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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Revisiting La Noria, Mexico - Life in a typical small town in the hills

Well I didn’t get the posts on La Noria or El Quelite done – got busy taking a nap! – So what else is going on here?
Bill read in the Mexican newspaper that the government is increasing the minimum wage by 5% for everyone. Since last year prices have gone up for fuel and food so it needs doing. But then everything will probably go up again to cover the raise in wages.
Went out to dinner last night to a restaurant on the Marina and by the end of the meal we were all shivering. Damp cold…..About 68 degrees. But had good time with our friend. And listened to good music. At home it is supposed to snow tomorrow.
Earlier in the day we went to see someone up near Concordia and instead of taking Highway 40 we tried the Durango Cuota (toll road) we’ve been curious about it for a long time. Well it didn’t go much of anywhere except about 10 miles out of our way. So far it only goes as far as Concordia and there is no charge to go no where. It will be great when it gets done as the highway 40 to Durango is called the Devils Backbone – tomorrow we’re going to drive part of it and I’ll take some pictures of it.
So back to our trip to La Noria. We go there because we have some friends that have leather shops/factories there. They make saddles, belts, purses, shoes, bridles – what ever you need in leather.
Don’t know what these trees are but they are blooming all over the mountains. Very pretty.
And the vegetation this year is still green and lush. Don’t know if it is because of an excessive amount of rain or that it is just earlier in the year than we usually get here.
The ever present arch into a town. And just beyond it the topes (speed bumps) start.
The main street going into town. And one of the nastier topes. Again very high sidewalks.
Our first stop was at one of the leather shops/factories. It has been owned by the same family for generations. This will be the sole of a sandal.
He is trimming it by hand with a very sharp knife. After every few cuts he resharpens the blade on the stone. Grandfather and grandson.
A close up of his hands and knife. The clamp is there to keep the board he is working on still while he works.
Not a real good picture but one of the sandals that was just finished. It is still on the form. Allthe weaving of the leather strips is done by hand. And each strip is cut and dyed by hand.
While Bill was discussing some snake skins he wanted to buy I wandered into the little show room. Looking down at the floor I could see the original adobe floor – it was covered with cement then tiled. Kind of coming apart now.
While we were there an army vehicle pulled up and three heavily armed soldiers came in - the owner is making belts for them. Very friendly - lots of joking and laughing.
Just outside the shop down one building is this cross on the side of the street. Born 1960 died in 1990 something – couldn’t read the last number. Notice the tile sidewalks.
I love to walk around the town. Never know what I’ll find. The bright blue building is a school. See the trimmed tree out front. More topes in the street these are like half cannon balls. They get your attention. And a man out and about his business on his horse.
This is the first time we’ve seen these – kind of tongue in cheek – Petroglifos of La Noria – done in black spray paint. The building on the corner is an art school of some sort.
This home on a side street sells tamales. They smelled good. That's another thing great about Mexico all the good smells of cooking going on.
A little cactus growing out of a tile roof. Electrical wires for the outside lite running all over the place. Pretty colors and interesting designs around windows.
The arcade of an old building that houses a flour warehouse and a tortilla making store.
Making the tortillas. The dough goes in the top; it is cut into lumps then flattened out. Goes done the conveyer and then are lightly cooked ready to sell.
The old and the new. Ceiling is one of the original roofs. The light bulbs are energy efficient. The colors and wrought iron are great.
Back by the school yard. He is up on the ladder trimming the trees with a machete.   Wonder if that is his supervisor watching.
A couple of years ago we got some information on this house. Then it was not occupied or painted. It was originally built by the Spanish and the last occupant before now had been “an old American man.” Since last year someone moved in and has painted the outside and started to clean up the property. What you can see the white part and the front part are all one building.
I had seen these kids earlier playing a game of soccer in a big dirt fiend. There horses patiently waiting for them under some trees. Guess it is now time to go home.
I mentioned the smells of food cooking. This meat is being cooked out side of the meat market in a half barrel grill sitting on the sidewalk. Smelled really good.
As I walked up the side street I stopped for a bit and watched this lady outside sweeping up any leaves or litter that had blown into her yard. See very litter in the streets here. As I passed her of course the dogs started barking which set off a whole chorus of different animals, roosters crowing and cows mooing.
Just a little house we passed. Now almost everyone has electricity. I like the big cactus growing out of the middle of the tree out back.
And then a much bigger house.  And they even have satellite TV. This one is across the street from the church.
The church gave us a big surprise this year. It had been painted. Every time we’ve seen it it was yellow and pink. Last year’s picture.
Now it is cream and brown – this year’s picture. I think I like it better before.
Back down the main street leaving town. The yellow building near the far end is the blacksmith shop where I bought my burro shoes last year. If you want to read more about La Noria over the years you can search my old blog http://mexicobymotorhome.blogspot.com or check out the web pages of our previous trips http://movingon1.com
When I started this I didn’t think I’d have much to share or many pictures to post as we’ve been here so many times and I’ve written about it so much. Guess I got carried away but I so like to share daily living in Mexico with everyone. It is a wonderful country filled with great people.
Got to go now - heading into the Centro Historico - more later about El Quelite visit.

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