Mark came to the RV park just before 9:00 and we went across the street to Torres for breakfast to prepare us for a busy day. Our first town of the day was La Noria - again search our blogs for much more about the tiny town. I took a picture of the renovated arch last time we were here but feel it deserves another picture. Pueblo Artesanal means town of craftsmen. The road from the free highway to the town has been paved within the last year or so. Nice drive up.
When we were here about a month ago they were working on the new bridge over the wash. We could drive over it. But it had a very steep entrance and exit. Much to our surprise today we can't go over it. A detour around it for quite a ways into town.
Okay no problem. Wouldn't be the first dirt detour we've taken. But then there might be a problem. He is a little too big to argue with. Be our guest - cross the road.
And here comes his bigger friend. We just sat there until they went by.
Forward into town.
Lots of traffic through the brush.
Ah at last, coming into the very middle of town. Poor Willie will need another wash.
He was selling tomatoes - notice the scale and medium sized watermelon. The watermelon were selling for 20 pesos - which seems expensive to me. Almost a dollar. He stayed parked here the entire time we were in town.
Into Roberto's leather shop. Bill, Roberto and his son. The son is working on pieces of a saddle. He is punching holes into the leather by hand for the lacing.
The punch is on the leather the metal "hammer" is in his right hand. We've seen him grow up and ability to make things grow.
This is how the saddle starts out. That is all wood, the first piece of leather will soon be attached to it.
Another piece of the saddle.
Four saddles waiting to be picked up. The older gentleman is always here in the shop. It is kind of a meeting place for the men to discuss the world.
Another regular for the discussions.
While Bill was talking to Roberto Mark and I walked around the town a little. Woman sweeping her sidewalk, when we came back by her home she was sweeping the street. The house next door is getting a second floor.
An older woman in her housecoat is helping her husband pick up the limbs that he trimmed off the bush out front.
Bill was still talking so we kept walking. We could hear a group of musicians playing so we went looking for them. They were behind the school. One of the school rooms.
And there they were. Several young men with many instruments. Don't know if they were just having fun or practicing.
They followed us out back on the street. He was pretty good.
Bill pick us up and we drove on to the sandal factory to watch the sandals being made by hand. The workers get 10 pesos per pair and can finish 10 to 12 pairs in a day. Here, in the back room, they are gluing the parts of the sole together.
In the front room they sandals are being put together. He is just finishing the second shoe of a pair. When it is all done it is rubbed with a cut lime. It makes the leather softer so it will dry around the form into the shape of the wooden form it is built around. The shelving holds the wooden forms in all sizes.
Here he is just starting a new shoe. He starts out with a strand of leather which he waxes then cuts a slit in each end of the leather. He puts one end through the metal staples then puts that end through one of the slits to anchor it. Then the end goes through a wider strip of leather to make the center front piece of the sandal. He continues through each staple.
Then he picks up the right size of shoe form and slips it under the straps. And continues until the sandal is finished. The picture is a little blurry cause his hands really move fast.
From La Noria we stopped by the Tequila distillery. Didn't take any pictures there. Except for this one as we were leaving. Two horses out in the field of blue agave. This field is about three years from harvesting. The workers at the distillery - who have nothing to distill because the machine that shreds the pinas is still broken - are planting new fields of plants. The plant has to be about 6 years old before it can be harvested.
Then on to Puerta de Canoas where we got to see the dancing horses. One of the horses, the trainer and Bill. Beautiful horses.
Strutting his stuff.
Another one of the horses. He is quite a bit bigger. His tail reached the ground.
And then on to the candy factory. First taste testing. Yum. Some of them have nuts and coconut in them.
Waiting to be packaged. These are shaped like kisses. Sugar, whole milk and butter.
Leaving there we came across a pickup loaded with nopales - there is a large farm just outside of town growing them. Nopales are thick, oval, flat, modified stems of cactus plant, eaten as a vegetable. Its young tender pads known as nopalitos are one of the chief components of Mexican cuisine. Bill likes them scrambles with eggs.
This large cactus is in a back yard. It is very colorful.
A closer look - not sure why or what.
Then on home.