November 30, 2009
Maria Elena Ayala Gallegos
So I’m packed, hauling my load to the elevator to pack the bike and head off to breakfast…and a woman comes up the stairs.
She invites me to breakfast, and hey! Why not!
Shes friends with the receptionist, and stopped in to say hello. She saw my bike in the lobby and asked about it, since she used to ride, and when she finds out it belongs to a foreign woman, traveling alone, she’s compelled up the stairs as if by fate to meet me. Good thing for me!
I pack up the bike and follow her, all suited up, about 5 blocks to a place for breakfast. We talk, all in Spanish of course, and I find out that Maria Elena is a renegade. In this Mexican, very Catholic, conservative culture that invented machismo, she has chosen not to marry, chosen to have a career (she’s a lawyer), chosen to have a child, chosen to live in a different completely different than most ‘normal’ Mexicans, chosen to live outside the box. I like her a lot!
We cannot stop yakking, and walking back to the hotel Maria Elena tells me that if I stay another day she’ll show me the countryside.
Back at the hotel, I pay for another day, haul my stuff back up to the same room, change back into street clothes, and with camera-around neck skip back down the stairs…
First she brings me outside of town to view some rock formations, la pareja en las montañas, the couple in the mountains.
Next stop, the mining town of Santa Barbara
The mining museum
And she buys me some local sweets.
Then we wind through some crazy lopsided very steep city streets
trying to find her friend that she’s sure woul LOVE to meet me…
We don’t find her, but we meet the Saint herself
Next we drive over to San Francisco del Oro, Chihuahua, and she is proud to tell me that she used to ride her motorcycle over here for a rest
Cable cars haul the ore down from the mountain to the processing plant
Back in the car, we ride over to Valle de Allende where she has a friend that runs a lunch place, Charlie’s restaurant.
Always nice t know the owners, I get a sample plate of everything that’s up for lunch, plus a piece of fresh fish, and I am well fed.
Have you ever seen a fruit such as this?
I forget the name, in English OR Spanish, and I forgot to write it down.
They take me to the jardin, where they show me the trees they grow on, never have I seen such a fruit in all my northern-New-England years…
here’s the lovely owner and chef at Charlies
we walk to the town plaza and I take lots of pics
And Maria asks a local if there is a place to stay in this town (I’m thinking ahead to when I come to Mexico with Edward–Parral is nice but a mite too big for my taste…)
Anyway, this fellow insists that I take his picture
Then insists that he walk us down the street to a place that rents rooms.
Turns out that Pancho Villa once stayed in these rooms, and while they are falling apart from neglect and moldy, the dueña wants 400 pesos/night to stay there. YOWTCH!
we walk back to the car and Maria needs to pick up her daughter…So we go and I get to meet Sandra, and then Maria Elana want to show me her house, so we go back to her house, she feeds all her animals, offers me more foods, nuts, fruits, yikes, and I beg to go bck tot he hotel. She’s worn me out!
We say our goodbyes at the hotel, it’s been a great day.
She invited me to breakfast again, but I beg off telling her I want to start early and get some miles under my belt, but that I will call her in the morning before leaving.