Thursday, November 30, 2017

Horses and Candy

To finish writing about our day trip Tuesday. After leaving the distillery we stopped in the little town of  Puerta de Canoas #2 on the map. 
Entering town on the only paved road, just around the corner it became dirt. 
This is a small typical Sinaloa agricultural town. However there are a few very fun and interesting things to do there. One of them is behind the white wooden fence on the left. 
We have been here several times and Bill has become friends with the man in the hat. He is a trainer for some of the beautiful dancing horses. This time when we arrived there was also a small tour bus there so he was going to have a couple of the horses show their moves. 
Shirley making friends with one of the horses. This is a training stable. The horses belong to other people and are only trained here. They are here for about a year and it costs the owner 3500 pesos a month. This includes the training, stable, food and a daily bath. About US$ 190 a month. 
When they leave they are ready to perform at shows, rodeos and festivals. This young [4 years] horse has not been trained with a saddle and rider yet. 
 Ignore first few seconds of video - just don't feel like editing it. Turn your sound on to hear the local music.
He was not a very big horse unlike some of them we've seen here. But very pretty. 
Another horse a little older. He had a different style of "dancing."
A video of him. 

We could have had our picture taken with him but we were anxious to get to our next stop. 
The candy shop We've been here so many times they know our names. John and Shirley on the right. The lady on the left is rolling some candy out to a slab about 3/4 inch thick.  On her left are little candy kiss shaped pieces. Waiting to be packaged up. 
The candy was cook in big pans. She took a hunk out of the pan and rolled it out. It is called jamoncillo - it is made by cooking milk and sugar until it thickens and caramelizes. 

She  has cut out a bunch of circles of candy.
Now she is rolling them into balls and then rolling them into nuts. You can buy them as kisses, or balls with or without nuts. 
They are sold in shops in Mazatlan. 
By the time we got home we were ready to call it a day and just relax. 
Wednesday morning we got an early start. And discovered another main street is being torn up. Right in the middle of the Golden Zone. You can't go anywhere without running into some kind of road construction. 
We wanted to have breakfast at the outdoor cafe Hector's Bistro right in the middle of Centro. 
It is in this beautiful old building. Going through the cafe is the bakery where the delicious cinnamon rolls are made. Yes we got some. Bill and John had Spanish tortilla  [eggs, potato and chorizo topped with greens and cherry tomatoes] for breakfast and Shirley and I had French toast. Bill also ordered a Quiche Lorraine to be picked up today. Yum. 
After eating we walked over to the watchmakers to pick up Bill's last watch - he wasn't open. Another day. Passed this interesting building. Lots of intricate iron work on the windows. 
 How about a YELLOW building. 
 Just pictures of the downtown area. We were heading to the big fabric store by the Central Market. 
 Pushing their fruit cart down the middle of the road. The bus driver wasn't being too patient. 
 I keep saying Mazatlan is a small town. While walking towards the fabric store we got a phone call from our friend Roberto. He had seen the Jeep in the parking lot and was wondering where we were. We told him and about 15 minutes later we met up on the corner. Will be getting together with him and his family over the weekend. 
Heading home. Work continues on the Malecon. We can see the progress. According to the news it is now supposed to be done by the end of January. Hope so as Carnaval is early in February. And the parades go right down this street. 
 Hadn't noticed this sign before - no idea what it is advertising. 
 Well the street isn't torn up but still only one lane through here. Water truck watering the new palm trees. Sure slowed traffic down. 
Made a quick run to the grocery store and then on home for the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

La Noria and Tequila

Tuesday morning the upholster came by to bring the cover for Willie's hood - for when he is being towed. Here it looks strange but it is just laying on the hood. When it use it will fit tight and be tied down. 
His old blankie is the lining, nice and smooth. 
He also brought the mirror covers for the RV. Need them to keep the birds from pecking at the mirrors and pooping all over them. I've already written about the windshield wiper covers and hitch cover. Every thing was done for 1600 Pesos or approximately US$ 85.
After he left we gathered up our brood - John and Shirley and Doug and Pamela and headed for the little town of La Noria. It is about 25 miles northeast of Mazatlan. 
La Noria was founded in 1565 as a mining outpost. In fact there are still three active mines in the area. However the town is now known for its leather workers who produce saddles, sandals, belts and machete sheaths. 
The road out there has been repaved within the last couple years so it is a pleasant drive. As always we passed someone with a machete trimming the weeds along the road. The growth is really high this year due to all the rains over the summer. 
The arch honors the leather workers of the town. It is now designated as a Pueblo Artesanal. 
 Since we were here in the spring several of the buildings have been repainted and the aqueduct is working again. 
 It is only a small portion of an aqueduct  - don't know if there was ever a real one here or not - but this one is now working with water being pumped up and flowing down into a small pool. Again the little museum on the corner wasn't open. Some day I hope to catch it open. 
 Looking into our friend Roberto's leather shop. He makes mostly saddles - can see a couple between Bill and the older man leaning on the wall - also makes belts.
 He is working on pieces for a saddle. 
 Here is Roberto putting John's name on the belt he bought. He is stamping the letters on it. He uses metal letters and hold them down with a metal dowel then pounds the dowel with a hammer type instrument.
 A sewing machine for stitching the saddles. He does not make the sandals hanging there. 
 Just a look at some of the buildings outside on the corner. See the tope made of half metal balls. Slows you down. 
This building is just a shell, there is no roof and the walls inside are covered with vines. The sidewalks are tile squares. 

Walking up the street to another leather shop. A memorial to a man who worked here the last 50 years of his life. He lived to be 100. 

The son carries on his fathers work. Here he is working on a couple of pairs of custom sandals. 
 The father working on tiny machete sheaths. 
He is cutting soles for sandals with a big press and metal sole mold. 
 The different size molds. 

Leaving town. One side of the street. 
 The other side of the street. 
 Oops guess we won't be leaving for a while.
 He goes where ever he wants to go. 
For more about La Noria click here. We have been here many time. That particular blog we went to the sandal factory too. 
After leaving La Noria we stopped at the Los Osuna tequila distillery. It is a family owned agave distillery. The Osuna family started growing Weber blue agave plants and in 1876 they began making 100% blue agave liquor. 
To get to the distillery we had to drive through the Weber Blue Agave fields, the plant used to make tequila. The agave plant takes between 7 to 8 years before they are ready to be harvested.
 Just one of the huge trees on the grounds. 
This is the building where the tequila is bottled and readied for sale
 The brand new shredding machine. To see the old one at work click on the link to the blog below.
We were here once when they were shredding the pinas  - the bulb of the tequila plant - to get the juice out. I posted a blog with videos you can check it out by clicking here. It was pretty interesting to watch. 
From there we continued on to Puertas de Canoas to see the dancing horses and go to the candy shop. Will write about it later. This morning we are going into Centro to get some cinnamon rolls.