Saturday, January 01, 2005

1AM - New Years Fiesta in Santa Rosalia!
By 11PM, a steady stream of cars, perhaps 200-300 of them, cruise up and down the main streets of Santa Rosalia. In the Baile Salon there is a somewhat formal celebration, with tablecloth covered tables and many people dressed up for the fiesta. It is a large room, people are dancing and there is music, old fashioned Mexican music.

In the Plaza, there are many people, mostly children. As midnight came close, the kids started yelling something over and over. It was not understandable what they were shouting. From homes all around the town, kids were yelling from their front doors. They yelled whatever it was, for almost half an hour, everybody was sooooo happy! There are almost no fireworks. Several blocks away from the center of town, somebody is shooting off some large firecrackers, but that is all.

It is New Years, 2005, and the TiogaRV Team is in Santa Rosalia, Mexico having the time of our lives! Wow!!

Question about eating and drinking in Mexico!
This morning we received an email from a reader asking if we have problems with food or water here in Mexico. We have not had problems, and we are very careful with both food and water. Montezuma's Revenge is very terrible.

All of the water that we drink is bottled water, or water purchased from the many purified water dispensers found often in grocery markets here in Mexico. MsTioga's fresh water tank is filled from many different sources. We never drink from our fresh water tank, even in the United States. Water from our fresh water tank is used only for washing, the toilet and bathing.

We are very careful in choosing a restaurant, and have eaten at many taco stands since we entered Mexico without having problems [knock on wood!]. First thing that we look for at a street taco stand, is the person preparing the food. Do they appear well groomed? We check out how the food preparation area is laid out. Is steam coming from the heated food container? Is the stand clean? Even more important are people eating at the stand. I ask one of them if they live in the neighborhood, and if they have eaten at this stand before? It is not very likely that a taco stand that makes people sick will be used by people who live close by.

10PM - Have you noticed the hills behind the Town of Santa Rosalia in our pics?
The mines which were largely responsible for the establishment of Santa Rosalia, are in these hills. Mr. Mavica, TriPod and George are hiking the hills of Santa Rosalia this morning!

2PM - Returned from our walk in the hills!
During our walk, we found that the streets here in Santa Rosalia are much better than in most Baja towns that we have visited. The streets are almost all paved with concrete, even the smaller streets. These streets are clean too, nicely swept clear of the sand.

Below is a pic of a playground that we came to, very close to the western end of Santa Rosalia. You may see the concrete paved clean streets in front of the playground. There are nice sidewalks with curbs, even in the neighborhoods. We did not see all of these improvements; sidewalks, paved streets, etc., in our travels in Mexico until now. Not in the smaller towns, anyway.

A playground at the west end of Santa Rosalia

A block past the playground, there was a football stadium. We peeked thru the stadium's gate, and found that the stadium had one very large dirt field and a large stadium seating area too. A man who lived in the neighborhood told George that football [soccer] is played in this stadium on the weekends. We would love to attend a soccer match here.

We walked on and came to a very nice street, typical of neighborhoods in Santa Rosalia. You can see the concrete paved road, and how clean and neat everything is on this street.

A lovely street in a Santa Rosalia neighborhood.

George makes a friend in Santa Rosalia.
As we were walking down near the end of the street in the pic above, a man came out of his home and wished George Happy New Year. The two began to talk about the town. This man's name is Jose Mario Espinoza Pedrin, but his "apodo" [nickname] is Yaqui. This fellow Yaqui had done very well for himself in Santa Rosalia, and owned many buildings and businesses. Yaqui introduced George to many people in town, and we stayed in a liquor store talking for more than an hour with several of these men.

It is the custom, to embrace and be very friendly when meeting friends here. Much more so than in the USA. Drinking beer and alcohol is also much the custom during holidays such as today. Getting high seems to be very desirable and socially acceptable. Everybody has nicknames. George got right into this custom of embracing the people who came into the store and wishing them Feliz Ano [Happy New Year]. Below is a pic of George and his new friends. Yaqui is the tall fellow in the brown jacket.

New friends in the Town of Santa Rosalia.

In the pic above, the man on the right sitting down holding a green beer bottle is Elias Lopez, a cabinet maker in Santa Rosalia. Tomorrow George has agreed to go back to Elias' cabinet shop to see him. Perhaps we will be able to buy the doors for MsTioga's new Cabover Cabinet from Elias?

Yaqui walked with George to see MsTioga, and they both went inside and looked around. Yaqui told George that he will return later. We think that Yaqui wants to bring his brother over to see MsTioga, but we are not sure. Our Spanish is not so good yet, that everything is understood.

6PM - It is evening, and the sound of singing comes from the church across the road.
This is special singing. The music is very uplifting to hear, even though the words cannot be made out from inside MsTioga. George is going over to the church. He wants to listen to the singers. To feel their uplifting sounds and be close to the music.

We were going to make fried chicken for supper.
While George looked in at the church singing, the delicious frangrance of beef cooking came from across the street. Following his nose, George bought a taco from the stand across from the church. It was soooooo good. Up the street from the church taco stand, is a helado store, and George bought a cup of strawberry ice cream. It was sooooooo good. Walking back down the street, near the church, is Garcia's Hot Dog Stand. There was a crowd of customers, maybe 20 people waiting to buy. George ordered a hot dog, but it came out a meat sandwich that was soooooo good. Apparently a hot dog is called a salchicha. So George ordered a salchicha, which of course was soooooo good.

All the time that all of this eating was going on, a steady stream of cars went up the street. George asked one of the Hot Dog Stand workers where all of these cars are going? In a circle! They go up town, on a one way street, and then come back downtown on the other one way street. They do this all nite long. It is the custom! Cruising in Santa Rosalia, who would have guessed?!

8AM - Cha Cha music plays inside MsTioga!
Mr. Chips our computer has a wonderful music system, and he is playing cha cha music. George loves cha cha music, especially the romantic song, "Nosotros." This song reminds George of Clarita, the young girl who taught him to dance cha cha during his teenage years. Wow! Does it get any better than this?!!


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