Sunday, March 20, 2022

Hualahuises - The Vatican of Nuevo Leon

We're here in San Miguel de Allende for the three-day weekend.  Monday the 21st Mexico celebrates the birth of Benito Juarez a famous character in the independence of Mexico and twice elected president.  He was of an indigenous origin, born in Oaxaca, exiled to Cuba for a short time, and revered by our current president.

The trip down was long.  We ran into many road works projects and on the south to north side of Matehuala, we witnessed a ten-mile dead-stop traffic jam due to an accident that left two semis on fire.  It was not a stressful drive and we had a lot of fun in the car.  We brought down the furniture I mentioned in the last post and the handyman came and helped to hang mirrors and pictures.  

Now to Hualahuises.  Last weekend we took a drive south to the town which is located just minutes for Linares where you make the turn to head over the mountains to Hwy 57 and the San Roberto interchange.  We pass it regularly on our trips and always say we are going to visit.  We went early Sunday morning.  Hualahuises is a small municipality of roughly 6000 people.  The town is named after an indigenous tribe the Gualaguises.  It is known also as the Vatican of Nuevo Leon as it is completed surrounded by the municipality of Linares.  

We went for the sheer pleasure of walking across the town's famous swinging suspension bridges.  The original which no longer allows horses or bicycles and the new bridge which sits next to it and they cross the Hualahuises River which comes from the Sierra Madre and runs through town.  

While we were there it was time for breakfast.  A quick stroll around the town square, a look at the church, and off we went in search of a place to eat.  Bingo!  The best chorizo and eggs served with refried beans and manteca and corn tortillas made fresh.  It was a true ranch breakfast.  After we headed out for the suspension bridge.   Nothing too exciting but we can say we saw it, crossed it, and know what it is all about.

Hualahuises doesn't go without its fame either:

Home of the Juga baseball glove company.  They produce leather baseball gloves exported mainly to the U.S. for MLB.

A company that manufactures traditional wooden toys such as the trompo, the top on a string attached to a stick.  You attempt to pop the top onto the stick.

Hualahuises is also home to two regional musical groups; Grupo Pesado and Grupo Los Invasores.

Dr. Eduardo Aguirre, a scientist who founded the Science and Biology Faculty at the state university.

The trip was a blast, the weather was cool and we learned some new things about our state that neither of us knew.  We were back home in time for a nice nap on a cloudy day.  

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Mexico Prices Are Inceasing

I took this on March 9, 2022 Waxing Crescent 

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, most of the globe has seen some type of price increase.  Here in Mexico as well.  I went to the supermarket this week and was surprised that prices on basic food stuffs are slowly creeping up.  Gasoline prices are also on the rise and so are utility bills.

City water service (which we don't have) will be receiving a 5% increase.  Part of that is due to the severe drought but also homes are now being hit with a usage fee similar to that of the electric company.  You will be allowed to use X cubic meters and after that they will tag on an exess usage fee.

Gasoline has also gone up.  It was promised we would not have any increases in fuel prices but here we go.  Two weeks ago, our local service station was selling Magna or verde as we say, for 19.99 a liter ($3.79 per gallon).  Today it is 20.99 per liter ($3.99 per gallon) and some stations have regular gas for has high as 23.50 a liter.  International oil prices are to blame and a lot of gasoline is imported after being refined in the U.S.   Mexican crude was up this week.  LP gas was 12.34 per liter two weeks ago and yesterday it was 15.10 and LP gas is now controlled by the government.

Here are some of the pruduce prices for this week in USD:
  • Tomato               .37 per pound
  • Cucumber           .62 per pound
  • Lettuce                .84 per head
  • Onions                .99 per pound
  • Mushrooms      1.24 small basket
  • Milk                   .95 per liter (3.61 a gallon)
  • Egg whites       1.15 (16 oz)
  • Tuna                 1.75 (double can in water)

The government still hasn't purchased the needed medications for the social system.  More children have died from cancer in the interim.  Today was a sad story of a 19 year old girl whose mother donated her kidney to her.  She lost the kidney last for lack of medications.  They purchased what they could afford but it wasn't enough to pay for the rejection meds.  The IMSS insurance should have covered the complete treatment.  There are hundreds of cases like this.

Mexico made the decision not to support sanctions against Russia.  The president has invited the billionaire yacht owners to park their rigs in Cabo San Lucas.  He has opened immigration to both Russians and Ukranians.   "We are a pacifist nation", he said.  Too bad he cannot get the ever growing cartel problem under control using his famous "abrazos no balazos".  We have had 66 massacres already this year of 2022 and eight journalist killed.

Land mines are being used now in Michoacan and the president now says that the state is under fire.  14,000 people have been displaced from their homes already.  

Life goes on.  We'll be leaving for San Miguel de Allende on the 18th for a few days and then off to Texas for Spring break on April 9th for two weeks.  I can't wait.  The rv is ready to roll.  

Friday, March 4, 2022

What's One Thing You Like Most And The Least About Mexico
Here we are starting the month of March and the trees are budding and showing their leaves.  There were many years when it would actually start in the first week of February.  This winter was especially cold and long.  The grass is turning green and soon we will be back to a sunnier disposition.

The question I posed in the title, "What's one thing you like most and the least about Mexico? is just out of curiosity.  You can post your thoughts in the comments section.   I am asking because I think about that quite a bit.  Apart from the fact that Juan will never be able to obtain a U.S. residence visa, we really have never considered living in the U.S. again.  My like is that there is so much diversity in culture.  My big dislike is littering.

We are preparing to take furniture to San Miguel de Allende.  We swapped out nightstands we bought with those in one of the bedrooms here at home.  The new ones are a bit larger so the originals will fit much better in SMA.  While I was cleaning out the drawers in my nightstand by chance I came across a CD.  It wasn't marked so I thought it was blank.  I popped it into my laptop and lo and behold it has pictures of a West Texas trip we took 20 years ago.  Pretty much the same route we will be rving in April.  

This is a picture of our 1999 Trailmanor 3326.  It was a jewel along with our 1998 Pathfinder.  It not only was a great combination but the Pathfinder was my favorite SUV ever.  When we sold it, it had 675,000 km.  The woman who bought it still has it.  It just never ever failed us and pulled the trailer beautifully.  It was also the tow vehicle for our first 2004 Funfinder.  

Some of you may not be familiar with Trailmanor.  It's a hard-sided folding travel trailer.  Ours was 33ft open and 26ft closed.  It did everything a regular travel trailer does.  The pictures were from a Christmas trip.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The pics were taken at Seminole Canyon State Park in Texas.  

Funny the things you find when you are cleaning out or getting rid of "stuff".  I still think I could live out of a box.

Last week was Juan's 64th birthday.  Although we don't go out to crowded public places we found a new restaurant called "Save", the name comes from the town Guasave, Sinaloa.  It is a seafood restaurant and we really enjoyed it.  It's light and airy and the food, as well as the service, is excellent.  The drinks are well-poured too!  It was fun getting out and being around people.

We didn't get out on our Sunday hike last weekend as it was cold and raining.  Bummer.  This Sunday we are going to drive our route to Texas for Spring break but only around the city as we can no longer drive through Monterrey with the trailer.