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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trip to Copala

Another change in our plans – we will be here until at least the 23rd of this month. Got a good deal on a monthly rate so figured Why Not?
On Wednesday evening we were invited to a “Do” at one of the places that has condos for sale. Figured “Why not.” Actually turned out really nice. No pressuring from the sales people just great entertainment, a raffle (nope didn’t win), all you could drink –soft and alcoholic (margaritas and beer) and food. A Mariachi Band played near the pool for a couple of hours.

Lots of songs
And music
All the time waiters were circulating with trays of drinks. Tried a margarita but my stomach said NO very quickly and loudly. Shoot it tasted good. The people behind us were polishing the drinks off, one waiter wore a path in the cement to their chairs. And the food – there were six different kinds of food to put into hand made tortillas and the accompanying lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, etc. I got lucky and had beef of some kind, it was good and not hot. Did get a chili mixture too – but asked first and didn’t eat more than one little bite. Too hot. Bill got into the other line and everything he got was spicy. Saw lots of people making two or three trips up to the food. Anything free I guess. A pleasant way to spend an evening.
And we’ve taken another drive out of town. This time up the highway towards Durango a ways to the little village of Copala it was founded in 1565. It was and is still a mining area. We were there last year too. But it’s a pretty drive.
There really isn’t much to the town. Colorful houses, a very old church and a restaurant.
A couple of the colorful houses - many coats of paint on that one
Did I say colorful
It is nestled in the hills and almost invisible from the highway. A sharp right turn from the highway and you are on a steep cobblestone street leading down to the village. Wind around past the Panteon #3 [cemetery – don’t know why #3] then past a couple of the red tile roofed houses.
And on up the street to the center of town.
Most of the houses have the old red tile roofs.
There is the plaza
and the Church and much to our disappointment the beautiful big rose colored bougainvillea that was in front of the church was GONE! We asked and were told that it was causing damage to the foundation of the church so it was cut down.
A photo from last year - it is all gone now.
What a shame. The church is very pretty. It was built in 1765.
It has some interesting features: The weeds that are growing on the top of the bell tower.
It’s almost a meadow up there now. The statue standing on the corner of the roof.
And the “civilian man” who comes out from the front of the church just above the choir window. No idea what that is about
The young man who was making the wood carvings from the bark of a tree with big horns/thorns was still there. Again we bought a couple of the carvings. He uses very make shift tools to do his work – a small stone sharpened regular screwdriver and a piece of a broken automobile antenna are a couple of tools he uses. It is amazing what he can do.
We bought this one
Some close ups of it from left to right - see the plants and roof
The shiny stuff is silver ore - depicting one of the mines
I like the taxi
After visiting with him for a while we went again to look at the leather masks the guy here makes. Talked to him too. Found out he not only uses cow and pig leather he also uses skins from different kinds of fish in his masks. Interesting. Hope The Driver doesn’t want to pick up any fish skin to bring home. Phew! Couldn’t take any pictures of his masks – has a BIG sign up NO PHOTOS!!!! Took some last year though.
The lower right one - the band across the forehead is fish skin
Back down the streets to Daniel’s restaurant where we had lunch. It is a neat place; sits on top of a hill so good views and very pretty inside. Lots of colors. Both of us had chicken fajitas with salad and of course beans (ugh) and the meal comes with a slice of banana cream pie (delicious.) I ate both of them.
Daniel’s is famous for it’s banana cream pies – they are even sold in Mazatlan. The owner built the restaurant to give work to the people of Copala.

As we were leaving town we passed this group. Dad, son on burro and puppy trailing behind
With tummies full we thought we’d drive a little further up the road to Durango. It has heavy truck traffic – I wouldn’t like to do that as there is at least one curve every 150 feet. Its called “The backbone of the Devil.”
While going uphill we rounded a corner to find a pig in the road.
He ambled off onto the shoulder when he saw us. First time for everything I guess. Turned around right after that and headed back to Mazatlan. No more adventures on that trip.

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