Monday, May 26, 2008

Finally! Day one...

Hey! No one told me these blog thingies would be so time-consuming. I told everyone I was going to do a blog on my first solo trip to Isla and here I am on my third day and I hadn't even started the first! Oh, well, please bear with me...I'm new at this. And it has taken me a couple days to get into the Isla groove...especially since I'm staying the Colonias this time instead of North Beach. It is DEFINITELY different...and I'm right there with the Islenos. I had to buy something at the neighborhood tienda today to get change for my cab ride and we didn't know what the hell each of us was saying. But we worked it out...I just had to buy more because she didn't have change for my 100 pesos when I wanted to buy just a Coke. No big deal. We just shook our heads and smiled. I'm sure she thought I was just another idiot gringo trying to fit in with the natives. And you know what? She's right!

Okay, so I'll start at the beginning. My flight was on time and uneventful. Towards the end we had a couple of those air pockets where you leave your stomach about 10,000 feet above where you currently are. Everyone muttered expletives while the woman next to me made the sign of the across her chest. Immigration was empty, so I sailed through and got the green light. I only had carry-on luggage, so it was off to find Best Day for my transportation to the ferry. No problems there. She had me wait until my ride came along with this friendly group.

ALL the Best Day people were scrambling to get this big party transported to Cancun. I'm sure things were very organized, however, considering their state of the art administrative and filing system:

If those papers shifted a quarter inch to the left, they would have been trash. And God only knows if someone had wanted to use that phone!

So I ended up being the only passenger in a big van to Gran Puerto. Yay! My first time with Best Day and so far, so good. I arranged for a return trip and they told me when to be at the ferry, so we'll see how that goes.

I didn't even recognize Gran Puerto when we got there because of the huge structure being built behind it. You can't drive right up to it anymore. So I went to the ATM, got some pesos, and bought a round trip ticket to/from Isla. No time to buy any's leaving NOW!

This is the structure being built at the end of a long pier from Gran Puerto.

Okay, now this part was different. I was looking forward to a leisurely ride on top of the ferry, but no such luck. All of a sudden this guy appeared putting up a microphone in the front. What the heck??

Then he was joined by, presumably, his wife, who was on "instrumentals."

And their kids were there for support!

It wouldn't have been so bad, but the music was kind of obnoxious, the wind is blowing like a hurricane, the boat is tossing back and forth...just let me enjoy nature for God's sake...don't make me listen to this! Unfortunately, the only seat left was in the front row, center. Now I think there was a reason for that. Then, to make matters worse, the woman passes the (whatever instrument she was playing) to the passengers for money. Talk about a captive audience! I know these people need to make money, but I'd really rather have a nice quiet ride to the island.

This was not a welcome view as we approached the island. It was nice when the lighthouse was the main subject of that view. Now it seems insignificant.

First stop...luggage and all...was Picus. Just had to get my toes in the sand and see that view. Here we go with shrimp cocktail.

And the view...

This guy was playing really nice, soft samba-type music. He started out with "The Girl from Ipanema," which seemed appropriate. But when he ended up with the theme song to the Godfather, I decided it was time to go.

Got some cute pics of some of the other patrons, first.

So, here's my new home in the Colonias...Casa Laguna. It sits at the end of the laguna in a colorful neighborhood. (Like anything ISN'T colorful on Isla??)

These are some of the wild birds at the laguna. Some beaks, huh?

And this place is right around the corner.

As is this:

And this place is right across the main road. I had never known where this is, so I just kind of stumbled across it in my wanderings.

Along with the shoreline.

I eventually wandered over to North Beach to see what had changed and noticed a lot more chairs in front of Sergio's than I'd ever seen before.

These guys were playing music there.

I had never noticed this place on Medina before.

Here's the construction across from Jax. (More on that at a later date.)

And a final bar/sunset shot from Bujo's.

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that this was a lame first attempt at a blog. But I had some adjusting to do. I have taken lots more pics since the first day, done more exploring and am getting my feet better reports will be coming in the future. (I hope.) I'm thinking I'll be a permanent fixture in the evening at Jax for the next week.


wayne said...

Congrats! You are certainly off to a good start. Your pics are interesting, colorful and to the point. Not sure about the name you have chosen though. You need to make it your own. Deb's View of Isla or Deb's Island Life. Something like that. I think you are too generic. Whatever you end up calling it, just keep at it!

gil said...

You didn't waste any time did you? Good first day. Picus looks like it was the appropiate first stop. Looking forward to more....

Anonymous said...

I told you I'd read it... it sounds like you're having a blast. That's great, glad you're having fun! Love you!

Isla Deb said...

Yeah, I thought the same thing, Wayne. Will have to work on something more original. Thanks for the compliment and suggestion!

Isla Deb said...

Recognize my profile picture, Gil?

Isla Deb said...

Thanks, you, too. Hope things are going well at home.

Melissa said...

Hi Deb!
Ola! Happy to hear that you made it there safely! I really enjoyed reading your blog, especially since you've covered everything from your airplane trip, transportation to Gran Puerto, the ferry ride and finally your arrival to the "Ola Land!" Thats good stuff. Sorry to hear about the "entertainment" on the ferry. Your pictures are beautiful, colorful and really capture the flavor and true essence of ISLA. Thank you and keep em coming!

Jill said...

Yea! You made it :) Thanks so much for sharing your blog with us- I don't ever imagine being that organized on a trip- LOL! Keep em coming and don't forget to have that drink(s) for me ;)

Paul said...

I'm not real good at this and hope I don't duplicate. Snowed at Mt. Rushmore last night. The weather is there--wish I was beautiful. ha Great pics....good eye. color is wonderful. What does 'Tienda' and 'Best Day People' mean? Are the scooters in front of your Casa rideable?