Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chacala Morning and the Alta Vista Petroglyphs

I just looked thru some photos taken by Karim Merchant, who stayed here in Chacala this spring at both Majahua and Mar de Jade with his family. He is letting me borrow three of his photos of Chacala, below

E-mailing Karim this morning reminded me of how many really nice people I have met here in Chacala. There's a whole bunch of them.

I think Chacala draws particularly nice visitors, probably at least partly because of the presence of the Techos de Mexico program, Mar de Jade, and the Bibliotecha program (with a library, computer place, kid's afternoon program, and EBACH, the scholarship program for Chacala kids), all of which have drawn many, many volunteers to Chacala. Some are individual volunteers and others are part of Rotary groups, church groupsm and even Habitat for Humanity. Habitat has worked on a number of houses in nearby Las Varas, while the vounteers usually stay here, in Chacala.

View from Majahua, north.
Walked down to the beach road at 7am this morning. Wanted to get some apple juice and microwavable popcorn before it got too hot to be walking around. This popcorn addiction of mine is getting pretty strong. Plus, almost everytime I pop some, somebody shows up, and I have to (get to) SHARE it. Oh well. I like having visitors, especially at the end of the day.

Ran into Jose Manuel when I was out walking. He used to caretake the area where motor homes camp in the winter, on the beach. But he isn't working there anymore. He was at Las Brisas for the whole winter, but now he's driving the Chacala garbage truck around town. He is very happy with his new job, and says it's pays better than his other jobs.

I think there have been about five or six different teams picking garbage since the job started mid-winter, but no one seems to last very long at that job. I only need my trash picked up on Saturday am, so I put my trash barrel down at the bottom of the hill so they won't have to drive up. But then they carry the barrel back up to the house because they have to give me a receipt. I am confused about tipping the garbage guys. At first they weren't supposed to take tips, I think, but maybe it's okay now.

Fruit stand at the La Penita
Thursday street market
Stopped at Aurora's on the way home. She is going to borrow some rolling suitcases from me for the Oaxaca trip. I am lucky, because my son, Erik, has been bringing me suitcases filled with really good stuff whenever he comes down. So I have enough suitcases to loan out. My suitcases have been more places than I have. Guadalajara, Mexico City, San Miguel, Guanajuato, etc etc.

Just as I was leaving Aurora's, her uncle Luis and his wife came driving up. They sell some kind of food, maybe tamales, or something, in the morning. House-to-house. They are very entrepenurial, and are always trying out some moneymaking scheme. This year at Easter they had nice shower and toilet facilities for rent (by the use) for the Mexican tourists in town. Well, any tourist, including me. But at that time of the year it's mostly Mexican tourists in Chacala. And they have a booth in front of the shower area for selling tee shirts and stuff. And I think maybe he, Luis, delivers water to the other cuestos, but I'm not sure about that.

They gave me a ride in the back of the truck, since they were headed up the paved road anyway. People think I am rich when they see the house I am staying in, but then I explain I am cleaning and watering and stuff like that for rent. Some people in Chacala still think I am rich though. I do feel rich here in Chacala, in terms of having a wonderful life.

These petroglyphs are only a few of the many located near Alta Vista, about 20 minutes from Chacala. They are very old, and there are explanatory signs in English and Spanish, with historical and religous information.
The petroglyphs are located in a small valley/stream bed at the start of the mountains to the east of the main highway. It is shady, cool, area and fairly easy walking. Alvaro, who lives in Chacala and speaks English and Spanish, is a special tour guide for going to Alta Vista, and also to visit Huitchol families. Look him up here if you are interested in a small guided tour.

Depending on the season, there may be small pools of water along the Petroglyph trail. This area is an amazing natural amphitheatre that I found a little frightening for some reason.

THIS WEBSITE called http://chacalabudgetrental.blogspot.com.
This is a "no charge" volunteer service.
No charge to the landlady and no charge to the renter.

Or for more information about Chacala, go to http://chacalanayarit.blogspot.com

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