Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 8 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.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday at the Beach

 Hola!
We like the beach on Easter Sunday. We like the hour and a half drive to the Sea of Cortez, past planted fields of tomatoes and chamomile, through small towns whose churches are packed with people and roadside stalls filled with bags of oranges and potatoes.  A lot of other people like the beach, too.

The south beaches of Huatabampito, by Sunday mid morning, are easy and slow, with lazy waves, and a few people hanging on, catching the sun rays, playing cards on rickety old tables. 

We can walk for miles, collect shells and study the brilliant blue jelly fish, and see only a handful of people on a beach that just hours earlier was packed with Rv's and temporary tarp and cardboard houses. These are people who have been here all week and realize that it's time to get back to the real world. We have been on the south beach before on a Saturday and decided we only need to be there on Sunday.


In between the south and north beaches is a shore side residential stretch with miles of assorted beach homes, small casitas, large two story homes and fenced off lots that for Semana Santa are filled with temporary dwellings and extended families and friends. Cars cruise up and down the one lane sand beach road and small roadside stalls sell shrimp and marlin and dried beef. The houses are on the water side and the stretches of sand here are packed with volleyball games, boats coming in and out and homeowners with barbecue pits on the beach.

The north beach, at noon, is still jam packed with crowds of people.These are the families who have waited since last Semana Santa, to get to the playa for one day and who will not give up a  piece of that beautiful trip until the last sun ray has settled beneath the horizon. These are the families who will drive out of the beach as late as midnight, which is one reason we get to the beach around ten in the morning and leave around three pm.

We also like the north beach, where it can be difficult to walk without joining a volleyball or soccer beach game, where it is actually possible to run into a family of Alamensens and where you can eat non stop from one end to the other.
In the photo below Senor is heading right into the crowd that will stretch for miles and miles.













We like to spend our Easter day here, right along with everyone else................
Hope you had a great fin de semana!
Linda Lou

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Portal

buenas tardes!
Thought you might like to see this. The parapet wall is finished and all the canalis are in and I just may have misspelled both of those words, but who cares, as Jay-Jay the San Carlos fish taco vendor says.........and Senor is not here or I would run out and verify............anyways it's a nice long shot of the nice long portal that looks nice from this side.
By the way, I have a feeling that sand pile, the shovel and the screen to the left are permanent yard art at our house.
And in case you have forgotten what it looks like underneath, well, here it is. Yeah, that is still a dirt floor and my patience has run thin with it, so I am very pleased to say that Senor and Humberto are fixing to start the concrete sub floor. It will look good with the sub floor and I will not be as cranky about all this dust. But oh wow, is it a beautiful portal. In this photo you are not seeing about twelve feet of it that is behind me.

Okay, this is all I wanted to show you. I need a nap. I have been looking at house magazines most of the morning and that is just exhausting. And then I went down to the Plaza for awhile and believe me, that was really exhausting. There are so many people in town, no place to park, no bench to sit on, a line out the Museum door, baby strollers everywhere, kids pulling little plastic dogs on leashes. And I am not complaining! It is wonderful to see so many people in Alamos and I don't know any of them. It's just..........they are everywhere. The people who live here are either hiding out or have escaped to the beach.

I also need to rest up for manana because we are leaving early tomorrow for the beach, for our escape. We know from experience the beach will be packed for Easter Sunday, so I don't know if that is actually called an escape.
 And then, on Monday, everything will back to normal, whatever that is.............
adios! Linda Lou
Feliz Semana Santa.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unexpected Meeting on a Long Dusty Road

 Hola!

 We met these Fariseos on our way to the Agiobampa estuary in Navopatia. I believe they were coming from the small village of Los Aguilas.

Throughout the forty days prior to Easter, the Fariseos are sent by Mayo tribal elders to make their way from town to town, on foot and in silence. There are many groups of three to five Fariseos who can be seen walking, some barefoot, throughout the state of Sonora. We saw a lot of Fariseo groups on our trip across Mexico Highway Two on our way to San Diego. In fact it may be one of the reasons we got lost so much. It is a photo opportunity each time I see them.

They represent the negative forces within their village and while dancing to a drumbeat, they gesture for money. If you give money, you are cleansing yourself of your sins.

On Good Friday, the Fariseos return to their villages, with their collected money, and their masks and clothing are burned in celebration of a final cleansing.

When I saw the Fariseos, I yelled at Senor to stop the car. Picture moment for sure. They are not supposed to remove their masks and are to abstain from talking, drinking, sex and are to not wash their clothing. They were obviously as surprised to see us as we were to see them.

Bailar............i asked................you can't ask them to dance, said senor...............of course, i can, i said..........bailar......i asked again................bailar........said the one without his mask....si, i said..............and he put on his mask and they danced.

The Mayo culture is fascinating and I have always loved watching the Fariseos and studying their clothing and masks and dance. In the photos you can see that some of the leggings are made of the silkworm cocoons while others are hammered tecate cans. Some of the belts are wood and others are empty plastic shotgun shells.

I think it is possible they were not following the elder's rules yet because they were out in the middle of nowhere and they were not expecting company. I was thrilled to watch them dance and surprised they did not gesture for money. But I was eager to give them twenty pesos and when I held it out, the Raven masked Fariseo gestured to the tecate can. So I pushed the note down through the opening. They tilted their heads to us and walked on down the dusty road.












On our drive we saw cows and goats and chickens and so many birds I could never begin to name them all. We saw old weathered men switching horses that pulled wooden carts, truck beds loaded with twenty people and families of five on a motorcycle. But to see these Fariseos, out in the middle of nowhere, walking down a dusty road was a remarkable sight.

So now we are listening as our young neighbor in new old Jesus's casa begins his Semana Santa celebration with a little ranchero music and I can smell carne asada on the miner's grill. The little red train is whistling its way up Calle Allende, its riders whooping and singing and far off in the distance, maybe up the Chalaton, I can hear a metal bat whack a baseball. The church bell is ringing in case we forget what the celebration is really about and the mama quail is calling her babies while the white winged dove eat the cracked corn in the feeders.
I love Mexican celebrations and it does not bother me one bit that this one may last till Sunday morning at 4am when the tuba player shows up.

I hope your Semana Santa brings you good food, good music and friends, and perhaps even a welcomed unexpected meeting on a long dusty road.
Feliz noche! Linda Lou

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Navopatia


Hola, buenas tardes!
I sat down at the computer to post to the blog and decided I would first take a look at a Pinterest post someone sent me. So, here I am two hours later, finally getting to the post. Whew, I don't know about you, but it is sure not easy to take a look at one little thing on Pinterest.

On Sunday we went down to Navopatia at the invitation of a friend who has a little casa there. Navopatia is a very small community on the Agiobampa estuary, about two hours south west of Alamos. Around twelve homes are nestled in the scrub and pipe cactus and there is no running water or electricity and it is very rustic and primitive, a wonderful place.
 Among the residents of Navopatia is the Alamos Wildlands Alliance. A small non profit organization dedicated to conservation, community building, education and research. The alliance maintains a small field station at the estuary, December through March.

The estuary is very popular with birders and a canoe or kayak trip will take you across the estuary into the thick mangroves and then out to the white sand beaches along the Sea of Cortez. 
 Below are some photos taken at the alliance field station.





To find out more about the Alamos Wildlands Alliance, you can visit the website at www.alamoswildlands.org. They have some wonderful photographs of the estuary and of the living spaces at the field station.

 A very peaceful day.
Que le vaya bien! Linda Lou

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hola!

 Buenos dias! Como estan? Senor and I have been back from San Diego for three weeks and I am still moping around, not mopping, MOPING. I know every mother reading this knows just exactly what I am talking about.  I am doing a little better this week and have started keeping busy.
Below is what I have been keeping busy with.

I am acid staining the concrete pieces that will become the floor.You can see them all piled up in the stable. I can't get to the lawn mower. And the other day one of Senor's drip hoses burst open into a twenty foot arching waterfall and he could not get to the replacement parts. So I started working on this.
 Acid staining is very interesting, not at all the nightmare I had heard it can be from people who have done it. And I realize why. These folks have decide to acid stain a floor after it was installed as something else. One did an indoor floor and the other an out door deck. The first swore it was a terror and hard to keep the stain from spreading into areas where she did not want it. The out door decker said the acid killed all of her plants around the deck. Hmmmmmm.........
 I am using Stain-Crete. Senor has 4 different colors and has experimented with all of them. He has mixed the batches to create various stains and I just use a brush and paint it on with random strokes.
Below in the two photos is the base coat, one single stain. When the stain goes on, it smokes and bubbles up. Yes I wear gloves and my kiln mask.


And here is one application of his mixed color over the base coat. After application and drying time, the concrete is rinsed. I can certainly see why those folks would have a hard time with that last process. For me it is easy, my pieces are out in the yard. I cannot imagine attempting this inside a house.
 Here are a few pieces just randomly placed on the game room floor. I am trying now to decide if we should only do this one coat over the base coat or do two which will definitely make it darker, or to mix and match, some light some dark. The stain varies in color as it dries and leaves both light and dark splotches. It does not cover in one solid color. Once the staining is all done, each piece will be coated in polyurethene.
I am happy with this project. I have absolutely no idea when the floor will be worked on, but we will sure have a lot of pieces ready when that time comes.
We are moving right along with all this stuff, the roof top on the game room has finally been finished, with all its concrete and styrofoam and sand and rebar and whatever else it is that Senor has up there.

The garden lettuce bolted while we were in San Diego and the pump switch flipped off so Humberto spent a few days watering the yard and garden by hand, pulling up water from the cistern in a bucket.
Weather does not get any better, slightly overcast with lots of cool breeze. I am loving every day.
Que le vaya bien! Linda Lou