Monday, September 21, 2009

Bienvenidos a Mexico!

It hasn't happened often where I could catch up to Roger in a matter of hours versus days, but despite the relative short distance, it still felt like a world away.  That is, until we started driving around Hermosillo and I saw everything from Costco to IHOP. 

For those of you, like me, had vaguely heard of the city, Hermosillo has approximately 700,000 people, lies 350 kms south of Tucson, Arizona and is home to more than 100 industrial plants including Ford. 

When I arrived, Roger took me to the office to introduce me to one of the new guard dogs.  His name is Feo (which sadly --- and quite frankly --- truthfully describes him and means "Ugly" in Spanish) and he is an exuberant, slobbering puppy who wasn't sure what to make of the fancy ball I brought him from Canada -- but did figure out quickly he liked the peanut butter doggie treats!

As usual, living with Roger provides an unending array of surprises - no more so than when he drove me out to Kino Bay, a little fishing village about 110 kms away, and where he rented a house for a month while we get settled and figure out where we want to live.

As you know, accomodation over the last 2-3 years has ranged from a small room in Mauritius, a tent in the Kalahari, an apartment in Spain with the funky, "Barbie" pink kitchen, our trailer...and now this....



The view is absolutely breathtaking and I enjoy watching the birds.  Each morning huge flocks of brown pelicans head west, and then as the sun sets, they return like squadrons of planes flying in formation.

Not just your everyday Sunday drive....

Yesterday, Roger wanted to go out to the drill site, so we headed off at 6 a.m. for the expected 4 hour trip.  His truck was being used by his foreman, so we had to use a rental Focus-type car, and by the end of the day, even Roger was feeling sorry for what we put it through. 

The highway going north is good, and I laughed at the signs posted along the highway saying it was a hassle free zone. During our travels, we came across 3 military checkpoints - two of them with heavily armed soldiers - but we were treated well, and were waved through each time.

As we turned off the main highway, the roads got smaller and there was even one part where we had to get out and throw large rocks off the path because Roger was afraid one would pierce the oil pan because of the low clearance. 

But did we stop and turn around?  Of course not. 

The area where many mining companies operate is very mountainous and access roads often resemble goat trails.

Fortunately, we had one of Roger's men, Santiago, with us who helped with the directions and translating (although Santiago's command of the English language rivals ours of Spanish). 

Since we were in the "neighbourhood", Roger decided to stop by a company he heard might be needing some drilling done -- it was quite a rocky detour but afforded us some incredible views and Roger was happy he was able to meet with a company official, so the trip was worth it. 

We were told of a "short cut" back to Hermosillo which we decided to take.  It may have saved some mileage, but the route was much slower as it took us through small towns - many that dated back to the 1600's. 

The upside is that we saw snapshots of rural Sonoran life:  bona vide cowboys, elders sitting in town squares smoking and visiting, and seeing huge quantities of chilies being dried on people's roof tops and then sold along the road.

A homemade sign saying, "Camarones con Clamato" caught Roger's eye in one pueblo, so we stopped to see what it was.  A few minutes later, we were all feasting on huge, freshly cooked shrimp piled into a glass of Clamato, with lime and spices.  Sort of like a virgin Caesar with shrimp.  Muy delicioso!!

So, the 16 hour Sunday drive ended with us home safe and sound, albeit a little dusty and road weary. 

I have a realtor taking me out this week to show me housing in Hermosillo, because no matter how beautiful it is in Kino Bay, the commute is a bit much and we think there will be more to do in city. Stay tuned for more updates on where we move to in mid-October.

But in the meantime...we're going to kick back and enjoy our beautiful house on the beach.

Hasta luego.

1 comment:

Betty Belanger said...

Wow! What can I is beautiful! You are an excellent story teller and we look forward to hearing more of the Roger & Heather Adventure Story over the coming months!
Take care and glad to hear you "landed" safely :)

Love Mark, Betty, Craig, Meg & Kim