Buenas Tardes (for best viewing, click on the blue title)
Time to go home. A final walk after packing reminds me how much I will miss the constant blue skies, brilliant flowers and friendly faces.
Dinnner with my wonderful and loving hosts. I’m sorry this photo didn’t catch Olivia with her always-warm smile. I was sick for five days and her ministrations and homecooking sped my recovery massively. As did flowers she brought from her garden. I was and am so grateful.
A few things of interest…
There are no stop signs or lights in SMA. The traffic can be crazy on weekends but I’ve yet to see any driver, including the ubiquitous taxis, be anything but polite. At corners they take turns and pedestrians always come first…with a smile.
Weekends bring extra tourists from Mexico City. The BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE who pretty much all look the same, drive huge expensive cars and do not give way. My friend, Les, who lives here explained that lightness of skin is top priority and most often with that comes a higher step on the social ladder and money. You’ll see in this less-than-perfect photo, protecting that skin is paramount. The women are 25-30, richly turned out, wear huge sunglasses and have long luxurious hair. They’re hard to tell apart.
Next item…one does NOT flush toilet paper here. Whether in the finest restaurant or at home, it goes in a waste basket. This is emptied constantly…no pix fortunately.
Weddings are big business in SMA. Local politicians will cancel public events to accommodate weddings. They are held in La Paroqua and are open to the public. Wander in and watch the ceremony or wait outside for the church bells to ring, performers to play and dressed-to-the-teeth attendees to come out. It’s all great fun and the square is alive more than usual. Friday there were four simultaneous weddings, four bands, four burros etc. all at the same time.
Everything is for sale in the streets. Don’t miss the huge selection of ice cream! The children are darling and parents attentive.
The restaurants are abundant, high quality and mostly outdoors or rooftop. Presentation is impressive as are the flavors.
I cook meals at home as well so I can enjoy my patio at sunset.
Being at 6000′, our evenings and mornings are cool. Walls are over a foot thick and ceilings 14′ or more high. Tile floors hold the cool. There is no central heat. I generally light my gas fireplace in the morning to take the chill off. My hosts rarely turn theirs on and generally never use their lights. I am not willing to make those sacrifices! The warmest place mid morning is my laundry room as the sun pours through the vinyl roof so I’ve brought a chair in there to enjoy occasionally.
….and why have I not taken a photo of one of the thousands of taxis we couldn’t get along without??? Every trip I wonder if I’ll make it home as the poor things sound like they may not make it over the incredibly rocky steep roads as they wind me home to Aqua #5 where I’m greeted so warmly.
Yesterday I needed a feminine hygiene product from the farmacia. The pharmacist said he didn’t have. I was at a loss til a young man stepped up to interpret. We had half a dozen people speaking loudly about what I needed and why. If it hadn’t been so funny, I might have been embarrassed. I walked away successful and appreciative …again. Really lovely people here.
At day’s end, I am most grateful for six week of walking on challenging streets several miles a day with no mishaps! I never took my eyes off the ground and if I wished to see something, I always stopped. Which means I stopped thousands of time a day for there is so much to appreciate. I find I walk all day with a smile on my face. I love that!
Adios mi amigos