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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day spent in Guaymas


A little about our trip to Guaymas. Guaymas is about 10 miles down the road from San Carlos. And whereas San Carlos is a pretty little town full of gringos Guaymas is a port and fisherman big city. We haven’t been there for a couple of years and each time we go back we see changes for the good. The whole area has grown; the downtown is thriving and busy. This is the main street. Lots of traffic and people. Notice the Woolworths.
We drove down along the Malecón Рthe harbor. Last time we were here the city was working on it. Putting in new sidewalks and parking. Looks finished. A panoramic view of the area.
There are places to sit and rest – and they are neat – see the star fish and the seal. They are benches.  The sidewalk is blue and gray. The blue part has deep blue sparkles in it and is shaped like waves. Very pretty.
A group of women cleaning out the weeds. There were several groups of men and women all over cleaning out weeds and sweeping.

Looking back towards town. The Templo of San Fernando is in the background and the Fisherman’s monument in front.
A closer look at the monument. He had a fish under his foot.
We drove further along the coast up by the ferry dock. Here the buildings showed their age but the streets again were super clean and lots of street sweepers around.

Headed back into the main part of town up a narrow side street. As we approached the main street
The Driver stopped to let cross traffic pass. A policeman was standing in the intersection directing traffic. He put up his left hand to stop an oncoming bus and with his right hand motioned us to cross the street. The bus stopped so we drove across.
As we continued on we heard him blowing his whistle Peet! Peet! Peet! I even said “I wonder what his problem is?” We continued to the next block where there was a parking place and couple of guys ready to wash cars. Pulled in and parked. Negotiated price for Willie’s wash. They do an excellent job with their buckets and rags and poor Willie really needed cleaning. They got right to it.
As we walked away the policeman caught up to us still peeting on his whistle. Bill turned to talk to him. The conversation was in Spanish but I figured out he was unhappy with us. Turns out he was saying we went through the intersection when he told us to stop. Don’t think so.
The guys washing the car were listening and told Bill that this particular policeman made a habit of hassling people. He was looking for mordida – a bite – bribe. Quite a discussion took place – with a few very loud words in English from the driver. Finally Bill gave up and gave the policeman 100 pesos – about US$8.00. The policeman left. The guys washing the car shrugged their shoulders and went about their business.
We hadn’t gone but half a block when a couple of very well dressed men called to us in English. “Did he ask you for money? Did you give him money?” Bill told them yes he had given him money.
The man said we will go to him and get it back. What?? He then added that he was the government and he knew of this policeman and had problems with him before. So off we went back to the corner to confront the policeman. Turns out our benefactor was the Minister of Culture and Tourism for the state of Sonora. And he had lots of authority.
The policeman stopped smiling when he saw us coming and came right over to our group.
Again the whole conversation was in Spanish and very heated on the part of the Minister. During the conversation a young woman walked up and greeted the Minister and asked what was going on. She too was upset and gave the policeman a disapproving look. She pulled out her cell phone and took a picture of Bill and said she was going to put the incident on the evening news. She was the news anchor for the local TV channel. WOW.
The policeman gave us the money back. The minister said that this time he would not report him but if he ever did it again he would lose his job. (Bill ended up splitting the 100 pesos among the guys washing the car and a street vendor who looked like he could use it.)
The Minister said that the government is working very hard to stop this sort of thing and hoped it didn't change our view of Mexico. Bill assured him it didn't. There has been so much progress made in this country in the last 15 to 20 years it is disappointing to run into this. But any way.......All the time we've spent traveling here in Mexico we have had good experiences with the police - but guess we eventually had to run into that 1 out of 100.
We were off walking again to see the Templo de San Fernando. The last time we were here a couple of years ago the church’s roof had collapsed from a tropical storm and we wanted to see if it was fixed yet. A couple pictures of the church from the side

From the water front it is behind the yellow building.
Nope, but they were working on it and a lot had been done. Looking from the front door
This guy is standing on the outside of the building. The whole dome had to be rebuilt.
A lot of the repair work has been done but still needs painting.
In the mean time the services are held outside under a canopy. The pews have been moved outside.
And the statue of Mary in the grotto is used as the altar. Very pretty out there.
We went back to a very clean and shinny Willie and went on to WalMart. A big new store and right next door a new Sam’s Club. Did our shopping. How do you like these peppers? They are about 60 US cents apiece- price shown is per kilo and there are 5 to 7 peppers per kilo.
And the pastry department – had to buy some of course. These are glazed croissants – don’t they look like little chicken butts? But very good.
Trays and trays full of good stuff
Back to San Carlos we walked around the marina a little and then watched the sunset and had dinner.
And there is a change of plans – we are not leaving here until tomorrow.
The previous post has some pictures of the marina, restaurant and the sunset.

2 comments:

  1. Glad everything worked out with the police incident. At least efforts are being made to correct the situation. It would have been a lot more scary had Bill not spoken Spanish. Love the bakery items. Look delicious.

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  2. Nice to see the officials are not turning a blind eye on the policeman's behavior. Did you get to watch the evening news? I enjoyed the tour of the town. Being fluent in Spanish sure enhances your experiences.

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