Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Message Of Hope CDMX

Things are really coming together.   Even at my school we have formed an official collection center.  We're going to survive this.  After only 30 hours into the earthquake, thousands of volunteers have come together in CDMX to move rubble bucket by bucket, make sandwiches, form collection centers, distribute water, canned goods, hardhats, gloves and vests.  Companies have donated the use of heavy equipment, fuel, generators.  Truly pulling together.

The latest message from my friend and coworker in Mexico City, very emotional to read:

Afortunadamente, los mexicanos hemos sido mucho más contundentes que el sismo de ayer. Docenas de miles de personas se movilizan, se empieza a hablar de los lugares donde ya no se necesita ayuda. La ciudad está invadida de gente con casco y pala, jóvenes repartiendo víveres en sus bicicletas y automóviles, y mesas dispuestas con agua y alimentos preparados que han aparecido por todos lados.
En algún rincón de nuestra alma colectiva guardábamos una vasta reserva de compasión que ahora nos desvivimos por vaciar. 

Fortunately, as Mexicans, we have been much stronger than yesterday's earthquake.  Tens of thousands of people have mobilized, they have begun to talk about places that don't need help.  The city has been invaded by people with hardhats and shovels, young people handing out food on their bikes and from their cars, tables covered with water and prepared food that has appeared miraculously from all sides.

In some part of our collective souls, we have kept a vast reserve of compassion that we are will now do our utmost to let out. 

As I stated on a forum, let's not make this a "woe is me" Mexico issue.  Mexico is strong, able and willing to pull together to overcome this natural disaster.

Looking back to 1985, The event caused between three and four billion USD in damage as 412 buildings collapsed and another 3,124 were seriously damaged with an official loss of life at 5000 when in reality it was in the range of 25,000.  With social media and internet you can't hide the truth as easily anymore.  This time it was 40 buildings and we are now at 300 dead.  Not to diminish life, but we are much further advanced now than before.  

We are in the month of patriotism.  Viva Mexico!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Messages From CDMX and The Earthquake

As you all know, Mexico was hit with another earthquake this time covering six states including the Ciudad de Mexico.  I've been glued to the tele all afternoon and have received messages from friends and coworkers there.  Here is one:

La escena en la Ciudad de México. Hay gente que lleva horas caminando a sus casas, y no encuentra donde comprar comida o usar un baño porque todo está cerrado. El ruido más común, las sirenas y los helicópteros. Socavones y edificios colapsados han hecho que cierren varias vialidades importantes. Muchas personas han salido a ofrecer ayuda: Dirigen el tráfico, regalan botellas de agua o comida, llaman a las estaciones de radio para avisar de edificios dañados y el estátus de los hospitales. Todos, absolutamente todos, transformados por el temblor.
Qué frágiles las ficciones que componen la paz de nuestras vidas. Colapsan con solo unos segundos de vislumbrar la muerte. Repararlas realmente puede tomar incontables días.
The current scene in Mexico City.  It is taking people hours to walk to their houses, the streets, traffic, public transport are paralyzed.   You cannot find anything to eat or drink because every shop is closed and there are no bathrooms.  The most common sounds are sirens and helicopters.  Sinkholes and collapsed buildings have closed major arteries.  A lot of people are outside offering help and forming lines to remove rubble and search for people.  They are directing traffic, giving away water and food to people working to excavate and calling radio stations to give more details on collapsed buildings and hospital status.  Everything, absolutely everything hass been affected by the earthquakes.

How fragile are the stories that make up our lives.  Collapsed in just seconds of death.  To repair the damage and return to normal will take endless days.  

A good friend from Canada who lives in CDMX sent these pictures of his two dogs and his apartment building.  He said they had just attended an earthquake drill an hour before as if they knew something was coming.  He is reporting from a nearby Starbucks but is unsure where he will spend the night as he cannot return to his building until it has been inspected.

Out of 17,000 buildings only 29 collapsed.  You can see what great work the Mexican government has done since the big quake of 1985 when tens of thousands lost their lives.   The new structures are built to code and older buildings before 1985 have all been steel reinforced.  

Let's hope there aren't more replicas this week.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Democracy and Blogs

To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. 
Louis L'Amour

I've noticed over the last couple of years, a trend in blogging.   It used to be that a blog was a place for someone to share their life, their ideologies and to also allow others to share in those thoughts.   The new trend I've seen is to 1) approve comments before they are posted or 2) at the click of a button delete a comment that may not sit well with the writer or blog owner.   YouTubers have also done the same now by disabling the comments section of their vlog posts. 

That's a real shame as it takes away from the writer and the reader.   I love sharing comments and I let Blogger tell me when there is a comment that may not be appropriate.  The only comments that I do delete are advertising.   I could let them run but I doubt readers are interested in sexual toys, condoms, condominiums and webpage builder news.   

As for comments in general, I love a little public tete-a-tete, a bit of a rumble, a little controversy.  It's good for the spirit, the soul and it opens the writer's eyes to things they may not have seen or discovered.

On this blog, feel free to let'er rip, as they say, and write what you want.  Speak your mind.

Regarding other matters, I received an email today alerting me to a credit card breach.   I called immediately only to find out that my card number had been used in Malaysia, Thailand and Zimbabwe.   It was cancelled and a new card is on the way.  Only problem being is they don't send cards to international destinations and they may not send it to a bank branch in Texas which presents a major problem for me.  I need that card for my trip next Sunday to Dallas where I will work for three days.  Hmm.  Let's see what happens.

We spent last night with family and friends celebrating Mexican Independence.  It was a fun time had by all and ate some real homemade goodies such as pozole, enchiladas, tostadas, and of course a delicious cake.  You may have seen some of the pics on Facebook.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finally, My Time Of Year

With the changes in the last few weeks; hurricanes, earthquakes, climate change, etc., the weather has changed in my favor.  This is my favorite season, fall, and also winter and spring.  The weather is so good even I don't want to get up.  

With this weather I can now use the oven and it helps in the evening to warm things up a bit.  I'm sure for most of you, my cool, is your hot.   

I'm back to making bread and this first loaf turned out pretty good.  No oil, milk, butter, just whole flour, yeast and some water.   I did add one teaspoon of honey to get the yeast working well.  Next is some banana bread, and I want to try potato bread as well.   

This guy turns 18 years old this month.  Still spry, jumping, playing and chasing things in the yard.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

That Was "Suite"

I was invited to speak to parents at a private Catholic school in Ciudad Juarez this week.  The titile was, "Bilingualism In My School".  I was told in advance that I would only have 45 minutes but I extended it to a little over an hour.  I guess they really wanted me to speak at their school.  I arrived to the hotel and the front desk called a bellman and said, "please show Mr. Bauer to our master suite".     I arrived in the afternoon just after 1 p.m. and left the next morning at 8 a.m.   Fun trip, great people and they want me back!

Sounds cool, doesn't it?  Not really.  I'm just about through with all of this.  The pay is good, the strokes are always welcome.  In the end,  I'd rather be rving somewhere sitting under the trees with smell of pine, chirping birds and wildlife and watching the sun come up and go down with the stars above me before I turn in.

Ciudad Juarez has come a long way in the last 10 years.  It's safe at night, the streets are clean and the avenues wide.  New housing is everywhere and their not typical cheap, tiny houses.  This is a shot of the Mormon Temple and the surrounding neighborhood.   There are many now.

Lots of gated communities, new strip malls, restaurants, car dealerships, and private schools.

Did I mention that the house in San Antonio is up for sale?   I've notified the tenants and we sign the contract on November 1st.  Looks like we're making some changes.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Thinking About Going To A Vlog

Yes, my blog seems to get dry when we're not on the road.  I have lots to say but many of my readers are not into politics, religion or sex (I don't mean the act, I mean all that goes around it).   I'm a natural guy and believe all that we do is driven by Mother Nature not some imaginary figure that lives in the clouds.

With a Vlog I can ramble all I want and there is always someone to listen.  There are lots of Americans, Canadians and even Mexicans who would enjoy learning more about living in Mexico and boondocking versus only rving in Mexico and using rv parks.  I have nothing against it but we don't have a 45 footer nor do we need to have FHUs.   I find so much misinformation regarding Mexico, rving, and living here.   In most cases, I find information that is based on a short superficial visit or hearsay.   If you've only traveled to Puerto Peñasco and stayed in a classy rv resort and drove around Guaymas your experience is very limited and cannot base Mexico on that.

I might lose a few readers but at the same time pick up a lot more while I attempt to spread my word.  This won't happen in the next week as I need to work on the project.  Should I decide to do it, I'll maintain the blog but with reference to the Vlog on YouTube.  Just like here, you can skip through it if something doesn't interest you or go directly to the good parts.   Something tells me there is a big adventure coming up sometime in December that could last a few months.  Wait and see.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Chihuahua - Even Time For Sightseeing

Layover in Monterrey dreaming of my escape home!

It was definitely a long week but very productive.   I worked in several schools as well as an event in a hotel that included three sessions.   Lots of flights and even one that brought me home to Monterrey only to have it be a stopover on my way to Queretaro.  That was weird.  When I get to the Monterrey airport I'm ready to pay the parking and head home.   While I was waiting I thought about the car sitting there in the long-term parking and I was just 300 meters away.  I was ready to jump ship and that was only on Wednesday night.  

In Chihuahua this week, it is all about helping teachers prepare for the new school year.  I had to assure that they had all of their resource materials, online platform licenses and had some idea of how to write their lesson plans.   A good part of it was getting them to relax understand this how we do things in education.  Some schools were a complete mess as they were remodeling and others, such as those run by religious orders (nuns), were tip-top and ready to roll.  

Throughout all of this my coworker in Chihuahua was a great tour guide and host.   On Tuesday we had an event in Delicias which is about an hour from Chihuahua.   It was raining hard when we arrived and he called ahead so that the guard would meet me at the car with an umbrella.   Great school, great teachers and believe it or not, two of them had spent many years as children growing up in Kansas City.  That was a first for me.   

Spill over at Presa de las Virgenes, Rosales, Chih.

Presa de las Virgenes, Rosales, Chih.

The hills of Chihuahua 

After, we took a drive to Presa de las Virgines in Rosales about 20 minutes outside Delicias.  We had had some heavy rains and the lake was full not to mention the spillover.   It is a great route to take for boondockers heading to Parral de Hidalgo.   Excellent two-lane road that winds up through rolling hills.   At the presa, there are places to boondock that are secure.  Obviously, on weekends and holidays the place is packed with boats, ski doos and fishermen.   We can add that to the list of places.

Finishing early on Wednesday, my coworker took me out for a great shrimp lunch, a la diabla.  He said he had a surprise for me after we finished our lunch and wouldn't tell me.   Big surprise.  We visited the quinta of Pancho Villa which is near the downtown area.   It is now a federal monument and managed by the military.   The house is as original as it was when Pancho's wife passed away in 1981.   There is an underground tunnel that takes you down to the main plaza downtown and it was used on several occasions by Villa riding on horseback.  

I'm not a fan of the Mexican Revolution.  I think it is what has put us in the position we are in today, or I should say finally working our way out of.  I'm not an historian but I am a fan of history and reading about it.   As stated before, over 200 revolutions worldwide in the last 300 years and only three were of any true value or change.   The Mexican Revolution brought about the nationalization of banks, oil companies and factories and the rise of unions that today keep the members poor while the leaders suck up all the wealth.   As you can see with Pemex, all that is imploding and we are seeing change.   Take much care with MORENA (Movimiento Regeneracion Nacional) which is a socialist party gaining ground in Mexico under the guise of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), an ally and follower of Castro, Chavez and Maduro.   Good thing Bernie didn't win as he would have fueled the fire here in Mexico.   I digress. 

The history of Pancho Villa is very interesting and most of all it is really a part of modern history that we can feel, touch and see.   His wife (one of many but the one who represented him after his death and kept his patrimony) was quite a celebrity with U.S. actors, politicians and presidents, always on the front pages and in the news.  

This hotel in Celaya is near three Japanese-owned factories.  Many Japanese work here off and on.  The hotel prepares a special breakfast buffet for them along as well as the Mexican buffet.  

Ending up at my hotel in Queretaro after 12:30 a.m., I was able to get some rest before work.  Soon after that, I was whisked off to Celeya which is not a pretty town.   On this trip, we were on a budget and that included budget hotels.   I stayed in City Express but to my surprise, they are on a campaign to upgrade their hotels to suites.   Clean lines, simple but very well done.   I wasn't happy at first with my reservations but soon found out they were comfortable.  Nothing worse though than having to put on a pair of pants at 5:30 in the morning to go to the lobby for coffee.  Arghhh!

Home now and all is well.  It appears I'll be traveling quite a bit this fall in the U.S. working in high schools and my trip to South America.   

Monday, August 14, 2017

Palapa Update

We got this much done on the palapa.  Took awhile but worth the wait.  What's next?  Pouring the extension for the floor, tiling the floor, sheet rock the interior ceiling and the metal posts with square columns.   Sometime this year?   Wait and see.

I left yesterday for Chihuahua.   We had a rough start.  It was 39C yesterday at the airport and the flight was oversold and they asked for volunteers.   I was hoping that there was a later flight or a very early morning but there wasn't.  The offer was a voucher for 5000 pesos plus hotel and meals at the new Sheraton in the airport.   When I got on board, I was standing in back talking to the flight attendant and asked her what would happen if there weren't enough takers and she said they would up the ante.   Too bad for me.

Then, we're all on board, plane packed to the gills and the lights and A/C go out.   They start it again (Embraer 179) and a minute later it stops.   Maintenance comes on board and fiddles a bit then back off and back on again.   The the announcement that we were waiting for a jump start but that wouldn't affect the flight.   Hotter than heck until we got off the ground.  I knew those security information cards would come in handy, they make great fans.

Chihuahua continues to grow and it seems it has a planning committee.   Very easy to move around and also very modern.  Lots of homes that mimic the U.S. building styles.  People here are very nice.  I bought a beer at the OXXO across from the hotel.  I was waiting in line when the cashier's eight year old son pops up in front of me and says he can ring me up.   He did the debit card charge, bagged my goods and managed it like a pro.   My point:  I guess if an eight year old can do it so could anybody.  

Now my work plan has changed and I won't be home on Thursday instead going to Queretaro and then to Leon before returning to Monterrey on Saturday, hopefully in the morning.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

How I Back In The Rv

My friend Steve from the Carolinas says it amazes him how I'm able to get the rv into the driveway.   I finally downloaded the videos from our security cameras.  You can probably skip through the video because they are a few minutes long.   Enjoy.

From the street backing in.

From inside looking out.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Waterfalls On Every Side

As I said yesterday, we made it to the park without any problem.   I would say any travel trailer can make it and travel buses do too but I don't drive a 45 ft motorhome.   

The park charges a day use  fee of 36 pesos per person.  When you're camping it is only charged once and you can come and go from the park.   The overnight camping fee includes a palapa with kitchen surface, a sink with running water (potable) and there is no electricity.   The idea is too keep the place as quiet as possible and it is.  Some picnickers come during the day and play music but the rangers keep an eye on them.  It's not a large park but there is hiking in the mountains and paths to take.  There are hot showers for 10 pesos and well-worth it.   Clean with lots of hot hot water.  

We're here and we have been into town for a breakfast and we have taken lots of pictures.   Hiking has been a bit muddy because it is raining off and on.  Quiet, cool nights with the sounds of waterfalls and soft rain on the roof.   

We're heading home in the morning.  I have several things I want to post about such as the now variable gas prices and welfare programs that are available to Mexicans.  Very interesting all the things that most people are unaware of.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

El Salto State Park Nuevo Leon - Parque Estatal El Salto Nuevo Leon

We had headed back to the botanical garden in San Miguel and stayed for another night.  We paid our yearly membership which we think is only fair.   The land we boondock on is not owned by the gardens but it's right in front plus we get access to the botanical garden for hiking.  They have a small restauarant which is great for an afternoon expreso.

We headed back to Matehuala for the evening.   Not an exciting drive but there really isn't any other way to head north.   There was a nice rain in the evening and it was cool during the night.  This year we didn't need to use the electric blanket but there was no need for even a fan.   Again, the Hotel Oasis charges 150 pesos for the night.   Our grey water was full so I asked the owner if I could dump in the back of the hotel.  No problem.   

We didn't get up early on Tuesday and opted to sleep in.  The cool air, watching the news and having coffee was too much fun for me.   We eventually showered and headed out.   To the north and exiting at Sandia or Parque El Salto,  There are two routes, one directly from Matehuala and the other I just mentioned off of Hwy 57 just one kilometer north of Parador San Pedro which now, by the way, has a very nice hotel that is packed (we saw it coming and going).

The road we took was the best of the best and the worst of the worst.   In other words, there were good spots and bad spots but more good than bad.  We saw some beautiful ranch land and small ejidos along the route.   Lots of livestock;  mules, cows, goats and horses, leisurely crossing the two-lane road.   As we were driving a motorcycle passed us and took a sharp left to an improvised lateral.  I should have known better even if it wasn't marked.   Someone had taken down the signs but road work ahead!   We came to an abrupt stop as there was a drop off of at least 40 centimeters.   We didn't back up but found a quick and easy work around.

We had called ahead to Zaragoza asking if we would have any issues passing through the small town of 2000 with the trailer.   Transitos are getting very picky these days and I urge people to exercise caution.   They said no problem.   Aramberri, a town 27 kms before Zaragoza (pop. 14,000) was bustling.  One major change is that there is now an official Pemex station.   Ten years ago there was no service and you had to buy from clandestine ranches.  Not a good idea as the only filter was an old pair of panty hose.   That was my only issue on this route but that was now resolved.

Made it through both towns without a hitch (no pun intended) and arrived to the park.  I hope you enjoy the pictures there is much more to share tomorrow.   We will be heading home on Friday taking another route which I think will prove interesting.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

Trip Update - SMA - Matehuala - Zaragoza

We're back in Matehuala after enjoying the weekend parked in town in San Miguel de Allende.  It worked out well and we were charged 100 pesos per night, secured parking.  Saturday and Sunday were noisy as tour buses would come and go but we were gone during the day.  At night things were completely silenced as everyone has left but us.   Time to drag out the chairs, coffee table and have cocktails outside.   Beautiful skies, drinks and company.

Saturday night we passed by Barbara's house at 7 to go out for dinner.  We took a taxi, pricey but worth it, to Ristorante D' Andrea.   We were there last year.   The food is really, really good and the service is the best.   We started out the evening with vodka martinis and Barbara can attest to their quality.   The place is pricey but we hadn't been out to eat during the whole week except for a taco or quesadilla.   

We went to the Parroquia for a folkloric dance show that was pretty good.   We stayed for a bit and then headed home.  We have yet to disconnect the SUV from the trailer and 85% of our day trips are walking.   I've been doing my 8 kms or more everyday and that sure helps.   I also discover some pretty cool things along the way.

Yesterday we were invited to a town meeting by an activist group regarding the water situation in SMA.  Basically, the water in the lake or presa is being consumed by corporate farming in the area.  Also, the water treatment plant is not at full capacity for the city.  As I mentioned, there are new housing developments going up and they are not providing any special services in exchange for building permits.  For example, if a new neighborhood is going up outside Monterrey on the way to our house, the builder has to provide a water treatment facility for the new neighborhood, streets, lighting, and green areas.   I don't think that is happening in SMA.   There is also arsenic contamination in the city water supply created by the corporate farming.  The purpose of the meeting is to create awareness and look for some solutions that can be had by both the government and the population.   

We're not living there but it is interesting to participate and if someday we move nearby we want clean and plentiful water/   We are suffering from the same problems now at home with our water supply; drought and contamination.

We headed out this morning bright and early and are now at the Oasis Hotel.  Tomorrow we will be heading east and then south to the southern tip of our great state of Nuevo Leon hoping to find a spot at the El Salto State Park which is in the mountains and surrounded by waterfalls.   More later.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Cool Air - San Miguel de Allende

(Sorry, no pics.  My Telcel stick is not getting a strong enough signal.  I'll post some later).

We’ve been enjoying our time here in San Miguel de Allende.   Parked here at the botanical gardens (El Charco del Ingenio) we’ve had very cool nights and light breezy days.  You couldn’t ask for better weather.  The afternoon showers make for great down time or a nap.  

Tuesday night was a great surprise.  I received a letter from blog reader Barbara.   She came from Washington state last October to make her home here.   She had offered her place to me when I was looking to work with the kids at the school here.   She was very kind in her offer. 
Tuesday afternoon we got together for some wine and chat which turned into a great dinner and the opportunity to make new friends.   We’re planning on seeing each other again this weekend for dinner out.

Last night was a walk down to the Parroquia to people watch.   Again, the weather was cool and enough that you need to carry a light jacket or sweater.   There is just so much to see and do here I hope we living here in southern Mexico in the next couple of years.

Tonight  is a talk and Q&A with Lisa Pixley who is the author of a book about the history of San Miguel de Allende.  She has lived here for 15 years and speaks fluent Spanish.   She tells the history of the city and the influence that foreigners has brought.    I’m looking forward to her point of view as you know I have my own.

What has happened in the last year since coming to SMA?  Lots of changes.   Too many to say I would actually live in the city.   Other small towns nearby abound and offer just as much as here.   The traffic has gotten a bit hairy.   People are driving much faster and there are more cars.   New construction of avenues including infrastructure changes have created a big city feel.   I realize it’s summer and there are lots of tourists.   Here by the gardens are two, new housing projects with homes starting at 185K, I may have already mentioned that.   Too many people.

This morning we walked from the gardens to the Luciernega mall with the glorieta and the new Soriana.   We took a bus down to centro.   We could have walked faster because of the traffic and at one point we got off and just walked.   Quicker and faster not to mention great exercise.  BTW, I did my 1.5 hour walk this morning with a mix of hillside and city.  

We’re moving again in the morning.   I’ve mentioned several times that there is a public parking lot off of San Antonio St. where the big buses park bringing tourists.  The charge for 24 hours is 160 pesos.  The lot is changing ownership on Monday so the current workers have offered us 100 pesos a day for the weekend.   Fantastic, we’re right in town.  There are no services but our solar works just great for us.  It’s a paved lot but we’re here for the city and we’ve done a lot of hiking here at the gardens.

Turns out we may not make it to Hacienda.   It Sounds like the park is falling into disrepair and Chema’s is a bit muddy this time of year.    We are thinking about heading to the waterfalls in Zaragoza, a state park at the border between San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon.  Not sure yet.   Every day is something new.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

San Miguel de Allende July 2017

Spent a quite evening at home in Matehuala.   Got up early and had coffee and the local news.  Actually it was news from Mexico City.   We headed to the tire stores to check prices.   All of them are in town not along the highway where the hotels are.  That's weird.

They sent a tire to the vulkanizadora where we were parked and we paid right there.   No hassles, tire sent on a motorcycle, invoice and guarantee in hand.   I guess the two work together so it worked out well.   A guy pulled up while we were waiting in a new SUV.   Kind of startled me a bit.  He got out and said good morning in English.   Turns out he worked in the U.S. for 30 years and now is a trucker here.  He wanted to know about importing the trailer.  Nice guy.

Off we went, a bit apprehensive at first.   I then got off to a running start and kept it steady at 80 kph (you guys are rotten and you know who you are).  Peaceful drive, good music and excellent co-pilot.  We pulled into the botanical gardens and setup.  Went for a nice evening walk and watched a great movie with Andy Griffith called Savages with one of the Bottom brothers, Sam I think, who died a few years back from a brain tumor.   All the brothers are actors.

This morning as we were getting ready to take off, our friend Mario the director of the botanical gardens, pulled up  and visited for awhile.

We're not staying there.   We chose a night at San Ramon because we will be visiting a blog reader this evening and didn't want to leave the rv alone.   Things in SMA are changing.  It's become a bustling city.   You can see it in the traffic, the speed at which people drive, and sadly and most of all is the poor interaction between locals and gringos.

I could see it last year as well.  New housing developments are going up two blocks from the botanical gardens with their own strip malls.  Houses starting at $185,000 U.S.  The disparity between the foreigners (gringos and chilangos) is growing.   I was listening to the local news this morning and they have job offers.   Low educational levels, all minimum wage jobs.  But, like everywhere else in the world, business owners pay what the local economy demands not to mention government established minimum wages.

We're even closer now to selling the trailer.   I think it's time.  Maybe a Class B will work for us.  Only time will tell.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blowout ' highway 85

Sounds dramatic!  It wasn´t.   Shredded a tire on the trailer going 70 kph, no damage.   We got it changed right away and continued on to Matehuala.

We´re here at the Hotel Oasis.  Great travel day.  We´ll check out a tire in the morning, I don´t going anywhere without a spare.  The spare looks brand new but it´s not.  Another reason to get it changed.

On to San Miguel de Allende after that.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trip Prep and Did I Make a Boo Boo

Actually I made two.  

1)  Cleaned off the ball on the hitch and hooked up but forgot to grease it up.

2)  Last thing in the wash were my dirty jeans that I wore all day and sweated like a pig.  Took them out of the washer and the key fob fell to the ground.   Still working, but I opened it up to let it dry out.

I got the lecture on "always check your pockets".   Well, I did but I guess not well enough.

In the end, it's 7 p.m. and I'm settled down for a late happy hour.  We're ready to roll with our first stop in Matehuala.  We'll be staying at the Oasis again for 150 pesos.  I'm going to check Las Palmas just to see what the latest price is.

Then off to SMA for a night or two and on to Valle de Juarez.  Finally.

It is so hot here, I'm done with 40C heat.   

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tour of Monterrey - Guests Always Bring Opportunities

Last time I posted I mentioned that my godson was coming from Germany.   He was here for a week and we did all kinds of things.   I'm not sure how impressed he was but I did my best to give him a good tour.  

Before he came, I took the opportunity to paint the spare bedroom and install a mini-split air conditioner.  I didn't check beforehand what the weather is like in Tubingen but I figured it was never as hot as here.   The temps were over 100 for three weeks.   

The palapa hasn't been finished and we knew in advance the probability was very low.  That's how it is in Mexico or at least the area we live in.  You give 50% down and when that money is used up they look for a new job.  We called and called, he would send someone for a few hours and then they'd leave.   The last time, the guy sent his son and he was working away.   All of a sudden, at 2:30 in the afternoon I saw him backing out of the driveway.  I checked the cameras at the front gate and he had loaded up all of his equipment never to return.   We aren't out any money but the job isn't finished.  Wait for the next episode.   The pool deck was completed by the other fellow and he did a great job.

Day by day events with my godson:

Day 1:   Local trip to the plaza in Santiago, mirador overlooking the lake and lunch.

Day 2:   A hike through our state park, Estanzuela

Day 3:   Hiking in the national park Chipinque, folkloric dance performance in the theater of the city

Visitor's center at Chipinque Natl Park

Lining up for the folkloric dance performance.

One of the last and best dances from our state of Nuevo Leon.

Day 4:    Hung out at the house and had a cookout Saturday night.

Day 5:  Day trip to La Laguna up in the mountains with a wonderful en-route breakfast.

The lagoon is dry.  Last time we were there with David it was full of water.

Day 6:  Tour of Monterrey and the riverwalk.

Dau 7:  Visits to museums, the governor's palace, the main post office.

Michael Angelo exhibit.

Looking down on the riverwalk from the bridge between the museums.

Governor's Palace

The main post office built in 1930.

Everyday we used the pool and usually watched a movie in the evenings on Netflix.  He took off for Atlanta where he will visit friends, return to Germany for two days and then head to Israel where he thinks he will be moving after 25 years in Tubingen.

As for us, looks like we are heading to Valle de Juarez to get a reprieve from the heat.   I'm not sure what day we'll take off, probably Thursday or Friday with no rush to get there.