Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Los Rayones - Eye Opening Day Trip


Another Sunday and we took a day trip to Los Rayones.  The town is situated way back in the mountains.  In fact, there is only one way in and one way out.  The road is very well paved two-lane but no shoulder.  There are frequent pullouts though but didn't encounter any traffic.  A few motorcyclists traveling alone.  The elevation on the road fluctuates but the highest is 10,500 feet.  

There's the town, way down below!

Only 370 people live in the town so they are all related and date back to the early 1800s if not before under Spanish rule.  The town's original name was San Miguel de Tasajal.  Very little reference to that name though although I am still checking it out.  In the mid-1800s, the name was changed to Rayones by the then governor of Nuevo Leon, Agapito Garcia.  He thought it necessary to honor the Rayon brothers for their courage in the independence of Mexico.  There is a famous mural there depicting the brothers.  It was painted by Pablo O'Higgins, who was from the state of Utah but studied under the famous muralist Diego Rivera during the 1920s.  

Mural by Pablo O'Higgins preserved behind glass in the municipal office.  Pablo's remains are also buried in the town.  We passed the chapel on the way up not knowing it was there. 

Some spectacular views of the mountains on our way up and down.

Getting closer to town!

Once we arrived our first mission was to find a place to eat.  We had seen a sign on the road coming up the mountains that said, "Restaurante Oyervides, the most delicious food".  Well, with only a few hundred residents it seems to be the only game in town.  There were some women selling tacos and tamales in the main square but we were hungry, it was already 10:45!

Everything is centered around the plaza; the church, the mayor's office, the police station, the primary school, and a small "abarrotes" or grocery store with produce.  Very small!

This is the Restaurante Oyervides.  

The place is filled with memorabilia from the family's founder.  He was mayor at one time and opened the restaurant 40 years ago.  There is no menu and the daughter comes with a spiral notebook and reads off what they have for breakfast and lunch.  All home-cooked food and really worth the drive if you like good food!

We ran into a problem though.  When we finished, we asked the helper for the check.  He brought it and we pulled out a debit card.  He said they haven't had a signal for a few days.  He told the owner and she said there isn't an ATM, a bank, or even a gas station.  She gave us her cellphone number, her debit card number and asked us to deposit it sometime during the week.  We also added a pound of pecans to the tab without any issue.  She said we looked like honest guys.  

When we got back home we made the deposit.  We hardly ever carry cash with us anymore.  We did have about 400 pesos but she said not to worry that we might need it for an emergency on the way home.  There is literally nothing nearby for almost 90 km.  We passed nothing coming through the mountains. 

Next weekend we are headed to General Teran.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Getting Out To Do Some Hiking

I've been working on a plan of late to get out every weekend.  Juan has little time for exercise these days.  He starts at 7:00 a.m. and finishes at 1:00 p.m.   Then he's back at his desk another two hours or more later in the day.  It's a real bummer but the closure and retirement are now down to a couple of months.  

I'm out every morning and try to take different routes.  The problem around here is that all the land is privately owned and fenced off.  Add the current climate you don't know where or who you might run into.  I do my thing around the house and have some errands to run but such is life.  I can't go off to Europe by myself.  

Sunday we went to Parque La Estanzuela.  It's a state park just on the south end of town.  It has pavers throughout most of the park and then you can pass the trails and go up to the top where there are pools.  We've been many times over the years and it is a woody area with lots of views.  Quite a few people were out but the park is so big you hardly see anyone.  Sounds of the birds and the water running in the streams make it a relaxing walk/hike.

I believe that this next weekend we will go to our place south of here and do a walk around and see what changes have been made at the resort.  The following weekend I am planning a full day trip to Potrero Chico.  I received a Facebook memory from one of the times Kevin and Ruth were there with us.  Good times for sure!  

Another spot will be the petroglyphs outside the town of Mina which is about an hour and a half north of us.  It has a small but interesting museum in town that has a genealogical tree representing one of the founding families of Northern Mexico and Monterrey.  I know some of those people personally.  The tree dates back to 1541.  

We are in a severe drought.  Our lake level is down 70%.  They are digging wells around Monterrey as quickly as they can.  They say this is the worst in one thousand years.  If it continues the bears will be coming down sooner than July this year.   You can see in the picture that there is only a very small lake over to the left.  The water should be about 4 meters from where I took the picture.  The police and forensic experts were out there yesterday when I went by and later on the news.  They were checking out buckets filled with cement and supposed remains attached to them.  Scary!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

That's Finished! What's Next?


Took this picture one day down by the lake.  I was walking and heard some rustling in the trees.  I turned around and this balloon had landed right behind me.  Les said he had heard it pass over his house and it was very low.  Not sure if they were in trouble and looking for a place to land, but what a surprise.

It was a difficult two weeks being at the housesit by myself.  I had a lot of things to do and with the dogs, it wasn't an easy task.  The dogs are great companions for starters.  I fell for them and I think they did for me.  This was our third time here at this house so we knew each other.  However, the poodle suffers from a separation anxiety disorder.  When left alone, she goes on a rampage and begins chewing everything.  She has destroyed remote controls, computer mice, toys, paper, and the list goes on.   Everything has to be put up high and out of sight.  She can jump up to four feet onto surfaces.  I took them with me just about everywhere I could.  SMA is a very pet-friendly town.

Last Thursday, she got into my pill cutter where I keep a two-day supply of my aspirin and nifedipine for angina.  I had gone out for my morning run and when I came back I found the pill cutter and not the pills.  What else could I do, I took her to the vet.  He took her blood pressure, checked her heart and eyes.  He said worst case she would be a little lethargic as the nifedipine would lower her blood pressure.  The little sh--!

I was able to get the utilities changed into our names without having to cancel and start new contracts.  We're on the list for internet but the demand is so high they don't have enough equipment.  We had bought lighting fixtures in McAllen at a next-to-nothing price, I may have told you it was 50% off of the clearance price.  Those were installed along with our lantern hanging from the cupula.  That was an interesting install.  I did some cleaning and arranged some things we had bought.

A lot of my time at the house sit was spent looking online for furniture.  I found some real bargains and I sent the information to Juan and he checked them out and made a couple of purchases.  

We had looked at dining room table and chairs and even went to a factory in Monterrey.  No way at 30,000 pesos ($1500).  I found this online and Juan negociated it down from 5200 pesos to 4000 pesos ($200).  Solid hardwood with glass and upholstered chairs.  

The upholstery needs cleaning and there are pieces of tape around the edge of the table they used to keep the table cloth on.  Whatever that did!  Comes off easily.

I found these nightstands for 200 pesos each ($10) each.  

We just found two sitting chairs for the bedrooms and some nice coffee tables for the living area.  All in good time, little by little and stick to the budget.

What's next?  We are stuck until April as classes started back up again.  The 2nd and 3rd week of April is Mexico's Spring break.  The good part is the 14th of April is Juan's last day of work and enters retirement.  Freedom!   We are thinking about a loop from home to Durango, San Miguel de Allende, and then head north or, we may go West Texas again.  Everything here will be packed with loud and unruly vacationers and we like the peace of the desert.  After that, it looks like we will be heading to Europe.  Lots of planning to do.