Tuesday, December 04, 2007

another life altogether

From one country ~Italy~ to another ~USA~ to yet another ~Mexico. What a life I lead. And mighty grateful for it, I might add.

Five rosy dawns and 2500 miles later we arrived at the beach. The trip was completely uneventful, just the way we like it. We stopped at this lovely spot in Arizona for lunch, then stayed the night in Tucson.

On to El Paso. Good driving weather, although it had snowed in El Paso/Juarez on Thanksgiving Day so a dusting of white covered the mountains and the ground. We made it across the border, no questions asked, in an hour, record time for us. First night to Cuidad Jiminez and El Hotel Las Pampas where we always stay when we take this route. This place used to be something but it is gradually falling apart. But the location is perfect, the beds are comfortable, the hot water is plentiful, the dining room serves pretty good food, and the price is right. Next stop is Zacatecas. This old colonial city is in the mountains at 8,100 ft. Here we stay at Hotel Hacienda del Bosque, again a well-located spot at the junction of two main roads, one of which leads off to Guadalajara, our destination for the next day. Again, this is our traditional stop, but this place has been tarted up so we hardly recognized it. It is now a conference center with a fancy new wing with meeting rooms and a small auditorium, new entrance from the road, and big neon sign advertising itself. But the water is hot, beds comfy, restaurant good, price right.

Thursday morning we took off for Cuyutlan on the drive from hell. The road from Zacatecas to Guadalajara is two lanes all the way, through three mountain passes. This is the main route down the center of the country for cars and trucks and it can get pretty hairy when there is a line of semis rumbling along. That morning, however, traffic was light and we didn’t get stalled behind a long line of double remoulques. Still, the average speed for most of the trip was about 37 MPH which makes an 8-hour drive seem to take days. We stopped in Jalpa for a delicious breakfast at about 9:30, then drove on through Guadalajara toward Colima and arrived at our front door at about 3:00 PM, having made a quick stop at the supermarket to pick up a few essentials.

The house looks pretty good for one that has been deserted for 6 months. The rains were particularly heavy during the summer/fall so everything smelled very musty and wet. There is some mold growing on the weather-side of the living room wall, but a quick swipe with Clorox® will take care of that. Kitchen drawers and cabinets had to be emptied and scrubbed; mold. But the bed was made, the ‘fridge was on and humming away, cushions out on the sofa ~ Fernando and Chuy had been busy getting things ready for us. Having just those things done makes arrival a lot easier.

The weather is very warm, almost humid, but the breezes blow through the terrazzos, keeping us cool. The garden survived the summer and all the rain contributed to the jungle-like growth. Everything looks good except the bougainvillea in the back; it has not yet bloomed for some reason. I will investigate further.

For some reason I cannot get onto the internet set-up that I share with neighbors. Until that gets straightened out I will be using the town’s cybercafe with my own computer. But that is a minor inconvenience for now. I have had my first mango, first papaya, first glass of orange juice, first Indio beer, and first tortilla chip. We have the first two parties on our calendar, I’ve seen my first cucaracha and, this morning in the shower, a tiny alacrón. That's "scorpion" to you.

Let the season begin!


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