Meet Bos & Margaret, Los Ayala

Our home base is on one of the Gulf Islands off the coast of British Columbia. Our activities there include boating, fishing, gardening, yoga (for Margaret) and lots of walking with our beloved dog Jake. We can enjoy our outdoor activities for about six months of the year but in the winter months, grey skies, rain and chilly weather prevail. For many years we escaped winter for a few weeks, traveling and vacationing in Hawaii, Mexico, and other tropical destinations. We often dreamed of owning a vacation home somewhere warm. Unfortunately, most places that were attractive to us were rather expensive and given the relatively small amount of time that we planned to holiday, we resolved to rent rather than to own.

That all changed three years ago when our travels took us to Los Ayala for a two week holiday! A year earlier friends of ours had bought a lot and were building a vacation home. We had tracked their progress, listened to their stories and decided to see for ourselves this charming fishing village, where they planned to spend a good part of the year. We got off the plane vowing to each other that, even though we were very curious about their project, we were only there for a holiday and would not even look at property!

Within a week, we found ourselves signing papers at the notary’s office and becoming the owners of a ‘fixer upper’ a block away from our friends. The magic of Mexico and Los Ayala had caught us in its spell! Thus began a nine month building odyssey, during which our tiny casita was transformed into a casa, complete with perimeter walls, a pool, palapa, carport and lots of tropical plantings. The contractor behind all of this was Norman Lutgen of Viking Construction. His reliability, due diligence, guidance and ideas, along with the excellent work from his capable craftsmen, quickly transformed our little ‘ugly duckling’ into a beautiful swan we call ‘Casa Margarita‘. Last winter was our first here and we look forward to many more!

While we find the climate and the natural beauty of the area entrancing, it is also the strong sense of community here in Los Ayala which appeals to us. At the many cultural events celebrated in the region and often centered in our village square, we have been welcomed as friends and asked to join in the festivities. The warmth and smiles from the locals and the many foreigners, mostly also Canadian, are rarely found elsewhere. We are pleased that many of the foreigners here respect the rich Mexican culture and have found ways to improve the lives of the locals, with projects to help the environment, schools and animals, to name but a few.

We love Los Ayala’s beautiful beach and surrounding tropical jungle. We are charmed by the flocks of tiny green parrots which zoom by in tight formation. In the evenings, the air is filled with that sweet jungle scent and the sounds of cicadas (plus barking dogs and confused roosters!). Often we hear singing, brass bands and music played in the surrounding homes and streets. We are delighted that music plays such an important role in the local culture.

The nearby towns of Rincon de Guayabitos and La Penita offer a great selection of interesting things to see and do, including visiting the colourful weekly markets where we buy fresh produce, prawns, or some handcrafted work of art to adorn our casa. There are many affordable restaurants offering good food and many shops for the must-have items on our list. Every couple of weeks we make a trip to the big box stores outside Puerta Vallarta to round out our provisions.

We enjoy day trips and hiking to other nearby towns such as El Monteon, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos, Chacala and many others. There are lots of interesting things to see and experience, as well as wonderful photo opportunities. The many sandy beaches nearby stretch for miles in all directions, offering lots of scenic walking and swimming. We have traveled further north from our village to San Blas, to experience the wonderful mangrove swamps that house some of the most beautiful birds and wildlife that one could imagine, where crocodiles prowl the waters and jaguars periodically emerge from the jungle forest.

We plan to spend three or four months of the year in this enchanted village. We feel that this is a unique place and we hope it will not become overly developed or over exposed to tourism, for with that there is the distinct possibility that the warmth and charm that now exists may disappear. In the meantime, we will work on our Spanish, savour our new home away from home and enjoy the company of our many new friends and neighbours.

Hasta Luego!
Margaret Davidson and Boswell (Bos) Malcolm

Bos is a super photographer!

The gallery below features Bos’s photos from the Christmas Posadas in Los Ayala’s Town Plaza – December 2010.  Note how perfectly he captures the light; and the soulful eyes of the children.


This story was originally published in “Local Folks” on Magical Los Ayala.

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