Sunday, December 25, 2005

7AM - On the water tank.
Mr. Mavica loves to go up on the water tank to take his pics, because that is the highest place on our hill. We went up there to take a pic of the Bahia de Santa Rosalia (Bay). It is a gorgeous morning, and already T-shirt and short pants weather (62°F).

While we were up on the water tank, Manuel called out "Buenos dias" to me, and pointed at a new bicycle in the yard. Manuel is 6 year old Victor's grandfather, and had bought this Christmas present for Victor. Everybody pronounces Victor's name as Bictor.

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Bahia de Santa Rosalia at predawn.



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Is Victor happy, or what?



Today's hike to the ore crusher.
We do not know for sure what the large chimney on the hill across the arroyo was used for. We think that it was an ore crusher. Early this morning, we want to go up there and take a peek at what's what.

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Ore crusher connected to concrete tunnel for transporting copper ore uphill.



10AM - Going up the mine works.
As you may see from the pic above, the concrete tube is very steep. When I asked two young men how to go to the top of the hill, they told up the concrete tube! I can tell you that going up that steep concrete tube was scary! The lower part is very scary, and I went up there on my hands and feet. The second part was less steep. I was still scared, but I stood up.

In the pic below, you may see a great view looking down on our hilltop Camp. Do you see MsTioga and the two white water tanks? The tanks are low to the ground. Manuel's home is just behind MsTioga.

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Looking down at our hilltop Camp from the mineworks across the arroyo.



12 Noon - At the top of the mineworks hill.
Mr. Mavica and I spent about an hour on this hill, just looking at the Pueblo below. It is very beautiful from up high. We also spent time looking for minerals. We found some rocks containing glass-like crystals, but no cumengite crystals which of course are very rare.

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Mineworks hill view. Do you see the harbor?



1PM - Walking down to the pueblo.
We continued walking in a direction away from our Camp. There is a small neighborhood on the otherside of the mineworks and we headed there. The homes here are very poor, many had walls made up of pieces of corrugated metal and wood scraps. I walked a downhill path with the huge mine dump on my right and homes on my left.

We came to a home where there was a Navidad fiesta going on in the yard. Some people called out in a few words of English, so we decided to say "Hello." People here are very interested and curious about Americanos. Probably because so few walk thru their neighborhood. They invited me to have some whiskey, which I politely declined. I am not a whiskey guy. An older lady about my age who had been drinking quite a bit, came over to me and gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. Everybody yelled with delight at this sight. I got a kick out of it too. I stayed at the fiesta talking for about ten minutes, and then continued on.

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The small neighborhood with the fiesta is between the two mine dumps.



2PM - Heading back to our Hilltop Camp.
We were about a mile from our Hilltop Camp when we reached the main road below the mine dumps. We walked past the rusting El Boleo Mine ore processing works, and then up the hill to Mesa Francia. We stopped to talk to our friend Poncho, who was watering his garden at the rear of his home. We told Poncho about our exploration of the mineworks, and walking up the concrete tube.

As we left Poncho's home, one of his grandchildren invited me to have a little food at their fiesta. I sat on the front porch with about ten of Poncho's family, and ate a turkey dinner and drank a Pacifico cerveza (beer). People in Mexico are very enthusiastic about their beer!

I stayed at the fiesta talking and eating for well over an hour. Everybody was so friendly. They told me that my Spanish was very good, and then proceeded to give me some hints about how to improve my grammar. I really got a kick out of that grammar lesson. Nearly everybody jumped in and gave me suggestions how to say this or that. I have soooooo much to learn! But if learning is as nice as it was at this fiesta, it will be a real joy to learn Spanish here in Santa Rosalia!

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A pic of many of those on the front porch at the fiesta.





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