Talpa de Allende, Mascota, San Sebastián del Oeste.
When it was the time for us to continue our adventure further up the coast, Rolf and Denyse decided to drive us up to Los Ayala and visit the towns inside the country on our way North at the same time.
Rolf loves driving and he is a good driver. We visited la Huerta, so clean, so quiet and so beautiful as also is Villa Purificación, a very ancient healing centre we visited quickly.
Talpa is a beautiful town and a big centre of pilgrimage. The picturesque town from the 18th century has a sweet smell of sugar and candy. Everywhere are candies factories : sweet paste of guayaba. The pilgrims come from far away to have their prayers answered by God and sometimes walk for more than 100 km under the sun with big backpacks and sleep on the side of the road. They arrive by groups in town and wait in front of the church singing and with a band made of trumpets, tuba, cymbals and a base drum. Every group has his colours, his band, his music and chants and they all play at the same time. When the Priest invited them inside, they all came with their band playing and with the acoustic of the church it was deafening. It is so pagan but they are so devoted walking on their knees that it is also very touching. You can feel hope and joy, there is something childish and naïve in their devotion.
The night before, we listened to a band who was playing in front of the church. I was fascinated and very amused. The singer looked like a Mexican version of Steve Wonder and was moving very enthusiastically giving the tempo with his wood blocks, except that nobody was following the tempo and you could not hear him singing. The band was composed of a trumpet playing badly two notes for every song, a tuba playing only one, the cymbals were chaotic and the drum was the best but, the ensemble was so loud. I laughed with all my heart and realized I was the only one, the Mexicans were listening seriously and we were the only foreigners. I hope I did not insult them. But at night, the same band were playing underneath our windows and still made me smile, then when they were finished, the bells from the church near by started to ring at 4 am. I did not sleep much that night. If we ever come back to Talpa, we will take a room at the hotel in the mountains above the town.
The village of San Sebastián was very beautiful, rustic and ancient. The jail from the 1500’s was haunted say the policemen and I believe it. It is easy to imagine the life of the prisoners in those cold and humid cells waiting to be hanged. It was a feel of evil in that prison and I did not enter the cells. The village is very charming and we decided to stay for the afternoon. Then back to the mountainous road and the crazy construction, a nightmare for any driver, it looked and was dangerous. Arriving in Los Ayala we did not feel too happy. We had to change room three times at the hotel. The first room had a big hole where the air conditioner was missing and no screen. I told the owner but she said there are no mosquitos and the fan would keep them out. In my usual bluntness I told her that I knew there were mosquitos and we wanted an other room. The second room the lock in the door did not work and when it worked, it did not unlock. Lucky I did not close the door before trying the lock because our luggage were all there. We change the room again but the fridge did not work and the room was a bit creepy. At that time we were tired, our friends were waiting for us to go eat and they were devoured already by the hungry flying beasts that did not exist. What a good beginning for our stay. Then at the restaurant, the price went up considerably from last year and it was a confusion with our order and it cost a fortune. The worst of it, my dish was tasteless. Oh well, I paid and asked for a doggy bag. It was our supper the day after and it was good once cooked in the frying pan. About 4 am, a bus arrived and lit our room like in day time with its lights, bringing Mexicans in our hotel for the weekend. Not much sleep that night either and I was not smiling. Our friend Gerardo offered to rent us a bungalow for the same price behind his new restaurant “El Cangrejito” at the end of the beach. We moved in the same day paying two places for the same day but it gave us the time to move our luggage easily on foot. So quiet at night... not pretty, a bit run down but comfortable, we can cook our meals and there were almost no mosquitos. No Internet, no cell phone connection but we slept with the sound of the waves. All would have been perfect if we did not have another drunk Canadian as a neighbour downstairs. He was not a bad guy, actually he had a good heart, one day he gave a hundred dollars to save the foot of a diabetic Mexican who did not have the money to pay for his medication. He was a lost soul, he drank vodka from the morning to the night, complaining about everything and socializing with Mexican people he did not know even if he could not speak their language. He got in trouble one night fighting about 12 pesos with the owner of a little tacos stand. Instead of trying to resolve the problem he kicked a bucket of cucumbers in the street. Four or five policemen heavily armed came looking for the”Canadiense” in our place just after my husband finished smoking a joint on our balcony. They did not find him but the day after, he had to leave the place and hide in the other village near by until his flight to Canada because he had made too many enemies in Los Ayala.