … and your pics – they’re not working … it’s a ‘tiny’ square and the ship arriving didn’t show at all, ship leaving … the tiny square with those words … take care and cheers Hilary

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hilary. My cruising days may well be done to in this crazy world! Thanks for letting me know about the pics. I spent over 2 hours trying to get them over to my blog, resizing, removing and replacing, and just no luck. Thanks Hilary. Hugs and stay safe! xx

  • sally cronin

    Oh wow Debby, you never mentioned your sciatica in reports home.. sorry to hear that and not very comfortable flying either.. as to the condo fiasco… such a shame but I can understand you not wanting to commit to 3 months and the additional cost… as you intimated some shenanigans.. anyway… how wonderful to witness that amazing whale watching. Have reblogged for Sunday. ♥

    • dgkaye

      Aw, thanks again my Lovely Sal. Well, actually, you know when I complain sometimes about my hips? I may have minimized the word, lol. Assbone, around one hip, down the thigh. Ya, too bad I just couldn’t capture any whale pics :(. And definitely crazy with those crazy rents. So far, I haven’t heard from the woman calling for her money, lol. Who knows when anyone will be traveling again. First priority is staying safe and virus-free – a long way to go before thinking of new holidays. <3 xxx

  • Robbie Cheadle

    I am so sorry to learn of you sciatica. My mother had that recently as a result of overdoing it at Christmas. It took over two months to get her better. Eventually she had morphine patches. I am so glad we got her better before this crisis as no physiotherapy at the moment for her. This virus is very bad and I am glad you made it home okay.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Robbie. And I’m glad you got your mom covered to get through this crisis. Please stay safe! I’m still in day 11 of my self-imposed quarantine. 🙂 x

      • Sharon Marchisello

        Sounds like you made it home just in time. We were supposed to go on a cruise in April but Princess suspended sailings for 60 days so that’s not happening. We were relieved when they cancelled so we’ll get a full refund, plus a small future cruise credit. Those who cancelled early, on their own, had to pay penalties. But the news stories about cruise ships stuck at sea, floating Petri dishes that no one wanted in port, were quite frightening.

        • dgkaye

          Absolutely Sharon. As a fellow cruiser who loves being on a ship, I’m not so interested anymore in this new world we’re living in. I’m glad Princess had the sense to cancel and refund you. I know many didn’t get refunded. Stay safe! 🙂

  • Toni Pike

    I’m so sorry to hear about your fall, Debbie – I haven’t had that happen to me, but know others who’ve been in terrible torment with their tailbone. It’s so unfair, but I’m so glad you made it home safely. I’m hoping in a few weeks time, the sun will shine again.

    • dgkaye

      It was ouch, and yes, feeling much better. The place will only be secured if she doesn’t come after me now for money or I’m bailing LOL <3

  • Jacqui Murray

    I’ve been thinking of you traveling during this mess. I’m glad you’re giving us an update. In your usual upbeat way, it sounds like you handled everything that came your way.

  • Jim Borden

    How lucky to see a whale giving birth!

    Sorry to hear about your slip in the pool; glad you started feeling better before the end of the trip.

    Sounds like you got lucky finding a place for next year.

    I hope you are staying safe and healthy!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Jim. Yes, what a miracle those whales. I’m on the mend and glad to be home. I sure hope you and yours are well? Still in Singapore?

  • Sherri Matthews

    Oh Deb, that sounds awful…your tailbone, ouch! I have sciatica and know that pain with flare ups, but the kind of pain you expericneced on that step must have been absolute agony. So glad you had treatment available. You had your holiday just in time. Oh what I would give for a holiday in the sun. The cruise to Spain hubby got as an amazing surprise for my 60th last September has been cancelled but we can rebook next year with an extra amount credited, so will see what we can do once all this madness ends. Of course, the main thing is we all keep safe and well and I am so grateful for the sun this week in the garden and walks around the village. I will enjoy your travels vicariously through your posts…the beach looks gorgeous! And I love your pool of knowledge lol. And whales too…you know, I lived in CA for 20 years and never saw a single whale out at sea? How crazy is that? But we did see elephant seals come up on the beach on the central coast every winter to give birth. Wonderful. And how wonderful you got to see a whale give birth. Love reading about your travels! <3 <3 <3

    • dgkaye

      Aw, thanks Sher. I know what you mean, hard to think about future vacations at this state of the world. Yes, I got home in time, and despite the injuries. had a great time with loads of sunshine. I’m just glad you weren’t on that cruiseship at this time! Or in Spain! Stay safe my friend. Let us focus on when this shall pass. <3 <3 xx

  • Sherri Matthews

    This too shall pass, for sure! Our cruise is for the end of May, but it’s not going to happen. Will have a rethink at some point…just need to get through this one day at a time! Lots of love and big hugs, my friend – self distancing hugs, of course!!!! 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  • Hugh W. Roberts

    Ouch! That fall sounded horrible, Debby. But good to see that so many around the pool came to your aid. And isn’t it typical that an injury clears up the day before going home?

    I hadn’t realised how much those seaview properties are in demand. And you have to pay a big deposit a year in advance just to secure one? No doubt some of the owners are vultures, but good to see you had your friend Liz on the case. Sounds to me that she would make an excellent detective. In fact, maybe you two could be the new ‘Cagney & Lacey’? Wow, I loved watching that show. I think I was in love with Christine Cagney.

    I think some of us have a gift of knowing what is coming towards us. We came home a day early from a recent weekend break to see family because we both woke on Monday morning with a feeling that something was going to happen that day. That evening, Boris announced that the whole country was going straight into lockdown.

    Take care and stay safe.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Hugh. Oh ya, no doubt, Liz and I would make a heck of a gumshoe team, lol. And luckily I seem to have recovered without any further medical needed, those massages really helped. About intuition – it’s saved my own skin many times. It’s a wonderful thing for those of us who can learn to tune in to our inner alerts. Glad you paid attention. I know the last week of my vacation, anxiety was growing. While nobody around us seemed to give a care (or belief) that something global was looming, my inner wisdom was flashing red!!!!! Stay safe you and your family <3 xxx

  • Mary Smith

    Glad your sciatica cleared up, even if it wasn’t until the last day. I hope the journey home didn’t make it worse again. Stay well.

  • Diana Peach

    Sorry to hear about your fall, Debby, and I hope you’re feeling better. I was wondering about your travels with this awful virus, and it’s such a relief to know that you’re home safely. Take care of yourself and your hubby. <3

  • Joy Lennick

    Poor you, Debs – a painful fall, uncertain booking, etc., BUT great to see the Whale give birth. Do hope you are now completely recovered. Stay safe in these uncertain times. Very strict here in Spain. Heavy fines for not obeying the rules! Plenty to do indoors though…Virtual hugs, xx

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for all Joy. I’m happy you are staying in! Spain is getting whatever Italy has it seems. So frightening. Just stay in. We have fines here too. Sadly, sometimes the only way to get through to people is through the pocket! Hugs back! <3 xx

  • Pete Springer

    Sciatica pain belongs in a special category of misery. Thank goodness it subsided before you flew home. It’s brutal when you get stuck in the same position for any length of time. I’m glad to hear that you found a suitable condo for next year’s trip. This year is going to be hard to top.

    • dgkaye

      Lol, no kidding Pete. We did have a fantastic time despite the setbacks. We’ll see if anyone is going anywhere next year at this point! So far, though, I haven’t heard from her yet for more money. 🙂

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Oh, Deb, I’ve suffered from bouts of sciatica and I know your pain, but falling on your tailbone? Yikes! Not to mention all the drama of your trip with instant decisions for next year. I really do hope you got some rest on this trip. It sounds crazy!!

    • dgkaye

      Ha! Thanks Ter. Ya, it was really a great trip. I did get good rest. But it was those full moons and mercury retrograde, energy fueled air just ripe for a calamity with the planets. But I was glad to get home 2 days before spring break began and the Corona madness started to heat up here. May we stay safe through the journey <3

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