14-16 January: Puerto Vallarta

After some testing and measuring, which took all morning, we discovered that a relay is defect. It should open the valve for the propane by electrical magnet.

In the afternoon we had an appointment with a chiropractor for my back again. Lets hope this time it will do the trick.

Back at the Rancho a dream of the girls was fulfilled they rode horse. The owner let them ride his horse for a while. Surprisingly our youngest did best, because she is not afraid.

Next day we had organized a taxi, through the owner of Rancho AltoRosa. We drove for five hours along several stores and companies regarding refrigerators, air conditioners, car electrical repair and what all we don’t no, all the way down to Puerto Vallarta. But no spare part to find.

Puerto Vallarta is a tourist town full of Canadian snowbirds. The tourist part resembles the tourist part in Aruba. Big hotels at the beach alternated with expensive looking malls and all the US fast food chains.
Down town Vallarta is still the little town it ever was with small houses and cobble stone streets. The rest, the real Mexico, like our driver calls it, looks poor and rickety.
The break down of our fridge also came with an advantage, we have seen a part of Mexico, which the average tourist hardly will see.

The taxi driver is a remarkable guy. His father send him to Canada when he was 9 years old for a year. In two weeks he learned to speak English, which he does still very well. When he came back after a year it took him two months to learn to speak proper Spanish again.
With fourteen he run away from home to Mexico City to get a job. After a few weeks without a job, broke, he joined the army. They offered him what he was looking for roof, food and most of all education. Six years later he left and started a career in the tourist business of Vallarta. Where he finally ended as CEO of a hotel complex. Opening his own business he was doing good for himself. Then fate struck. His oldest son was killed in a hunting accident. He had to take care of his grandson and unborn granddaughter. Shortly after that his mother fell sick and died. He had to pay for everything.
The economic downturn hurt his business and his wife fell seriously ill. Having no health insurance he had to sell his business, cars and take a mortgage on his house. His wife recovered but they were financially ruined. Now he is driving taxi to make a living.

Last night we were invited to a snack and a beer at the neighbors house. The neighbors living next to the Rancho have two children the same age as our younger girls, good playmates.
The neighbor found our part needed for the fridge at E-bay and we ordered it, using his account and address, to make things a bit easier. Hopefully it will arrive at the 23rd of this month.