Category Archives: Edición dominical

Ride to Ucazanastacua

It’s also the road to Cucuchucho.

WE LIVE IN a beautiful area, and some spots approach spectacular, but you have to know where they are.

One is the road to Ucazanastacua.

Yesterday, while my child bride was gossiping downtown with visiting relatives, I decided to take a jaunt.

As you may know, we live near a huge, high-altitude lake. There’s a two-laner that circles that lake, and it’s a nice ride.

But there’s a nearby route that’s relatively unknown. It does not circle the lake, but it abuts it for a spell in a spectacular manner. It reminds me of Route 1 along the Big Sur coast.

Up until about eight years ago, this road was primarily unpaved, consisting of dirt and potholes, only marginally usable. In the rainy season, it was mostly mud.

Then it was paved. It remains, however, little used even though small restaurants are appearing along the way.

I snapped this through the Honda windshield. Lake is to the right.

What the above photo doesn’t show clearly is that along much of the drive, it’s a deep drop-off down to the water. And look! No traffic. On a major holiday weekend.

I did not notice the post till I got home and downloaded the photo. Silly me.
Somebody’s home down thataway.

Being Easter weekend, I spotted a number of crosses along the way. They were decked out in purple crepe paper. The below is not a cross, but it was there for Easter.

Not a cross but an arch.

I stopped at an overlook, rolled down the Honda window and shot this brief video. Bob Dylan was crooning on the car’s music machine and competing with the sound of stiff wind.

I never did get to Ucazanastacua. A sign pointed down a steep road to the water’s edge. I did go through Cucuchucho, however.

And that’s your brief tour for the day. Leave tips in the jar on your way out. A joyous Easter to you Christians. To you Jews, shame on you for what you did! Tsk, tsk, tsk.

No Easter eggs for you people.

Getting stoned

IF YOU’VE ever wondered what a cobblestone street in the making looks like, wonder no more. Behold!

For a few months now, major work has been under way on two streets radiating out from the southwest corner of our spectacular main plaza. It was supposed to be completed by Easter Week, but that’s not going to happen.

A major component of the labor is installing wider sidewalks. The sidewalk to the right side was about half as wide and, of course, that meant the street was wider.

Now the street will be narrower, a trade-off.

That sidewalk surface is just a concrete base now. Flat stone will be installed atop it. It will be quite snazzy.

The street itself won’t be smooth. Cobblestone streets never are, but newly installed ones are smoother than older ones.

Time takes its toll. After about a decade, driving on a cobblestone street goes something like this.

I’m not a fan of cobblestone streets. I prefer smooth concrete or, barring that, asphalt. But our town trades on tourism, and tourists like to see cobblestone streets.

They go nicely with our tile roofs of red clay.

The fact is that our mountaintop town improves yearly. And the same goes for our property values.

Two party gals

PICTURES ARE worth thousands of words.

On the left is Rosa DeLauro, a U.S. representative from Connecticut.* Can you guess which party she belongs to?

On the right is Tomi Lahren. She is not a politician. She is a well-known television political commentator. Can you guess which party she belongs to?

DeLauro came to my attention yesterday due to a speech she made Friday during the debate on the ObamaCare replacement. Here is a short excerpt of her rant.

The ObamaCare replacement, something abysmal from Paul Ryan, was pulled at the last moment, thank God, but that’s not the theme of today’s post.

The theme is that these photos illustrate beautifully — literally in Lahren’s case — the difference between today’s Republican and Democrat parties.

Tip of the sombrero to The Gateway Pundit for bringing this to my attention.

* * * *

* Click on DeLauro’s photo to get the full impact, to see her in all her wacky splendor. She’s 73 years old, the Woodstock Generation! She could strut the streets of San Miguel de Allende, and no one would even notice.

Time to gloat

city-hall
Our City Hall. We pay property tax here, the casita water bill too.

IT WOULD NOT be January if I neglected to showcase one of the many great aspects to Mexican life: It’s inexpensive.

January is when many of us pay annual bills like property tax, the post office box, water service, car tax, etc.

The inimitable Steve Cotton wrote this almost obligatory posearlier this month on his website.

Now it’s my turn. I will state prices in U.S. dollars using the current exchange rate of about 21/1.

The post office box: This set us back $16. Mail comes down here slowly, but it arrives. Be patient.

Water: We pay annually at City Hall for the downtown Casita. It was $90.* Here in the hardscrabble outskirts of town where the Hacienda sits, we pay at an office on our local plaza. I usually pay four months in advance. The monthly price for unlimited water is $2.38. The Mexico City condo is about $1.60.

Property tax: We own three homes. I’ll add them together and announce the total of (drum roll) $84. If you need smelling salts, I’ll mail some to you. Be patient.

We pay property tax for the Hacienda and the Downtown Casita, plus the Casita’s water bill at City Hall. See photo. It’s efficient. We were in and out in 15 minutes. I pay the Mexico City condo’s property tax online.

Garbage pickup: Whatever you want to tip the guys.

I suggest 50 cents.

Car tax: We have two cars. Up until a few years ago, this was pretty steep for late-model cars, but then they canceled the tax. I never understood exactly why. Now we just pay for window stickers. The total for the 2009 Honda and the 2014 Nissan was $78. That was last year. It will be about the same this year. We have until March 1 to pay. I do it online.

Bank Trust Deed: I mention this only because Steve Cotton has it on his list. He lives on the sweaty, bug-infested coast, and there are laws about foreigners buying coastal property. He doesn’t own the land where Casa Cotton sits.

We own the land on which our Hacienda sits. There is no bank trust deed to mess with. He paid $522. We paid squat. In fact, the sum of all our payments — property tax, water, trash pickup, etc., on three homes, car taxes  — is about half of Steve’s bank trust deed alone.

Remember those old tour books titled Mexico on $5 a Day? Of course, you can’t do Mexico on $5 a day anymore, but it’s still inexpensive to visit — and to live here too.

* * * *

* This one thing, the Casita water bill, is by far the highest single payment we owe every year.

Note: Steve Cotton and two family members will drive to the mountaintop next week. They’ll stay a week in the Downtown Casita for free. If you’re nice to me, you might be able to stay there free too.

Man with child

kid

I’VE HAD A nodding acquaintance with this fellow for over 15 years. On passing, we nod, smile and say hi.

I have no idea who he is or what he does. But he’s always struck me as a good egg. I like him.

Yesterday, I spotted him downtown toting a tot.

Based on appearance, it would be easy to mistake him for one of the Gringos who live here, but he’s not. He’s Mexican.

The bedroom

bedroom

THIS APPEARS to be a bedroom. There’s the antique bed that’s been neatly made up. There’s an armoire to the right.

And an apparatus to repair flat tires rests in the foreground, and an electric welder sits between the bed and the armoire which has a picture of Jesus attached.

Someone repairs auto tires and does welding to boot. It also appears to be Home Sweet Home.

The bedroom/business is open to the street. The only thing separating it from the sidewalk is an old, chain-link fence. There’s a makeshift roof overhead. A good night’s sleep would be a challenge beneath rain, lightning, thunder.

Strung vertically is a line with cloth that can be pulled down to make a curtain to hide the sleepyhead from people passing by on the sidewalk late at night.

I snapped this photo through the chain-link fence. There was no one home at the time. Or at work either. It was late Friday afternoon. Perhaps he was out for a beer.

Odds are that this fellow is not married. He appears to be a hard worker. Neat too. He makes up his bed.

And he believes in Jesus.