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We are traveling in Mexico again this winter of 2012
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Still Here - Doing Chores

Well another departure day has come and gone – and we are still in Mazatlan – just something about being here that we both like (of course it would be nicer if we were in Alfie.) So why did we decide to stay another week? Ummm….too lazy to move, like going to Plaza nights, visiting with people from the city days – And real reasons, had to find a watch repair man for Bills favorite watch (we did and it will be fixed by Wednesday and will cost US25 – was asked three times that to “maybe” fix it in US.)

The watchmakers place in Centro
And had to find an alterations lady for his new pants.
That’s done too – 60Pesos to shorten them (US$ 4.75) Found one thing that is not cheaper here – ink for the printer – same price here and there.
Took some pictures of some of the beads we bought
There are five of these boxes full
And over 100 of the little cups full
and some of the other material. - this is the woven stuff
And wouldn’t you know we found another bead place in centro – this one has real beads – not just seed beads and they had earring backs. Opens up a whole new world. Paid 600Pesos appx. US$55 for what would have cost around US$500 at home. WOW. I love this country. (no pictures)
Beautiful full moon the last couple of nights. Last night, Saturday, we of course went over to the Plaza Machado again to eat and listen to music. There was a big “to do” there. The Queen of Carnaval was being chosen in the main plaza by the Cathedral but in Machado there was a huge TV screen and seating so people could watch. Big cheer went up when one of girls scores were read. I think she must have been the favorite and was eventually the one chosen Queen. Quite a big deal here. She will reign for a year. Sitting next to us in the restaurant were a couple of very nice ladies – Bill got talking to them and it turns out one of them had been the queen quite a few years ago. But she now lives in Minnesota and was just back for Carnaval. Both claimed they were in their 50s and both looked mid thirties – I want their secret. Another enjoyable evening and fun ride home. As I mentioned before Saturday night is park and drink on the Malecón and cruise the town through the Golden Zone. Cannot be in a hurry. One thing we saw that I hadn’t seen before. Well I’d seen the guy standing at the curb in front of a store with a box in his hands but never knew what he was doing. Well…..the car in front of us stopped at the curb talked to the guy – he went into the store filled the box with beer cans – 20 of them and brought them out to the car. Money exchanged hands and the beer went into the front seat. Then the guy went back into the store and brought out a bag of cans and opened the trunk and put them into a cooler that was waiting there. He waved and the car pulled away beer cans being opened as it moved. Curb service of a whole different kind. We asked and the legal drinking age here is 18 – but no one seems to pay much attention to it.
More and more of the streets in the Centro district are being blocked off at the Malecón getting ready for Carnaval. Crowd control when its party time. The lighted masks are up on all the light poles. Brightly colored lights are strung from pole to pole and across streets. More platforms for performances are going up and porta potties are being brought in. In the fabric store the area selling sequins and feathers was mobbed – carnaval costumes in the making. The road going to the campground is being dug up for new pipes. So we take a detour over the parkway in the center. To make sure you notice it at night there are big buckets full of flaming diesel fuel to mark the way.
Hard to get a good picture of them while we're moving - but its the two lighted areas in the middle.

So how are we going to amuse ourselves for another week – who knows?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More from Mazatlan

Didn’t realize it’s been more than a couple of days since I’ve updated our progress, or lack of it.
Don’t know if I mentioned it or not but there is a little outdoor restaurant here in the campground. We’ve eaten there a couple of times and the food is very, very good. Any way it’s been closed for a few days. The owner and his family work all work there have been sick. When he came back to work Bill asked him about closing up when he was sick, just how sick was he? Well it turns out if the Departimento de Salubridad Publica (city health department) should happen to come by and you or any of your workers are not feeling well they will shut the place down AND fine the owner 50,000 Pesos! All the street vendors selling food and the little taco stands are now licensed and regulated by the Health Department. And I’ve noticed that most everywhere where they deal with food in any way there are bottles of hand sanitizer being used. Times they are a changing.
Yum – just had some Arizona brand Kiwi con Fresca (Kiwi with Strawberry) drink. Pretty darn good, will have to buy some more. And it’s enriquecida con Vitamina C.
Drove over to Centro – the main shopping district around the Central Market a couple of times. If we go early enough before the palapa restaurants on the beach open, we get to see the ice truck delivering the days supply of ice blocks.
They leave the ice sitting on the curb for the restaurant to pick up. Also get to watch the guys and gals cleaning the sidewalks and streets. Very seldom do you ever see any trash on the streets – not even gum wrappers.
Cleaning the Malecon.
Had a ball in Centro – found a couple of fabric stores that not only sell fabric but they sell beads. Did I ever have fun. First about the fabric. Could not get over the prices. Nice all cotton fabric between one and two US dollars a meter (almost a yard.) Silk for less than three dollars a meter.
29.99 = 2.38 US
Could go wild there but didn’t. Only got some green cotton fabric about US$1.25 a meter – just like the fabric I paid 9.98 a yard for at JoAnns for the quilt I’ve got started at home. Also bought some woven fabric in several colors. Couldn’t pass it up. While on the subject of fabric, I was looking at some yardage on a table and wondering about it. Come to find out it is to make diapers.
Very inexpensive but felt like it would be super absorbent.
Now the beads – I went crazy – for the same amount of beads that I pay any where from US$2.99 – 4.99 a tube for at home I bought here for 3 Pesos – about 30 cents. Poor Jennie will have to haul all that extra weight around for the rest of the trip. Bought so much had to take it to the car before we could do anything else.
Not all of it.
Then we went to the Central Market. Very busy there as the cruise ships were in. About ten small tourist vans were parked down the street – everyone getting directions on where to go and when they had to be back to the van. In we toddled and FOUND!! Some more blouses and a couple skirts (one beige and one black – made out of a real soft gauzy material) for me and a shirt and nice cool cargo type summer pants for Bill. It’s a good thing we are leaving Mazatlan soon – or we wouldn’t have any room left to live.
Another day after eating breakfast at Gus Gus a really nice outdoor restaurant we took a walk around part of the Golden Zone that is on the main street. This stretch of the street is all hotels, condos, timeshares on the beach side and many different businesses on the other side. Lots of stores selling everything from “naughty” t-shirts to very expensive jewelry and paintings.
Went into a leather shop to look around. You could order what you wanted and have it made for you. The factory was upstairs.
Bill found a piece of beautiful black leather, it is so soft and fine. He couldn’t resist it. When we get home he really will have to start experimenting to see if he can make some of the masks like we have seen. I saw a metal peacock that was wonderful – it could be used as a fire place screen.
But EXPENSIVE! No room to put it in Jennie anyway.
Couldn't resist these flowers - so pretty along the sidewalk
Last night we went to Gus Gus other location for dinner with our friend Angelica. It is right on the marina and has good music on Wednesday nights. Except for one big birthday party everyone there was Gringo. The restaurant is right in front of a huge time share/condo building. Lots of people dancing and just enjoying the evening.
Today we went to grocery store and got home just before the heavens opened up again. Everyone is surprised by the amount of rain that’s come down here this January.
They are starting to get ready for Carnaval here - putting the lights and masks up on the streets

Monday, January 25, 2010

Willie is Well Again

Monday. Willie went to the Jeep dealer here in Mazatlan. It seems like his problem isn’t too bad. A sensor in the transmission burnt out. Can be replaced without major surgery. It’s six o’clock and he is home and happy. Around $1800 Pesos to fix including transmission fluid. Thank goodness. Less than US$150. Could have been worse.
Just a couple of tid bits we’ve run across the last few days and evenings. Last week Bill bought a can of spray paint at the market. When he went to use it the button you press to make the paint spray was gone. Back to the market – come to find out all the buttons are removed so the paint can’t be used. After you buy it you go to customer service and they will give you a button. Hum….Now I know why it isn’t locked up like in the states. Can’t use it anyway.
Have been to the plaza a couple more times for dinner and to listen to music. Found out that the vendors that display their wares there have to get a permit from the city to do it. Saturday night it was packed. That’s the night the young people go out and about. Traffic is very heavy and follows a route – kind of like cruising night. From the old district, down the Malecón and turn around at the second light in the Golden Zone and out again.
The stretch along the Malecón is a divided road with parking in the center. It is packed with parked cars full of young people. Their doors and windows are open with loud music pouring out of them. Every one stands outside on the center divider talking and drinking. Yes, drinking mostly beer. The rules are and I quote “Drinking from your parked car on the Malecón is not permitted between 2 and 5 a.m.” Before and after is fine I guess. I wonder how many cops are around at 2 a.m. when everyone who has been drinking gets into their car to go home.
We did notice that Sunday morning the street in that area was very clean – no trash of any kind was left there. In fact this is a very clean city. Always see people cleaning the streets and sidewalks.
Sunday evenings the plaza is not as busy and the streets are not as crowded. But the area around where the cliff divers show off is packed. Food vendors line the street next to the sidewalk. Families, from babies to grandparents are everywhere especially around the area where the street performers are. They are there until late at night.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just Putzing Around

Hum – it never rains in Mazatlan during January – well they are going to have to fix there weather books as it rained again during the night. We both woke up wondering what that noise was. It was hard rain on the roof. And then again today it rained. It just stopped. Only lasted a few minutes but the sky was black and ugly for a while. Strange weather all over I guess.

We did go to the Plaza Machado last night. The food and the band were good as usual. The unusual thing was there was hardly any one there. For Friday night that is strange. Bill finally asked and was told there was a big baseball game at the stadium and every one was either there or watching it at home or in a sports bar. Evidently they take their baseball seriously here. Mazatlan has a professional baseball team but no soccer team. Find that strange.
During the bands break a couple of other musicians came by to entertain. I don’t think they were Mexican. One played the guitar the other played a drum and an Andean flute. They were darn good.

This morning we found out there was a big fire in the central market – probable cause – faulty wiring – no kidding. But a while ago we drove by it and most of it was still open, just part of one end was damaged. Sure glad ‘cause there are a lot of stores in there selling everything from chicken feet to nice jewelry and clothes. Must have a good fire department to save as much of the place as they did.
It’s strange – Saturday is a big shopping day and all the parking lots in the old district were closed – we were going to go look for beads for me but couldn’t find any place to park. Decided that maybe the people from town don’t use them cause they are too expensive and busses are easier and cheaper. One of the big fabric stores across the street from the central market has lots of beads but I need Bill to ask if they have needles and beading thread. I didn’t see any the other day. I want to check out the prices of the fabric too – some of it was beautiful.
Talked with the mechanic he says it might just be a relay – if that’s the case he won’t have to take the transmission apart. That would be nice. We’ll find out Monday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Willie is not fixed!

Well we’ll be here another week. Mechanic could not to Willie at 10:30 as originally planned today – so by this afternoon we decided to wait until Monday to have the work done as we didn’t want to be stuck without a car over the weekend in case there was a wait on parts or something. As it is cheaper to pay for the campground by the week then the day – we did – pay for a week.
So about the only thing constructive we’ve done today is our laundry and answering e-mails.
Tonight we’ll go to the plaza for dinner and music. All this relaxing is starting to get to me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Internet Discoveries

I’m discovering more and more on the Internet – last night I found I could watch this years episodes of “House” – so I’ll be able to catch up on that. Tonight I’ll start with the first one from this year and work my way through them. Also found Adam-12 and Chips – Wow – Now if only I can get the NASCAR races when they start up again next month.
Willie, the Jeep, will go to the mechanic Friday a.m. Hopefully he will be fixed in one day. If not, well there are always the busses or the pulmonias.
We went out to breakfast this morning with our friend Angelica at the Shrimp Bucket restaurant. It is a well-know restaurant in the old district on the Malecón. Very pleasant time was had by all. The only problem was when we were parking on the street the car behind us couldn’t wait until we were finished backing in and passed between us and an oncoming car clipping Willies driver’s side mirror in the process. Luckily no damage at all. But makes you wonder what they were thinking.
Not much else going on today except for going to the grocery store. Here you can buy already boiled eggs in the deli section. Bill likes them for his salads and it saves our propane.
Weather is really nice today, not quite as hot as it has been.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Day at the Beach

About yesterday – We took a drive south of Mazatlan to Stone Island – it’s not really an island more like a peninsula. We knew there were a couple of campgrounds there and that the road into them was pretty much washboard dirt. But our main reason for going was we heard there were miles of beach and zillions of sand dollars on the beach. It was a beautiful day with nice breezes so it sounded like a good idea. We took MX15 south to the airport turn off then followed the signs to the Isles a Piedra. Our friend had told us follow the road until the concrete stops then continue on the rough dirt road until we could get to the beach on one of the dirt access roads through the coconut plantations. Got up close and personal with this guy and his friends.
So we did. Let me make this comment – Why any one would ever want to take their RV over that road is beyond me. It is horrible – washboard, dusty, narrow and just plain terrible.
Would shake the crap out of everything inside.
We finally turned off on a dirt track towards the beach – it was by far the better road to drive on.
And a pretty drive over the red dirt trail through the coconut plantation. A picture postcard view - the elegant trees against a radiant blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds.
Once on the beach, hard packed sand, we headed north towards the area where the campgrounds were. There were other tire tracks in the sand but we were the only people in sight. On the distance horizon we could see some buildings in Mazaltan.
Soon we came to the area where the campgrounds and little village were. We were no longer alone. Lots of restaurants, hundreds – I’m not exaggerating – of vendors selling anything and every thing they could carry.
This was just a tiny portion of them.
There were ATVs , inflatable boats and kayaks for rent.
Horses with tourists on them riding down the sand.
Both campgrounds were packed full – lots of Canadian flags flying over the RVs.
We kept going until we found the inlet that’s between the peninsula and Mazatlan. It’s not very wide, probably a five minute ferry ride. On the Mazatlan side there was a big cruise ship docked. Behind it we could see the towers of the Church in the Historic District.
And on this side were the ferries that go back and forth.
Everything from a big two deck boat to the little pangas.
We thought about stopping to eat at one of the beach side restaurants but every time we slowed down the vendors smelled fresh sales and came running.
And what’s with hula hoops and his country?
So back down the beach we went. What a gorgeous drive. Blue sky above, smooth sand below, palm trees on one side and ocean on the other and once out of the village no one else around. Who could ask for more?
Care to join us in our misery?
Then suddenly we saw ! A GOLF COURSE ! I kid you not.
We'd happened into a very exclusive community of mansions and hotels. Great big expensive ones.
And right in front of them were four guys out in the water fishing with a big net. Only in Mexico. They were some of the construction workers working on a new hotel and they were fishing for supper. I hope they had something else to eat as while we were watching they didn’t catch anything.

Just to mention a thing about the beaches in Mexico – up to the high tide mark they belong to the country – no such thing as private beaches here – like in CA and some other states.
Just past the hotels and houses were these guys – they didn’t look too happy to see us so we kept moving.
Instead of going clear back up the beach to were we had come in we cut into the hotel area and found a nice road out to the main road – completely avoiding the rough dirt road that went to the village.
By the way we didn't see or find even one sand dollar.
And that’s when Willies problem became apparent.
So three posts today and hopefully an update later on Willie. bill just came back - the garage wasn't open yet and now he is off again.

Too much time on my hands

I’m sitting here looking out the front window as I write this. We have some neighbors in front of us who drive a 40’ motorhome with 3 slides. They have both a TV and Internet Satellite dish on top of it. And a nice little tow car. So why do I mention this. Well I just watched them set up two tables and six buckets on the tables. They added water to the buckets and are now washing their clothes by hand and hanging them on a line to dry – including bedding. I guess he washes his clothes and she hers as they both use three buckets. The heavy clothes they wring out together, other wise they each take care of their own. There are washers and dryers here in the campground, in fact they are oversized, clean and nice BUT it costs 60 Pesos a load (that is to wash and dry a load). To each their own I guess, but seems like a lot for work for less than five bucks. I know mind my own business – they probably think we’re weird for paying for something we could do in our spare time.

Oh Willie, Poor Willie

We’ve had a monkey wrench thrown in our plans – hopefully not a great big one. Took a ride yesterday to the beach area south of the city. Guess Willie, the Jeep, did not like being on the sand. As we got back on the road and were heading home I noticed Bill paying a lot of attention to the sound of the engine. Then he shifted and accelerated and slowed down and shifted again. Hum??? Asked him what was wrong. He said that Willie had “lost 3rd gear.” Well maybe we better go back to the beach and find it! No, I didn’t really say that. Actually Willie was running fine, no noises or anything he just wouldn’t go into 3rd. We discussed this for a while. He can still be towed and driven but… So this morning Bill is at an automatic transmission mechanics to see what can be done and when.
The mechanic is the neighbor of the night watchman here at the campground. Bill talks to him a lot and when the guy told Bill that his feet were hurting him but that asprin, which made his feet feel better, hurt his stomach Bill recommended Tylenol – the guy had never heard of it so we bought him a bottle at Wal*Mart and gave it to him. You’d have thought that Bill was his savior after that. So this a.m. he took Bill to his neighbors to see what can be done. If that doesn’t work there is a Jeep dealer and garage here in town. So now it’s just wait and see for me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday night entertainment in the Plaza Machado

It’s starting to feel like we live here. People know us and we have made new friends. But yesterday we did something a little different. We drove up the Malecón and took pictures of all the monuments on it. There are quite a few. Also just snapped a couple of the beach and the little palapa restaurants on it. It is 10 kilometers long and has many very different areas to it: very sophisticated discos, Valentino’s, high rise condos, old and new hotels, casinos, many restaurants to even a couple naughty adult only places. Bill wants to do a whole blog section on just the Malecón area. So I won’t dwell on it.
The last night we went back to the Plaza Machado to listen to music, have a knosh (melted cheese with a toppings, sausage, corn, pepper and mushrooms – not mixed each in its own area. Ate it with tortilla [Bill] and tortilla chips [me] and a drink. Yes I had a margarita – just a little one and just one.
The music is great and it’s fun to watch the people get up and dance to the music. Two of the couples that were there last week were there again and both dance really well. One of them is older – probably nearer our age and they are dressed pretty debonair. He wears a white straw Panama hat, Guayabera of different colors, black slacks and black shoes. She has worn loose legged lounging type pants and nice blouses. They move with the grace of Fred and Ginger. However, when he walks he walks with a very pronounced limp. From time to time depending on the songs others joined in. The lady with the hula hoop was back again – don’t think I mentioned her last time. She is a gringo, probably in her late 50s early 60s. She comes alone with her hula hoop that matches what she is wearing. The first time we saw here she had on a black top and a gold lamé skirt. As the music starts she moves to the center of the dancing area puts her hoop over her head and starts moving to the music all the while keeping the hoop moving with her. She is pretty darn good with it. Can move it from her feet to her head with her body only. Everyone seems to know her. Last night she was dressed in purple and black and so was her hoop. But she just walked through on her way to somewhere else I guess. And then there is the lady, she reminds me of someone who should be teaching Romance Literature in college, she is probably 60 something. She is always alone but seems to know everyone too. When the song speaks to her she gets up and dances by herself. She has the most delightful smile on her face as she sways to the music. Makes one wonder what she is remembering – who or what she is thinking of. Maybe there is no mystery and she just likes to dance.
Then last night we had some extra entertainment. (Did not bring my camera) A young man with a baseball cap, tan golf shirt, tan chinos and brown boots came by the tables. He stopped in the middle of the dance area and took off his cap, balanced it on his nose by the bill and swayed to the music. Hum?? Then he took one of the plastic roses in cellophane that the little girls sell and balanced it on his nose. Then a fork from one of the tables. Then one of wooden chairs – on his nose!!!! He went down on his knees then did a back bend clear to the cobblestone – with the chair on his nose! Very slowly he got back to his feet. THEN he went to an empty table and began removing the candle, napkins and table clothes from it. By now the waiters were edging towards him and watching him pretty close, wondering what on earth he was going to do. Well he picked the wooden table up and set it on his nose and swayed to the music. Everyone’s mouths were open watching. He finally stopped moving, reached up and removed the table from his nose, put it back in its place and started resetting it. The waiters snapped out of their daze and helped him. The audience burst into applause. All this time the guy never said a word, just smiled and passed his hat. Everyone contributed.
We found out later he works for the circus that is in town. So two Sunday nights in a row we saw a great free show. Could learn to really like this lifestyle.
As we were going home about 10:00 p.m. past the Malecón it was still packed with families eating and enjoying the evening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Map of our Journey to date

I just found radio stations on the Internet – I know everyone else knew they were there. So I’m listening to old country songs. Neat. Willie Nelson, George Jones and Waylon Jennings stuff.
Trying to keep it low as Bill is concentrating on his blog. Going to make another post today I think. It is at http://rvinglatinamerica.blogspot.com/ Check it out.
This is where we are in Mexico – in Mazatlan.
U.S. border is at very top of map.
And here are some of the road trips we’ve taken while in Mazatlan. To Cosalas, El Quelite, La Noria and Copala.

Nights in the Plaza Machado

Both Friday and Saturday evenings we went to Plaza Machado for dinner and to listen to a great band that plays there. A friend we met here in Mazatlan met us there Friday evening. She’s a neat lady, works for one of the condo places we looked at. She lived in Vegas for quite a while but came back to visit her parents and decided to stay. She prefers living here in Mazatlan. The band that night had a very good drummer – he really got a work out. Unfortunately we were sitting right next to him. Got pretty loud. Last night there was a different drummer and not quite so much noise.
The singer
Last nights drummer
More relaxing. Both nights there were a lot of vendors around the gazebo selling everything from jewelry to rhinestone baseball caps and candied apples and nuts. I would say the people mix is about 60% Mexican and 40% Norte Americanos. The latter being mostly couples our age. The former being whole families from tiny babies to grandparents.
It tickles us to watch the gringo women dance to the music, mostly their husbands pretend they don’t know them and the women gyrate away in their own world.
And of course the street performers. There is one guy on a unicycle who puts on a pretty good show. He usually has on a top hat and black and white stripped long coat. His helper is a really thin woman with braids. She wears a black fitted one piece outfit with flared legs and arms and cut to almost her crack in back. But together they put on a really entertaining show. They move around too much to get a decent picture of them.
Also walking around the plaza the last few nights is a group of teens dressed in newspapers. They make dresses and pants out of the papers. We were told they are gathering votes for the Carnaval Queen. Haven’t been close enough to get pictures of them either.
Yesterday afternoon we went to the plaza area because I though I’d seen a bead store. Turned out to be they sold sol bead necklaces etc. Just enforced my desire to find some beads somewhere and do a little beading. My new quest. One of the yardage stores has some beads in it but didn’t see any needles or thread. Will have to drag Bill in there and see if he can get any information. Believe it or not I bought a pair of red beaded earrings from one of the vendors – forgot to bring any with me and my pierced earring holes were closing up.
Every time we go to that area I see more buildings that amaze me. Whether it be the colors,
Now that is PINK with purple trim.
the tile work or just the age.
Tile under the balcony and around the windows
Love to walk around there.
Just enough clouds in the sky yesterday to make for another beautiful sunset.
It got redder after this.
Today so far is beautiful, blue sky some high clouds and a nice cool sea breeze.

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.