Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Holy Hurricane Batman!

Well, sad to day, we have had very unsettled weather for the last few days. Saturday was beautiful. We walked the beach to the Decameron and back through the town. The sun was glorious and hot. Sunday, we went to Sayulita for breakfast at the best place in Mexico, a little place called Rollie's (look it up on the net). We were going to go boogie boarding after in the waves but the tide was so high that there was hardly any beach. no problema, we went to the next town, a little place called San Pancho. The beach there was wide and sandy and not too crowded but the waves were very high and somewhat scary for a non swimmer like me! Tim and Dale went in for a bit but the surf drove Dale out-as she "had sand in every orifice"! Then around four it began to spit a bit with rain so we packed it in and drove the long way home through Punta de Mita. 

Monday, we went into Puerto Vallarta for the "tour", meandered along the Malecon and people watched. We stopped at Cheeky Monkey for a bevy (fabulous view) and then carried on to the southside and Los Muertos beach; then it was on through the area where we lived a couple of years ago. We stopped to see Marilu, our landlady back then and it was great to have a quick chat and to introduce her to Tim and Dale. 

Finally, we stopped at Cafe Roma to visit Fox and Juan Carlos. If you remember, that was our hangout and where we met Robin and Sergio. If we had not been going there, and had not met them, we would not have our little piece of paradise here in Bucerias. So, we have a great fondness for this little place.

THEN, Tuesday, Groundhog Day and Candlemas here in Mexico. Remeber, we had planned a pot luck BBQ as a result of the January 6th Kings Day cake. (If you don't remember, scroll down to the post about it.) It rained just about all night and was horrible and wet all day. Actually, this is an understatement. It poured like we have rarely even seen in Victoria. We decided to go ahead with the party under the small palapa anyway and used Greg's gas grill instead of the charcoal we had planned. It was a huge success, even in he rain as we had 45 people there and had a great time. The only people there were Canadians as everyone else found it too cold!
We left to go home around 10PM as it was really getting cold due to the wind picking up. The four of us sat around and were having a nightcap when all hell broke loose! OH MY GOD! The rain and wind were incredible. We heard things banging and crashing around outside and then the thunder and lightening started. The wind was howling and blowing against our windows so hard we could feel them move inwards. It was truly frightening. We pushed a heavy wooden table against the patio doors because we thought there was a possibility that they would shatter. Then the power went out. We were able to see outside with flashlights and candles and when the lightening struck we could see the palm trees almost blowing flat on the ground. My patio umbrella, which was set in granite and concrete in the yard was upended and the patio chairs were everywhere. This went on for about fifteen minutes until it started to die down a bit. In the meantime, we had water pouring in below our patio and living room windows. Poor Dale, seems she gets to be on mop patrol a lot for us. First she had our flood in Victoria and now our leaking windows in Bucerias. 
Eventually, we all went to bed toting flashlights and candles and hoping the power would be restored by morning. It came on at 3am went out again for a few minutes around 8AM and has been on and off all day. 

I was up early and saw the neighbours out surveying the damage. There was a lot. Our beautiful, very old and very large feature mangrove tree, by the large palapa, was uprooted. I was sad as I love that tree. It took all day for the the staff of four gardeners to clean up the mess, using machetes and finally, a chainsaw. 

Other people had their satellite dishes sheared off by flying metal from unknown sources. Paul, our Yorkshire neighbour was one and he was upset as today was a big Leeds football match he was longing to see. Amazing really, as he also had one of his skylights shattered. Oh, and their three teenage grandchildren, 13-16 arrive tomorrow for a week of fun. They will be crazy busy cleaning up and repairing the damage. 

Just about every house had water coming in through the windows. Some had bad leaks in the roofs and others lost plants, trees and pots. We lost our garbage can (shattered) and have a bit of repairable damage to our umbrella base so we consider ourselves very lucky. 

Around mid morning the four of us went into Bucerias for a walk and to see what had happened. There were many uprooted trees, windows shattered, power lines down and palapa roofs lost. Our beach access is almost washed out. We spoke with two ladies from Victoria who are here on vacation for a few weeks. Their building was right on the beach and the upper floors from 4-8 lost patio windoes. They said everyone in the building took shelter in the inner hallways. One fellow had a lot of things sucked right out of his condo-including his laptop.

This weather system is supposed to be here until Friday. It's crazy. This NEVER happens at this time of year. Our administrator, Channy, has lived here all her life and has never seen wind that bad, even when Hurricane Kenna struck in 2003. 

We feel so bad for Tim and Dale. They are amazingly good sports about it but it has to suck, spending all that money on airfare and all that time looking forward to a holiday in paradise, only to experience a hurricane. We heard today that the wind was blowing at 150km at the height of the storm, which is hurricane force. They feel it is only right that it is known as Hurricane McManus! It's the least we can do. One thing is for sure: That was a Groundhog Day we will never forget!


MikiandDaphne said...

Gosh, at least you are all safe!! What a scary thing to happen! Hugs from the east coast!

Karen and Gail said...

I know- it was really frightening. I've experienced wind like that in Newfoundland while growing up- but there at least I knew things were constructed to some sort of safety standards. Here....???? Who ever knows?

Cathy said...

So sad to hear about the Hurricane!! I've lived thru a few and they are zero fun!! The weather has been strange here as well with rain, wind & snow.

Hope things return to normal for you soon. When are you coming back north??

Cat & Dan