I was excited to see in our guidebook that the weekly Tiangui (or flea market) that comes to the small town of Santiago was going to be on Saturday when we’d still be in town.
Lagoon Juluapan entrance from Santiago Bay. Camanoe is anchored in the background.
We’ve missed a couple of these kinds of markets while on our sail south. Not that we really need to buy anything, but they’re a lot of fun to visit and spend a day wandering around with the locals. Usually there are good tacos or bebidas (drinks) to try and lots and lots of randomness to photograph.
We’re anchored in Playa la Boquita on the opposite side of Santiago Bay from the town of Santiago proper. The day before the market we thought we’d check out the town and get our bearings. We wandered down the curving, dusty road that snakes behind the beach and through the gringo vacation home area. It was probably almost two miles of walking up to the highway where we could catch a bus into Santiago. We hopped on the first bus that said Santiago – it was route #3. We ran into a vacationing Canadian couple later in the day at a restaurant that recognized us and said they saw us boarding the bus and realized too late that they should have told us to wait for route #1, which is much more direct. But where’s the fun in not getting lost EVERY TIME we get on the dang bus..??!? Sigh. Anyway, route #3 DID get us to Santiago and the bus driver stopped at the town square and made sure we got off since this is where we’d asked to be let off. Route #3 takes you up and around a mountain and then down into Santiago while Route #1 just follows the main highway that runs along the beach. It’s about a 20 minute difference. Doh.
Dusty road was not the best option.
Our other mistake that day was the walk on that dusty, windy road. We were trying to avoid walking the beachline as we had done in Melaque trying to get to Barra de Navidad. We’d had such a hard walk on that beach that I think we were a little intimated to try to do a similar walk in Santiago. But fellow cruisers, David and Roz on s/v Barefoot, told us that the beach was an easy walk, with really compact sand. After about 20 minutes you come to a large, white staircase that leads you directly up to the highway and the buses. Totally cut down on almost an hour of walking! We really need to ask more people for their suggestions before we start exploring!
Anyway, Saturday morning we were all prepared for a shorter beach walk and a faster bus ride to the flea market. (I’m going to note here, since no other blogs or mentions of the Tiangui online or in the guidebooks tell you the hours of the market. It runs from 9am to 6pm.)
Size-wise, this market is the biggest one I’ve seen. Quality-wise, it’s not great, but it is entertaining. A lot of the clothing vendors are just Goodwill or Salvation army clothes. Some people look like they’ve just rummaged through their garages or sheds and brought out whatever crap they want to get rid of. But some of the Mexican crafts, pottery, ceramics, rugs, tablecloths, jewelry, etc, were very nice and I liked looking at the various items. I picked up some necklaces and even Dave picked up some souvenirs. I still haven’t been able to find a Mexican tablecloth that I like enough to purchase or that is at a reasonable price. There was one in Barra de Navidad that I probably should have bought; it had most of the colors I want (brighter the better!) and was only 120 pesos. The tablecloth vendors at the Santiago Tiangui were all asking 300 pesos or more and wouldn’t barter lower. Total rip-off. I’m going to have to check out one of the Puerto Vallarta markets again when we get back to Banderas Bay.
Plastic toys galore…
Locals trying to find a bargain on clothes…
The largest bowl of pico de gallo I’ve ever seen.
Dave’s new sunglasses. Spiffy. Hope these don’t go overboard like the others…
Pregnant Barbie dolls…??????????
We ran back into s/v Barefoot while we were eating some yummy burritos and they recommended that we check out one of the carnecerias up the street. Up till now, Dave and I have avoided purchasing meat from the meat markets. We look and ponder and then end up going to one of the regular grocery stores to purchase any meat. I’m the same way back home; I don’t know what to tell the butcher, so how am I supposed to do it with a language barrier?? But we’ve both been craving ribs. We found ribs back in Mazatlan at Sam’s Club, but since then, we haven’t recognized beef or pork ribs at any of the markets we go to. We thought we’d check out the carneceria and if they had ribs then we’d bite the bullet and go for it.
Dave had to use a little gesturing on his body in order to get across that we wanted ribs, but the butcher understood, pointed at a slab of beef hanging from the ceiling and said it was 70 pesos a kilo. DONE. Dave asked for two kilos, which I thought was a bit much, but it gave us two, good-sized racks of ribs, so two dinners worth at about $12 USD. Nice.
Carneceria (top) and dinner on the scale (bottom).
We pressure cooked the ribs, along with some fresh corn on the cob that we grabbed at the produce market next to the carneceria, some rice and the last of Dave’s pressure cooker bread. This type of cruising isn’t doing anything for my waistline. LOL
We’ll head out tomorrow for Ensenada Carrizal just five miles north and then probably up to Tenacatita a day or two after that. Looking forward to it!