Tag Archives: Easter

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.

Post-bagel labor

MOST WORK around here gets done in the morning, and that would be after the bagels and cream cheese.

The labor this Good Friday morning included the yearly cleaning of the underground cistern.

Child bride descends to mop after I had descended to sweep.

Our concrete cistern holds 9,000 liters of water.

The reason you don’t want to drink tap water in Mexico is less because the water didn’t come from a clean source at the get-go. It may have. For instance, our municipal water comes from an underground spring. It is quite clear.

What happens is that almost everyone stores water in an underground cistern. From that cistern, water is delivered, one way or another, to a roof tank, and from there it’s dropped into the house faucets via gravity.

There are variations, but basically that’s how it works.

I have no statistics, but I’d bet a pocket of pesos that few homeowners ever clean their cisterns. I’ve peered into cisterns that you could use for a horror-movie scene.

But we are better than that.

Here’s how we clean ours. First, we turn off the incoming water. After that, it takes almost two weeks to empty as we use the water in the house. Finally, the cistern is empty, and we switch to a small backup tank for a day or two.

We leave the lid open overnight, and the cistern’s dry in the morning. I go down and sweep. She goes down and mops. We turn the water back on, and toss in half a liter of bleach.

Here comes fresh water into the clean tank! Yipee!

It takes three or four days to refill. The municipal water runs six days a week for six to eight hours daily.

* * * *

Other labor

Having finished that work, it was time to reassign cacti.

You’d think that after what happened with the monster nopal that I would have learned my lesson regarding prickly plants.

But I’m stupid that way.

I love deserts and the things that live in them. I used to plant cacti in my yard in Houston, and they never did squat.

The tall ones.

Next to the verandah, there’s this stand of pole cacti that I started years ago with one small one. The tallest now is six and a half feet high.

Another shorter — but not by much — stand nearby provided a cutting about 15 inches tall. It has been planted out by the property wall, and I anticipate a nice stand of pole cacti there in a few years —  if I live so long.

The little bugger.

Being a newbie, it needs a little support from string and a stick.

Following these two chores, I only had to water the potted plants on the verandah, dust the shelves and sweep the floor.

The only other labor for the day will be cooking pasta and broiling salmon. After that, it’s a café Americano negro on the downtown plaza, watching the beautiful tourist babes.

It will be a Good Friday. Even if I’m not a Christian.

Easter tamales

DURING EASTER week, people arrive in our mountaintop town from distant points, places you’d call the boonies.

Many camp in this plaza, which is named San Francisco, for much of the week, and they make tons of tamales. If you walk through here at night, it’s interesting with the fires and smoke.

My child bride and I walked along here today, and I shot this video. It’s not the best video in the world, I admit.

The Easter Bunny doesn’t hop up the mountaintop with colored eggs, but if you want tamales, we got ’em

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.

Faces of Easter

jesus
A very unhappy Jesus passes in a street of San Miguel.

WE SPENT two nights in San Miguel de Allende that, by pure chance, sat in Semana Santa, Easter Week.

We drove there to visit an old friend who had flown down from Texas with a couple who had invited him to share a few days in a vacation rental in the Gringo-infested town.

The old friend and I had planned this get-together months ago, neither realizing it was Semana Santa. It just dawned on me about two weeks ago.

Semana Santa, to Mexicans, is Spring Break with Jesus Christ. We have a multitude of religious ceremonies and Easter parades here on the mountaintop and tons of tourists, but I figured it would be calmer in San Miguel.

I could not have been more mistaken.

It was almost like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Downtown was mobbed with people. Lines waited outside restaurants.

Streets were blocked.

We arrived Thursday for two nights and one full day — Good Friday — in a downtown hotel, and we left yesterday.

We had a great visit with the friend, and we came away with these two faces — photos — of Semana Santa.

A third photo shows another face, a sad one, a man who passed on the street in the best way he could. Every few feet he would stop, squat upright on the street, and jiggle his coin can.

What struck me most about him, apart from his disability, was that his hair was trimmed and slicked back very neatly.

Everyone has pride.

family
Everybody smile for the cameras, theirs and mine too.

Hula hoop girls

hula

SITTING ON the big plaza eating a cupcake I purchased from the bakery just back of the concrete bench where I was perched, I watched the hula hoop girls yesterday.

Girls just wanna have fun.

Purple banners are going up around the plaza in preparation for Semana Santa, Holy Week, which is a big deal around here, almost as big — or HUGE, as  Donald Trump would say –as Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

silencio

There are a number of religious processions downtown during Holy Week, and my favorite is the Procession of Silence, which passes by silently, as advertised. That’s it in the photo, another year, and, yes, they dress up like Klansmen.

But we’ll be missing that parade this year because part of next week will find us in the Gringo-infested town of San Miguel de Allende. I’ll be visiting the consular office to renew my U.S. passport, a passport I don’t anticipate ever needing again, but it’s a habit I cannot seem to break.

We’ll be staying downtown at the Hotel Quinta Loreto. It will be our first stay at that hotel.

While Friday will be spent renewing the passport, on Saturday we’ll be visiting with an old friend whom I’ve not seen in 15 years, the psychologist who stitched my heart back together after my last divorce in the mid-1990s.

He’s visiting San Miguel for only four days, his first trip there. He lives in Austin, Texas.

But that is next week. This week — today, actually — we’re having a birthday party at the Hacienda. Our nephew, the lad once known as the Little Vaquero — turns 13. It seems like only yesterday that he was brought home from the hospital with those huge ears that look quite normal now.

And there you have it: hula hoop girls, Holy Week, San Miguel de Allende and the birthday party.

It’s just one thing after another.