Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Three Weeks in Mexico

Here's the morning photo from the house. The big mountain on the far right is called Mount Si and looms over the town of North Bend, which is at the south end of the Snoqualmie Valley. Snoqualmie ski area (The Summit) is about half an hour from North Bend, and Mt Si is often used as a training trek for those folks who are going to climb Mt. Rainier.

Okie dokie!!On to Mexico!!!!

I am going to be sharing with you the three week trip we took to Mexico. I'll probably post it in thirds and I hope it will give you a little insight into how we went started this wild and crazy adventure!

exerts from my journal..........................

Now in our second week in Mexico, I have decided to stay. Well, okay, I would if I could. Our 3 week trip, divided into thirds has been to date, just what we had hoped and even more so. This is a fact finding mission for us as we decide to make a permanent move to a new country. A few months ago, my husband came home on a Friday and said, "Guess what? I retired, so lets move to Mexico." Moving to Mexico is something we have always talked about, I just didn't know we were going so soon.
Flying into Hermosillo and renting a car was a breeze. With Mexican car insurance in the glove compartment, and trying to stay committed to our decision to never drive in Mexico at night, my husband, Bill, threw caution to the wind, and drove like all the Mexicans did. I buckled up for the ride, only closed my eyes a couple of times, and we made it to the hotel as the sun set behind the horizon.
Before leaving Washington, we immersed ourselves as much as possible in the language, taking Spanish classes from two different teachers as often as possible. Car and hotel rentals seemed to be working for us and we were able to finally get one room instead of two. We still need alot of language practice though. Bill kept telling a man that we had "dos anos named KD and Ian" (2 years named KD and Ian). Bill was trying to say "dos ninos" (2 children). The interesting thing was the man kept shaking his head and saying, "si, si.", as though he understood everything Bill said. Having studied French, Bill sometimes gets the two languages mixed up and that makes for very interesting conversation. How good am I, you ask? Well, there was the little old lady in the bathroom; I told her "Bien viejo", but I meant to say "Bien viaje" (have a good trip). I called her a good old woman. She just smiled at me.

A short drive took us to San Carlos Bay. This is a beautiful bay, full of yachts and sailboats and Americans. We felt as if we had taken a wrong turn and gone north to California.

(Beautiful San Carlos Bay, but too many condominiums and too many americans)

Heading further south we arrived at our main destination, the town of Alamos. A colonial town nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, we had heard this was a small sleepy little town.

Our Alamos Hotel, a view from the balcony and the Alameda begins on the left where the white cars are. The archway in the buidings to the right leads into the mercado (market). The balcony where we spent our evenings is below the Posada de Andres sign.

We arrived at our small hotel on the Alameda well before dark. After dinner at a nearby cafe, we settled into chairs for a relaxing evening on the balcony that overlooks the long Alameda. We thought we would watch some of the activity for awhile. Soon we noticed that there were more and more cars coming out and driving up one side of the Alameda and up a few blocks and then returning down the other side of the Alameda. We watched this for awhile and began to say things like, "There's that red trooper coming back by." "Man. there's that truck again with all those little kids in the back end." Suddenly the town went crazy. There was very excited yelling and screaming, radios were blaring, men were playing guitars and singing, everyone was whistling.

The whole town went absolutely crazy with noise. We began to see more and more cars cruising around and around. The music got louder and louder and of course, each car was playing a different station. A large truck went by with a wire reindeer on its roof and a fire burning in a container below it. We started to have concerns that Alamos might not be the quiet town we are looking for. It was a Thursday night and we wondered why people were out so late. By midnight, the noise settled a little and then someone drove by with a crowing rooster and the town went crazy all over again. It quieted again around 2 am and someone went by blowing a trumpet and again, craziness let loose. We thought about finding a hotel farther up the hill for the next night. Things finally did get quiet for about an hour and then, all the delivery trucks arrived in town, right under our window.
We did stay in the same hotel the following night and watched this madness repeat itself. We were hooked on all the excitement and activity, but when it was time to go to bed, I used earplugs.
During the day, we discovered that we can take a Nissan Izuru rental car everywhere the townspeople say you can't, "because you need 4 wheel drive". So an adventure on dirt roads up into the foothills turned into a 4 hour long trip of winding and twisting roads and an occasional drive through the same small pueblo twice. Directions to town from a farmer on a donkey can take a person very interesting places.

A flight to Guadalajara, another rental car and more Mexican car insurance let us spend a night down at Lago de Chapala at the old Posada de Nueve. This is a beautiful historical hotel in Ajijic. Right on the lake, the hotel has a beautiful banyan tree on the lakeside. We sat at a table beneath the tree one afternoon and it began to rain. Being from the Pacific Northwest, the light rain didn't bother us. However, the other foreigners who had been at tables made a bee line for the indoors and the waiters thought we were crazy.

Now we are back in Guadalajara, having picked up our children, KD and Ian, who have flown in from school in Colorado to be with us for Thanksgiving. We are planning some shopping in Tonala and Tlaquepaque and will drive west to Sayulita for a trip to the beach.

More manana, mi amigos!

a few notes to share before I go...... The flowers are blooming everywhere, but this was at the end of the fall season, apparently during the rainy months of July, August and September, there are even more flowering plants.
Alamos buildings and sidewalks are well above ground to accommodate the running waters that occur during the summer rains. During the summer monsoon rains, we hear that the water rushes down the street, often right at sidewalk height and most of it ends up surrounding the alameda.
Alamos streets are cobblestone, brick, lime, but there are still many unpaved roads in and around town.

Beautiful old buildings surround the church plaza -
The church at the plaza is very very white and clean. It is also fairly quiet compared to the working alameda plaza. The church plaza and the alameda are connected by the kissing wall, a very long, narrow alleyway, where the youth sneak to at night. Stories say that the alley is so narrow that sometimes they can kiss from second story window to window. I never saw that happen, but the kissing wall is used a lot to get from one plaza to the next.
The alameda is lined with vendors selling food.There are so many small vendors , tacos, tacquitos, hamberquesas, fish, chicken, all being grilled on wood fires. You order your food and then sit down and someone brings it to you and it is all so good. Also at the alameda you can buy a nice hat or shirt and get your shoes shined, a vendor will bring a newspaper to your car as you drive by and a coca or 7 (Coca-Cola or 7up) can be found everywhere.

In my next post I'll show you some photos of the church plazaand photos of Lake Chapala.

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