30 November 2009

Buñuelos

During my trip to Dolores Hidalgo on the afternoon of 15 November, a small incident occurred, which I have considered at times since. It has had a delayed effect on me.

We discovered that a mariachi concert was scheduled for the evening after seeing quite an elaborate sound and video system being set up on a large stage in front of the church. We decided to stay into the evening for this performance. While we were killing time awaiting the performance, I purchased a buñuelo.

A buñuelo is a Spanish fritter made of a yeasty dough that is rolled flat and fried. It is then covered with a sweet coating. They come in different shapes in other places in the Latin world, I understand. The one I purchased was delicious. It was a large, disk-shaped buñuelo covered with a syrupy, sugary coating. After finishing it, cleaning my hands so that my fingers did not stick together was a project.


The little old lady who sold it to me from her stand was a sweetheart. She was undoubtedly the one who had made these. When she saw me struggling to clean my hands afterward, she abandoned her stand for a moment and rushed over with a fresh supply of napkins.


Here is the real point of the story. Right after handing over the very few pesos that the snack cost and before leaving the stand, I noticed that she made the sign of the cross after putting my money in the cash box. As we walked away, I asked Adriana--hereinafter referred to as La Mexicana--what the hell that was all about. La Mexicana explained that the little old lady's sale to me was her first sale of the day. She made the sign of the cross after her first sale as part of her prayer that the rest of the day would be a good one for sales generally.


Now why does that touch me so? I do not know. But I do know this. I hope her first sale of the day to me and her prayer at the time brought about a run on buñuelos in Dolores Hidalgo later in the afternoon and evening of 15 November.


Buñuelos Lady




29 November 2009

The Stables




Rich people tend to purchase stuff that they do not use. This stuff we refer to as “accumulations.” Rich folks' garages are full of automobiles and motorcycles that they neither drive nor ride. Marinas are full of rich folks' sailboats that they do not sail. Some wealthy people also stable horses that they do not ride.

I find that not owning stuff is enormously liberating. However, it is still important to know people who do have the stuff. In this way one can still enjoy stuff without the burden of responsibility that accompanies ownership of stuff.

My friend Allyson, who you will remember is from Montana, is a horse enthusiast without sufficient funds for her own horse. She came up with a brilliant idea. She placed an ad offering to tend and exercise horses for those who have neither the time nor the inclination to tend or exercise their own horses here. She got the work.

25 November 2009

Half Way Home

Back in Pátzcuaro and camped here again half way home. The weather is a bit of a contrast back up at altitude.



Still had the camera set for the beach.






More Piracy

In addition to my observations concerning piracy, the Mex Files also weighs in on the subject.

He mentions Y.M.C.A. The D.J. played hell out of that tune on the steps of the church right after the baptism of the babies.



Boogie Board







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The poor man's surf board, a Boogie Board. Una tabla boggie.





The big boys had already left by this time in the morning.


As many of you already know, this is a workout for sure. You work and work for 30 minutes to get in position for one run that lasts 10 seconds if it is good. Well, really good in my book.



24 November 2009

Tough Afternoon




It has been a tough afternoon of learning ranchero songs.

Allyson suggests that I mention the fact that none of us have bathed in a week. . . . other than our dips in the ocean. It seems to be working for us.

Iguana




Beej, I am sorry about omitting the iguana photos yesterday. I was rushed at the internet café, and the sweat was dripping off my nose. Here he is:





The last picture above is not of our favorite iguana. It is a picture of our favorite bartender, Carlos. Carlos has done a littl rehab, also. Consequently, he and I get along well.


Carlos has explained a bit to us about the wildlife. Iguanas, turtles, deer, and many snakes are protected here. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of resources available for enforcement. He explained that the iguana population has dropped drastically over the last ten years. First, they are tasty. Second, iguana blood is valued as a medicine for babies by the Mexicans.

Next, he explained that the creature Allyson had seen earlier in the ocean was a crocodile. Crocodiles are fresh water creatures, but they venture out into saltwater for no more than an hour at a time. (I understand full well that you are not believing a word I write here. So be it. I am telling you the truth.)

Contrary to your visual image, if you have not looked at a map, our beach runs more east and west than it does north and south. We walked down to the east end this morning to check out the home of the crocodiles in a fresh water lagoon there about 100 meters from the sea. Allyson and I saw one immediately. About five or six feet.

Allyson in front of the lagoon, curious and terrified.

The lagoon further in.

The bay in front of the lagoon.




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We had fresh clams and fresh shrimp on the barbie in the dead of night last night. Frank has his headlamp on.





23 November 2009

Some Soft Facts




A bit of text is in order. I have only the vaguest idea where we are precisely. I know that we are on the Pacific coast of México. I believe that we are a little north of a city called Zihuatanejo instead of a little south of Zihuatanejo, as we had originally planned. On the Bahia de Petulcalco in a village called Trocones. I just found out from a waiter. I had my map out.

[I had my map out. I typed this by the beach, but I have had to come into sweltering downtown Zihuatanejo to an internet joint in order to post it.]

If you look at a map, we are somewhere north of Acapulco about one-third of the way to Manzanillo.


Paradise. Absolute paradise.

Let us give the sunrise this morning some equal time with the sunset of the night before last.



On Satuday in the late afternoon, we drove into this village and stopped to eat at the first beach front hotel and restaurant that we happened upon. We then asked if we could camp on their beach. No problem. No charge. We can use their poolside showers and restrooms and internet connection. All they ask in return is to see our lovely faces occasionally. We have no problem with that. We eat like kings here. I sit on their deck looking at the ocean as I type, drinking an herbal iced tea.

Huevos Veracruz

Unfortunately, the internet connection here is intermittent because the electrical service is intermittent. The electricity was out from mid-afternoon until the wee hours of the morning last evening. I took advantage of the semi-darkness of a quarter moon to take a skinny dip in the Pacific at around 10:00 p.m. I had no idea that I would ever have the chance to skinny dip in the Pacific. I got that task out of the way last night. A little frightening out there in the breakers at night, to be honest.

The following photo shows the Hotel Trocones' beach front restaurant.



As one faces the beach, our campsite is to the right.




Between the restaurant and the campsite is the massage cabana that is only manned on weekends. We pass midday out of the sun in that cabana. Read and chat.

Other than that we spend and enormous amount of time in the water. It is incredibly warm and incredibly clear. We are assured that there are no sharks by the locals who have every economic reason in the world to lie to us about that.


I do not need the wet suit to keep warm. In fact it is too hot. However, the added buoyancy is marvelous out there. Beyond the breakers, I can float on my back as if I were on an inflatable raft. And with a pair of small fins, I can move about at will as well. When Allyson had my goggles on yesterday, she spotted a large manta ray. I myself have seen only small creatures. The hermit crabs keep us company on the beach at night.

This is an iguana who hunts in the palm trees next to the massage cabana.

Each meal at Hotel Trocones take two hours at least. We usually have breakfast and lunch there, and then we nose around for some dinner. Last evening, I gathered enough beach wood for one fire, and we prepared quesadillas in aluminum foil next to the fire.


Frank and Allyson are going into the fish market at Zihuatanejo today. We intend to cook whatever they find over charcoal tonight in a cheap charcoal grill that Frank found.


We have the beach to ourselves. Today is Monday. We truly do have the entire area to ourselves now. It is so overwhelmingly beautiful that I cannot describe it.



Bubba and Louie are having a wonderful beach romp, also.

That is chocolate on the front of my shirt.