Monday, December 31, 2018

Writing This Last day of 2018 - but about the Laundry Ladies of Concordia

Yesterday, Sunday, was a cold, dark, miserable day here in Mazatlan. Sun barely came out for a few minutes late in the afternoon. This morning the last day of the year there are no clouds. And so far, but it is only 7:30, no one working next door. Hope they stay home until Wednesday. If it continues to be so bad we will probably leave the 9th when our rent is due. But hope we don't have to - love the city, the area and all our friends here.  
We have been gone from home for 72 days already. So far no major problems health or mechanical wise which is always good news.
Going to do all my end of year bookkeeping and cleaning files and then back up my computer on to my external hard drive. I try to remember to do that the end of every month. 
I am kind of glad this year is coming to an end. Seems like there has been a lot of drama in it. Summer was so hot in Vegas we hardly left the house. Except for medical things. Bill had the cataracts removed from both eyes. Then he had all sorts of tests before having two stents put in/around his heart. I have something that can't be diagnosed. Lots of tests and a couple of doctors involved. So guess it is a learn to live with it kind of thing. I call it my alien baby.
Since we've left home our youngest son and his wife have separated. And our oldest son was just in the hospital with acute heart failure. He is home now and feeling a little better. Of course he is no longer able to work . One just never stops being a parent. He has a GoFundMe page it can be reached by clicking here. Just found out our son is back in the hospital, a bigger hospital about 40 miles from where he lives. Running tests. Hope to find out more by tonight. Now they are saying it might be a valve problem. At least that can be fixed. I hope.
So where were we in our adventures. This will be a shorter blog with fewer pictures because I'm saving Copala for its own blog.
After we left Malpica we continued inland towards Concordia. First stopping at our friend Antonio's house to share some of the bakery items we'd bought. That has become a tradition. His wife was there but he was up in the mountains gathering wood for his wood carvings. He does the Wind Spirit faces I posted so much about in the past. His family is doing fine. 
Driving on we passed this huge bougainvillea. They are so pretty. [I'm wondering if ours at home managed to survive the super cold weather in Vegas.]
Some of the furniture stores along the road seem to be doing better. Concordia is known for it hand made furniture. Big rocking chair.
Then we turned off and went out the dirt road to the hot springs. Years ago the government built a laundry facility for the families around the area. There are four huge basins full of water. Next to them are cement laundry sinks that have a wash board built into them. There were quite a few women there doing their laundry. Several children. We have been going there for many years and some of the children recognize the Jeep and know that Bill always has candy for them. 
There are a few lines to hang the wet laundry on but most of the women take it home to hang it up to dry.
The first basin is not used for laundry - the water in it is the hottest. Almost to hot to put your hand in. The water flows from basin to basin. Each basin is a little cooler then the one before it. Buckets are used to scoop the clean, hot water out into the laundry sinks. 
A couple of the ladies know us too. Bill out talking to one of them. Some laundry hanging on the line. And passing out candy to the children. 
One boy ran up the hill where there are several homes and told the children up there that Bill had the candy So here they come.
This is a teenage boy scrubbing his clothes. 

Giving out Tootsie Rolls. A big favorite.
Something we hadn't seen before. The lady on the end is on her cell phone. Must have been important as she gathered up her things, got in her car and left. 
The boy leaving with his clean, wet laundry. 
Just liked this picture. Taking care of his little sister. The vegetation is still really green from all the rain this past summer. 
An older man showed up just before we left. Sometimes we'll see people taking baths in the basins. From young kids to older people who come to soak in the hot water. 
Leaving the area and heading back to the main road we passed the elementary school - it has a very colorful fence. 
Passing the town of Concordia. We'll visit it another day when we can send some time there. Last year we went once but every road in town was torn up so we didn't stay to wander around and didn't go back. It should be nice this year.
Continuing up the 40. Again, everything is still so green here. Remember it is the middle of winter here.
Passing by one of the little towns. Always laundry on the lines. 
Next stop for that day - Copala.
It is 8:30 now and still no machines running on any side of us. Yippee. And the sun is out and the sky is clear.
And tomorrow will be our 54th anniversary - good grief that is a long time. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Visiting little town of Malpica - first time this year.

It is a dark and dreary Sunday - and cold - low 60's with a small chance of rain as I write this. At least there will be no construction noise today. 
Need to tell an RV story - We have been busy and Bill was under the weather for a few days so a few things got neglected that ordinarily habit. Like emptying the gray water tank! Went in the bathroom the other day and wondered why there was water on the floor, upon further inspection I discovered water in the pan of the shower. OH OH! We keep our dirty clothes in a big cloth bag that sits in the shower. Guess it was a good thing it was there 'cause it soaked up most of the water. ICK. Half the bag was full of sopping wet stinky clothes. And of course the last few days have not been sunny and hot so we've had wet "things" spread all over waiting for them to dry. Luckily some things I could put outside draped over the chairs. They dried a little quicker. So first thing Wednesday morning we'll make a trip to the laundry. Don't remember the last time that happened - if ever. Another RV story to share with others. So on to other things.
On Friday we decided very early to get away from the noise, dust and diesel. So we thought a day trip to the little town of Copala #2 on the map would be fun and take up most of the day. But first we stopped in Malpica - doesn't show up on the map but it is about where I put in the red M. We picked up our friends, John and Jackie, up at their hotel about 9:20 and hit the road. On the map is a dark blue line that is "kind of" where the Mazatlan bypass runs - we took it instead of driving the old highway through town.
Once off the bypass we headed east up the old Durango road. Our first stop would be Malpica. For anyone who has been following this blog for a couple of years - you know why we were going to stop in Malpica.
Before we get into Malpica I'll give you a little information about it. I found a 2015 census report.
As of 2015 there were 666 inhabitants. Of that number 348 were female. Almost a third of the people are over 60 years old. There are about 178 households. Of these 7 had dirt floors and 6 consisted of only one room.
Of these households 170 are connected to the public water supply and 174 have electricity.
Ten households own a computer, 130 have washing machines and 164 have one or more televisions. [When you see the pictures you'll see all the satellite dishes.] Of the entire population the average years of schooling is seven years.
Just entering the little town. I didn't get a picture of the arch. All the streets are real teeth rattling cobblestones. Lots of big old trees.
Just meandering along minding his own business. It was a beautiful day to be out and about. High 70's, blue sky, and no wind. 
Malpica is not really a tourist town. It is a real living in and working in town. But it is also full of colorful homes and great people. Note this one, it has a "mother-in-law" paint job. Only the front, the part that she would see, is painted.
 As I said colorful homes. The orange one has Christmas decorations on the roof. See the paper flags strung across the street. Here is some information about them. They are called Papel Picado which translates to either "perforated paper" or "pecked paper." It is a decorative craft made by cutting elaborate designs into sheets of tissue paper. It is a Mexican folk art. They can be made by folding tissue paper and using small, sharp scissors to cut the designs. They are usually displayed for holidays.
 Interesting air conditioner on the roof. Also satellite dish.
 Another home with only the front plastered and painted. 
 More Papel Picado across the street. 
A very contemporary looking home.
We've made the V turn and are heading up the street to where we will stop. Passing the community play ground/meeting area. There is usually a bunch of boys hanging out there.
Oh My Gosh - the panaderia has been painted. it used to be green. 
And it doesn't say panaderia. Is the bakery still there? Quick get out and look inside the door. Click here to see how it looked just last year. Looking at the two pictures I realized the windows are new.
Oh thank goodness, yes it is still the bakery. Baker's husband and the big wood fired clay oven. Right now it is empty. Baking done for morning. 
Bill and the baker. She told Bill they were wondering what had happened to us as we hadn't been there yet this year. 
Looking inside the empty oven. See the little pile of ash on the right side. It doesn't show in the picture but the embers were still glowing kind of red. 

It is a really big oven. If you want to know more about it use the search feature on the right of the blog. I've written a lot about it over the years. At least once or twice every year. The goods that come out of it are incredibly good.
 Some of the baked goods. Several were still warm and it smells go good. 
To enter the bakery you go in through their front room. It too is being painted blue, it is usually full of furniture. Jackie walking out.
There are brand new murals on the front and side of the community building/museum. Absolutely amazing. A panoramic shot of the front so it looks a little distorted. [The old murals should be pictured in the blog link]
Here are some closer photos of some of it. Just realized I missed two of the more important parts of the mural. Well, will have to go back there and take them. Need to pay attentions to what I'm doing I guess. The detail in this is incredible. Several years ago we watched this artist touch up the old mural. Just open cans of paint and ragged old brushes, all free hand. The history and story of the town and the area. 

And then we walked around to the side of the building. It too has a new mural. 

Cannot find out anything about the artist on-line. 
All new landscaping around the small plaza too.  
This building fascinates me. The stories it could tell. It is right next to the community building. How many times and colors it has been painted. 
Looking into the building through the vine covered left hand window. More stories to tell. Why leave the chairs? How long has it been empty?
The exterior of the church is a different color too. A lot of work has been done since we were here last in the spring. 
 At one time the interior of the church was painted chartreuse and lavender. Still decorated for Christmas. Will be until after January 6th - King's Day.

 Notice the chandelier. So pretty. 
Looking out the church doors towards the gazebo. Lots of colorful bougainvilleas here.  
Bill was busy talking to Jorge the man who makes the neat tiles [see older blogs for a look at his work - in fact if you click on the blog mentioned above about the bakery then scroll to the bottom of it where it says "newer blog" click on that and it is mostly about making a tile.] so John and Jackie and I walked around a couple of blocks of the town. 
Playing with new Christmas toys. 
 Beautiful garden inside the outer walls. 
 Nice two story blue house.

Christmas decorations on the roof and patio. Remember as you scroll through these pictures - these houses are not painted and kept up to make them look pretty for tourists. This is an actual lived in little town. Not a tourist destination, except for the bakery. 

Nice house getting a second floor.
Soon we were out on the highway heading to our next stop.