Welcome to Clara’s Casita!
I hope you enjoy time here as much as I enjoy mine. It is an older house and there are a few idiosyncrasies that once you know can make your stay much more pleasant. All things you would figure out in time but here are the shortcuts.
If you have any problems please call me at: 510-331-2883 if I don’t answer please leave a message and a good time for me to call you back.
First and foremost – Do NOT put paper in the toilet. The older style toilets have unglazed necks and the paper products stick to the surface, quickly clogging them up. There is a snake under the sink in the inside bathroom which you will not need if you avoid paper in the toilet.
Inside Toilet – For best results hold the handle down for the duration of the flush, approximately 10 seconds.
Outside Toilet – The stopper occasionally hangs up, it helps to give the handle a little jiggle after flushing.
The sinks all drain to the palms and flowers so please do not put any harsh chemicals, grease or oil into the drains.
The stove in the kitchen needs to be lit before each use, there is no pilot light. I guesstimate the temperatures for the stove since there are no temperature indications. For the burners open ¼ turn and light then slowly turn knob clockwise to turn down (I know this sounds simple but you wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen with roaring flames thinking that was as low as it would go because it was on the minus sign).
There are appliances and additional “pantry” storage behind the curtains in the blue shelving unit.
Entertainment There is a speaker that can be used with your phone..
he water man drives by almost everyday. When you need water just put the empty jug out by the fence where he can see it with 13 pesos inside and he will bring you a full 5 gallon jug. Or you can get a jug of water from Luly's (small store) next door.
Cleaning & Babysitting
Luz (“Luci”) oversees my place. She will be doing the cleaning and if you have any questions she will help you out. Watering is done twice per week and sheet changes and yard raking once per week, this is included. The days are flexible so talk to Luz if you have a particular request. If you need additional cleaning help or babysitting please arrange with Luz accordingly.
I do not lock the house when I leave and I have never had any trouble although it is always a good ideas to keep your valuables stashed somewhere out of sight
Outside kitchen lights plug in to turn on and off.The inside fan/lights operate off the hand switch or the pull switch if they do not work at the pull switch make sure the hand switch in on and visa versa. The Halogen light above the sink is on a dimmer switch which is hanging by the paper towel rack.
Long distance calls can be made to the US from my home phone free of charge. To call my house from the states dial: 011 52 612 114 0376 (if you need to give the contact number to someone).
The swimming is good out front just be careful of the rocks and sea urchins, there is a slight jetty off to the right where rocks have been piled that you will want to avoid. The trick is to get horizontal as soon as possible and just do the breast stroke till you get behond the rocks. Scope it out at low tide and you’ll see the rock configuration. Or just walk North or South 10 yards and it is sandy.
You can launch out front at high tide although it is rocky, be sure and scope it out at low tide. A better idea is to walk 50 yards or so to the North or South for a good sandy launch.
Baja Joe's has some great instructor's check with them if you need lessons.
My neighbor to the south is trying to avoid erosion along the fence in front of his property, try to use the beach path in front of my property.
Casa Verde Info
There is yoga at Casa Verde every morning at 8 am - 9am taught by Molly on the roof. Everyone is welcome there is no charge but donations are appreciated. If you do not participate in yoga please keep things quiet at that time. No shouting, loud music or use of power tools is appreciated. Casa Verde also has spa services.
Internet, Coffee, Baked Goods
There is internet at Casa-Clara the code is on the blue shelf over by the phone. Baja Joe's also has internet and Mark coffee.
General La Ventana Info
Most bottled beers are returnable, so you get a better price if you bring in empties when you buy beer. There are a variety of empties in the outside kitchen, help yourself, just leave some there when you depart. There is a blue garbage can in the corner for aluminum for recycle which Luz’s daughter collects for the school, so please recycle.
Garbage pick up is on Fridays, Mondays and one other day I think (ask Luz). Sometimes they come at the crack of dawn other times in the afternoon. I usually put my garbage out really early. If you put it out the night before make sure you put a lid on it or the cows will tear into it (or leave the edibles in a bucket for their dining pleasure).
La Ventana has some killer sunrises, so get up and enjoy (6:20 ish)
There are quite a few restaurants to choose from these days, just ask around or email me and I will send you a list of the options.
House Emergency Contacts:
Try to resolve it through Luz if possible she can be reached through her mom Lourdes ("Luly") next door.