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January 4, 2008 - Tonala, Mexico

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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I feel like I need to apologize, these really are going to be pretty B O R I N G - I love being in Tonala, but it's just a week or so of hard work.

I did get out of Hermosillo, no problem, sort of - they switched airlines on me, and the new airline had a much, much lower weight limit - when I later saw the size of the plane, I totally understood. The tall guys who flew couldn´t even stand straight up in the plane. So there I was with 3 bags stuffed full of Seri iron wood, which, weight for weight, may as well have been rocks. My carry on was stuffed, but as carry on, that didn´t count for weight. One bag was ok as checked luggage, the other one would have cost $350 in excess weight just to go on a little over an hour's ride.

Fortunately, there was an air cargo place just down the road, probably for all the people like me who aren't expecting such charges. And, as is often the case, there was a skinny little Mexican kid who was only all too willing (for a nice tip) to help me drag bags over the gravel to the cargo place - it was less than $50 to send the bag, and I picked it up today, all in good shape.

The flight was then canceled, but they pulled another plane out of somewhere, and the hour flight became something like 3 hours or more, there were 2 stops between Hermosillo and Guadalajara, we also got to see Los Mochis and Mazatlan. One of the other passengers muttered that with this many stops, it was more like a bus ride rather than an airplane ride. I thought, the only thing missing was the little ladies hopping on the plane at each stop to sell tamales, something that I would've greatly appreciated.

Dinner for me ended up being the 3 bags of peanuts that the stewardess bravely passed around after each stop. (I think its either in Chile or Argentina, where the stewards are called sobrecargos, or "excess baggage". Personally, I put them as a cross between little angels of mercy, and kindergarden teachers. Especially on long flights, everyone seems to revert to pretty basic human needs, and when the crowds start to grow restless, here comes the drink cart! here comes the food! Here comes the coffee! everyone gets really quiet during, and after their meals. Just when the stirring starts again, its movie time, snack time, sleep time, duty free time . They've got a captive audience, and I am totally grateful for their service).

Hermosillo sits in the Sonoran dessert, so when night starts to fall, all the birds come in off of the plains, and into town to roost in the trees for the night, as that´s the only place there are trees. I don´t know what I saw and heard, it was sort of long and slender like a purple grackle, but they had ivory colored throats, and the noise drowned out the noise from the street as they were all getting situated for the evening.

I also went to the Museum of Sonora - it was pretty good, very comprehensive, and I learned a new word for raccoon, which I've already forgotten. What amazes me is what a good job Dr. Torres, and the Casa Grandes crew do, of making copies of pre-hispanic artifacts, if they were a little more grunged up, they could sit under glass, and i certainly wouldn´t know the difference.

So, its Tonala for me for the next week or so. I really like it here, and I would highly discourage anyone from coming here unless you were on business, you'd be bored out of your mind. I went to dinner to my favorite pozole joint that sets up each night on the square. Pozole is pretty much hominy soup with the kitchen sink thrown in. Every region, town, family, has sort of their own versions, but it is kind of like a salad thrown on top of the soup, I love the stuff. This place had a special homemade sauce (this is always my seach in Mexico, the salsas caseras) it was very oily, dark red, and at first had a taste of toasted bread crumbs and chile. I´m loaded this stuff on, and then as I'm eating, i realize that its got the slow creep - not too hot at first, but then it keeps building, building, building, until the top of your head blows off, or in my case, the nose starts running. Ah, I love the food of Mexico. A wonderful culinary delight for a whopping $1.50.

Time to go up to my room, don't know how much yoga I'll be doing this week, its really cold at night and no room heat, i almost wish that my alarm clock didn't have a thermometer in it, sometimes you´re better off not knowing.