The town has a population of about 4,000 although it "feels" more like 2,000. Many of the residents live in the nearby fishing camps and thus could explain the disparity. The primary source of income is from the ocean. There are two cooperatives that fish for lobster, abalone, and well, fish. There are a couple of well-stocked grocery stores, a few hardware stores, and other places to purchase everyday necessities. In addition, entrepreneurial types come into town with various wares to sell ranging from mattresses to computers. If that does not work, Vizcaino or Santa Rosalia are close by.
There are plenty of things to do as well. Great surfing, swimming, and diving are close by. In addition, the town has a 10K mountain bike trail and an active team of riders. Basketball, baseball, and soccer are very popular sports for kids and adults. Every morning and evening, one call always see people out for a walk or run. I am always amazed how active and involved the community is.
Our house sits on 880 square meters of land overlooking the village and the bay facing the south. We bought the house sight unseen. Well, we had a few pictures of the outside and knew the area of town. But otherwise, we were going in blind. We figured the house might be a tear-down but we had a good sized lot. We were surprised with what we found.
The seller is a carpenter and had done a considerable amount of work on the place. The kitchen had plenty of cabinets and a small bar. The counters and floors were tiled and were in good condition. The bathroom has a toilet and sink but needs a shower. Regardless, we bought more than we had anticipated.
The purchase process was fairly simple and straightforward and was completed in a few days. (Well, we did have some friends that assisted in the process which really made life a bit more comforting.) We basically purchased the house from the seller and the land from the municipality. In many of the smaller villages, much of the land is owned originally by the municipality. If someone decides to buy the land then a new title is created for that person.
So now the real work continues. The first few things on the list are a new coat of paint for the exterior. Next we will install a tinaca or pila. While we have running water, it's often a good idea to have stored water. A tinaca is a large storage container often seen on the roofs of the houses. Note the black pila on the roof of the house behind our lot. After painting, installing the tinaca, and installing a shower system, I am going to focus on our landscaping. I'd like to build a small cinder-block wall on the sides of our property. The walls would be about 3 feet high with 5 foot poles every 6 feet or so. Plastic covered wire will run between the poles. Then, I will plant bougainvillea in front of the poles on the inside of our property and a flowering vines in between the bougainvillea. The wall will act as a wind break and add color. I plan on using a drip irrigation system as well. After I finish those projects, I'll take a deep breath, check my wallet, and then consult with my mom and wife to determine what's next.
So that's it for now. I'm heading down the first week of November with my mom and then again around Christmas with my wife. I'll keep you posted.