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Thursday, January 24, 2013

44 MPG for Willie & Making Belts in La Noria

Kind of overcast most of the day but nice – warm but not hot.
Took the laundry in to be done yesterday morning – picked it up all clean and folded in the afternoon. About $11.50US – here at the campground it is US$5 a load – so it is cheaper to have it done.
After leaving it off as we headed towards home I was thinking really really hard “Lets go to the Torres Hotel for breakfast.” Kept repeating it in my mind – of course I was also staring at the hotel as we were driving past it. And Bill asked, “ Would you like to go out to the hotel for breakfast?” Yay! It worked! Had an excellent breakfast American style – something we couldn’t get in Aticama. The hotel is beautifully landscaped – just a tiny portion of one of the green areas. Lots of beautiful plants.
We ate in the outside part of the restaurant right next to the beach. Big waves with a Red danger flag flying. We were watching all the vendors who ply the beach. I just learned from reading the Pacific Pearl, a monthly English magazine, that the beach vendors have to have a license. It costs about US$100 a year. The magazine interviewed on man named Henry. He works from 9:30 a.m. to dusk every day – walking the same stretch of beach all the time. He has sold hats and sun glasses for 29 years. He has provided for his family and home by doing this. It is his only job. Says he loves to meet the tourists and talk to them and has learned English this way.
As I was looking out the window of the restaurant thinking about the vendors one stopped and held up a blanket – the colors in it were wonderful – mostly primary colors. I called Bills attention to it. Bill rubbed his fingers together asking the vendor “how much?” The man held up three fingers – 300 Pesos. Bill shook his head no and looked at his plate. The vendor waved the blanket in the air. Bill held up two fingers – Vendor shook head “No.” Bill went back to eating his breakfast. Vendor waved blanket again and as you can see from this picture they came to an agreement. Like we really need another blanket.
A couple more of the vendors that passed by. This is all fresh fruit – when someone buys a cup he squeezes fresh juice over it.
And this man was weaving a bracelet or pencil cover as he waited for a customer.
After breakfast we came home and did a few, very few, chores around here.
To give an update on Willie – before dropping off the laundry we stopped to get gas and have air put in the tires as the sensor was insisting we had “low pressure in tire” even though they all looked fine. One tire was a couple of pounds low – so that took care of that. When we travel I keep track of everything we spend, or try to, including gas and mileage. When we got home I entered the days liters bought and miles done since last fill up. I've set up a database in Microsoft Access that does all the conversions of liters to gallons, mpg, mileage, Pesos to Dollars – so all I have to do is enter the numbers from the purchase - WOW!  Willie got 44 miles per gallon – we went 286 miles on 6 gallons of gas! Miracle. Obviously something was very wrong. Went out and rechecked the odometer. Numbers were right. Checked all my receipts for the last six days (the last time we got gas) Had those numbers right. Did we buy gas between then and now? Nope. After much puzzling and thinking we solved two problems – while towing Willie from Aticama to Mazatlan the key was left in the ON position instead of the AUX position so the miles were turned over on the odometer AND that is why Willies battery was discharged when we got here. TaDa!
Figured we needed a diversion after all that hard thinking and we wanted to see if Willie would still not shift into 3rd after he got warm so we took a short trip to La Noria to see out friend Roberto the leather shop owner there.
Why you don’t drive at night in Mexico – just entering La Noria. A gnarly tope, a dog and a stubborn horse in the road.  Also a parked ATV and another tope.
I walked around a little before going in to the shop. These are the lights on the kiosko in the small plaza. Dragons – in San Blas they were fish. Every town is different.
And we both went into the small market there. Bill was looking for small bottles of green Fabuloso – detergent – he likes to put it in the black tank in Jennie.
Just one of the pretty buildings. It is kept up on the outside but there is nothing but trees and weeds inside
The leather shop. Roberto has moved it into a larger space. Bill, Sergie (Roberto’s brother), Roberto and Roberto’s son.
Some of the saddles Roberto has made. They sell for about US$150.00 all hand made and custom fitted to the buyer.
While we were there a group of tourists came into town on ATVs they all order belts from Roberto. They would go ride around the countryside then come back to pick the belts up. So we watched Roberto, his son and his brother, Sergio make them. Roberto is stamping the design into a leather belt.
Stamping the persons name, letter by letter into the leather. The metal letter in one hand the tool for pounding it in the other.
The name.
The design – a little blurry but you can get the idea.
Roberto’s son dying the belt brown.
The belts lying out in the sun drying. They sell for about US$10.
A short video of the making of a belt. Oh yes, forgot to mention we also watched them cut the leather strip for the belt from a big piece of cow hide. How fast his hands move. I didn't film continually so there are a couple of belts being made here. First he is selecting the letters and stamping in the name. Next he is stamping a design. Then making the loop for the buckle and punching the holes in the belt. Then there is another belt getting the design stamped on it. 
I always enjoy going there to visit – so many interesting things to watch.
And still another reason not to drive at night.
Spent the rest of the evening – checking my pictures, watching the Mazatlan news (I watch, Bill understands) and reading. I’m reading one of the series of Flower Shop mysteries by Kate Collins – cute and fun to read. Got it from the Brown County library. Had the last of the left over ribs for dinner. 

1 comment:

  1. another interesting day. Bill sure does like that leather shop.