Monday, July 25, 2022

Presa Peñuelitas Near Dolores Hidalgo

We took some time off before heading home to explore areas around San Miguel de Allende.  I started my search online and asked some local Mexicans we know.   SMA and the surrounding areas are safe for the most part but as you venture into the areas of Comonfort and Celaya along with the mountains around Santa Rosa de Lima are pretty much off limits.  The abrazos don't seem to be having an effect on the balazos and more and more municipal police in smaller towns are being killed by organized crime members in addition to innocent bystanders.  

The map around the Dolores Hidalgo area shows some very good sites to visit but it is always wise to check before going especially if you are not sure if you are on private or public lands.  

On Friday we took off for Presa Peñuelitas which is about 20 minutes east of Dolores.  A beautiful lake known by local fishermen and on holidays prepared and sold to visitors.  It is a very clean place, 98% free of any trash or debris.  The water is clear and fresh and the herons and egrets love it there.  We passed through the small town of Adjuntos del Rio.  The streets are empedrada with small concrete strips for the tire paths.  Most of the townspeople are carpenters and woodworkers using the local mesquite trees for making furniture.  

This young fellow is doing much better and continues his recovery.  He needs to return to his exercise routine which he is doing slowly.  He has a day once in a while when fatigue sets in but the neurologist says it will take some time for the symptoms to go away.  All in all, he's as good as new.

There is a church just 150 meters from the shore.  It was built with money donated by a local woman.  I'm trying to find out who she is.  The church was erected in 1943.  The doors were locked but I know we will be back and find a local or the cura to open the doors for us.  

We walked for a bit.  You can drive around most of the lake but we walked as much as Juan could before turning back.  I would like to do the walk or hike early one morning and go all the way around.  We stopped in the small town a couple of times to look at furniture and also to buy some closet door handles.  They were very expensive in SMA and Home Depot in Queretaro but it was a fluke.  12 pesos a piece versus 105 pesos.  

As we approached the woodworking shops, people nearby would come out and stand on the sidewalk watching us.  They weren't very nonchalant and quite obvious using their phones to send text messages. As we ventured on, we noticed the number "13" written on walls in many places.  They were all very friendly and eager to sell their furniture.  It was a bit strange though.  

Getting closer to San Miguel de Allende we were wanting a snack.  We remembered that Don Ciro's was nearby and we pulled in for a quick bite.  The first picture is a quesadilla with longaniza, a type of sausage.  It was the best.  The second picture is a volcan, a type of tostada with chicharron and salsa verde with beans and cheese on top.

Back home we prepared for our trip back to Monterrey on Sunday.  We had a great evening watching the movie "Radio".  A real tearjerker from the get-go.  We left Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. and headed for home.  You could feel the temperatures rise as we passed Matehuala and even more so on our side of the mountains in Nuevo Leon.

The highway from Dolores Hidalgo to San Luis de la Paz and Hwy 57 are in excellent condition.

Getting ready to climb up the mountains from San Roberto, NL to Galeana.  It cooled off quickly.

Not quite in order, this is a shot of  Real de Catorce as we passed by Matehuala.

The valley of Las Delicias taken from the curvy pass from Galeana to Iturbide.

Made it home safe and sound.  It was a fun ride home.  As Juan napped off and on I had my earbuds in listening to TedTalks and enjoying the scenery.

P.S.  We've booked an Airbnb in Oaxaca at Christmas for the Radish Festival!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Busy Beavers Having Fun!

This is mostly all about the house and the changes we have been making.  Here's a brief list of what we have been up to:

Changed out the fridge for a new Samsung 14 Cu Ft inverter 
Ran electricity from one side of the master bedroom to the other
Small chandelier for the dining room
Flat screen television
Telmex landline and internet
Changed water and electric accounts
Repaired two lamps we bought at Goodwill for $5 each

More details but it was surprising to get all these things done in a week.  Getting the landline and the internet was the real deal.  We were originally told there were not enough spaces in this area to add more lines and it would take weeks for the installation.  We went back last Monday and Juan pretty much begged the Telmex executive.  He asked her to be his cousin so that she could get it done while we were here.  So now we have a new relative!  They called us on Thursday and asked us if Friday at 3 p.m. would be good.  Hell yes, Becky Sue!  And at 3 p.m. he showed up.

As a side note, when I had a landline installed in 1985 by the then government-owned Telmex, it was a six-month wait and I had to track down someone to do it and pay him.  That's why I'm against government nationalizing things.  France will be sorry for nationalizing its power grid.

We've been meeting up with quite a few people we have met over the years.  I don't know why we don't take pictures.  I guess it's because some people don't like having their pictures taken.  Although I believe that in public there is no expectation of privacy.  Oops, did I say that!

I've been keeping up with my exercise routine and the morning walks are glorious.  When you have come from 42C and wake up to 14C it is nothing less than spectacular!  Most people have on jackets or sweaters and I'd just as soon go running naked.  That would be a sight!  We've had two good days of rain and the water is just coming down in sheets.  Monterrey on the other hand sees no end in sight for the lack of water.  We're afraid they will start metering private wells. 

We made a run to Queretaro yesterday to visit Home Depot.  Wow, that city is growing by leaps and bounds.  A nice place for a family to live and prosper.  Queretaro is now the aerospace hub in Mexico not to mention all of the universities both state and private in the city.  There is construction on all sides be it good or bad I believe people are slowly moving out of Mexico City.  

We had dinner with Les last night at the La Frontera.  It was Tuesday's chicken dinner night.  Juan and I split a huge burrito.  We have been so busy visiting friends and eating out.  We don't eat out that much but when we are here visiting friends it seems like that is what everyone wants to do.  I know when we settle in a bit more in the future that will come to an end.  

We're thinking about a day trip and I found one.  Hopefully I can post that on Saturday.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Maybe Now We Can Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

What a crazy six weeks it has been. Things are returning to normal and school vacation started today.  Juan is out of the woods and returning to his normal healthy self.  He looks great and says he feels great but I still keep an eye on him.  That was too much for me!

My immigration case was settled on the 4th.  I had my appointment and had everything in order when I arrived.  As luck would have it, I had the same wiener that I had last time.  He wasn't happy to see me.  I stood at the counter looking down at him and he just continued to type away and glance up at me occasionally.  No exchange of words and I didn't mention a thing about the issue.  The process was moving smoothly and he took my old card, created a file folder and put my documents and card inside.  I assumed I was getting my new card.  He went back and forth with the supervisor several times although I couldn't see him.  The agent wasn't very happy and kept sighing.

After about thirty minutes I saw the supervisor look around the corner and he saw me.  A friend from years and work past and he still remembers me.  I had my pictures taken, the new card printed and it contains my original registration number.   What a relief!  I'm good until I'm 90 at least.  

I was able to finish a 10-year project.  If you've been to the house and often wondered why we had that giant opening in our living room wall it was for a good reason.  We divided the living room into two rooms one that became the studio.  The mini-split was in the back of the open area above the studio but we needed to move it and also close up the wall.  We could never get anyone to commit to doing it.  It wasn't a very big job.  We call them trabajitos and people want big jobs.  Sheet rockers are pretty common here but getting one to do a small job is next to impossible.

I caught one, literally, driving down our road with a couple of sheets in the back of his pickup.  He was going to a new neighbor's quinta.  Obviously, he was from Monterrey.  I had him fix the living room, do a closet ceiling, and the interior ceiling of the palapa that had a small leak which he fixed before closing it up.  

Here are the before and after:

We are leaving on Sunday or Monday for the house in SMA!  Finally!  Maybe two weeks or more.  When we get home I apply for my Mexican SS and should have my first check the first week of September.  Juan submitted his paperwork as well and we are waiting for a resolution.  This is a beautiful country with beautiful people but very backward at times.  That's the life I chose and it's turned out to be a pretty good one.