Sunday, May 20, 2012

Todo Bien

I met Millie and Colin at the Guadalajara airport on the 11th, and after another night at the Hotel Frances we made the long bus ride back to Barra and the Grand Bay Marina.  It was good to see them again.  Little Colin has grown so much in the past month and is a lot more mobile than he was the last time I saw him.  He's on his feet now from the moment he wakes until bed time, requiring a lot more attention and energy from his parents just to keep up.  These are the days when I wish I were ten years younger.

We're all adjusting to life back on the boat again.  Being here at the Grand Bay Marina certainly makes for a more comfortable adjustment.  On the days when we're not lamenting our mechanical troubles or cursing our mechanic we try to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be here.  It really is a wonderful place to be stuck.

And, we're trying to make the most of it by enjoying the time we have at our private little pool (the hotel is practically empty) or by exploring some of the little seaside restaurants we've overlooked.  It's very quiet in Barra this time of year.  There are very few gringos here.  We don't mind at all.

On Tuesday I took the 8 AM bus to Puerto Vallarta to deal with my expiring tourist visa.  I was told by other cruisers that, for a fee, you can get a new visa from the immigration office at the airport in PV.  I tried, without success, to do the same thing at the Guadalajara airport and was, therefore, a little sceptical.  The law requires visitors to leave the country before a new visa will be issued.  At this point, flying out and back was not an option.  So, I hopped on the early bus to PV and hoped for the best. 

To my delight, the man at the immigration desk simply asked me a few questions (in English) and had me fill out a new form and pay the 580 peso fee.  Apparently, they get a lot of gringo cruisers looking to do the same thing and have, conveniently, overlooked the re-entry restriction.  This is typical of Mexican beauracracy.  If you want to get around a certain requirement just try the next office.  So, after a 5-hour bus ride to PV, a 5-minute visit to immigration, and another 5-hour bus ride back to Barra, I have a new 180-day tourist visa.  One less thing to worry about.

Last night we had dinner with our friends Jim and Susan on Windward Bound and Eric and Terry on Mija.  Jim and Susan put their boat in the marina and are house sitting here in Barra for the summer.  Eric and Terry are docked near us and planning to sail north later in the week.  We picked up a homemade cheesecake from a pastry cart in town and took a water taxi up the canal to their house.  It was nice to get off the boat and let Colin run around on the tile floors.  We enjoyed the food and the company.  I think we're going to miss this little town when we finally manage to get out of here.
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