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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arrived in Mazatlan

Left Huatabampito this morning and arrived in Mazatlan this afternoon. Long drive 360 miles and quite expensive 990 Pesos about US$ 72...
Went out to dinner at Fat Fish - had bbq ribs. Yum
Pictures tomorrow

Yavaros Salvage Operation Day 2

Wednesday a.m.
Just finished posting what was supposed to be yesterdays post – so it is a day late – we’re on vacation. Now if the fog doesn’t lift I’ll try to get more about the salvage operation posted – what we watched yesterday.
First I want to include a picture of one of the many tortilla deliverers – they are scooting all over towns. They have coolers strapped on the back of their scooters that are filled with freshly made tortillas. And they have whistles and or horns to let the housewives know they are coming. Their horns sound like the sirens of emergency vehicles – so we are forever trying to figure out where the firetruck or ambulance is coming from. And zipping by us goes a tortilla salesman.

We went back over to the harbor around 11 a.m. yesterday. The same machinery was there but there was the addition of an underwater diver.
Full wet suit and machine of some sort that supplied him with air.
He was trying to figure out a place on the wreck to attach the cables so they could get the most leverage and the metal wouldn’t rip apart.
Everyone in crew watching and thinking.
The diver in the water and everyday fishing activity going on behind him.
Bill walking out to check on what was going on and the driver of the crane getting into it. Something was going to happen soon. The crane pulling on the hook attached by cables to the wreck. Wreck didn’t even move.
One last try using both bulldozer and crane.
Bill discussing the situation with The Boss – in maroon shirt today and still on dry land. Pretty much decided the wreck couldn’t be pulled out with the equipment they had. Needed maquinas mas grande(bigger machines.)
Unhooking the cables.
I’m going to take my crane and go home. Well actually he just moved to a different place to try to raise a different wreck. What I've been calling the back wheels actually turned out to be the front wheels.
The new wreck they would try to get out.
Another wreck in Yavaros Harbor
Back in the water bringing out the cables to hook on.
Notice the pelicans don’t seem impressed at all.
The bigger chain is attached to the bulldozer again.
Time to get out of the way. Notice the one pair of gloves on the guy in the red shirt.
Well they couldn’t move that wreck either. The pelicans didn’t even flap their wings. This is when we finally left. But I have a feeling when we come back next year the boats will still be in the water.
While all this was going on with the salvage crew everyday life was going on all around us. Guess what the subject of the next blog will be….Lots of fishing.

Yavaros Salvage Operation Day 1

Wednesday a.m.
I started this post last night, Tuesday and for some reason thought it was Wednesday. I did post yesterday......Brain is getting fuzzy I guess - too much sun. So just ignore the next sentence.
Late getting todays post out. Thought I'd done one this morning - oh well guess not. We went back to Yavaros to watch again and spent a good part of the day there. I took so many pictures and videos it’s taking me a long time to decide which ones to post. So here goes pictures and narative from yesterday. Just the highlights - I took lots and lots of pictures.
As we got to the part of Yavaros where the fishing fleet docks we saw something interesting. During hurricane Lisa in 1976 several ships were destroyed and they’ve just sat half in and half out of the water since then.
One of the sunken ships
Now a salvage crew was taking them out or I should say trying to take them out. Parts of one of the wrecks they already have out.
Supposedly according to a guy Bill was talking to the harbor is going to be enlarged, a new Malecón will be built as will a hotel.  We ended up staying there quite a while watching. Very interesting to watch. OSHA would have had a fit – as the pictures will show – no protective gear on the men. I saw one pair of mismatched gloves that they shared. The water is quite cold and the rocks slippery. And the wreck itself is all rusted and rotted metal.
Cables were attached to the sunken hulk and to a big hook on the crane.
The cranes hook rose pulling on the cables the back wheels of the crane rose off the ground. The wreck didn’t move.
Then the cables snapped. Everyone ran as the cables flew and the crane slammed down on the ground.
Checking it out and trying to figure out what to do next
For a long while - the boss stayed on dry land giving instructions. He is the guy in the dark blue shirtwith the light colored cap on.

Oops the boss finally had to get wet.
More time spent in the water by the men reattaching cables and hooking up one end of a huge chain to the wreck and the other to a big yellow bulldozer.
Thats a big chain!
The crane raised its hook, the dozer revved its engine black smoke pouring out of it exhaust it pulled. Nothing.
See the chain pulling
The crane’s wheels were about a foot off the ground and the dozer was pulling so hard its tracks were slipping. More nothing. We watched for a couple of hours. Finally the boss decided to call it a day. They’d try something different the next day. So we left.
I have video of part of this but haven't got it ready to post yet. Also we went back and watched again yesterday. So stay tuned for Salvage Day 2. I kind of hope we don't get out of here today so we can go back and check again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wednesday - Last Night in Huatabampito

I tried to do a regular update with pictures about the salvage operation we were watching in Yavaros but Internet is not cooperating tonight. Can't upload the pics I so carefully chose. So will either try much later or tomorrow from where ever we end up.
We are leaving here in the morning and where we stop we don't know yet. Either Las Glorias or Mazatlan. Depending on how far Bill wants to drive in one day.
Till then....

Walk on beach, trip to store and visit to fishing village of Yavaros

Tuesday a.m
You wouldn’t know it was morning by looking outside. It is very, very foggy this a.m. Can barely see the sun. It just came up for a few seconds before it was swallowed by the fog.
6:45 a.m.
Cold out too – had to turn the heat on for a bit. (since I've been writing this the fog burned off and the sun is hot coming in through the window. And Bill is out feeding the birds.)
Actually was domestic yesterday – well kind of. I did cook dinner Italian sausage and parsleyed potatoes. Tasted good and we now have some left over sausage to nibble on. Bill thinks I’m nuts but I like them cold. Also had the laundry done – notice I said had – water pressure here is so bad it would have taken forever to do it myself.
In the morning we took a walk down the beach by the homes there. About seven years ago a big hurricane came through and destroyed a lot of them. Each year that we are here more and more of them are fixed. Some are quite large and pretty.
It shares a common wall with a duplex that hasn’t been repaired.
Some homes are kind of intact but need a lot of repairs.
This person built his home back away from the shore.
I like this gate, different and interesting
There was this nice brick and tile wall still standing
But this is all that remains of the home behind it.
This one has just been rebuilt – I like the façade.
After our walk we had to go into town to go to the market for honey, chips and salsa and tortillas for the birds. Also a breakfast sausage Bill likes. Buying the sausage – notice the face masks on two of the clerks. One sign is for ham at 4.77 US$ per pound - not sure what kind of ham. But know they sell whole hams wrapped in plastic just like in US.
Didn’t know they still made Tang and in this many flavors.

I think I've mentioned it before. Here your groceries are bagged either by very old people or young students - middle school aged. They all wear aprons and hats provided by the store. They do not get paid - the only money they make is the tips they are given. The more bags the bigger the tip. And the jobs are highly desired. Three to five pesos is the average - remember there are 14 pesos to a dollas.
Another very common thing here is - if you have a house you usually sell something out of it. Bread, gasoline, meals, snacks or a video machine on the porch. And if you have a pick up you sell something out of the back of it. Produce, seafood, cleaning supplies, water - use your imagination.
After shopping we went to the fishing village of Yavaros to see if anything was different there. Lots going on there - see the next blog.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tour of Hacienda de los Santos in Alamos

While in Alamos we also took another tour of the magnificent Hacienda de los Santos – this is their web page. It’s in English and worth the time to check it out.
http://haciendadelossantos.com/site/  Over the years six different properties have been combined to develop the hotel. One property was an old sugar mill.
The room rates for a double start at 155.00 – 255.00 US dollars a night and go up from there to the Mansion Villa suite at US$950.00 a night. Nice to see how the other half can live. They also have an airplane club where you can fly your own plane into the airport and they will pick you up. Coming in the front door to the lobby. Pools, fountains, flowers – beautiful.
One of the outdoor seating and relaxing areas.
An old banyan tree in a courtyard. There are several of them on the grounds.
Just looking up at one of the higher end suites. This one has a roof garden.
One more of the fountains
An old door – most of the building has been restored from ruins.
Love these rounded brick ceilings. This one has a copula for light.
Another pool area with lush plants around it. One other tidbit – no children under 12 allowed. My kind of hotel.
This banyan tree has a palm tree growing up right out of the middle of it. The palm tree is alive and thriving.
A private dining room. Wouldn’t that be romantic.

There is also the required spa and gym, a movie theater, private dining rooms, a restaurant and a bar that was from revolutionary times. It was dismantled in Cuernavaca brought here and rebuilt.
This year we didn’t get to go into any of the bedrooms but a couple of years ago we did. Some pictures of them can be found here http://mexicobymotorhome.blogspot.com/2009/12/alamos-hotel-wow.html
After writing this we took a walk down the beach aways. Pictures later.

Walking around the Pueblo Magico of Alamos

Monday a.m.
Got a wonderful nights sleep last night – no rain, no wind and lots of fresh air during the day. The seagulls are outside waiting for Bill – did you ever notice you never see baby seagulls or baby pigeons. Just random weird thoughts. No plans for today yet. Just get this post done and watching to see if I can see the dolphins go by.
As I mentioned we drove the 60 some miles inland to go to Alamos yesterday. I’ll have to say we both did pretty good walking around the town. But didn’t climb the hill to the old jail. Another couple camped here at El Mirador RV went with us. It’s their first time driving an RV in Mexico and they don’t have a toad with them.
As always the entrance arch into Alamos. This was built – rebuilt – just a few years ago when the road was improved after being washed out. By clicking on a picture you can see a larger version of it.
Alamos Arch
Managed to get right to the Plaza de Las Armas in front of the church on the first try this year and found a parking place. The Gazebo with the beautiful gardens all around it.
Gazebo in Plaza de Las Armas Alamos
The ceiling of the gazebo – there are all different kinds of musical instruments painted on it and in the iron work.
Around the plaza are vendors selling: hot sauce, honey, some kind of chocolate and Bill’s favorite Membrillo. (Membrillo is a dessert eaten in Latin countries, although it is also served with toast at the breakfast table. Membrillo or Dulce de Membrillo is a sweet, very dense jelly made from the fruit of the quince tree. Unlike the jellies we are used to eating in the USA, membrillo is dense enough to hold its shape. So, it is normally sold in squares or “bricks,” then cut into thin slices and spread over plain toast or toast with soft or cream cheese. Some people prefer to serve it with cheese to have a salty contrast to the sweetness of the membrillo.) He didn’t buy any this time but our friends did. Hope they like it.
Membrillo in Alamos
Other vendors were selling trinkets, toys, clothes and carvings.
Looking up at the church tower. There was a mass going on so we didn’t go inside this time.
One of the side walls of the church where an old window has been covered up.
As we walked down the street we passed this one house with the door open – allowing us a glimpse into the interior patio.
Saw this tile story embedded in the stucco wall of another home. It tells the story of making a wool garment. From the raising of the sheep, the spinning of the wool up to the wearing of the clothes.
Some of the doors to the homes are beautiful.
Alamos carved door
Found this tiny footprint in the tiles of the sidewalk. That is a peanut shell in the big toe. Should have taken it out – but oh well.
Another house with flowers painted around the door. This town is so pretty – so much to see if you’re looking.
A completely restored home. The roof over the pillars is original. The house to the right of it has luminaries on the roof for the holiday season
Just a look at one of the many white walls with colorful bougainvillea growing against them. Every color imaginable.
Looking down a quiet side street. Most of the homes that have been restored are owned by North Americans.
Alamos street view
A street of businesses. Not too busy on a Sunday.
Notice how high the sidewalks are above the road. A lot of flooding goes on around here in the rainy season. Wonder who the dog is waiting for.
A ride around town for the locals and the tourists.
Heading out of town on the busy main shopping street. Again the high sidewalks. Lots of small stores selling anything you could want. From lingerie to shovels. Vending machine has ice in bags.
More shoping. A big bag of something (maybe potatoes) in the pickup and shrimp in the coolers.
Passed him on the way back. He sells dusters, brooms and mops and cleaning supplies. First saw him on a street in town surrounded by women buying things.
While in Alamos we took another tour of the Hacienda de los Santos. Will post some pictures of it in next blog. As always it was beautiful –
Back to Huatabampito to rest up for our next adventure….what ever it will be.