Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Iglesia San Jose de Copala

From a couple of days ago when we were in Copala.
One of the interesting things in Copala is the old church. It was built between 1740 - 48. For some reason I thought it was built in the late 1500's. Luckily there has been some upkeep done on it throughout the years so we can still enjoy it. 
As you come up the main road and turn right towards the plaza it draws your attention immediately. 
A statue on the upper right hand corner. There is a tree growing out of the rocks right below it. 
Going in through the old big heavy front doors. Have to step up carefully.  

Up above the door way is a figure of half a man looking down at the entrance. There are several legends about why he is there. 
One is "The face of the devil was built into the wall above the entrance so that children would throw rocks at the devil as a show of defiance or hatred of the devil. This was done so often that today the face isn’t recognizable". Another legend - the one I like - is " When a bride walks through the door is she isn't a virgin he will spit on her." Better hope it wasn't a humid day when they got married. And another is - he was built there to keep the devil out. Take your pick.
Inside the small room just to the left of the entrance was open for the first time. The baptismal font was in it. Also this very pretty onyx window. 
Under the window stood a beheaded statue. Somewhat like the ones in Concordia. Guess the French army was here too. 
A look at the altar. I've read that the gold is gold leaf but don't know. I think more likely gold paint. But it is a very unusual design, never seen anything like it before.
A closer look at the intricate background. 
Also interesting ceiling.  There were a couple of strings of colored lights still up. 
Some images along the walls. 
The pulpit.
Back outside walking around the church. One of the side walls. They are very thick. 
Looking down at part of the town from the walkway around the church.There are so many trees and plants it is hard to see all the homes.
View from the other side.
The back of the church. Can see where there have been some repairs.
The side of the church, from the back it is the right side. The whole doors are open on both sides. In front just the small section of the doors is open. Lots of frilly work around the doors.
Looking towards the front to the bell tower.

Notice the chunk missing on the top of the bell tower? Some plants growing out of it too. Hardy plants. All the detailed work around it. All of it done over 280 years ago. 
See the chunk laying on the ground. That must have made a heck of a racket when it came down. Makes you walk at the far edge of the path. 
Heading down the worn stone steps into the small but pretty plaza. 
More to come about the town of Copala in later blogs. 
Bill woke up feeling better today guess a good home cooked meal and the Pepto is working. So now he is out driving the workers crazy. We also have the mechanic here working on the Jeep. And spent the afternoon at the dentist - Good to be home watching TV

Monday, January 27, 2020

Repainting the RV

Bill got up this morning and felt a little better, but still with the upset stomach. So you will notice he is not outside bothering the workers as he would be if he felt good. Aren't they lucky.
Yep we are getting the RV repainted. Remember when we first got it done in January of 2018  Click here to check it out.  There are several blogs on the painting saga. This was the first day the painting started. When we wanted gold paint and got chartreuse instead. Eventually the painter took it to his shop to paint it and we stayed in a hotel. 
Well unfortunately the gold and maroon paint has faded and the clear coat is flaking off. Part Bills fault and part painters fault and a lot of Las Vegas sunshine thrown in too. This time the correct paint will be used and the correct clear coat. It is my understanding the whole house of the RV will be repainted. NOT the cab with the mural. But I might be wrong. Bill did tell me they will be using the same colors and paint as just used on the Jeep.
This is the drivers side of the RV. The side the sun hits fully when we are here in Mexico and when it is parked in storage in Las Vegas. Notice all the color is GONE.
And the clear coat is flaking off. Can see it by the window.  
 The graphic to the right under the window used to be maroon. All that is left of the color is in the shade under the window. 
 This part used to be gold, can barely see the color under the light. 
 The passenger side still has some color but it too is fading.

 So this morning the workers showed up to take off the clear coat on the whole body/house part of the RV. Scaffolding and not sure what the tank is. 
Slowly scraping all the clear coat off. 
As I went out to take the picture I noticed one of our transplanted hibiscus was blooming. Beautiful!
 Scaffolding going up.

 Using a single edge razor blade. Almost done with this side. 
Well day one is done. Whats next? Don't know - will find out tomorrow. Also have mechanic coming for Jeep tomorrow to try to figure out why the windshield washer doesn't work. 
Cooked dinner tonight and got some Pepto and we both feel almost human again. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

African tulip tree grows anywhere and everywhere here.

Been a little under the weather for a bit, no running around so am going back over older photos. We were walking around Centro a while ago and stopped to look in through the windows of this old building. On the outside it is nicely painted but inside just a few walls standing and no roof which lets the sun and rain nourish several plants. 
A flowering vine of some sort.
An African tulip tree. For years I thought this was a mimosa tree, but yesterday when looking up the flower I discovered I was wrong. Growing inside one of the rooms. 
It is so big it has reached out over the building. 
A close up of the flower. I took this picture at La Marina restaurant. 

Nothing to do with the flower but I like it. On a building across the street from the one with the tree inside it. 

There are so many interesting things around here it is hard to know where to look and extra hard to cull out the pictures.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Traveling a new road and entering Copala

When it was time to leave the area where the laundry ladies were I mentioned I'd seen a different road out to the highway on google satellite maps. "So let's take that road," I said. Bill, always willing to please said, "Okay." and off we went. Not a real good idea. Here is a video of that road and ride. 
Click Here to view it full screen.
Hum seems to be all dirt. Sharp turn here. More dirt. Not getting any better as we continue on. Past several homes. Look at the wires coming off the power pole! Back onto concrete heading for the main highway. I think...Had to back track to find Mark waiting patiently on road we went in. 

After getting back on the highway and finding Mark - who used good judgment and went out the way we came in, we headed up the old Durango Highway - the Devil's Backbone to Copala.
Here we are turning off the highway onto the entrance road to town.
This road has been redone since we were here last. All new cobblestones. Then through town. Stopped and looked around and had lunch then took the old one way road that leads out of town. The video is kind of long, but can be fast forwarded until we get to town and again after we get on the old road. But you get a feel of the town. 
To view in full screen Click Here. 
Oops - looks like I made a typo when making the video  Should be Copala not Copapa

The old Daniel's restaurant at the beginning of town. Then up towards the church and plaza. Past several old homes. I about jumped out of my seat when that gray car shot up out of the side street. The old church. Parking in the plaza while looking around town. Then off again. Past Alejandro's restaurant where we had lunch. Down the road through town. Hope we didn't meet any other traffic. We come to the turn that takes the one way street out of town back up to the highway. It has not been redone. Down the hill past homes, huge trees and flowering plants. Looks like part of the road had a wash out. Then up the hill. Back west towards Mazatlán.

Pictures from Copala will be another blog.
Another day trip today.
A teaser on what we did today.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Malpica, MX The baker, tile maker and the Laundry Ladies

Yesterday we grabbed our captured tourists again and headed for the hills. (Sorry its so long but have lots to share.]
On the toll road around Mazatlan. 47 pesos for a car, well worth it. 
We got off the toll road and took the old Durango Highway 40 and headed east.  Some of the pink trees are still blooming in this area. 
Our first stop, because three of our group had never been here, was Malpica. This house has a side business of arcade games on the front porch. 
Around the corner to the Panaderia - bakery. Notice the paper triangles hanging over the street. They are called Papel Picado- picked paper. They are considered a Mexican folk art. The designs are cut fro colored tissue paper using very sharp scissors. These colorful papers are made to celebrate religious festivals and national holidays.
Rolls just coming out of the wood fired oven. You can see some of the ash off to the right side of the oven. 
One large pan on the shovel. The gentleman is the baker's husband. A couple of years ago he had to have both knees replaced. He is doing great now. 
Moving some pans around so new ones can go into oven. 
After getting our baked goods we crossed the street to the tile maker George - Jorge. We sere devastated to learn that since we saw him in the spring he has had a heart attack. He and Bill had a discussion about life changes after a heart attack. But sometimes they are hard to make 
On of his beautiful tiles. They sell for 60 pesos. I use them on the dinner table to hold hot pots or dishes. By rubbing paste wax on them you can get a lovely shine. You can put either felt pieces or Rubbermaid shelf liner on the bottom of them so they dot scratch your furniture. . 
This is the old mold for the bigger tile he no longer makes. We have a couple those tiles at home and one in the RV. 
Here is a video I took of him making one of the new smaller round tiles yesterday. To make it full screen Click Here.
First the metal base is oiled with linseed oil. Then the colors for the design are selected. A hard bristle brush is lightly dipped in the colors. The brush is held over the metal plate and a piece of metal is scrapped along the bristles of the brush. This puts tiny drops of color on the metal plate. Then a form for the sides of the tile is placed around the bottom plate. Next he pours dabs of a powdered marble slurry on top of the colors.  A small amount is placed in a tub and water is added to it. It is then poured in blobs over the colors in the metal form. He is using a blue for the background color. The original colors seep up through the blobs of marble. Then a high tech method is used to make the design. Actually the eraser end of a pencil is pulled through the marble to make the design. It can be pulled in lines, circles, squares - any way the designer wants. Next dry cement is carefully sifted and patted over the marble. Then a layer of coarse wet sand is added. A very heavy metal plated shaped to fit the mold is placed on top of everything.  The entire mold is then put into the press. Then Jorge grabs the pipe/lever and activates the press. He then releases the lever, takes the mold out of the press and removes the wet tile. The tile takes a day to be finished. It first has to be soaked in water then set out to dry. 

Here are the ones we bought. The colors are brighter then they show here. And will be brighter still after they are waxed. 
 Looking at it from the side. The top colors then the cement and sand.
He is putting them in a bag for us. 
An unusual color of bougainvillea in front of the church. 
We went out of town a different way then we usually do, a newly painted house - Mexican pink and lavender Looks like they are adding a second story brick by brick. Many families buy bricks when they can afford them - brick by brick. When they have enough they will build their house or add on to it. 
The front of this house is entirely tile squares.
Just caught my eye so I took a picture. 
From Malpica we continued to head east - we would eventually end up in the tiny town of Copala - but that is for next time. We turned off the highway to go to the natural hot springs that supply the ladies of this area with hot water to wash their clothes. Oops he was showing off when something went wrong.
Here is a Google satellite picture of the hot water wash basins. They are pretty big. See the blue line. I told Bill there was a different road to take to get back to the main highway and did he want to go that way. He did - never again. Our friend Mark who was driving a rental used good judgement and went back to the highway the way we'd come in. Good thinking Mark. But not as exciting a ride. 
The facilities are at the red dot on the map at the top of this blog. 
Some of the pictures are from our trip here last week and some from yesterday. This is last week. There were several women using the facilities.There are four pools. The fist one is where the hot water comes up from the hot spring and the water in it is very hot - barely able to stick your hand in it. The second pool is a little cooler and where most of the ladies wash their clothes. The government built these facilities years ago - don't know when but will eventually find out. There are clothes lines strung all over the area. We have known the lady in green for years - also a couple more of the ladies know us. The white bags contain dirty laundry. 
See the older gentleman sitting in the water? He lives in Mazatlan and every other week he comes up here to soak in the hot mineral water. At other times we've seen children being bathed in the water and teenagers just fooling around in the water - usually in the fourth and coolest pool. 
He is dipping out the very hot water to take to his house. 
Waiting for mom to finish her laundry. 
He is just enjoying the weather, water and laughter.
There are wash basins on the outside of the pools where the clothes are actually washed. See the pile of clothes to the right of the man.
There are two of these wash board tubs - one on each side of the pool. They have a drain for the water. 

She is bringing her agitator - a pole with the top half of a soda bottle attached to it. When she put dirty clothes into a tub of water she uses this to agitate the water, soap and clothes. She uses it kind of like a plunger. 

To do that the clothes are in the blue bucket behind the white bag. 
Right now they are talking with Bill. Every time we come here we bring candy for the children. [and the adults] It is getting so the recognize the Jeep.
The pool on the right is the second pool and the most used. The the two cooler pools. [this was from yesterday, it was a cooler cloudy day and not many doing wash.]
Coming home from school and they see the Jeep. 

Hottest water to the right, coolest the left pool. 
We left the ladies and took a different road out Oh boy.
Then continued on to Copala.