WHAT to do with the rest of your life?
– Two examples
Retirement Talk. I’m Del Lowery. This is the second
part in a series concerning a trip to
and thoughts of
moving south for retirement.
Here are two examples of
folks that did just that.
We traveled to
Yelapa yesterday. You can only get there by
boat. There are no roads or cars or trucks in Yelapa. And for this
it is worth a trip. It is a small village – and a great beach. We
took a local
bus south out of Vallarta for perhaps 10 miles to – Boca. This is
town with boats pulled up on the sandy beach advertising their services
travel to Yelapa. Twelve dollars and a thirty minute ride brings you to
beautiful, tranquil beach town.
We walked back
from the beach when we left the small boat. I
thought we would find – a road that would lead into the center of
Wrong. There are no roads. There are small footpaths that lead from
like one, small adobe dwelling to another. We felt like we were
through someone’s yard. Figuring out our mistake, we returned to
the beach and
walked towards one end of the beach where buildings came right down to
water. A small sign indicated the path to the village led up a narrow,
winding stairway. At the top was a cobble stone path about four feet
meandered between small adobe dwellings and a few small shops and
restaurants. The shops and restaurants
were all part of someone’s house; just the shop, or restaurant on
one side of a
room and bed or chairs, table or kitchen on the other side.
It was here that
we met Catherine walking down the path. She
was wearing a loose fitting pink dress and a floppy wide brimmed straw
used a long walking stick that appeared to have come from the forest.
looked like something right out of an old John Huston movie. She has
. She was a forester
work life. Two years ago she and her husband happened on to this place
loved the walking, slow pace of life. They returned to
sold most of everything they
had. Piled the rest of it in a truck and drove to the beach at Boca.
loaded everything they had into three small boats and moved to Yelapa.
rent a small flat for $150.00 – USD.
mysteries – three books published so far – “Federal
Offense, Imperfect Crimes, and Amateur Hour” (He wrote that one
in the 70’s).
Catherine walks – she walks in the jungle up to a waterfall every
day. She shops in the village at the
factory which she insisted we visit with her. And she thoroughly enjoys
house-wife fulltime. “For the first time in my life, I am just a
I love”, she said.
I asked if they
travel back to the states often. “No” came a
quick, and strong response.
“No fun”. When they have to travel back to the
states they try to arrange it so only one has to go: wedding,
being born, and that sort of things. When parents die they both return.
have no plan to return to the states. I asked if they had bought a
she told me that no one owns any of the houses in Yelapa. She said,
belong to the community. The many acres in the valley, and everything
belong to the indigenous people who live here. They can sell their
house – sort
of. But it really belongs to the community. It is all very
complicated.” She says;
ending with, “So we rent.”
Catherine and returned to the beach. Four women from
were sunning themselves in front of us. They looked like three mothers
three daughters: mothers - sixtyish; Daughters - twentyish. The mothers
wore two piece bathing suits with flowing sarapi that matched. They all
too much jewelry: multiple gold and silver bracelets on each wrist;
of colored stone and sparkling diamond rings.
New York City
or so it sounded to our ears. “Where are you
going”, “I’m not watching your bag. You wanted to
bring it, so you watch it.”
“What do you mean I have no right. We are paying for this thing.
boyfriends. We have every right.” They argued, whined, yelled,
and I think, in
general, were having a good time: disagreeing about which way to turn,
jewelry looks right, or if they should go to the bathroom, etc. They
be disgusted by everything in life. I lay back in the chair under the
when I looked again they had all vanished like a bad dream. Three tacos
three beers later we were on a boat headed back to Boca and the land of
And then today I
met another one. He appears to be in his
late sixties. He lives in Torrecillas a truly primitive spot, yet south
Yelapa. It is also accessible only by boat. No roads, or cars, no
or phone service. He has been there five years; loves it; claims to be an artist. He seemed a bit
evasive or mysterious. I like to think he is, “on the run”.
He has a little, coiffure,
toy poodle type of dog – in
we call them an “accessory”, or a, “designer
dog”. He laments the fate of
military nowadays,” he says. “And I’m an old soldier,
but it has just gone way
too far. I don’t know why. I guess it is the guys that are making
the bombs and
guns that are making the money. They are probably happy. Guys like
he says and then adds,
Retirement Talk. I’m Del Lowery
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