Out for a hike in Colombia, South America. Photo taken November 25, 2015.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hacienda Contreras (day 8)

We've been having some very cloudy days as this storm system makes it's way to us, so we've plugged into the electricity here. Solar panels work great, but only when there's sun!

Yesterday, Barb was going into town to run some errands. And, Saturday is market day in Valle de Juarez, and we like shopping for fruits and vegetables at the market so when she asked if we wanted to join her we quickly said "yes".

Ruth sitting at the pretty town square (El Centro) in Valle de Juarez

Thee guys were selling baby chickens and baby ducks.

They had some bright colored ones too!

We bought all of this for 41 pesos ($3.20)!

When you go to the market in Mexico, you get the freshest fruits and veggies at the best price. It's also a fun experience with the vendors inviting you to try their produce, handing you an apple or an orange or a strawberry so that you know how good it is before you buy. That's the way the markets should be, but for some reason the typical market in Canada has become an "artsy-fartsy" event (for lack of a more descriptive term) and more expensive than other places, with some vendors thinking they can charge more with advertisements for supposedly "organic" or "local" produce. We love going to the markets in Mexico!

The Malecon in Valle de Juarez. "Malecon" is a Spanish term for an esplanade, or walkway along the waterfront.

Then we went and visited Pedro, the guy who sells potted plants, bushes, and trees. We wanted what they call a Bottle Brush tree for Whiskey's gravesite, but he didn't have any with him so ordered one and we will return next Saturday to pick it up.

In the afternoon, one of Barb's neighbours from town came over and we had language lessons. Luce is learning English, and Barb suggested we sit with them and combine some some Spanish lessons for us at the same time. Luce is going to return here every day for lessons and we can practice each other's language together. Barb is a good teacher and is the only one of us who speaks both languages!

Ruth, Barb, and Luce having language lessons.

I have just published a special blog page about Whiskey. You can view it here.


  1. Whiskey will love that bottle brush. They are beautiful. The farmer's markets here in the states are also getting artsy-fartsy. And expensive. I like to find the small roadside stands and buy from them whenever we can. Good luck with the lessons.

  2. Yes love the Mexican markets, so fresh, reasonable and fun. Nice to get some more Spanish lessons, its fun to learn their language and almost a must. Hpefully the storm bypasses you, keep safe.

  3. Whiskey will love the bottle brush.

    Think we are going to take Lady Bugs ashes with us when we hit the road and pick a nice spot to place them.

  4. The bottle brush is a beautiful tree... Whiskey will love it! Glad your having fun and learning the language.
    Have fun & Travel safe

  5. Trying produce before you buy is a nice idea. So often I buy fruit that looks good but tastes terrible. I've gotten so I only buy one or 2 and that's always the good stuff!

  6. It is always a shock to buy produce when you leave Mexico, tasteless, unappealing and expensive. Enjoy every bite.

    Thanks for sharing Whiskey's life with us. She was special!

  7. Sounds/looks like a super day yesterday - can't wait for the markets and well Mexican food also.....

    Thanks for the Whiskey page - nice to see her at the different stages - brings tears to my eyes. I didn't know her of course but since we have gone through 5 furkid deaths in 5 years I feel the pain.

    Have a great day!

  8. What a beautiful tribute to Whiskey.

    She really was lucky to have been raised in your family. So nice to see she went everywhere with you.

    And of course, the blessings she brought to your family will be fondly remembered forever !!

    Take care, guys....TnT

  9. That's a great page for Whiskey.

    I wonder how many people who read your blog become enticed to travel into Mexico. We decided first, and found your blog later, through Sam and Donna. If we hadn't chosen Mexico before, we would now.

    Helen and I are studying our Spanish. I wish I had taken my junior high Spanish course more seriously.

    Keep us informed.


  10. It is amazing how much a part of our lives our pets become and how smart they can be about us.

    It is very hard to let them go when their time comes. It took us more than a year before we considered a new dog after our last one passed at a similar age to Whiskey. It sure was a difficult part of our life.

    I miss your Whiskey too. I liked hearing about her.

  11. You are making us all jealous with those Mexican market finds. Beautiful produce at a beautiful price!

  12. Amen to the artsy-fartsy markets that have now sprung up. Almost looks artificial and most of the time people pay way too much for what they get. It is more show than substance.

    Valle is a beautiful town. We love it there. And as you said, the square is very nice.

    Good work on the classes, soon you guys will really be speaking Spanish well and become experts. OMG, Santa Vava!

  13. I cannot believe you got all that fresh fruits and vegetables for under $4. AWESOME! Your pictures are beautiful.
    Great idea to learn some Spanish. Something you can always use.
    Enjoyed looking at the pictures of Whiskey.
    What is wrong with people? They have to dye chicks different colors? Insane!

  14. Jim and Sandie...Barb has several bottle brush trees here at the campground and they do look nice. We needed a tree that wasn't fragile because at the bottom of the field they do get frost. Yes, the roadside stands are probably the best place to buy fresh produce in Canada and the States now.

    George and Suzie...Love the markets. Our spanish has been coming along over the years travelling through Mexico but we want to do even better with it.

    Kenny and Angela...So sorry about you loss. I am sure you will miss Lady Bug just like we miss Whiskey. I hope you find a wonderful place for her ashes.

    Donna...Thank you! We are having fun with our spanish lessons, you should hear us laughing at ourselves!

    Karen and Al...That's the same thing with us and when you go back to buy more of the produce you liked it isn't there or they have a new batch which isn't as good.

    Contessa...Yes, we sure do get sticker shock when we are back in Canada. Especially love the fresh fruit down here. Whiskey was special, thank you.

    Teresa...Trust us, you will love the markets and the food along with the great prices. I love looking back at Whiskey's pictures, she always looks happy and that's the way we want to remember her, thank you.

    Trent and Teresa...Thank you. We were the lucky ones! She should could make us laugh. We brought her everywhere that we could, she loved to travel.

    Paul and Helen...Thank you. I hope we are able to entice more people here. We want to show people that Mexico isn't the place that the media makes it out to be. There so many wonderful places and experiences here. We managed our first two years here with just a little spanish and really had no problem. We made a point trying to learn more last year and of course even more this year.

    Anonymous...It is so true. They do bring so much joy to our lives. She was really a part of our family and we treated her that way. We would love to have another dog but not at this time. Good thing there are lots of dogs here in Mexico so we can get our doggie fix!

    Janie and John...Our little purchase was nothing. Barb bought a huge box full of produce for $13.45 and the guy keep throwing in extra stuff at no charge. Gotta love it!

    Chris...Yep, you are sure right there. We just want nice fresh produce at a decent price, we don't need all the bells and whistles. I don't know about being experts, I think it would take us a lifetime to make that achievement. We'd just be happy to be able to carry on a conversation without feeling lost.

    FULL-TIMERS...OCT. 17, 2009...One of the many reasons that we love it here so much! As for the spanish, it is a good thing to have for sure. We managed to get by with just the basics for our first year and ever since then we just keep improving. Hopefully after this year we will be able to do more than just get by. I can't believe you were the only one to comment on the chicks. Insane is probably a good word for it! I guess they do it as a gimmick to try and sell them.

    Kevin and Ruth


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