Viajera Soltera ~ Solo Traveler Álamos Adventure

28 04 2013

The traveler sees what he sees.

The tourist sees what he has come to see.
G.K. Chesterton

P1270978

For me, the ideal time to experience Mexican tourist areas is in Low Season….April and May are my favorites. Most Snow Birds have returned home, shopkeepers are elated at the possibility of a customer, and the temperature has not yet reached sizzling.

When traveling by bus in Mexico, it pays to be vieja. Well. Not that I ever plan on being “old,” but my official age does qualify, and I’m certainly not too proud to request the Old Person discount (no special card necessary, just proof of age). With it, my six-hour bus trip costs only 95 pesos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Buses in Mexico create their own Adventure – comfortable although frigid and usually showing American movies with Spanish voices dubbed over — gotta love Sylvester Stallone brandishing a knife and barking orders in high-pitched Spanish. Vendors hop aboard for a short stint to offer tamales, dulces, and fruits. On this particular trip, the special treat was a sweet quesadilla stuffed with pineapple.

I’m phasing into traveling Very Light, adding yet another interesting aspect to my trips – living out of a backpack in which my computer, two phones, iPod, Kindle, camera and various power necessities take the majority of space. (Note to self: Purchase larger backpack. Smaller computer. Fewer electronics? Nah.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Upon arriving in Álamos, Sonora – designated a Pueblo Mágico by Mexico — I spotted a vine-covered posada for $500 pesos/night —  including almost-good morning coffee on an almost-private patio overlooking The Square – thus providing a vantage point from which to witness the town awakening in the morning and, with a glass of vino tinto, observe nighttime activities.

Posada de Don Andrès is an ideal location — night-time perhaps not quite so perfect with the questionably-talented yet enthusiastic musician at the otherwise deserted Cantina across the street till nearly 2:00 and the Singing Truck announcing something obviously important at 7:00 am sharp…. Proprietor Jorge cautioned me that a farther-back room might be more tranquila/peaceful. I prefer the heart of activity.

Hence, I sip coffee, check emails, and watch the community come to life from my wrought-ironed, bougainvillea-adorned patio. On The Square, white-hat vaqueros lean on their camionetas, taco carts roll in, tenderos unlock doors and toss buckets water onto the street….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Álamos , a beautiful specimen of Mexico’s Colonial period, is known as “La Ciudad de los Portales” (portales — roofed verandas or walkways).  After reserving my room, I walk up Callejon de Besos, (kissing alley) to the Tourist Center in the Plaza de Armas for a bit of local history and to arrange excursions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My touring chariot is an ancient Jeep which includes Ligo — an attractive guide about my age whose somewhat-English meshes nicely with my somewhat-MexSpanglish — as well as a creative paintjob highlighting marvels of the area. And.  !?just when I thought life couldn’t possibly get better?!  An Ooompahpah Ooompahpah horn which also bugles out animal imitations, cocks crowing, and tacky tunes.   I LOVE IT!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Access to the once-active mine, Libertad de la Quintera, requires four-wheel drive. Dodging cacti, tumbleweeds and lizards we wend our way up. Ligo, flashlight in hand, motions for me to get out and follow. He crouches and descends into an intimidating hole. Alice in Wonderland?

I have a momentary lapse into Common Sense: Who is this guy? A deserted mineshaft?! in the wastelands of Mexico?! What the hell am I doing?!

Good judgment, however, seldom creates Interesting Experiences.

I dutifully follow into the bowels of the earth, winding through tunnels, peering into holes where lamp light disappears to nothing, dodging startled bats that circle our heads before returning to rest on inverted roosts.

I ask Ligo to turn off the lamp. Complete. Total. Black.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We proceed to La Aduana with its sweet little church, circa 1538. Adobe homes. Abundant flowers. Friendly people. I couldn’t resist purchasing two hand-made pillows, orange marmalade, honey and seriously-hot salsas. I visualize myself: Boarding the bus juggling plastic bags and string-wrapped parcels in addition to said back-pack – a striking image as an authentic Mexicana. (Yeah. Right.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Friday evening. Town Square dutifully rolls up the streets for a while – then around 9:00, the area livens up. Apparently, anyone owning a “peeck-up truck” has it equipped with an external boom box and  hopped-up amplifiers. Singing Truck circles the area blaring songs from the 50s while announcing disco (Yes. Somewhat of a disconnect.).  The public bus arrives with screaming brakes. As this cacophony dies down the local cantina gears up. Ahhhh —  fin de semana – the week-end. Eventually — around 3:00 am – silence.

Saturday morning. On the bright side: An opportunity to actually use my newly acquired Mexspanglish idioms.

!!!???Que carajos???!!!                !!!???What the hell???!!!

 I was mentally prepared for cantina activities and weekend-revelers. All part of the “Mexican Experience.” However. At 6:00 am. Sharp. What would be the one thing a sleepy traveler might least anticipate? Re-roofing the hotel. Above my bed.  ?Porque no? ?Why not?

 At least Jorge had hot coffee waiting on the patio.

Sigh.  Nothing quite like a Mexican tourist town in Low Season….

P1270922“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”                ~  Mary Anne Radmacher ~

Note:    Pueblo Mágico

Álamos was named a Pueblo Mágico in 2005 — a designation given by the Mexican Secretariat of Tourism to towns that offer a ‘magical’ experience by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches and historical relevance.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

14 responses

28 04 2013
Peter Pope Jones

Really SUPER! Your photos make it delightful, and you capture the people, love the tuck, Itsa You Baby!

Like

29 04 2013
sheila Bell

Good for you!!! Sounds GREAT.
Go Mary Go!!!!

Like

30 04 2013
Charlie

Great experience, great pictures but who would expect less

Like

30 04 2013
Mary Jordan

Mil gracias, mis amigos!

Like

30 04 2013
fieldmousestudio

Hi Mary! This is wonderful! Love the bats….
Mary Charles

Like

30 04 2013
Jessica Dover

¡Me encanta leer sobre tus extraordinarias aventuras! Cada vez que leo una entrada termino con ganas de repentinamente dejar mi vida aquí y vivir como tú, sin mirar atrás:)

Like

1 05 2013
Patricia Jordan

Love it sounds inviting local insures always intrigue me

Like

13 05 2013
laura

let me always forgo good judgement for good experiences!

Like

31 07 2013
KC

Hi,

My name is KC Owens; I’m a college student who loves to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. Personally, I think traveling is a necessary part of life as you’re exposed to all sorts of new cultures and experiences. While enjoying time abroad, I’ve found it’s crucial to fully understand the dangers that you might encounter along the way. These mishaps are part of life and certainly part of travel but it’s always a great idea to take preventive measures to help ensure your safety while abroad.

I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my travel safety tips with your readers? I put a lot of time and passion into my traveling and I would love to help others by offering safety advice as a result of the mistakes and triumphs I’ve had. I look forward to hearing from you!

Best,

KC Owens

Like

11 08 2013
Elisabeth Noens (Williams)

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences. I admire your courage to just hop on a bus and do it! How much spanish do you speak??? Is it possible for someone who has very little spanish???

Like

11 08 2013
Mary Jordan

Thanks for the kind words, Elisabeth — My Spanish (sadly) sucks!! Yes. It is possible to do all this with very little knowledge of the language. One reason I have done these trips is to force myself into immersion without the comfort of other expats — however, it seems most Mexicans want to practice their English, as well. It’s a great experience — traveling alone. Perhaps, my greatest challenge with the language was in the Copper Canyon area, as the Tarahumara Indians there have completely different accents than I am accustomed to hearing….

Like

18 11 2014
Robert Butchike

Robert Butchike

Viajera Soltera ~ Solo Traveler Álamos Adventure | ¡La Vida Es Rica! ~ Life is Delicious!

Like

28 11 2014
.VBidwEunDfM

.VBidwEunDfM

Viajera Soltera ~ Solo Traveler Álamos Adventure | ¡La Vida Es Rica! ~ Life is Delicious!

Like

28 11 2014
.

.

Viajera Soltera ~ Solo Traveler Álamos Adventure | ¡La Vida Es Rica! ~ Life is Delicious!

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: