El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico offers visitors a variety of activities such as:IMG_3015

  Beach Golf and

IMG_3036hiking and

ATV’ing up and down sand dunes, such as

IMG_3031this incredibly steep lighthouse sand dune (See background in previous picture) while holding on to your

“Holly Shit”

bar ( I was not driving) and

IMG_3034this and
PicMonkey Collagejumping into your kayaks, with your dad, so you can get close to humongous, scary A$$ dolphins in the Sea of Cortez.

IMG_3041However, despite everything El Golfo has to offer, it’s economy is in terrible shape. Over fishing and global warming has decimated the fishing and shrimp industry.  IMG_3046A worldwide depressed economy and escalating crime rate have contributed to a sharp reduction of visitors to Mexico.

IMG_3039“Tourism is a fraction of the highs of 8 years ago.” (Info. pamphlet on El Golfo)


To help alleviate Santa Clara’s economic woes,IMG_3038 visitors are encouraged to buy from local merchants. IMG_3050IMG_3052Not a problem. We were out of beer.

Store Clerk: Que?

John: I… Would… Like… You… To… Explain… This… Bill.

Store Clerk: Que?

John: What?

Store Clerk: Que?

John: Kay?

Store Clerk: Si.

John: Sea?

Store Clerk: Si.

John: Kay? Sea? Kay sea? What are you trying to say? Shelley! Come here and give us a hand.

Shelley: What’s wrong?

John: I asked this lovely clerk why she’s charging me more than the posted price but I have no idea what she said? Can you speak to her?

Shelley: I’ll try. “¿Cómo estás?”

Store Clerk: Estoy bien. Gracias. He estado tratando de decirle a su marido que la razón por cada cerveza cuesta 100 pesos es becausae que tiene que pagar una tasa de depósito de 5 pesos.

Shelley: Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha!

John: What did she say?

Shelley: After she said, “I’m fine.” I’ve no idea.

John: Why would you ask her that?

Shelley: You told me to speak to her. So I did. I’m practicing my Spanish.

John: Dear God.

Dad: What now John?

Everyone, including the clerk: Oh! Ha! Ha! Ha!

John: Shelley, can you please ask her why there’s a difference in the posted price and the final price?

Shelley: I thought you were the one fluent in Spanish.

John: Jesus Christ! Shelley!

Shelley: OK. OK. Beeru? Nope. That’s Japanese. Hang on. Corona? Pesos? Muchas?

Store Clerk: Ah. La razón por la cerveza cuesta más que el precio publicado es porque hay un cargo de depósito 5 pesos en cada botella.

Shelley: Deposito? Deposito? Ah. Deposit. I think there is a 5 pesos deposit on each bottle. Corona 95 pesos? Deposito 5 pesos?

Store Clerk: Si. Si.

Shelley: Yep. That’s it. The beer costs 95 pesos, add the deposit and you get 100 pesos.

John: OK, I understand. Now ask her to explain where the 150 pesos charge came from.

Shelley: That’s easy. My Sprite.

John: What? Your Sprite cost more than one beer? Shelley, that’s ridiculous to pay more for a soft drink than a beer.

Shelley: Que?


A few more pictures from the Santa Maria area.



Day 172, Feb. 13th, 2014Dec. 15 - Feb. 13th, 2014

This is my homage to “Fawlty Towers.” The episode was “Communication Problems” starring Manuel and Mrs. Richardson.

John and Shelley


58 thoughts on “Que?

  1. Loved that conversation with the store clerk Shelley. I honestly thought you were going to be able to translate it all after starting off by asking her how she was, ha!

    I found that deposit thing a bit strange at first too. They do that all over South America and India too. It’s a shame about what’s happened to the local economy. Especially as those sand dune rides are so awesome. We did the same thing in Peru. And I agree with John. A soft drink that costs more than a beer..? Que indeed!


    • I was going to include the fact that they didn’t want the bottles back, so no refund. She just shrugged when I asked why? Sadly there was beer bottles and glass everywhere! I had to have that Sprite!! Had to. 🙂


    • Ha! Ha! Saw the smoke from the water. Apparently they went up the hill one too many times. Nest paw?? No French please, Espanol only! 🙂 Has the water spout turned off yet over southern England?


      • Try googling images of Floods 2014 England and you’ll see its terrible and getting worse over the weekend. Hope John’s relatives are OK ?


      • Oh boy. John showed me a clip from BBC. Our relatives are North of the flooding. Our friends are in Near Benson’s air base and they are stuck in their village. England needs some of Mexico’s sun. 😦


    • Ha! Ha! While we were chasing the dolphins, we turned to the shore and saw smoke billowing. Best bit, no one paid any attention to it and kept careening around the dunes. Common occurence?


    • So funny that you and my son, Andrew, are the only ones who have commented on the dolphin/whale. They were quite shy which was OK by me because I was also shy (a little scared) of them! That’ll be 100 pesos for that cervasa. 🙂


    • Shhhh… don’t tell John. I think it’s called selective understanding. Actually I am drawing on my beginner’s french. Definitely not my very very limited Japanese. 🙂


  2. If you’re still in Mexico, you should pick up a bottle of vanilla, it’s the best for baking with! Just an FYI, a little goes a long way. Oh, and,”no hay cargo para un deposito por la botella de vanilla,”


    • Would you like one?? Seriously John and mom bought one. I, as you know, don’t cook, but eat all of the baking. Damn it, you’re supposed to be my friend. Stop writing to me in Spanish… Hang on. Off to Google translate. Nope. Having a stab instead. No deposit on Vanilla bottles. I’m freakin’ bilingual.


  3. Great post. For the record, you are having way more fun than I am, but, then who isn’t?
    What that area of Mexico needs is some culturally-sensitive American businesses to boost the economy. I envision Taco Bells and La Quinta motels all along the shore.


  4. Shelley…thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. Coincidentally I had read your blog yesterday as well! My wife and I have talked about hitting Mexico when we are traveling but are a little nervous. Is this the first time you have been there? I might be more inclined to go with a group but just the two of us seems sketchy.


    • Hey! Coincidence?? 🙂 We travelled with my parents. Not sure if two 70+ people would have helped scared off bandits, but you can never be too sure. 🙂 Yesterday we drove to the border town with them Sonoyta as they were headed back to Hemet. On the hour long ride we saw two RV convoys of at least 20 in each group. The irony was we turned around and came back to Peurto Penascas on our own but the road was very busy and a straight shot. We initially crossed over with a guide to El Golfo. Hope this helps. BTW I read through your list of must haves and maybes. We put a solar panel on the day we bought ours a we dry camp. Everything else we too waited to see if we really needed. Happy travels.


    • The weather is perfect. Like Seattle and the island in the summer. We keep delaying our return to the US so not sure when we will be in California.Enjoy LA. You probably won’t recognize the yellow orb in the sky, it’s the sun!


  5. Shelley, I love every single one of your posts, they all make me laugh out loud! One of my fav repeat exchanges:
    John: Dear God.
    Dad: What now John?
    I howl every time this happens. (Yes, I must be easily amused)

    I am SO proud of you translating for your dear husband. I agree, I think you are secretly bilingual. 😀

    It is very sad about the economy, you will see some poverty in Mexico, that is for sure. I am amazed about the flaming Jeep, however…I guess it is routine on those steep dunes, who knows?

    And thanks for the tip on the solar panel, that is a good one to keep in mind for our future.


    • I am so happy that I can make you laugh. I will pass on to my father how his standard response makes you howl! Too funny. And thank you for complimenting me on my Spanish skills. BTW had to use the bathroom but my brain froze up so all I could remember was Banos. It got the job done. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I am ready for a new phrase. 🙂 I’ve taken some pictures of Puerto Penascas. They built too quickly and then 2009 hit. Boom. So sad. I have no idea about the jeep. All I can say is if John would have come home without our truck I would have lost it. Let me know if you have more RV’ing questions. If we don’t know, we’ll pretend!


      • Oh yes, you make me laugh, and that makes my day! 🙂 Having a great time RVing vicariously through your adventures!

        Ok, here goes: “quisiéramos dos enchiladas y dos margaritas, por favor” And you may substitute other foods or beverages here, for flexibility. HAHAHAHA

        And then in case you need to negotiate for your RV space: “¿Cuánto es el espacio de RV por una noche? Pero no es tan grande!”

        Definitely will let you know about the RV questions, the only one that comes to mind now is how did you decide to do the truck/trailer rather than RV/tow car?


      • Thanks. We wrote them down. Both will come in handy, especially the margarita one. 🙂 As for the truck and trailer, by chance. We were looking at A classes with the idea of towing a small car (My parents have one) C Classes (But they just didn’t seem to have enough space) trailers and a fifth wheels. By chance a local dealer called us. He had a small 24 foot fifth wheel and truck combo. The fifth wheel was old, but it made sense not to throw a lot of money at something we hadn’t even tried. Two years later we now have a 28 footer and freakin’ love it. The best bit for us is we can unhook and go. A class owners will say the same if they tow. Our mileage is better than my parents. They don’t tow, but will rent a car if in one spot for a while. Hope that helps.


      • Yes, it helps to hear your perspective on the options. We have been looking at toy hauler A’s, but there are not that many options; we have been looking at A or C class in the 28 – 31 range, but then we would have to buy a closed trailer for the bikes. We have also looked at toy hauler 5th wheels, but to get enough room inside and still have a garage in back, the rig would be 40′ by itself, plus a massive truck to pull it, so we are still debating. 😉


      • I forgot about the bikes. My parents had an A class with a stand on the back for a scooter. But am thinking that your bikes are too big. I’ll ask around. New neighbours next door just pulled up in a trailer toy hauler. My thinking there though is you lose the extra length that goes over your truck. Hmmm.


      • Yes our bikes are definitely too big for the back contraption, plus there are two. 🙂

        The fifth wheel toy haulers are nice but the whole rig ends up being 50 plus feet and that is just so long! I am thinking either rv toy hauler or A or C with a bike trailer will be what we end up with. But the looking is fun!


      • I know. I still love to go and look at RV places. Let me know what you get. I think we are 42 feet without our bikes on the back. This is important as BC freakin’ ferries measured the bikes as part of the length. Cost us by the foot.


      • It’s good to know that some ferries charge by the foot! I am more concerned with going around corners in the mountains, etc., regarding the length. We have many days of RV looking in our future, and maybe, if we get the word out there with some dealers, we can get a fortuitous call like you did with just the perfect thing! 😀


  6. Haha! This made me smile. Love the conversation with the clerk and ooooo I love anywhere that you can buy such cheap beer, ahhh! Looks like yous are having fun. Totally jealous of those temps down there.


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