Monday, 30 April 2012

Valle de Juarez (Day 5-Monday)

Sorry about the late posting. We were playing La Loteria at Barb & Sal's tonight. Pretty fun game, teaches you Spanish words. We can use ALL the help we can get!!

Didn't do much today. Went into town with Barb & Ruth, cleaned out some things in the van, did some laundry, etc,

The ride into town was fun because Doug & I rode in the back of Barb's little pick-up truck.We stopped at the sausage making lady's house, the veggie lady, the butcher, and the market to stock up on a few things. Put everything in the back of the truck and came back. Sorry no photos. It was one of the absolute rare times when I did not bring my camera!! Bad on me - won't happen again, promise!!!

 Did some re-decorating....

Doug says in the marine world, when you arrive in a port of another country, your host country's flag should always be flown above your own.....

Happy hour with Don Quixote....

Snack time for some...

Nope, I won't share my wine, even with you!!!

After a bit, Don Quixote got a bit antsy because he was hungry for dinner, so I walked him back - that, I have NEVER done before!! Walked a donkey..... 

Now, that is talent, didn't spill a drop!!

So, low profile day. After dinner we went up to Sal & Barb's with Kevin & Ruth and played La Loteria. Like I said above, we can use all the help we can get with our Spanish!!

Sal getting ready to cut the deck of cards!!

It's like bingo, only you shout "Bueno" when you get a row done...of course, you have to take your turn at calling out the items from a deck of cards!! It costs $1 peso per card to play and we all played with two cards. I won $22 pesos-not bad, and I worked on my Spanish!!! I think Doug & I will have to buy one of these when we are in town!!!

Tomorrow is the fiesta here. We are helping Barb & Sal anyway we can so we are really looking forward to it!


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Valle de Juarez (Day 4-Sunday)

Well, we slept off the wedding and woke up to the alarm so we could get up for our hike up the "big" mountain, and it was BIG!! Sal drove us over to the town nearest the mountain and then we started walking up, and up, and up!!! Exciting thing was that, not only did we survive, but that we actually hiked from one state into the next, from Jalisco to Michoacan and then back!! Pretty neat (Of course, we were right on the border, but still....) We started at 9:30 a.m. What a beautiful day it was!!

Not all the trail was quite this nice!!

We started off at pretty much the same level as this town - San Jose....

A maguey plant, relative of the blue agave plant, but it makes mescale instead.

Can you see the town, way down there?

Definitely a part of Mexico that most people never think about, mountains and valleys!!

We made it to the cross on the top of the mountain!!

You can see the town behind us!!

Now, we are going to head down the other side!!

Kevin, the jungle guide, discusses which is the best route to take...

Me, I will just wait for someone to tell me where to go!!

Kevin & Ruth...

The view coming down the mountain, another way...
We are walking down to this valley, nearly to the first lake you see!!

Rock slabs that were in a big pit. Not sure what it was all about,
but these slabs were pretty big!!

Looking back UP at the mountain we climbed, but you can't see the cross from here.

One of the many fields we crossed, only this one had thousands of these stones all over it!

We made it to civilization!! Next small hamlet over from us...

This donkey actually had an amazing wooden saddle - WOW!!!

Oh my gosh, another exciting day. We were pretty happy to have done that hike. It was alot of fun but we never would have done it without Kevin & Ruth to guide us - thanks again guys!!!.....but where WAS that taco stand at the top??!!

Anyway, that was our day. I wanted to add this photo of the "main" building here at Hacienda Contreras. All the other shots show this building so far away. Here you can see the new suite on the top right corner. Sal & Barb stay in the bottom corner when they are not in their other house in town. This is also the building where the bathrooms, laundry are.

Talk to you all tomorrow!!


Valle de Juarez (Day 3-Saturday)

Wedding Day!!  Can you imagine being invited to a wedding in Canada when you had only been around for 1 day?? It just would never happen!! Sal & Barb were invited to a wedding of his cousin's daughter, at the father of the groom's ranch. When Barb mentioned that she had us and Kevin & Ruth as campers the family said, "No problem, everyone is welcome!!" Mexico is just like that! It was about 15 minutes from the campground.

Well, first I had to get my hair cut for such an auspicious occasion, compliments of Mrs. Ruth:

Then, we had to give Don Quixote some of our left-over tortillas:

Road up to the ranch....

All gussied up!!

Kevin & Ruth.....gussied up too!

Sal & Barb Contreras...also gussied up!!

The evening's entertainment!!

Of course, let's not forget the bride & groom!!

We just couldn't get over getting invited. I mean, the families didn't even know Doug & I, it was really neat, definitely a highlight in this journey!! Funny thing was, everyone was just visiting at their tables and someone says..."hey, I think they are getting married now..." There was no pomp & ceremony, just the civil ceremony and then party time!!

 Nice haircut, thanks to Mrs. Ruth!!

Well, all was going well, when Doug noticed that the NEXT table had a bottle of "1800 Anejo" at their table. So, he schmoozed with them and the lovely Miss Susanna, got up and gave him a nice shot of the "good stuff"....oh brother.....

There's Doug & his new friend, Susanna!! (incidentally, she owns a restaurant in town, so we are going to go their for breakfast this week. Wonder if this tequila is on the menu??)

Dinner was great! Carnitas and beans, fresh tortillas....

We had a wonderful time. We just cannot say enough good things about Mexican hospitality. We got home about 9:30 pm. Another great day here at Hacienda Contreras. Did I mention, people, that you all "gotta come here"??


Friday, 27 April 2012

Valle de Juarez (Day 2-Friday)

We had a great day today!! After breakfast, we started with a leisurely stroll all around the property. If you walk the complete way around it is 1/2 mile. 

 You can just see the house on the property on the left-hand side. This is where the really nice bathrooms are, along with the new suite and Sal & Barb's suite
while they stay at the park...

The fiesta tree - which, incidentally will be used on Tuesday!!

Niko and Bella - they are so much fun!!

.....and Don Quixote! (a.k.a. Don Key Hote!!)

After the walk and the greeting of animals, Kevin, Ruth, Doug & I all piled into a taxi and went the 8 kms or so up the road to a town called Quitupan. Super nice little town and very tidy & clean....

We walked up about 350 steps to a little hotel at the top of the town:
some of the steps....

..and many more, with Doug explaining something to Ruth....

View from the top, so the steps were worthwhile!!'s those famous people, Kevin & Ruth!!

Definitely some pretty narrow streets here!!

This little elderly lady was up on the roof of her house with her dog, giving some instructions to some workers, and her little dog would stand at the edge and bark his little head off. When I stopped to watch, she tried to get him to come back to show me. 
To my Mom: "NO!!", this does not mean you can go up on your roof!!

Time for our favourite, Mexican the town centro!!

So, the taxi driver came back right on the dot of 2:30 pm, as we had arranged with him. We got back to the campsite in time for a glass of wine then it was off to town for the local parade from the high school...HOWEVER, as we were leaving, Sal & Barb noticed that one of the workers here had left one of the gates open and, horror of horror, Don Quixote had gotten out and was, quite happily trotting down the side of the highway. That meant that we drove a little ways towards him and then Sal got out to wrangle him back but when he saw Sal coming and his little window of freedom closing in fast, he went right down on the highway. Doug & Kevin jumped out of the truck to give Sal a hand. One more thing that we can say is now off our bucket list - donkey wrangling on the side of the highway....we loved it! AND, most importantly, Don Quixote is safe & sound back here at Haciendas Contreras!!

...heading back to Hacienda Contreras....freedom dashed, again!!

On to the parade - it was really, really fun to see. The kids certainly had a good time:

This group of little girls didn't quite know what to think.....

yup, even Elvis in a gold mustang!!

here comes Sal & Barb, towing one of the floats for lovely Miss Edith...

The entire cast of the Flintstones!!

Our amazing hosts, Barb & Sal Contreras....they know everyone here!!

Our dinner group, from the left is Sal's sister & Mom, me, Doug, Ruth, Kevin
Barb & Sal, after all the festivities.

This was a truly great day. We just don't know how to thank Barb & Sal for making us feel so very welcome and part of the "family". It was really a day to remember. Also, we can't thank Kevin & Ruth enough for taking us around today. Sounds like we will have a few more trips in the days to come. Oh, also......we are going to a wedding tomorrow!! Imagine, getting invited to a wedding when you have only been in town for one day! We will let you know how that goes, but not until the Sunday posting!

Cheers everyone!!