Sunday, April 24, 2022

Settled in El Milagro Marina

April 21st - The next morning after our arrival, we started the check in process. What a horror show checking in is here now. I guess in the past we have always used Chepo at Marina Paraiso as an agent so didn't face officialdom on our own. We first had a hard time finding a place to put our dinghy. There isn't a spot downtown any more. Dani had told us about "Scott's Landing" near El Milagro but we couldn't find it. No signs or people on any of the docks near there. So we left our dinghy at the El Milagro Marina and walked - they allowed us to do that but Scott didn't think they were friendly and has taken against them. I hope he changes his mind as I really like it there. 

Heather, Dani, Jens and Scott at the Soggy Peso restaurant. 
So we arrived at the Port Captain's office just before 10 AM. We had to wait while others finished and then she said we needed 5 copies of everything. Scott only had the original and 4 copies. So we were off to find the copy place and when we returned, another wait. But now she says we have to go to the hospital and get our papers stamped by a doctor there. A helpful person waiting told us to take the bus - much cheaper. Scott told the bus driver to let us know when we got to the hospital (down in the south end of the island) but he forgot and when we were concerned, told us to get off there and walk. Another 8+ blocks in the sun. So next we got the papers stamped and took another bus back. No exam, tests, anything -just fill in lots of forms and get stamped. By the way, the doctor was using carbon paper to make copies. We hadn't seen that for a while.
El Milagro Marina and Hotel, looking out the dock area. There isn't a restaurant but a full kitchen for residents and lots of comfortable options for eating or lounging. 

Back in the Port Captain's office, she said we needed to go to Immigration next and then return. By now it's 12:30. So Immigration wasn't too bad and not far away. Now we're back again and this time Customs people are waiting for us. Two of them want to go out to the boat. I waited for Scott as our dinghy is better for 3 big guys. They all return and it's Agriculture next (in the same office as the Port Captain luckily). When that's finished she hands us 2 forms to fill out and as I'm doing so announces that it's time to close the office. We have to come back tomorrow morning. It is 2:20 PM and they are closing at 2:30 (not the scheduled closing of course) but she won't finish us up. Boy were we upset - hungry, tired and hot. 
Happily after several wrong attempts we found "Skull's Landing" where we were able to get a cold beer and some lunch. Back to the boat and collapsed for a nap. We're meeting Dani & Jens at the Soggy Peso tonight for dinner. 
Going up from the dock where Scott Free is tied up, there is a bar area (BYOB) and further on the left is the communal kitchen with everything you could want. Beautiful Mexican tiles decorate every surface.

April 22nd - Great night with Dani & Jens! We got to know them at Tortugal Marina and they are part of our Tortugeezers Zoom every Saturday since the start of COVID. From  Germany, they now split their time between their home in Majorca, S/V Arwen here in Isla, their RV (currently parked at Rosie's (from Chickcharne) house in Montana and another residence in Germany. 
There was a very nice restaurant across from the Port Captain's office where I waited for Scott yesterday, Marina Bartolome that had a dock out front. So this morning we dinghied in there and had an early breakfast before returning to finish the check in process. No wonder she couldn't finish us up yesterday! It took 4 more hours. By 1:30 PM Scott was exhausted and stressed. He would have been happy to spend another night at anchor. But we had little water left and the security of the Marina was singing a siren call to me. Kindly he agreed and only an hour later we were tied up at El Milagro Marina. We celebrated that night at the Sunset Grill and made new friends with the owner Felipe, his wife Margarita and their son Leon. 
Beach areas are on both sides of the dock

April 23rd. -
Having filled up our water tanks, our next job was replenishing our food stores. A huge supermarket, much like Walmart, called Chedhui is an easy walk away. We stopped and had breakfast at the Cafe Verde. There were too many bags to walk, so we took a taxi. Dan & Jens are leaving soon for a inland trip around Mexico, so we had them over for dinner. Fun evening!
Early that morning I spoke to our weather guru who surprised us with a good weather window starting Monday. Unfortunately we won't be ready then. Scott has arranged for someone to look at our fuel problem. They are coming over tomorrow morning and would schedule the job for next week. So we will not be leaving until at least Thursday. We have a number of potential crew members but they won't have much notice. We aren't sure of weather window until 3 o4 4 days in advance and they would need to be here the full day before for the checking out process. 
April 24th - 
Carlos Miranda came over this morning and gave us a quote of $500 (US) to do the job and he'll start on Tuesday. It's another beautiful day in Paradise. We look forward to our Family Zoom at 4 PM and the Fourth of July Zoom at 6 PM (our time). 
This iguana blends right in with the cactus. 
There are a lot of them on the property.

Several living room areas are under the roof but
open at the front and back. There are a number of 
hotel rooms and suites.

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