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Friday, January 29, 2016

Tiles, menus, and cakes OH MY - things available in Mazatlan

Well a little sunshine came through. Paulino the air conditioning repairman came yesterday and fixed the problem plus gave the whole unit a checkup.

Today it is running muy frio – very cold. The solenoids were weak not putting out enough amps. So the system overheated, causing the compressors to get hot and the wires got hot and burned. One wire touched the mother board and caused a short circuit. He replaced the burnt wiring, put in two new solenoids and fixed the mother board. 
see the black streak where it got burnt - he bridged it.
Cost was US $66.00. Took him a couple of hours.
The caravaners took a city tour yesterday – leaving in their Safaris.
This morning they left early in a big bus to visit some of the little towns around here. Tomorrow morning they leave.
I want Bill to build some flower boxes under the front windows [and maybe side windows] of our house in Vegas. He is thinking of trimming them with Mexican tiles. So we went hunting for some. Stopped first at a shop in the Golden Zone [actually right across the street from the hospital Bill was in for so long a couple of years ago.] We saw several we kind of liked. Only a small sample here.

They are 4 x 4 and all hand painted.
Then we went to a couple of companies that sold tiles for bathrooms and kitchens. Not at all what we want but interesting nonetheless. Some of the decorative tiles you could buy.
More accent tiles. Better selection then we’ve seen at home.
Used like this.
And some beautiful floor tile.
So we headed back to the first shop – where Bill bought me my truck. Got out from behind this guy as soon as we could. The stuff was swaying every time he went over a bump.
We got lucky and found a parking right on the street almost in front of the store. 
Actually they sell lots of intricately painted ceramic knick knack type stuff. I love this guitar player. He is about 4 feet tall sitting down. Doesn’t really show but his bones on his leg and knee are showing.
This is a bird bath about 3 feet high and the bowl is about 2 ½ feet across. It is a VERY expensive bird bath. Every thing in the store is painted by hand then baked.
Some of the pieces for sale. You can see through the skirts of the dresses. The butterflies are individual.
Here are their escorts. Very dapper.
And this piece was utterly amazing. About 14 inches tall and 18 inches across – it is a bull ring. With spectators, a brass band, the matador and the bull.
A closer look at some of the people in the seats. Some are eating, some are holding beer or tequila bottles. All kinds of detail.

The band is on the far side. The tuba, cymbals, and horns. Many, many pesos.
Yesterday afternoon I could hear shouting from outside so I went out to look. There is a TALL communications tower next to the RV park.
There was a guy working at the very top of it. At least this year he seems to be wearing a harness. He has to climb a real narrow ladder to get up there. Not my kind of job. 
Went out to dinner at the Italian restaurant with Doug and Nancy last evening and went to breakfast with them this morning at La Iguana Sana [The Healthy Iguana]. The restaurant has new menus.
Check out the titles of the sections.

After we finished breakfast the owner brought Nancy a special treat. A gordita stuffed with sliced strawberries and dulce de leche. He says he is putting it on the menu and calling it Nancy’s Gordita. Neither of us thought to take a picture of  them. 
Doug and Nancy are spending the next week in a hotel with their family so we took them and their “stuff” over there then we went to Soriana. Bill getting another small cake from Emilio. And Bill says he doesn’t have a sweet tooth.
Kind of an ishy day today. No breeze and either overcast or smoggy out. At least the humidity is down. According to the Mexico news this is the coldest year throughout Mexico since they started keeping records over 100 years ago. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mazatlan Wanderings

Into each life a little rain must fall, but it is usually followed by more sunshine. We’ve been getting some drizzle. Not of the weather wet kind.
Our usual empty back lot here in the Las Jaibas Trailer park has been populated more than usual this year.  Besides us there have been between 6 to 7 other rigs back here. We are all spread out so no one is cramped. Well yesterday a caravan of 17 came in. There are three rows of RV spaces back here. Us long termers have been in the middle row. The caravan rigs were settled in the front and back rows. Up against the fences. Here in the back there are 45 spaces. This is a big RV park. It has a pool and pretty good 30 amp electric. So there is plenty of room for everyone with empty spaces between.
As I sat here typing I heard the train that passes quite a ways behind us. The engineer was blowing the train horn from way far away until he crossed the highway quite a ways north of us. He never got off it. About three weeks ago at the crossing north of us a bus tried to beat the train. It didn’t make it. I wonder if it was the same engineer. The crossing has lights and arms that come down. Whatever was the bus driver thinking? Eerie sound the horn blowing for so long. We can’t hear the train just the horn.
Finally the parts for the Jeep are here from the states. The mechanic will pick up Willie on Monday and fix him. So we’ll be “by bus” for a few days. Why do we get car repairs done here – because it costs ¼ of what it would in the states? And with the exchange rate of 18 pesos to 1 dollar it is even better. And the work is just as good. 
And more drizzle – the AC in the Alfa quit blowing cold air yesterday. Thank goodness the temperatures here are remaining unusually low – about 77-80 during the day and down to low 60s at night. And today will be cloudy with an ocean breeze. We have already called someone who will check it out. Bill suspects that when we were living in the Alfa in Vegas during the month of 114° days it was just too much for the AC. It has been acting up since then. Oh well we all get older and things need to be fixed. [As I post this the AC repairman is repairing the problem and giving the whole unit a good going over.]
So enough of that. How about some pictures from Mazatlan? Fresh fish anyone. The boats come in and you can buy the fish and lobsters right from the fishermen. They will  even clean them. A new hotel going up in the background.
Lots of boats pulled up on the sand.
Carnaval is getting closer – one week from today and a zillion people will be here. Not out in the northern area where we are but in the Centro Historico. These gates will close off the street for some of the festivities.
A few days ago we stopped by where the divers dive – we just missed one – this is the roughest I’ve seen the water. Big crashing waves. Seems like it would be kind of dangerous to dive into that.
The diver’s platform I wouldn’t even go up the steps let alone jump off. They earn every cent they get.
One of the many pieces of sculpture along the Malecon. This one is by the divers.
Along the street are lots of vendors – trinkets and food. The pickup was loaded with the supplies need for the food cart for the day. Took them about 5 minutes to unload everything.
Up closer to town we went into a really nice store full of interesting things. This would go perfect in my small room. Just what I’ve been looking for.
Continued walking towards Centro we passed this house. It was built – not quite finished and abandoned. It has been for sale ever since we first saw it. But it must have sold as there is all kinds of work being done on it. Can’t wait to see it finished. When ever that might be.
And in the parking lot – the whale’s tail is almost finished. Wonder what they will do with it when it is done?
One of the few sunsets with clouds this year. This is from the RV park. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Didn’t do much of anything yesterday – we did try the hamburgers and fries at the little restaurant next door. They were better than McDonalds, not as good as Burger King – but a lot cheaper. Their sign. It means the Healthy Iguana.
Spent quite a bit of time watching the birds in the tree out the window. We’ve put up apples, they eat them first, grapefruit – only a couple like it and bread – everyone likes it. This little guy, he is just a little bit bigger than a hummingbird – like the grapefruit.
I was surprised to see the chakalaka up in the tree. There were four of them eating the apples. They are ugly birds.

Back to our walk the other day. Finally I managed to go into the Hotel Machado and got a tour of it. It is a hotel in the Plazuela Machado. I tried going on line to get some information about it but couldn’t find any. Did find some on the Plaza though. Pretty interesting. Check it out here.
The tile floors are all original to the building.
Going upstairs to see the lounge and rooms.
The hallway heading towards the lounge – notice the floor tiles in the hall.
This is the lounge in the front of the hotel. The shuttered windows are on the left. The big windows look out on the Plazuela Machado.
My guide opened the shutters for me to look out. Each window has a little wrought iron balcony. I didn’t venture out on the balcony, just leaned out the window. Nice views.

More of the lounge with the distinctive flooring.
A piece of furniture in the lounge.
Then I got to see one of the rooms. They are small by US standards but very nice. Queen sized black wrought iron beds. A couple night stands with lamps, a cupboard with a small microwave. Again the beautiful tile floors. Nice bathroom with according to the guide “hot water.” Also Wi-Fi available.
This room had a door that opened to a tiny balcony. As I was looking out it I saw feet coming down towards the balcony. A workman was climbing down. Then he walked across a narrow ledge.
More of the floor – that is the bathroom door on the left.
I was surprised at the prices – pretty darn high. And different prices for different days of the week and for longer stays. 1 day is 950 pesos or US 58 dollars a day. During Carnaval it goes up to 2500 pesos a day or US 140 dollars a day!!!!
We went out looking for tile today - more about that tomorrow and Bill bought me this neat truck - It is about 18" long. Has two people inside it.