Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a week's worth of news

We are down to one week more here at the edge of the world. Our five months are up, the car insurance will lapse in 3 weeks, it's getting hot, the flies are ojut, and it's time to go home. We've been without a phone for most of this past week, the internet connection is sporadic but usable up on the 3rd floor, I've run out of ideas on how to make interesting salads, and it's time to go home. But the past week has not been without it's very good occasions.

While our guests were here we took a day-trip up into the hills of Colima, first to Nogueres and the lovely little museum and arboretum. This place was once a thriving hacienda and sugar cane plantation. It was purchased by the Rangel family, and the son, Alejandro turned it into a museum for his fantastic collection of pre-Columbian art and his own paintings. We did the museum and, while the gents explored the flora in the extensive arboretum, I sat on the cool, shady veranda

and looked out over the green, green gardens.

Over in a corner I found this lovely plant; reminds me of a giant lily pad.

We drove on to Suchitlan, a small town noted for its wood carved masks.

It was once a thriving coffee producing area. Now all that's left of that enterprise are some coffee trees located in the gardens of a wonderful restaurant, Los Arcos where we had lunch. The colorful, imaginative masks of some of the local carvers are on display and for sale in the restaurant.

After lunch we drove around looking for the little town of San Antonio. There is a very chi-chi hotel there, the Hacienda San Antonio, a quite grand $780 USD a night crash pad. I have seen it in the past but, try as we might, we couldn't locate it. So we gave up and drove home.

Friday night was dinner at Dago's (see previous post). Saturday was dinner at P & B's beautiful, high-ceiling'd house down in the colonia. P cooked up his delicious tacos for an appreciate group of invitees. Our guests were impressed by the beautiful sea views and by the warmth and generosity of the hospitality of two of our favorite ex-Ajijic-ers. Sunday night was dinner at Marie's to bid farewell to Helen and Linda who headed back to BC, Canada on Tuesday. More great hospitality. By Monday I was socialized out. It was all I could do to make the weekly visit to the tiagues, not really to shop but to stroll the vendors and get it all fixed in my mind to last me six months. It is always a huge shock the first time I wander into the Safeway or Nugget to shop. I am amazed at (a) the choices, (b) the packaging, and (c) the prices. Food is so expensive in the US as opposed to here. For every bite we take, several dozen bureaucrats get paid. I prefer it here, where the man or woman who grows the potatoes is the one who takes the pesos home. Food is abundant and very cheap. And if you have a lime tree in your back yard, or a mango tree, and it is overproducing, just set out a chair and table outside your garden, put up a hand written sign, and all your produce will be gone by the end of the day.

Tonight is dominoes. Tomorrow evening Fernando and Chuy are hosting a birria party, using Marie's big outdoor horno. It's going to be beef and pork; he could not find anyone to sell him a goat kid. We'll roast veggies and have a big watermelon for dessert. Friday will be the last gathering at Dago's for this season. Most of the gringos will be gong by mid-May. There are about a dozen full-timers who will be here for the summer and fall.

I am sitting up on the third floor as I write this, looking out toward the mountains, across a sea of waving palm fronts. There are a few houses peeking through the groves. To the left I can see just the very top of a Primavera tree, now in full, bright yellow bloom. They are very late this year. I can also see the brilliant fuchsia and white blossoms of the Surprisa bouganvillea in the garden at Neighbor Nelson's. It is a bit hazy this afternoon so the light against the hills is grey-blue, a nice contrast against the various greens and yellows of the palms. Behind me I can hear the sounds of the ocean. It's a strange sight-sound mix to hear the one and see the other. The palms don't seem to be making their usual rattle and click sounds but instead the swish of the sea. But I'm too drowsy to think about it anymore.


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