One's destination is never a place,
But a new way of seeing things.
|Burros showing us the way...|
The driver indicated we should be heading right but instinct told us to go left. We followed this beautiful cobblestone road to a small cemetery (pantheon) near where we found some shade to eat our lunch before entering town.
|Casa de Colores - Our delightful hosts|
|Hiding well behind vegetation|
|Another colorful place|
Copala, as many small touristic towns, has been hit hard by the slowing of tourism. Many people fear the Mexican drug influence on crime and stay away from here – from major cruise ships to cruisers, RV’ers and weekend travelers. It is sad as we have yet to see any evidence of such crime since we have been in Mexico for 3 months. Cruise lines alone used to bring around ½ million people to Mazatlán and beyond per year; that number is now about a tenth of that (50 - 60,000).
|Near entrance of the mine|
There used to be another restaurant and hotel but they are now closed and quickly suffering from disrepair. Tropical weather, high concentration of small critters, and poor construction quality quicken deterioration of structures when they are no longer in use. Vandalism adds to that but we haven’t seen much of it. In such a small town, it is fairly easy to know who does what so crime is quite minimal.
Locals are friendly and the ‘gringos’ who call Copala their home give a lot to the town by employing kids to do small chores, hiring adults to help with cleaning, landscaping, or construction, giving kids needed clothes and shoes, sponsoring kids to stay in school, eating locally, promoting the town to their friends and relatives to visit, etc.
|Notice weeds growing up by the cross!|
|Watch for that 'covered' hole in the floor|
|Chaplin like figure above main church entrance|
An interesting critter is located above the main entry door. It is parallel to the ground, looking down at the ground. It has what looks like a Charlie Chaplin hat. No one I asked could help explain this curious creature. The steeple is full of weeds and is cleaned once a year by the locals. The bells are rung via ropes hanging outside the church. Unfortunately, these are sometimes stolen and have to be replaced regularly.
|Hura Crepitans also called Devil’s tree|
|Open (exploded) seed pods|
In June, the heavy rains start and flood everything around town. You will notice high above ground doorways with many steps. Houses are built where the torrents don’t seem to flow. Cobblestone streets are the best way for the quick water rushes to flow through with minimal damage.
Around the hills, are milpas (small fields) where the locals grow their corn for the year. They usually plant these just before the rains start then let Mother Nature do the rest. Unfortunately, last year’s precipitations were about 1/5 of normal so for this area, things are dry and crops didn’t do well.
|Pottery inserted in wall for plants|
|State of the art municipal Mexican water distribution system waiting for someone to drive on it...|