North Banderas Bay Semana Santa FUN!

Everyone on the North Banderas Bay / Riviera Nayarit area is shifting into the “end of the season” energy as we head into the last week of Semana Santa. Semana Santa does take its toll in the pueblos and beaches and folks are in clean-up gear already! Lend a helping hand if you can. The government knows how many people come to the playa. WHY they don’t provide more trash cans is beyond me! One thing I have noticed is that there are not any firecrackers / M80’s going off this year, which is a huge change as usually they go off for all occasions. The La Cruz Playa La Manzanilla is in full swing! (gracias John Pounder) This is the last weekend and it’s all over!

The end of the season is more realized for me with the “EMPTY THE FRIDGES PARTY” which is the last night of business for the season at Luna Lounge. Their party will be on Monday, April 4th, as they serve up what I think is the BEST BBQ around, beginning at 6:30 until all of their food has run out.  All you can eat Arrachera Steak, Garlic and Cilantro Chicken, BBQ Ribs and Spanish Chorizo, and the delicious homemade salads that Simon makes, all for only 195 pesos; along with drink specials and live music. And, as usual…you KNOW they will have some special surprise guests! No reservations necessary…just come on down to the Luna Lounge, AV. Mexico #27, Kitty-corner from Esquina 22 Bar and Lounge who is also moving to a lighter schedule, but will be remaining open for the summer season. YEAAA! They have AC! Beginning March 27th until October 1st they will be closed on Sundays. Right now live music abounds on Wednesday and Thursdays, and also on every week day they have a bar special from 3-11pm for only 30 pesos. I am fortunate to be friends with Alain and Arturo, and it was their 17th Anniversary together last week! Alain surprised Arturo with a full on Mariachi Band, much to Aruturo’s delight! What a fun celebration of love!  I also stopped by Esquina 22 the other night after a day hike with friends at the Alta Vista Petroglyphs; one of my favorite jungle hikes. The “keepers” of the trails have been doing an excellent job of keeping it very clean of trash and foliage. The traffic was very backed up on the way home due to an accident in La Penita, as the 200 road is still only a 2 lane hwy. So, we took the back roads towards the hot pots..what an adventure! Ready for refreshments, stopping in at Esquina was perfect afterwards for their 2×1 happy hour…The margaritas are EXCELLENT!..Along with that Cheese Burger! yumm
MORE New News around the North Banderas Bay….
I read that a paramedic of Proteccion Civil Nayarit used the only Epipen they have (donated several months ago) at the Bucerias beach for a fellow who had an allergic reaction to a bee sting. The paramedics would appreciate any donations of medical supplies, like Epipens, as they have no funds to buy them. Please email for assistance to get the supplies to them.
Breakers Beach Club in Bucerias still has live music going on as well.  Enlace Trio is performing on the beach every Monday from 4-7, and Wednesday nights are Adrianna and the “Whats Up” band performing from 6-9. They also have “3 to Rock” on Sundays from 3-6. FUN ON THE BUCERIAS PLAYA!! Their cook “Christian” this season is also rockin’ it in the kitchen! Check out the whole Red Snapper…delicious!
Music abounds …and on my journey I met my friend Jess for dinner at Falconi’s Pizza in La Cruz, where R&R (Randy and Russell) Hardly Strictly Blues band happened to be playing! The place was packed except for one table as if it was just waiting for us! R&RHSB band features Randy Wilson on vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, Russell Cresto on vocals and harmonica and guest Dave Kimes on lead guitar. I must say I thought not having a drummer was great for a small venue; the music sounded great and you could still have a conversation. Falconi’s Pizza has some of the BEST Alfredo pasta around, which is what I ordered, along with a fresh green salad; Very nice! My friend ordered the Calzone..which was muy grande!..all so delicious. I really LOVE their pizza sauce and dough; all with good pricing.  It’s fun to share and so we did. They also offer a full bar.  The R&R Hardly Strictly Blues band will be playing again (with Dave) this Saturday, April 2nd, beginning at 6:30, and probably for a couple more Saturdays after that, so get in there and enjoy! Randy Wilson is an amazing musician and will also be playing solo acoustic guitar on Philo’s on March 30th and April 13th.  What FUN music and delicious food in La Cruz with my good friend Jess! Falconi’s Pizza is located on Sierra Ave between Delfin and Pez Vela in La Cruz.
Amanditas Bay Curry in Bucerias had such a successful event when Raoul and Jimmy Shiva came to play Kirtan music that Amanda has invited them back for more! Enjoy a delicious Indian fest and the inspirational music of Raoul and Jimmy Shiva. 100 pesos cover, music starts at 7pm. Call 322 889 6030 for more information or to make a reservation. They are located on the east lateral just south of the Sandander Bank; Heroe de Nacorzari 120.
I LOVE HER CURRY!!! And have definitely caught the “Curry Craze!”

Black Forest Restaurant in La Cruz will be ending their lunches for the summers and will be open again from Sunday through Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm.  Saturdays is their time to relax! Opening for lunch was a new thing for them this season and they thank everyone for coming in. The Blond Gypsies with Latcho and Andrea will be playing April 1st and reservations are definitely recommended!
Join in on the campaign to reduce waste! This is sooo awesome!
For years the folks at the Black Forest Restaurant have used the polystyrene food containers for their guests who like to take out their food or part of it. Unfortunately, all plastics have polystyrene which is non-biodegradable. This means that “the remnants of your takeout will be chilling on planet Earth for up to 500 years from now and its chemical components will still clog the eco-system. Polystyrene’s bulky eternity accounts for one-quarter of our landfill waste.” This plastic also ends up in our oceans polluting the environment there. Andrea continues to state, “As business owners, parents and citizens of our beautiful Bahía de Banderas we would like to be socially and environmentally responsible and therefore we would like to ask you to join us in our campaign.” So take note everyone! Our choices are very powerful and every choice counts. Say no to unnecessary packaging where ever you shop! The Black Forest folks would ask that you “Bring your own reusable’s (BYOR). You can bring your own containers or your own bag. We can provide you with reusable, microwaveable containers for an additional fee of 10 Pesos. Enjoy your food, save your money, improve your health and help our planet!” Why not do this everywhere you go? Bring your own “to go” containers. REUSE, RENEW, RECYCLE, REDUCE and RESPECT OUR PLANET! Together we can RAISE AWARENESS and create big changes in the waste we create on a daily basis. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Follow the Route of the Mezcal
Another fun event coming our way! Several restaurants around the Banderas Bay are excited and proud to introduce you to the traditional Mexican beverage by celebrating with the “Semana del Mezcal” from April 15th to April 27th. Each day a different restaurant will offer a 3 course menu which will include a paring of Mezcal for each course. During your enjoyment the “Master Mexcalier, Esteban Serrano” will explain the different types of Mezcal, the distillation process and answer any questions you may have. You may enjoy the “Semana del Mezcal” at the Black Forest Restaurant in La Cruz on Thursday, April 21st, beginning at 6:30pm. The price per person is 399 pesos. Get your tickets while they last!

Thanks for tuning in ..and always if you have any questions please email me at or . Check out the calendars on and and our Riviera Nayarit Fun FB page for the latest changes and fun events and fundraisers.  As a final note..remember your thought creates! Just like a baking a the ingredients that go into your creating! MORE on that LATER! What ever you end up doing, please HAVE FUN on the North Banderas Bay on the Riviera Nayarit! AHO!

Fun abounds on the North Banderas Bay on the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico!  


Community Service on the Riviera Nayarit

Many wonderful people help out with community service on the Riviera Nayarit, and  if there is one thing I love to write about is people that help people by doing community service; paying it forward. Paying it forward is the best way to allow your grace to shine out from within.  This is exactly how these two folks live their lives.
This week I would like to honor Bucerias Mexico residents Harold and Sue Sokolove  for their Riviera Nayarit community service endeavors.
Harold and Sue moved to Bucerias about 10 years ago. Harold and Sue lived in Waco Texas (a small town of 12,000 people) where they resided for 22 years before relocating to Bucerias.  Harold was a USPS mail carrier and Sue worked as an industrial engineer for the M&M Mars Candy Company. Harold was also a volunteer for the Waco Fire Department as well as in Iowa for 17 years.
Sue and Harold had spent many years vacationing in Puerto Vallarta and fell in love with the PV  and Riviera Nayarit area like so many of us have. Harold states, “Retirement meant that we could go anywhere we wanted. We met lots of people who vacationed here at the same time, and who were also planning to move or already had moved here.” Sue says she loves to live here “Because something unexpected always happens.” And isn’t that the truth!
Harold told me that Sue speaks Spanish quite well, however, also commenting that he is too lazy to practice, but can minimally converse because he took a couple of courses from Sean at the former BBCC. (Bucerias Bilingual Community Center in Bucerias.) They were also volunteers in the Waco Texas city government and also volunteered with a major Waco charity bike ride in Texas. The energy of volunteering and paying it forward followed them to Bucerias Mexico.

Harold was the former president of the Amigos de Bucerias, (2006-2008), and the original person for the PEACE adoption table at Mega (the former BBCC). They currently work with the Bucerias Children’s Library, Manos de Amor (Bucerias orphanage), Paraiso Felino Cat Shelter, and help with street repairs and clean-ups in Col. Las Palmas and Dorada, the reforestation project and the monthly Bucerias beach clean-ups. Sue also is a member of the Beta Sigma Phi service sorority.Since their relocation Harold has been a volunteer firefighter/bombero for the Proteccion Civil Bahia de Banderas and the State of Nayarit, as well has Sue from time to time over the years.

Bringing in Medical Supplies
Approximately 5 years ago they met Dianne Deboer who is a Critical Care nurse in a Calgary Canada hospital who had purchased a condo at the Aqua in the Flamingos development Nuevo Vallarta. Harold knew from working with the Proteccion Civil that there was always a need for first aid, medical supplies and equipment for their ambulances. Dianne had explained that she was always throwing away good medical supplies at her hospital. (Which I am sure is standard Canadian protocol.) From that point on Dianne began to bring medical supplies every time she came down and Harold and Sue were able to distribute them to the paramedics of Proteccion Civil, the local hospitals and Centro Salud (health centers), which were very well received. Harold tells me, “On one occasion, I arranged the donation to be covered by a Mexican newspaper reporter. I sent Dianne a copy of the newspaper story and she posted it on the hospital wall. Soon, other nurses were salvaging what would otherwise be thrown away under normal hospital policy.” Over the years, this is how Harold and Sue met the directors of the Proteccion Civil Nayarit.
How do you find a Free Fire Truck?
The current director, Maritn Tapia Miranda contacted them about 3 months ago, explaining that he had a friend in San Hose California who was a retired firefighter who bought and sold used fire trucks. He explained that his friend offered the PCE (Proteccion Civil Estadal) a used fire truck for free and only charging for the equipment that it carries which were the hoses, nozzles, ladders, power generator and other miscellaneous tools. Martin contacted them about “supporting” the campaign to get the fire truck for the newly opened PC base in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, who at the time only had one ambulance and one water tanker. Harold said, “The amount of money he needed was not out-of-line for what he told me came with the fire truck (a 1972 pumper), so after a little discussion we said OK.” Some of the moneys they collected were from people who donate money to them, so in turn can be distributed in lump sums to local community service groups and charities that have projects that need funding. They also received permission from the local Fire Chief to offer fire truck rides as a means to raise more funds for the fire department that were needed to purchase supplies and also for maintenance. It has all come together and the fire truck is now stationed in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and is also available to respond anywhere in the municipality. WOW! This is how you get a fire truck donated! ­­­
Harold and Sue keep busy so “We can really enjoy the times when we’re not busy. We have a good time; it keeps us from being bored and we hope it makes the community service organizations more successful.” When they do have time to relax they enjoy going to their newer home of 3 years in Guadalajara. They have some new projects coming up this high season and it will be interesting to see what develops!
Kudos to you, Harold and Sue Sokolove for holding the energy to help others and showing all of us through their example how Riviera Nayarit community service (or no matter where you are) can make a difference in the community. Thank you so much for all you both do for our communities here in Mexico. You are an amazing example of Grace in action.
Visit our FaceBook Page to find out about local Banderas Bay and Riviera Nayarit restaurants, specials, rentals and real estate, and community services.

Offer your help with Riviera Nayarit Community Service in Mexico. 


Perfect Mexico Vacation La Cruz Beachfront Boutique Inn

If your looking for a very special Riviera Nayarit vacation, take a look at our La Cruz beachfront Boutique Inn.  As we slide into the shoulder season… no longer the high season not yet the lazy daze of summer, Villa Amor del Mar, our La Cruz beachfront Boutique Inn, is the perfect place to be. Although I can credit every month of the year with some special happening, in my opinion, from now until July (and then again in October and November) there is a special vibe about La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico, and our La Cruz Beachfront Boutique hotel. Poolside and beachfront is the place to be as many of the snowbirds have returned North, so the beaches are ready for tourists, travelers or Mexican wannabees, as you will practically have the beach to yourself! This is what one usually envisions for their Mexico vacation..peace, tranquility and beautiful beaches. (Click on the photos that link directly to our photo gallery!)

Around now, prices reflect fewer people. There are more 2 for 1 and Happy Hour specials. You can get even better deals from the vendors. Everyone has time to share their experiences, teach a little of the language, dance moves or songs or generally lend a helping hand.
Our first 2 trips to the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico were the last week of June and the first week of July. The weather is perfect with nice breezes for poolside lounging and sipping a cold one. One of our guests who visited last year during the first week of July said she loved how, with fewer folks in our music mecca of a town, she felt like she was getting a private concert everywhere she went.

This is a great time to book at our La Cruz Beachfront Boutique Inn, (which can also be considered a La Cruz Beachfront Hotel) offering the La Cruz wedding of your dreams, La Cruz retreat, reunion or other gathering as rates are a little lower and there is much more availability.
Villa Amor del Mar
has been inundated with requests for group events yet we’re getting lots of folks from closer destinations booking 3 – 5 day get-a-ways, as well as our special 7 day packages.  Sure, there are a lot of La Cruz rentals out there…however if your looking for something very special, contact us. Our La Cruz Beachfront Boutique Inn is perfect for a romantic vacation, so if reacquainting with the one you love is on the list, ask me how I can make it special!  Click on the above links for more information about our La Cruz beachfront Boutique Inn, and our phone and contact information, or you may email us directly at

Our La Cruz Beachfront Boutique Inn is the La Cruz rentals location on the Riviera Nayarit
for a very special Mexico Vacation!


La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico Vacation

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico , the meaning La Cruz de Huanacaxtle means the “Cross of Huanacaxtle”.  I have heard from a long time US resident that the name was founded when lightening struck a Huanacaxtle tree, and created a cross on the tree. I have not seen this in writing anywhere as of yet, however, this is one story told around the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico.  There was also a cross make from a Huanacaxtle tree entering the town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.
Tradition, as there’s no better word to describe what is now La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico.  A cross made from Huanacaxtle wood is located by the beautiful main town square in the middle of the roundabout, (the glorieta) on your way towards the main docking area at the La Cruz Marina on the Riviera Nayarit in amazing Mexico.  Click on the links and photos to lead to more fun information.

The Glorieta and the Underground Story
Now, another story emerges, and was told to Lisa Van Thillo and  Lori Wilson from La Cruz, who had the pleasure of interviewing La Cruz’ Delegado Angel Alberto Garcia de Haro recently.  This is a another very cool story, and to say that it is more confirmed than the last!  It’s about the history of the La Cruz Cross, located at the Round’ a ’bout in the center of La Cruz’s main avenida, and right next to the La Cruz Town Square. The roundabout is also known as the glorieta.  Here is her words…thanks to my amiga Lori Wilson!

“When Lisa and I (Lori Wilson)  asked Angel (La Cruz’ Delegado Angel Alberto Garcia de Haro ) if he had any interesting and/or humorous stories about life in La Cruz he told us a story about the glorieta.  About 300 years ago pirates built a dungeon in the area under the cross with a connecting tunnel that had an entrance at the old Enrique’s Restaurant. The dungeon had chains attached to the walls and to this day the remains of their prisoners can be found. Apparently only the old timers knew about this and many years ago when the streets were being built a group of young boys found the tunnel and entered. One boy, who went in farther than the others discovered the remains. Can you imagine his surprise? The boys ran home and told their parents who immediately blocked the entrance. The parents have since died, but the boys are still living in La Cruz.”

What a great story! And, I am sure that those boys told stories for a long time, probably even to this day to their children and possibly grand children. WOW!

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico and The La Cruz Marina History
This small nestled  pueblo of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico was founded in the early 1930′s by visionary individuals with the last name of Chavez, and the town of La Cruz has grown by leaps and bounds since then. Located off of the 200 road as you head towards Punta Mita, and situated off the Banderas Bay, (the largest man made bay in Mexico), this small town can be easily passed by, yet boasts of unique places such as the newly rebuilt La Cruz Marina, which has served the public for more than 5 years. The year 2008 saw a magnificent harbor renovation which now hosts colorful spots for boat lovers, and sailors that come in to doc for the winter months, making La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico one of the perfect places to spend a magnificent Riviera Nayarit vacation in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico. 
For those people with a penchant for long-term sailing the town is particularly attractive. Much of this charm can be traced to the mixture of modern facilities and the traditional way of life. It can be compared to time travel, imagined by boat lovers, due the renovated La Cruz Marina.  It is no wonder that the smells of fresh fruit, the blue sea and all its gifts have a special place in the hearts and minds of all those seeking a refreshing vacation and of course, all those who want to live the life of sailing. La Cruz Marina is a favorite among all those who have visited the place and it has a prominent size in to-do lists of all those who know about it but haven’t visited, yet. The marina can house up to a 400 foot vessel.

La Cruz Restaurants

Beautiful La Cruz Marina restaurants with amazing views of the La Cruz Marina, such as the large marina restaurant overlooking the entire marina, serve the freshest catches of the day, Due to the fact that the  La Cruz Marina offers the expansive fish market that is open 7 days a week, the freshest fish is available.
Local restaurant chefs from all over the Riviera Nayarit come and purchase fresh fish for their menus.



During the high season, the La Cruz Marina also offers the La Cruz Market every Sunday, starting  on the first Sunday in November and usually ending in mid May. Vendors from Puerto Vallarta to Lo de Marcos and some from as far as La Penita and Guayabitos come to sell their wares and fresh foods. jewelry and everything in-between! The market runs from 9-2pm.

The fascinating place of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico combines the rustic charm of old Mexico with authentic Mexican restaurants, as well as restaurants that serve up Northwestern cuisines, Asian and German delights such as The Black Forest Restaurant.

Huichol Indian Art Gallery
The Octopus’s Garden hosts  a  unique and rather grand La Cruz art gallery with an amazingly large collection of traditional and modern Huichol art. Large and smaller Yarn Paintings, beaded objects jewelry, weaving and embroidery can be found.  Its fun to discover facts about the Huichol people of Nayarit and Jalisco; one of the most expressive shamanistic tribes in the world.
Check out more  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico restaurants  here.

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico,  is home to this authentic Mexican pueblo, and others along theRiviera Nayarit. The Riviera Nayarit occupying more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) of premium coastline provides the perfect locations for the best Mexico vacation.  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico is located between Punta de Mita, to the north, and Bucerias to the south, and about 50 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport,  Check out the newest website on the Riviera Nayarit  Fun Regional Network for rentals, restaurants, petroglyph tours, fishing tours, Marietta Island tours and all of the local fun in La Cruz! You may also email for any questions you may have.

Discover the small authentic pueblo of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Mexico
for your Riviera Nayarit vacation fun!


La Cruz Hosts 3rd Augas Abiertas Riviera Nayarit

Located on the Riviera Nayarit La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico expects 500 swimmers in all categories to participate in the third Aguas Abierta Riviera Nayarit, which is scheduled to take place on April 27, 2013 at the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.  La Cruz is located between Bucerias and Punta de Mita, west of the 200 Road.

Young swimmers of all ages will be testing their endurance in this competition, with levels starting at:  7 to 10 year old children swimming 500 meters,  kids 11 and 12 swimming 1.250 km.; swimmers ages 13 and 14 competing in the 2.5 km swim, and amateurs 15 years and older swimming the 3.75 km in the required time of under 2 hours.  If the first two Aguas Abiertas are any guide – it’s going to be great fun for everyone!

The main competition will be a 5km race for professional swimmers with a time limit of 1 hour, 20 min.  Last year Alan Rojas Sagrero won in a time of 1:01:33 and Lizeth Rueda Santos in Aguas Abiertas Riviera Nayarit 2011 time of 103:26, both swimmers bettering the 2011 times!  This year should be an exciting competition. (photos courtesy of Riviera Nayarit)


Registration will be open until Wednesday, April 24th, so get signed up!  Until April 21 registration is $550 pesos, increasing to $600 pesos after that date.  For more information, contact: or

The public is invited to attend the competition.  Come and watch from the beach next to the Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The La Cruz Marina has hosted this event for the last 2 years. This competition draws the best swimmers the Riviera Nayarit region, and the rest of Mexico. This is an event not to be missed and fun for the entire family.  Come on over to La Cruz on April 27th and enjoy the Third Annual Augas Abiertas swimming competition.

Discover the Riviera Nayarit for an amazing Mexico vacation filled with beauty, amazing and beautiful beachfront and Eco Retreat rentals, along with fun Riviera Nayarit activities that will create beautiful memories lasting a lifetime for the entire family!


Summer Fun in La Cruz Mexico

Taste of La Cruz
La Cruz is located on the Riviera Nayarit fifteen minutes North of Bucerias Mexico. On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the second “Taste of La Cruz” event will be held with wine tasting, food and crafts. This event will take place in the newly renovated Plaza Benito Juarez (the main town square plaza). The first event was held January 2011, and was a great success!
The event starts at 7:00 pm, ending at 10:00 pm. There is no cost for admission. The Taste of La Cruz will also feature the artists and craftsmen of the Cooperativo Huanacaxtle from the locals of the Riviera Nayarit, along with wine tasting and food paring offered by local restaurants.  There will also be live music with  La Cruz  Jazz band Tatewari and other bands as  well filling up the warm summer evening with some great tunes.  Its a great way for the community to get together to meet and socialize, and have an all around good time, all for a good cause.

Two television crews will also be there filming, so come and get your 15 minutes of fame! The net proceeds of this event will go to the operating fund of the WORK FOR FOOD program in La Cruz. Come and help support this good cause that feeds hungry people.
If you are interested in participating in this event, or would like to find out more on how to contribute to the WORK FOR FOOD program, please call Landon at 322-116-4731.

Come on over to La Cruz for some summer fun, wine tasting, delicious food and live music to get your groove on! See you at the party!


La Cruz Restaurant Eva’s Brickhouse Has Sushi
There is something fun and new happening at Eva’s Brickhouse, a wonderful La Cruz restaurant on the Riviera Nayarit, owned and operated by Eva and Ken right on the La Cruz Marina, which makes for a lovey dining atmosphere looking out over the beautiful marina.

Eva and Ken have decided to add Sushi to the menu.  And what better place for fresh fish than the La Cruz Marina, where the fish market is open every morning for the fresh catch of the day! So, why not serve the freshest Sushi and Sashimi in the Bay!

They are starting out with a simple menu:
California Rolls                                                                                    65 pesos
Yellow Fin Tuna, Red Snapper and Shrimp
Pargo, Smoked Oysters Crab and Fresh Catch of the day   90 pesos

There is 10 pieces per roll. All of the fish is fresh daily. I really like that!
You can find Eva’s Brickhouse right on the La Cruz Marina next to the fish market, or call Eva and Ken at 329-298-2238.

Summer is a great time to visit the Riviera Nayarit. Although it is much warmer in the summer months, there is always a lovely cool breeze off of the ocean, less crowds to contend with, and you can’t beat the summer rental and restaurant specials.

Discover La Cruz for your amazing Riviera Nayarit Vacation, move to Mexico for Life!






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