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    On cervezas, I find myself liking light beers as opposed to ones with strong flavor, and consumption is up over Canada.

    Also en casa (at home) I buy the small ones, 100ml, come 20 to a box. A good portion size.


    These are running me 130 pesos per box including deposit, after that you pay for beer only.

    Prepping for the trip now. Already have a coffee maker which is invaluable and I have been looking for a small portable gas cookstove for when I find someone selling those large prawns or other goodies beside the road. I want to be able to cook then up on the spot.

    These ones were selling beside the road near Atasta, Campeche, just west of Ciudad del Carmen.



    Smaller, cooked ones were available in Atasta itself.



    But I found the little ones harder to eat. Somehow their stink got inside the car and it was a week of the prawnmobile…



    Its interesting the types of things you need to have a house here. I got a ladder so I could get up on the roof to inspect things.

    You can see the difference between the newly sloped side and the old side.

    The old side will need to be cleaned up and all loose material removed prior to applying the impermeabilzante.

    Here’s a pic of my roof cistern.


    You will need a hammer drill to install any nails, etc. in the walls. Everything is concrete.

    The floor is so rough in the common areas I bought a shop vac to clean it…. a broom just wont do.




    Ladies who like their nails done might want to take note of this place, just off the main square here.


    The widder McGregor paid just 250 pesos for a two hour session.


    And then had a 1 hr. pedicure for 180 pesos.

    She said it far surpassed rates and quality of work found in Canada.





    So looking back over this report I see I need to fill some gaps as I had posted elsewhere in the forum about some stuff.

    I had looked at buying a place a few times over the last couple of years, but the idea solidified last year, in 2018 when I signed a sales agreement with an old couple.

    The houses away from the tourist zones, in the small towns are inexpensive. But it is also a far different world than the tourist areas like Tulum, PDC, or Cancun…. might as well be another state or country.

    In order for the property (which has a title, most here do not) to transfer to my name, an extrañero, the notario informed me I would need to get residency.

    The immigration process must be started outside of México, at a consulate near you.

    You have to prove you have sufficient income or savings to support yourself in México and provide other details.

    If you are approved, you are issued a special visa and when you get to México, you go to INM to finish the process.

    You can apply for permanent status (think you must be retired), or temporary, good for one year, renewable for 3 more I think, then renewable for permanent after that.

    Here is a picture of me, a new immigrant, with my green card.






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    My new home was missing many things we take for granted in Canada.

    At night, the city shuts the water off. To provide reliable water I had a tinaco (cistern) installed on the roof. That little bit of elevation also provides for a gravity shower. I also installed a hot water heater. Most people here just shower in cold though.

    The water heater and propane tank need to have security gates to prevent theft.

    Photo of tinaco on the roof and hot water tank partially installed.


    Behind security.


    I had the plumbing inside mounted within the wall as opposed to on the surface.


    Later I installed a decent shower head…. now we’s just like uptown!





    I had steel security bars installed on all the doors and windows. Only two of the window holes had any glass anyways.

    The concrete x blocks in the openings were easy to just tap out with a hammer.



    As of now I have steel cages on everything.









    I am fascinated with your report Gary…so interesting….thank you for taking the time to do this!



    Great report Gary, looking forward to your traveling adventures. Are the crime high in your area thus all the security? I like the property fence, has a rustic feel.



    Thanks for following along Redhead!

    I can tell by the number of views that there are some unspoken followers as well.

    In a way, you are all coming with us… to share in the experiences and adventures. I/we also feel less alone with you along. Maybe you will see somewhere you want to go yourselves.

    If you see us anywhere, just walk up and introduce yourself.

    Abril was a little pleasantly suprised recently when a lady walked up to her and asked if she was the “widow McGregor”

    We are leaving JMM tomorrow, heading south through Chunhuhub towards Chetumal, but turning west past Ucum, and hoping to overnight in Xpujil.

    My intent is to be at Zotz cave when the bats emerge tomorrow evening.

    A daytime view down into Zotz cave.


    Abril and Rob peering down….





    I don’t think its a high crime area but there is probably the chance of break in type theft if you are away for extended periods, like myself.

    Many people here have no security whatsoever. You can just walk right into their houses.

    Local protocol is that you stand at the property gate and call into the house. You DO NOT walk up to the door and knock. They will usually tell you pase,pase and furrow their brows as if you didn’t have to ask…. but you did..

    Also there is a perception that I must have money, so, there must be valuable stuff inside.

    One of tje nieghbor ladies told me that the place would be robbed if I didn’t lock it.

    I pointed out I don’t have much. Beds, plastic tables and chairs, a water dispenser…. small things.

    She agreed, but then asked me how much a table was and I remembered at her place I sat on a plank between two tree butts. Her table is a board on concrete blocks.

    The security will help to keep honest people honest.


    My property fence is the stone wall in front here.

    I had the front of the house smoothed off with concrete. Next year I will probably paint it. I’m still deciding colors.



    • I am enjoying following your adventures. Thanks so much for taking the time and trouble to post. I was glad to see you on this new site. I had been reading your trip reports on the old playainfo site.  You two are so adventurous! I love your food pics.  Your new home is quite the project. It’s interesting seeing how different it is to do things  in Mexico. I’m looking forward to watching your progress….It is already looking so good. Safe travels…….


    i also am enjoying your report. we’ve been dreaming about settling in the playa area for retirement but I’m unsure if that’s going to be possible.

    the information you’ve shared is very helpful though.



    Doing good work there in JMM Gary.



    Hey KellyS,

    We have had an awesome first day of travelling and will fill everyone in.


    Well, I’m not in playa, and it is really not my favorite place.

    I love the little town I am in…. its way bigger than the town I live in Canada, and it is inexpensive to buy in. My place was a little over 20k and I know the price was jacked up because Im a foreigner. I spent a bit fixing to my standards… it is a work in progress.

    A person could always just rent though. I met a guy living in Felipe Carillo Puerto on his 1500.00 a month Canada pension and hr seemed quite happy.

    I guess it comes down to how you want to live in your retirement. You will need to learn some spanish to live outside those tourist zones. Very few of my friends there speak any english at all, and there are no “expats”.

    Hey Loomis,

    Thanks buddy, hope you can make it out there to see me one day.

    Here’s a pic of Abril and I with Kimberly, one of the local bar girls.



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