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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Small town and big town - Malpica and Mazatlan

Getting at this late again today – just lazy. It’s kind of a lazy day today out – cool and overcast. Love it!
Started off the morning by going to the big mall here to the TelCel customer center. Sometimes I wonder if the Banda Ancha is a blessing or a curse. Banda Ancha is Mexico’s TelCen answer to an aircard. Internet via a cell tower connection. The problem is the system doesn’t have all the bugs worked out yet and everyone you talk to at a store gives you a different story on how the time you buy works. On January 9th while in San Blas we had to renew our time/GBs. [We have had previous problems with this outlet but it is the only one in town] Told the lady we wanted 3GBs of use – she charged us 500 Pesos. Finally gave me a receipt after I demanded one. We were told “?” however many GBs you buy are only good for 30 days whether they are used or not. At the end of 30 days you have to buy more. We can check on how many megabits or gigabits we use – but not how many we have left. Well last nite I plugged in the stick and was told “You have to recharge your service” – in Spanish of course. WHAT?!?! We’ve only used 403 megabits of our 3gigabites and it is only January 25th. What’s up? This morning just for the heck of it I plugged the stick in and pop I was on line. No problem. Into the customer service we went. A wonderful helpful man straightened it out for us – I think – we have lots of GBS left and our service should be active until February 26th – one month from today. Somehow what we bought in San Blas was never activated but our payment did show on their computer. But how have I been on line since Jan 9th as I was told then (1/9/13) we had to recharge the stick and wasn’t able get on line until we did. Don’t know – just accept that all is okay now.
Yesterday morning we decided that we wanted some fresh baked goods from the wonderful little bakery in Malpica so we piled into Willie and took off. It is about 25 miles away. To get there we have to go on highway 40 the road to Durango. There is supposed to be a new Toll Road to Durango that will cut driving distance and time way down. It is supposed to open in a couple of months. Since we left here in December there has been a lot of construction going on on that road. Here is a brand new bridge that wasn’t even started when we left a couple of months ago.
In the future driving to Mazatlan via Texas will be dramatically improved due to the long awaited Maxipista from Durango to Mazatlan
It is estimated it will cut the driving time from Durango to Mazatlan by at least 2 to 3 hours. More importantly perhaps than the time, it will turn a two lane road with a harrowing series of switchback turns into a safe modern highway. The series of incredible bridges withe mind numbing vistas will combine with more than 60 tunnels to create what must be one of the grandest journeys in the world.
As we drove into Malpica we noticed that some of the homes have been repainted recently –
Notice the “mother-in-law” paint jobs. I’ve explained it before Only the part that the mother in law sees when she comes to visit gets the plaster and paint. The fronts are painted not the sides.
This little abarrotes – store- has a new video game out front.
Going into the bakery through the living room. The door in the back leads to the bakery.
Buying some baked goods. The baker’s daughter sold them to us.
Her mother was busy fixing lunch. They have owned this bakery for 38 years. They supply Malpica and the nearby town of Concordia (and us) with baked goods every day except Saturday when they don’t bake.
The dough is made the afternoon before so it has time to proof. The wood is put in the big oven and the fire started around 8 – 9:00 at night. By 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning the wood has burned down to coals and the hot coals are pushed to the sides of the oven and the pans of dough are put in the middle. The trays of baked goods take from 30 to 40 minutes to bake. We usually try to get there around 10:00 to get our croissants hot from the oven. In previous blogs I’ve posted pictures of the oven inside and out. [search Malpica] The product is out of this world. Every time we go there Bill says he is going to build us an oven outside at home.
When we were here in December the inside of the little church was being repainted. So we went to check on how the job turned out. Looks pretty good. It was repainted chartreuse and lavender. The ceiling were also repainted – bright white.
A very happy looking church. The outside is two tones of orange.
We’ve been watching this house being built it is now finished and being lived in. It has white tile flooring on the porch
When we got home I took a picture of my new blouses. They are hand made – the material is hand woven. They are so comfortable and cool to wear.
Spent the heat of the day just lazing around – I’m working on another necklace that is really easy but time consuming. And I finished reading "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Rielly - Not sure what I expected but was kind of disappointed in it. 
Towards evening we took a ride to the northern end of the Mazatlan beaches just for something to do. Watched the surfers for a while. Lots of them there and some good sized waves coming in. 

Then we stopped by an area where I like to take sunset pictures. A couple of the beach vendors (we met them before in December and they were fishing then too) were fishing but with no luck. 
At my prodding Bill asked them about their jobs. Yes, their license costs about US$100 per year. And if they have anyone working for them that person needs a license too i.e. wife, son etc. They can work the beaches the whole length of Mazatlan but most have specific areas they work all the time. They must carry their license as there are officials that come around to check them. He showed us the license. About 3” x 5” laminated with all his information and a picture of him on it. These particular vendors all were wearing white shirts. He told us that then the official knows they have their license and doesn’t bother them. He said he makes a pretty good living at it.
This picture shows a group of vendors walking across the sand bridge leaving the front of the hotel and heading back to their vehicle to pack up for the night.
Just the sunset.
From there some how??? we ended up at the Plazuela Machado. It has been decorated for Carnaval. Luckily it was pretty warm out as we were both in shorts. 

Bill and our friend Pilar – the waiter at Beach Burger hamming it up for my picture – I didn’t even realize they were in the picture until I down loaded it.
We had dinner – Thursday through Sunday nights the street is closed and the tables are in the street. Several people had set up tables selling everything from jewelry to bookmarks. From the music school on the corner a class was practicing and their music drifted over the sound of talking and laughter. 
Just as we were getting ready to leave a band started playing in the Kiosko
Us old folks leave there about 9:00 just as the evening really starts to rock. Mazatlan is such a neat city. 

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