Monday, January 15, 2007

I missed a day. Sorry about that. Yesterday was a little strange. I slept in (until 8 a.m.!), then walked up the mountain*, carrying the camcorder. I took some footage of the osprey nests and their inhabitants, then proceeded up the hill. I stopped about 50 feet from the top and turned around so that my feet pointed downward at about a 45 degree angle. That was as high as I felt safe in climbing, given the terrain. I took some truly lousy film of the view toward Kino, toward Baja California, toward my feet. The ground up there is like crumbling brick, the drop to rocks and water is precipitous, and the wind was blowing, so I was not feeling very adventurous. On the way back down the hill, with the camcorder tucked in its case, I took a step forward and SPLAT! Out went my feet. Down went my bum. My hands were slightly scraped and my dignity was decidedly compromised, but the camera was unharmed. I was very glad that I hadn't gotten brave up at the cliff's edge.

I walked back into our village just in time to see Martin, the vegetable man, drive out of the park. Oh no. I ran down the street yelling Martin! Martin! Fortunately, he was stopping anyway, in front of a home just up the street. I panted up to his truck and started shopping for green chiles, potatoes, cilantro, tomatoes, apples, limes (oh, yes! limes. I'd been craving them.). R came up beside the truck and asked Martin to wait, said he'd be right back with some money. "Hola," I said, surprising him. He hadn't seen me standing there, and he was ready to do the vegetable shopping on his own. He added some tangerines to the haul, we paid our $65 (that's pesos, not dollars. The symbols are the same. Very confusing when you're doing business at the border) and we went home.

Back at the RV, R informed me that my front tire was flat again. I decided to go inside and ignore that problem.

I got out my handy little bottle of Microdyn and washed the fruit and vegetables. I roasted two of the green chiles, put them in a plastic bag to steam while I chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onion for pico de gallo. Then I peeled the chiles under cold water, chopped one of them into the pico de gallo, put the other into a frying pan with cooked beans and some more onion, producing the loveliest mixture to eat with my tortillas, which I warmed over the open flame. I carried everything to the table and had a feast. R said I adapt very well to different types of food. I said what do you mean? This is my native cuisine! R is adapting, though. He's eating tortillas now, doesn't even seem to be pining for sliced bread.

After dinner we played Scrabble, then Skip-Bo. What happened in between lunch and dinner, I honestly don't know. I think I went into some sort of blue funk because my bicycle was kaput.

This morning I suggested that we go all the way into Hermosillo because there were things like Wal-Mart there where, surely, we could find inner tubes and patch kits. We boarded the bus at 9:45 a.m. 131pesos for the two of us to get to Hermosillo. They were playing a movie called Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. The dialogue was in English. I watched it for an hour or so, until we got to Calle Doce, which is about halfway to Hermosillo. At that point a young man - a teenager - got onto the bus, grabbed the remote, and changed the language to Spanish. Fair enough. R and I were probably the only Anglophones on the bus(there were only seven people on board for the first half of the trip, including the driver and the man who seems to ride shotgun), and I had been surprised to hear English. Also, the movie was rather predictable. I kept watching, and had no problem keeping track of the plot.

As we pulled out of the Calle Doce bus station after about a 10-15 minute layover, R said "There's a bicycle shop right there by the bus station."

We arrived in Hermosillo just before noon, asked the driver when we could catch a bus back. Once an hour. Uh-huh. When? Oh. On the half hour. Ah. Thank you.

We went to Wal-Mart. They didn't have any bicycle accessories. We wandered around the mall, bought an extension cord, a roasted chicken, a few other items. Famished, I bought a couple of corn tamales at a stand in the hallway. They tasted wonderful. R bought a slice of pizza. The long and the short of it is, we didn't find anything with which to fix my bike.

So we went back to the bus stop at 1:20 p.m. to wait for the bus. A man with a nice smile talked to me a little. He looked familiar. Buses came and buses went, but ours didn't show up until nearly 2 p.m. That was much better than the hour and a half we waited for it last year, when apparently the bus we wanted went roaring by while another bus was loading. Never mind, we were aboard. As it was last year going back to Kino, this bus was standing room only. We moved toward the back, and I saw the man I had spoken to. He was sitting at the back of the bus, waving at me. He had saved me a seat. I made my way back there and sat beside him, and as I sat down I realized that he was - at least I think he was - the same man who gave me his seat last year. We chatted as amiably as people who don't share a language can. A young man on the other side of him (we were on the long bench seat at the very back) joined in. Between conversations, I watched the same movie I had watched in the morning, this time all in Spanish. Matthew McConaughey still had great teeth.

When we got to Calle Doce, I considered making my way through the crowd, getting off, running over to the bike store, buying a patch kit, and coming back, but (1) I didn't want to lose my seat, and (2) Given that the bus was very late, I didn't know whether it would be hanging about - so I didn't. I could have. We must have been there at least 10 minutes.

We are seriously considering putting my bike up on the back of the rig and leaving it there until we drive out on the 18th. I'll just take walks, if this wind ever lets up - or I could stay inside where it's warm, making and eating Mexican delights, watching for Martin's truck to turn up.

*I use the term 'mountain' very loosely. It's really only a big hill.

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