Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 2017 Banamichi Update

The days seem to fly by now, each new one chasing the tail of the previous one. It is hard to believe that 8 months have passed since I last wrote about Banámichi. Despite the tone of my last post, we are indeed alive and well, and still enjoying our home away from home on the Rio Sonora. In fact, we just returned to Tucson from a short visit.

Mexico still holds surprises and continues to delight.. Some surprises are fun, and others...well, not so much! As we entered Mexico through the Mariposa border crossing a week ago, a monstrous piece of machinery was parked right where we needed to go to get on Route 15 south. It took up nearly two lanes and there was no way to get around it. The only choice was to hang a right and go through the customs booth for Nogales Centro.

The left two lanes were completely blocked (Photo from

We did our best to convey to the border official that we needed to be on Route 15, and asked how to get back there. He mumbled something really fast about the periférico (ring road) and waved his arms around in a random direction. Neither of us had a clue what he said, so off we went into the black hole of Nogales Centro.

If it really had been the center of town it would have been OK; we would have recognized the streets. But it was just some random road on the outskirts of town with road construction going on. I turned on my cell phone and asked Google to navigate to Hermosillo. Google in its infinite stupidity took us to Calle Hermosillo. Who even knew there was a Hermosillo Street? Now we were really an impoverished neighborhood water ran in rivers down the streets from the recent monsoons.

OK, Google, try again. Navigate to Hermosillo, Sonora. Long story short, after several more ridiculous  directions and about half an hour, we finally stumbled upon Route 15. Phew! Surprising, but really stressful.

It was really good to arrive, but with all the rain, the backyard was full of weeds that needed pulling. That was lots of hot, sweaty work between 6:30 and 9:30 AM each day we were there, and necessitated two major dump runs. Finally the yard looked like its gorgeous self again just as we had to leave for Tucson.

backyard looking all spiffy after days of work*

About a year ago, our friend Vicky gave me a 5 gallon bucket with a bunch of small papaya trees. I planted several of them in the yard, and now there are a number of nice looking papayas waiting to ripen. A lovely surprise!
Try a Papaya! (when they are ripe)*

When we left the last time the avocado tree had one lonely avocado. We looked everywhere for it, but it was gone...victim to some unknown fate. While we were staring at the tree, Dan W. saw another avocado that was still there....coolio! It might even be ready by the next time we go down.

One lonely avocado*

One evening, the two Dans, Tracy and I decided to go out for dinner, but without a real destination in mind. There is not too much to choose from in Banámichi. We drove south down  the road to the town of Huepac, where we found the remnants of a festival in honor of San Ignacio. There were pop-up restaurants, bouncy-castles for the kids, shooting galleries, and booths selling all the plastic stuff made in China. Very colorful!

We decide on food from Dany's Restaurant, which seemed just right since we had our own two Dannys along. We ordered Sopes Al Pastor..thick corn tortillas with spicy cooked pork. Then the flies descended.  Hordes! Millions! Must be due to the season and all the rain. The food was tasty, but we gobbled it up  quickly while flailing our arms about to fan away the flies and praying that we wouldn't wake up with Montezuma's revenge. (A pleasant surprise...we didn't.)

Two Dannys (and me) at Dany's*

Afterwards, we wandered about the carnival and were just in time to see a gigantic Sponge Bob Square Pants bouncy castle arise from a heap of rubber in the road as it was inflated.  Hilarious! Tracy wondered how Saint Ignacio would feel about Sponge Bob making an appearance at his festival!

Sponge Bob rising from the dead*

Next was the mechanical gorilla. It was so grotesque that a picture was in order. Then, as we turned to walk away, someone activated it, and it roared and shook the cage. The sound was so earsplitting that we all jumped in surprise!

We left just in time, because as we drove back into Banámichi, there was lightning and thunder all around us . The sky was magnificent, with the red and orange sunset and the black clouds...a beautiful end to another interesting day in Mexico. Overall, an interesting adventure.

And one last update..Tracy seems to have hired herself a older woman (look who's talking!) named Maria Jesus.This almost guarantees more interesting surprises in the future. Hooray for Banámichi!

*Photos courtesy of Dan and Tracy Williams


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