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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day Trip into the Jungle

Yes - I finally have something to write about other than food, the humidity and the heat. Hallelujah!

Since Jim and the kids have returned from Arizona, we have been doing boat projects fairly steadily. Our plan, though loosely woven, is to head south at the end of October. By south, I mean Central America. The list is endless, it seems. Every time we mark a project 'completed', we add another three items to the list. Because we have so many things to do, Jim bought a car in the states and drove it down so we can more easily acquire equipment and manage our time more efficiently. And with a car -  Day Trips!
Carolyne enjoying the peace and quiet 

Church in Concordia built in 1700's

We took a day trip to Concordia and then Copala, the first being only 45 minutes from Mazatlan and the second being only 1 1 /2 hours. We were a bit reluctant because we have friends who went in May and the report was fair at best. But, we just had to get off the boat. Now that we have wheels, it seems a shame not to take advantage of some inland travel. Having a dog and cat on board really pares down our options and the length of time we can be away. Anyone who plans to bring a pet along cruising should really consider this disadvantage. Bailey is so old and lame now that she needs to be carried up and down the cockpit several times a day. This makes it hard to have someone care for her while we are away.
Jungle people (Tim is at the age where he doesn't like his photo taken)

Cobblestone streets

Concordia, (the town only 45 minutes from Mazatlan), is an extension of the big tourist city. Though the streets are quaint, the plaza and church a reminder of 18th century Mexico, and numerous pottery and furniture artisans are lined up along the highway in clusters - this town was a bit of a disappointment. Of course, it's not tourist season and many of the stores were closed (not that we're interested in buying anything other than food or boat parts right now), but the experience was not even marginally exciting. The American looking coffee shop was closed. Perhaps without my morning java I was a bit less exuberant and my outlook on life in general suffered.

What was very exciting was the flora and fauna. The result of all the rain we've had lately has the countryside looking like a giant terrerium. It is something out of a movie. Jim made several stops along the way so to take photos. Managing decent photos out the buggy splattered windshield was futile (with rain comes critters). The mountains, hills, valleys, dales, glens and roadsides are - very green.

We ambled up the road to Copala, a small skeleton of one of the first mining towns in Mexico. And -  yet another colonial church. This town was charming. Darling little colonial homes nestled themselves along cobblestone streets. It was picturesque and quiet. I was going to take pictures of the church inside, but a woman there tried to take my church donation from me as I was putting it in the donation box. Ticked me off so I left. (I really should have had my morning coffee!) Folks in this town were a little more pushy about selling their wares. As much as I understand why, it turns me off to go somewhere and be bothered or pestered by peddlers selling knick knacks and Chinese made plastic doodles.
Church in Copala built in 1748

Concordia is known for their handmade furniture. I think this one is a prop.

We stopped at  a mango stand along the way. For 25 pesos, you can buy yourself 12 or so large juicy mangos. We stopped so that I could take photos of the make shift stands and wooden crates of yellow, red and green mangos. I was so enthralled with the fruit and the sweet vendor that I forgot to take a photo. (Coffee!)

For anyone afraid of driving on roads in Mexico, be afraid - be very afraid. No, I'm not speaking of banditos. I'm talking about the asses on the road.
This is a familiar scene. Free range cattle are interested in eating  along the roadside.

These little burros are mildly annoyed that we interrupted their snack

Livestock is everywhere. They run wild and free and are sometimes seen turned insideout along the highways or smeared across the yellow dividing line. Our rule is that we don't drive at night in Mexico because they enjoy the warmth of the asphalt as the temps drop in the evening.

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