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Friday, December 30, 2011

12/29/2011 - Random Catch-up

OK, I know it's been a couple of days. Thought I'd better write something before Raoul starts hassling me again. So, here goes (in no particular order)...

We made a couple of trips to the supermercados to see if we could locate a few items. I needed some Polish sausage or kielbasa so I could make some gumbo. In La Paz I could find it at Chedraui but so far in Mazatlán both Mega and Soriana had struck out. Weird, too, since it's a Mexican brand and they carry other items of the brand. So, we set out to try the other Soriana as well as Ley and Wal-Mart. All of these require us to take the bus to new parts of town so it was something of an adventure. We struck out at the other Soriana on our first outing although we got enough stuff that our packs were chuck-a-block and we had no interest in schlepping them around to the other stores. With full packs, we hopped on the bus back to the marina. Well, the bus was almost as full as our packs. It was standing room only for most of the trip but still they stopped at every bus stop and more people piled on. Fortunately, by the time we reached the marina, the crowd had thinned down. I'm not sure how we would have gotten off earlier, stuck in the middle of the bus with a huge pack to manhandle through the crowd.

Yesterday we took the same bus but got off a wee bit earlier and hiked up to Wal-Mart where I was able to find my Polish sausage (SCORE!). Lulu has been on the prowl for bread flour, however, and has so far struck out. We crossed the thoroughfare and tried Ley's. The also had the sausage but again, no bread flour. At Soriana we had tried buying some bread flour (high gluten) directly from the in-store bakery. They thought we meant we wanted to buy some dough for pizza crust. They would have sold us that but they said they didn't have any bread flour. Well, although they do make bread down here, I guess making bread at home is not a common practice. Oh well, I did bring some down from the States in November but it will run out long before we return. So, the search goes on.

Yesterday, after we finished at Ley's, we got on a bus that we thought would take us back to the main drag along the malecón where we hoped to find a Similare farmacía (best prices). The bus took us downtown to Centro and then headed off towards the old harbor. Not quite what we expected. Suddenly, Lulu spots a Similare and we hopped off the bus. Great, we got a good price on a prescription but now we had no idea what bus to catch to take us home or where to catch the bus even if we did know which one. We studied what passes for a map and finally decided that all we had to do was hike a few blocks to the mercado and catch our regular bus. Partway there I noticed that what seemed like every bus from every different route went right by us on Avenida Juarez. So, rather than continue walking to the mercado we (I) decided to just stop on the corner and wait. And wait we did. I swear that EVERY bus except ours passed that corner. After 20 or 25 fruitless minutes decided to continue walking up to the mercado. As we neared it, sure enough, up ahead, we saw our bus. It really was one of the only ones that didn't come all the way up Juarez like the others. Once we got to the mercado we had to wait probably 20 minutes or so but our bus did eventually come by. Live and learn I guess (or I hope).

When we got back to the boat yesterday, I made some chicken and sausage gumbo.

It was just the thing for a chilly evening. And, I'm happy to say that we still have enough for dinner again tonight.

Speaking of chilly evenings, here's the latest weather report: It's been warmer during the daytime lately. Probably in the mid-70s. Might even reach 80 by Sunday. The evenings are a different matter, however. We routinely see lows in the high 40s or low 50s. However, that is definitely not a bad thing. Makes sleeping nice and cozy. Shorts and sandals during the day, comforters and quilts at night. What could be better?

On Wednesday we celebrated being at the marina for 1 week by going up to the palapa and watching the regular Wednesday night blues jam. Well, our 1 week anniversary wasn't really why we went. Actually it's because it's about the only night life that happens out here on La Isla so pretty much everyone here goes.

It's normally a pretty laid back place with a little jazz in the background, serving coffee and pastries, etc. But on Wednesday night it comes alive. Cruisers and hotel guests fill up all the tables. The kitchen cooks burgers and fries and BBQ ribs and buffalo wings and nachos. A liter of draft beer goes for $25 pesos (~$1.83 for a LITER!). The band is made up of cruisers and is pretty darn good.

The crowd is mostly a bunch of geezers but we still have our twirly girls and twirly girls in training.

The really nice thing about this little hoedown is that it starts about 5:00. Might even be 4:00 but I couldn't say for sure. So, by 8:00, it's all over. Everyone has had enough to drink and eat, listened to lots of music and, if the spirit moved, shook their booty plenty. The standard line is that 9:00 is the cruisers' midnight and that's not far off. For us, it means we can have a full night out and still get back to the boat with plenty of time to watch an episode each of Tales of the Gold Monkey and The Wire. And still get to bed well before 11:00. Life is good.

Today, we took the bus down to the mercado in Centro, the old part of town.

Our goal was to buy some fabric at one of the two fabric stores we'd spotted on an earlier foray. We realized that we were running very short on cloth napkins so Lulu wanted fabric to make some more. From the mercado we decided to walk along the malecón to Carlos and Lucia's where we planned to have Cuban sandwiches for lunch. That turned out to be quite a walk. We had covered 6.5 miles by the time we reached the restaurant. Sitting down and having a brew felt really good.

I've read a lot of detective-type books over the years that were set in the southern US states. Naturally, the ones set in Florida occasionally mention Cuban sandwiches. Always on the prowl for good eats, I've always wanted to try one on for size. I had one in Salem (OR) once but it was just a ham and cheese sandwich on something like pancetta that was then squished flat. Tasted OK but was it authentic? I assumed not. Our sandwiches today were shredded chicken in a mild red sauce, ham, melted cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, peppers and something that tasted a lot like chilli-pickle.

It was served on the same kind of bread they use for tortas. With fries on the side. It was very good. I didn't take a photo because, it didn't really look all that different from any other big sandwich you'd get at any decent restaurant. Tasted mighty good, though.

In order to make sure we had enough room to eat gumbo later tonight, we walked the rest of the way back to the marina, a total trip of around 8.7 miles. So, all of you who are familiar with Mazatlán, there it is: we walked from Centro to La Isla Marina at Marina Mazatlán. Not too shabby, eh?

Hasta luego.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the mention to me. I look at the blog only every so often now so I don't get dissapointment. I like to heard about the good food. I like the lots of pictures. Do you wish you had a big lazy chair to sit in? Raoul

Jay and Judy's blog said...

Okay Steve, we have been trying to find Polish sausage or kielbasa in in La Paz since we arrived a couple of months ago. We have looked in both mercados up abasolo to no avail. So, tell me please, exactly where did you find it?

Steve and Lulu said...

At Chedraui on the back wall where all the bacon, etc. is. The Salchicha Poleska comes in U-shape and the packaging is green on one side (clear on the other). It's a Mexican brand called Bafa or something similar to that. It's usually there but, like most groceries in Mexico (except chorizo tortillas and turkey hot dogs), you can't count on it. Buena suerte.
PS: since we found it at Ley's here, you might give that a try if Chedraui fails you.

Anonymous said...

so..you finally tackled the gumbo! Did you make a roux, and if so how dark? The weather down there sounds like it does here in La. Tate wore shorts to go watch fireworks for New Years!

It's really neat to see how far you two walk! I love exercise and walking is great. Not only is it good for your heart, but you get to see the city!
Hope you both had a wonderful New Years Eve!

Steve and Lulu said...

Actually, we've both been making gumbo for quite awhile. It just took me a while to find the sausage this time. And we always make a roux. We're convinced that's what gives gumbo its distinct flavor. I always chicken out and stop the roux before it's quite as dark as I'd like. I burned it once and have been gun shy ever since. This time I stopped it when it was just a little bit shy of that rich mahogany color that Tate got to. I probably should have gone another 30-45 seconds or so. Still tasty, though.

As far as out NY Eve, well, that's going to be a blog.