Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Colima Visit and More

Our computer has been rebirthed over the last few days - thus taking posting potential away. But now I'm back, and taking you off on a driving day in Mexico.

We leave Manzanillo en route to the capitol, Colima. Our route is via the back road, to see how the rural people really live. We pass salt flats that have been turned into salt factories and numerous fruit/vegetable stands. The sunny warm day turns hot once we get to the big city. We ponder why there are so many local people, including children, out on a week day. Only to discover it is the Governor's birthday and it's a holiday. We tour the Governor's home, savoring this stairway mural and then, take a break in a local park to sketch. I loved the ole' Mexican men, gathered there just to hang out, undoubtedly while women and children are involved in activities or making a big dinner.

I'd been told about a terrific place called "Hildago's Hacienda" and we hunted avidly to track down what it was and where it was. Ahhhhhhh - north and west of town, near the volcanoes and Comala. Have you ever tried getting directions from people who speak a different language than yourself. It was hilarious and we 'toured' many parts of the capitol that day.

En route we did drive past one of the famous "Dancing Dogs" statues, standing 18 feet tall in the center of a roadway "round-a-bout" (a legendary funerary vessel of the area) and on - to the Hildago Hacienda. Unfortunately, we arrived late in the afternoon and all of the facilities closed at 3:30. But we did get to experience partially, this man who was before his time. A universal artist, Rangel Hildago, studied and taught furniture design and painting as well as supported ecology and native plants. Behind the hacienda was an extensive layout of plants including groupings of coffee plants, orchids,
succulents, cacti, bamboo, and turtles. The 5-acre or so space is now a part of the Universidad De Colima ( and educates students. We missed the museum and the garden as well as the cafe - but WOW - what and amazing man and what a fantastic legacy!

But the day was still young and we'd heard tale that the small town of Comala was having a festival for local coffee and baked goods. We loved this smaller, more quaint and authentic village. And the festival ended up being not just a 'coffee & pastries' festival but, a week long "Holy Week" celebration! The square was decorated, ready for the evening live music and dance, along with vendors selling children's' toys, balloons, clothing, crafts, furniture and food (yes, the coffee WAS delicious and we brought some home) and the pastries were fascinating and delicious too!

Twas' way past lunch, so I suggested
we just sit at a covered patio cafe on the square and get some appetizers. The promenade was busy, noisy (traveling musicians) and entertaining. Once we'd ordered our appetizers, we couldn't figure out why more, and more food just kept coming. Seems it's part of the festivities for Holy Week. What a pleasant surprise! We laughed and languished as the afternoon moved toward night. Finally we decided to take the large freeway back to Manzanillo, arriving late and ready to head to bed. Twas' a fun packed full day etching many memories in our tired brains.

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