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Friday, January 31, 2014

Las Labradas

The day finally caught up to the day I thought it was. For some reason I’ve thought the last two days were Friday. On track again.
It’s the end of the first month of this year already. So I just finished backing up my laptop to an external hard drive. If your computer isn’t set up to automatically back up your work I suggest you do it. Too often things can just go POOF!
To answer a question I get once in awhile – for those of you who followed Ms Tioga and George for years we just got an email from him and they are doing great. Enjoying Southern California weather. They took a short trip to Quartzite but are now back in So Cal. His health is great and he is enjoying keeping busy getting around on his electric bike.
So yesterday – We first had breakfast at Torres – I know AGAIN! Where we met John and Jackie then we drove north on 15D – the toll road – I emphasize Toll Road – back and forth cost $200 in tolls. About US$15. Any way we continued north to Km 51 – around 30 miles to the Retorno which allowed us to cross the highway to the turn off to Las Labradas. 
We’ve been here at least once a year for several years. The first time we tried to find it the turn off was not marked and we wandered all around the area in and out of small towns and dirt roads until we lucked upon it. Search that blog using the search box for that adventure. They also have a web site and a FaceBook page - facebook.com/LasLabradas  and Twitter  @LasLabradasZA if you want more info about it. 
The road leading into the site is still dirt but better marked now and the site itself has added a museum, rest area and bathrooms. And a charge, which is minimal. Going through the little town we stopped to check out these pigs. We are such “city” people.
On down the road and under the RR trestle – just beyond it you can barely make out a sign point out the correct turn and road. That is new.
About Petroglyphs - from information inside the new museum which I forgot to take a picture of. 
About the area: It is one of the most important primitive carving sites in northwest Mexico. There are more than 600 carvings on the volcanic rocks. Most of them made between 750 and 1250 AC.
John climbing out on the rocks looking for the carvings. 
Before we went out on the rocks we each bought a little booklet describing some of the carvings. I now wish I’d read it before heading out. As it tells where some of the most interesting carvings are located. (And I missed several of them.) I’ve post lots of pictures from here in the past. So will add just a few.

Bill walking along in a small patch of sand. This was definitely a wear tennis shoes adventure. Even they got slick with the water and sand.
A couple more carvings

Just a picture of the coast line and the rocks.
More pictures of carvings. The middle one looked like a foot to us but according to the book it is a pelican’s face.

John and I walked almost the entire length of rocks. My legs feel it today. We went early but even with the breeze from the ocean it got hot pretty quick so we headed home. Hot, worn out and happy. Me anyway.
Rested for the hot afternoon and then Bill and I went out to Fat Fish for dinner of Ribs.
His were hanging over his plate! As always good. Cost with 2 dinners (salad, ribs, baked potato, coleslaw, garlic bread) 2 cokes and tip – US$ 16.50.

This morning we are headed to Centro Historico for breakfast. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leather and more Candy La Noria and Puerto de Canoas

Yesterday morning bright and early – well around 9:30 we decided to take a drive to La Noria. But first we needed breakfast. So across the street to the Torres restaurant right on the beach. And while we were there we thought we’d ask our friends who are staying there if they wanted to go to La Noria with us. Yes, they did. They’d meet us in the restaurant after we finished eating.
While having breakfast we love watching the vendors walking up and down the beach. Jewelry any one? 
The guy selling the colorful blankets was there too – but I didn’t dare look at his stuff – did that last year and bought one.
The road to La Noria is still in the process of being repaved – about ¾ done but didn’t see any one working on it this time. Here is the map of our travels. 
From the RV park in Mazatlan first to La Noria and on the way back a stop at Puerto de Canoas to get some candy. That’s what I need more sugar.
The arch about ½ mile before the town.
While Bill was talking to our friend Roberto who owns one of the leather shops in town John, Jackie and I walked around. First passing a little one room market that is the front room of a home. It sells everything from buttons to beans. On the left you can see the door leading into their living room.
Just a few of the homes we walked past. The white house on the right was either built or bought many many years ago [early 1900s] by an American and is referred to as “The house of the American.”
A flowering tree – these are the flowers Leis are made from in Hawaii – Plumerias. Pretty aren’t they.
More homes. The lady is out cleaning her driveway.
Making our way back towards the plaza. Quite a few people out and about today.
One of the older buildings in La Noria at one time in the center patio of it movies were shown.
Another little store this one in a corner room of the previous green building.
This is the butcher shop – one room. With the big three door refrigerator and a chest freezer next to the wall that isn't in the picture. Big saw for cutting up the meat. Scale on the counter for weighing it. Notice the door on the right.
Looking out the door – this is the sink area.
On the back wall the owner also sells some goods for electronics and cell phones. One stop shopping.
Bill was still talking to Roberto so we walked across the street to the other leather shop. This one is really interesting. A very old building . Some of the machinery in it for the manufacturing of leather goods is from the late 1800s early 1900s and still being used. This is a press used to cut out the soles for shoes.
An old tire with soles cut out of it.
The new material used now instead of tires.
This machine is used to thin down a hide to the thickness needed to be used for shoes or saddles.
Part of the building – these rooms were used to house soldiers in the Mexican Revolution.
A machine used to cut leather into narrow strips for making huaraches.
One of the machines used for stitching – especially decorative stitching on saddles.
The sign on the outside of a shoe factory.
Making shoes one by one. Each person can make ten pairs of shoes a day.
A finished pair of shoes.  I have made several posts about La Noria in the past explaining the whole process. Use the search box on the right to bring up the other posts.
Back in the car we headed towards Mazatlan with a quick stop in Puerto de Canoas a small town of about 350 people to get some of the delicious candy called Jamoncillo. The base for the candy. Basically sugar and milk cooked until it forms a soft paste. 
The candy rolled into a rectangle then cut into little circles. The circles are rolled into a ball then coated with chopped nuts.

From there we continued on home. It is always fun taking some one some place they haven’t been before – makes me see it with new eyes again.
I just remembered this sign we saw in La Noria.  Muebleria means furniture store  the part on the right says  “Furniture for your Hog”   Hog????  Asked Bill what Hog could mean. He laughed and said the ar was missing – it should say Hogar – which means home. 
No cooking last night - had leftovers. Bill's cold seemed fine during the day but by last night he was sniffing and coughing again. Colds can be so miserable! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mega Super Market in Mazatlan

I’ve already talked about yesterday so either I wait and see what we do today and post later or just ramble on about nothing and post early. I finally got to bed last night about 12:30 – and still wasn’t really tired (all the sweets maybe?) but know my moving around wakes Bill up. His cold is getting better daily thank goodness. 
He reminded me that I’ve cooked dinner three nights in a row. Last night it was spaghetti with meatballs over gnocchi. And all I did was warm it all up. Gnocchi came from a vacuum sealed pouch, meatballs already made from bag in freezer and the sauce Bill made and froze before we left home. But this has got to stop. I’ll ruin my image. I reminded him that if I cook again tonight it will be fish – his least favorite food…unless he gets the chicken breasts out of the freezer in the outside basement compartment.
Noticed that the days are getting longer quick. When we got here it was dark by 5:00 now it is still light enough to walk around at 6:10. To see the sunset at the beach we’d have to leave the campground by 4:30 now not until 5:30 or later.
We talked to the manager of the Soriana Supermarket about chocolate wine and he said they would be getting some in today or tomorrow – so we’ll have to go check that out. Wonder what kind/brand it will be. Every time we go to Soriana I check in the pet store window next door. Such cute little puppies! Would love to have one if I could get a nanny for it too. I’m well beyond that “taking care of little things” stage.
Yesterday at the other big supermarket we go to here, the Mega, we found Italian Sausage again – bought all four packages – hope no one else wanted any. Also got some cream cheese or “Philadelphia” as it is called here. And some butter sticks With Salt. Most of the butter is Sin [without] Sal. So have to be careful when I pick some up. Here are some pictures from the Mega store – much bigger and nicer than anything we have around home. This is the store with the escalator for the grocery carts I post a pic of a while ago.
Cold cuts and cheese
box wine from California less than US$3.00 a box

baking bread in the bakery section
Pineapple upside down cake  tempting....
all kinds of cheese from Mexico

There are now five other RVs here in the back portion of Las Jaibas RV with us. And I just read that the big RV park on the beach downtown, Mar Rosa, might not be open next year as the owner just passed away and the heirs might not want to keep it open. In fact it was said, “They went to the real-estate agent before they went to the undertaker.” Sorry repeating gossip.

No plans for today yet. I’m trying to update my computer knowledge – I just don’t understand Twitter – Pinerist – and how to put all the buttons on the blog…..and all the connections with F   G+  T etc. etc.   ?????  Maybe I’ll go up to the office and use their Internet and see if I can figure some of it out. Then again maybe not. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Working on a Sugar High

We pretty much just stayed home yesterday except for taking the laundry in to be done. Bill’s cold was keeping him pretty quiet.
The weather here continues to be in the low 80s but I see today there are showers forecast for evening. Hum. Only clouds I see are way inland over the mountains.  At home it is starting to warm up – 12 above zero today.
There is a drink that is famous here in Mazatlan it is a soft drink kind of carbonated. It’s called Toni Col. One half of the label is in English and it says”…it’s different” also says “Vanilla Flavor Soda.”  Every time we come down here I say I’m going to try one. Well I finally did. Bought a small bottle in the market and tried it. Kind of a fizzy vanilla root beer flavor.  It was invented (?) concocted just south of Mazatlan in El Rosario. People say you will either really like it or hate it. Well I like it. Here is the web site about it and its history. Quite interesting. ToniCol 
We had our last hamburger patties from the U.S. last night. But guess I let the buns stay in the freezer too long – just two months – they had a little refrigerator taste to them. Wish you could buy two buns at a time instead of having to get six. Although here in the bakery section of the markets we can buy them by the each. The only problem is I don’t know when I want to fix hamburgers….
This morning before it got hot we went to pick up the laundry then went on over to the Centro Historico to go to the Central Market. Parked Willie in our usual lot and the manager of the lot mentioned to Bill that he’d seen Bill in the paper again. Having breakfast Sunday at Ricos with Paquis. Wow he’s a celebrity –second time he’s made the newspaper here. (See last year in La Noria )While parked Willie got a much needed wash after our dirt road and river adventure. BTW he is running great.
While at the market I got a pair of capris and Bill got another pair of cargo shorts. Then some grapes – it’s the only place we can find them now and a mango and I got my coconut ball – finally. Here is the picture I posted the other day. 
They come in two colors but are all the same flavor – the color is just that color. I bought a yellow one.
looks orange but it really is a yellow
And are they ever sweet. Tastes like the coconut shreds have been rolled in caramelized sugar. A little bit goes a long way. But as the taste goes away I find myself reaching for another little bite. Yum
Not so these little things.
Forget what they’re called besides AWFUL. The vendor let me taste one. Couldn’t get it out of my mouth fast enough. ICK. He says they should be eaten with chili – think I’ll pass.
Walking to the car we passed this lady sweeping up the fallen leaves with a palm frond. It worked really well.
We did stop one more place – the regular market and I noticed this for the first time. If you buy a bottle of wine or any other drink off the shelf this will cool it down for you right away. And its free.
Between the ToniCol and the Coconut I’ll probably have a big sugar high today. If you see me running by just let me go.