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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Short trip to Tepic on Monday

This is the second post I’ve done today in an attempt to catch up.
On Monday we went out to breakfast with John and Carol to a little restaurant run by friends of theirs. Tom and Bill had quesdillas, I had scrambled eggs and George had gorditos with birria. After eating we - Tom and George and us - piled in Willie to drive up the mountain to visit Tepic. We took the long way which is actually the quickest way up the hill. Going up highway 74 to the 15D the toll road. The climb up the 74 isn’t as steep and there are a whole lot less curves. But we do get caught for a toll before getting to Tepic. 50 Pesos – about US$3.50. On 74 as we pass through one town there are always ladies at the topes selling cups of cut fruit. Have never bought any but it looks good. Also this time just before we got to the 15D we came to a military check point and were waved over. Unusual. One of the marines – with his BIG gun hanging over his shoulder -  came up to the window and asked Bill for his identification in Spanish. Hummm?? Bill showed him his driver’s license from Indiana. I don’t think the young marine knew what he was looking at as he didn’t speak any English but he studied it for quite a while before handing it back and motioning us on our way.
Once in Tepic we parked in our favorite tiny lot right across the street from the main plaza and got out to walk around for a while. For it being a Monday and not the weekend the area was really busy. When we are out shopping I usually keep track of Bill by his white hat – I can see it easy. Well not here – I’d be following all kinds of strange men.
The plaza is a gathering place for all the older men who like to sit and visit.
Here we are in the small street where the Huichol Indians sit and create and sell their bead work. The building on the left is the central market. The stores on the right sell everything from children’s clothing to brooms and piñatas.
And we had to go into the market – Tom was a little leery this time I think but no cows heads in here. Each market in every different town has it’s own flavor and they are all different. This one has lots of clothing and lots of produce. This is a cheese stall – stinky cheese – at least for my nose and if I could smell it through my cold it was strong.
Bagged beans and seeds in front of the cheese and canned goods on the shelves behind it. See the mustard and mayonnaise and the selection of Campbell soups?
At the produce stand next door the young boy working it wanted me to take his picture too. Nice kid and good looking produce.
This market also has a couple of florists – now those areas did smell good.
Back outside in the plaza to walk around the crowds.
Over past the KFC and McDonalds.
All the men shining shoes and all the shoe stores with their great high heels for sale.
Back into the car and to another parking lot near the government building. We had to take Tom inside to see the glorious painted murals on the ceiling inside. 

Again I’ve posted many many pictures of it in previous year’s posts. Just search for Tepic.
From there we went to WalMart for groceries. Didn’t need much but we were there….
Then on to home. Because of the problems with Willie not wanting to shift and the heavy cloud cover in the mountains we took the same way home. Over the toll road to the 74 back to San Blas. And AGAIN just after we got on the 74 we came to the military check point. Got waved over again. This time a different heavily armed young (he looked 16) came over to the window. “Do you speak Spanish?” he asked. Bill answered, “No.” The marine studied us for a moment then motioned for us all to get out of the car. ??? We did. No point in arguing. A couple more marines walked over and stuck their heads into the car to look around. They had Bill open the tail gate and checked our grocery bags. But not the boxes he has back there with tools. They thanked us and waved us on our way. Across the street from where we were stopped was a whole marine outfit. Lots of trailers for sleeping, mess halls and equipment. In fact they even had barbers with them. As we were pulling away I saw a couple of guys sitting in the shade with beauty shop wraps around them getting their hair cut. You never know what you might see when out for a drive here.
I forgot to mention that the night before when we went out to dinner Bill had Willie washed and waxed. As we pulled in front of the restaurant to park in the street we noticed a guy up a couple of houses washing a parked car with a power washer. Bill asked him if he’d wash Willie. They negotiated a price for a wash AND a wax. Then the guy asked for the keys to Willie……..he would have to move the car up to in front of his house when the car he was working on left. I about had a fit when Bill handed over the keys. He told me “Don’t be silly. He needs them.” But, but, but. … We went into the restaurant that was right next door (where I took the pictures in previous blog.) When the car was finished the washer man brought Bill the keys. Now would we do that in the states? I really don’t think so. This culture is so different. Sometimes it’s hard for me to be comfortable with it. 
Tuesday was kind of a do nothing day. Everyone’s cold was bothering them and the day was kind of yucky – gray and overcast and cooler than it has been. Tom managed to leave his key in his room so was locked out. And the only person at the campground/hotel who had a master key was gone for the day. Carol, the other one, is a genius – she figured out how to get the door unlocked with a butter knife. Don’t know if that was good or bad but it worked.
We did go out to dinner and walk around the plaza for a little while. Had churros from the vendor on the corner for dessert.
Today’s first post is below this one. 

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