Saturday, January 13, 2007

I'm cheating here, because I need a nap. I posted this to one of the boards I frequent, and decided that I really don't need to type it all twice - so, AM, you've already read this entry!

R and I were going to cycle into Kino Viejo today to buy fish and tortillas, but it didn't work out that way. When I went outside, I discovered that my bike had a flat front tire, victim of a thorn that folks around here call a goat head. It's small, but it's mighty. It has two points, and either one of them will pierce a bicycle tire with ease. Apparently they've been known to pierce automobile tires.

(Is this where I back up and tell you that before we left Canada, I said "Don't you think we should go to Canadian Tire and get some spare tubes, and maybe a patch kit or three?" I was outvoted - did I think there were no bike repair shops where we were going, or what? OK. That was when I should have put myself in Ignore Mode, but I didn't.)

So. This morning we went looking for a bike repair place within walking distance. Nope. We inquired at the park office. There's a place in Kino Viejo. It's on Calle Puerto Vallarta, about two blocks from the park. R was feeling a little out of sorts anyway, so I left him here, caught the bus (6 pesos) to Kino Viejo, got off at Puerto Vallarta, and carried my bicycle wheel down and down and down the street, long past the paved part, until I was almost out of town again. Finally I found the little shop. There was a big gate, and I could see a man working on a bike way inside, beyond the fig tree. I called out, and he let me in. I sat comfortably in a plastic chair and watched the antics of a chihuahua, a Mexican hairless, something that looked like a chihuahua/pug cross, and a big yeller dog. A couple of pigeons joined the party at one point, but they didn't stay long.

There were actually four holes in the inner tube. The gentleman replaced the tube, installed the new one and filled it with air. Fifty pesos ($5-ish). I thanked him and headed for the tortilleria on Guaymas Street where I had been planning to go in the first place. I bought a kilo of tortillas, inquired about the bus back to Kino Nuevo. Could I catch it right out front? Yes - in an hour. So off I went, wheel in hand, walking to the fish market at the bottom of Padre Eusebio Kino Boulevard. I bought two kilos of some sort of filleted fish packed in lots of ice, shoved that bag into my backpack, put the bag of tortillas on top of it, grabbed my wheel and the book I could no longer put in the backpack for fear it would get wet, and headed for the little market where I shopped last year. There I bought a few bananas, a couple of green chiles, and a bag of cooked beans to eat with the tortillas. Definitely trudging, I went back to the tortilleria and waited for the bus, which turned up in about fifteen minutes.

An old hand now, I had my six pesos ready. This time there was a sorry-looking spaghetti mop propped by the door of the bus and a pile of newspapers wrapped with string next to the driver's seat, so getting me, my wheel, the book, and the now-bulging backpack onto the bus was a chore, but I did it, and I had a great trip home, resting my back, listening to the local radio station. When the driver let me off - right in front of the park - I staggered proudly home with my booty.

The upside of all this is that I now know where I can get my bike fixed in Kino Viejo. The downside is that the gentleman at the shop didn't have any extra tubes to sell me. When we go through Hermosillo, I think we had better hunt some up.

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