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Published: February 14th 2020
Okay folks week four and we are now in Yucatan in the colonial city of Merida. But back to last week and Santa Maria del Oro ( SAMAO)or Laguna Santa Maria del Oro to be precise. We drove from Guadalajara airport and it was raining and the road through the city was rubbish. We realised on Tuesday evening that we had lost a hubcap and dinked the tyre rim. We had popped into to see a lovely lady called Isabel who was landlady to our friend Michael.
Next morning we went up to SAMAO to talk to Jose in the garage, he said we would have to buy 4 VW hubcaps at megabucks. We also dropped our laundry and originally she said it couldn't be done till Friday or Saturday but then relented! SAMAO now has a coffee shop, although no espresso so we chilled with a cappuccino. We did some shopping for Uwe and Marlene and their Canadian neighbour Ben came over mid afternoon for wine! He is still very active despite his 91 years, he spends winter in his airstream trailer in SAMAO and summer back in Canada near Ottawa.
Thursday we wandered along the lake before
breakfast, so much has changed, access to the lake is so restricted, eight years ago we used to enjoy lakeside walks with the dogs. I walked a couple of times with Marlena and Sophia and Paloma. The dogs were previously owned by Engel the old gardener who we kept an eye on with medication, dog food and the occasional half chicken from town. Sadly he has passed away. Much of the first part of the road around the lake is dug up as finally a sewage system is being put in. We had a delicious lunch at the restaurant at Koala Bungalows where they live. I had a tuna steak cooked to perfection and dessert was a traditional Mexican bread pudding, Capirotada.
In the evening went up to town , there are 60 odd curves on the road, with clean laundry to collect and to meet up with our American friend Michael. It was great to see him and he had moved into a place of his own, a huge place over two floors with 2 large rooms on each floor a bathroom, kitchen and upstairs toilet. The balcony look onto the street at the front and the terrace
at the back onto the garden. To use his words he is “gradually fixing it up". We went and joined Isabel for coffee and saw her husband Mario who now is the proud owner of his own taxi, he previously was a collectivo driver.
Friday we picked Michael up to go to Tepic, the big city. It was good to be able to help by giving him a lift. Our trip was a bit of nostalgia, although we did have a fabulous vegetarian breakfast buffet in a place called Girasol, sunflower. We went to the VW garage and got a new hubcap , it was £50 but better than being at the mercy of the car hire people. We had a short shopping list for the “Germans" back at the lake and bought some beer and wine for the BBQ later. We also got some Baileys and rioja as gifts for when we left. Friday evening was an Uwe special a BBQ, I joked with him when we arrived about whether he had joined the trend to become a vegan!! He loves meat and had four huge thick steaks and some sirloin. I had bought some salmon too. So
with Ben over for the night we had a great time, the food was delicious and plenty of tzatziki which became a bit of a joke of our stay. It was delicious but Marlena slightly over catered.
Saturday we had a day trip to a lovely Mexican town called Compostela, with a gorgeous traditional square and great church. Tourists were not the norm and I think people were a bit puzzled by why we were there. We ate in the food court in the market and had tortas, like a big toasted bread bun, with various fillings. It was good Mexican street food and not inflated prices.
Sunday Chris and Uwe replaced the tarpaulin covering on the shade for the car, not a difficult job but easier with two people. We went up to SAMAO in search of some people we knew who might have been at mass only to find we were outside the wrong church. We went to look for Chulie at her house but she was not in and we went to her lakeside place and no sign there either .
Monday was our last day and we had a trio up to the market and finally we struck lucky, we spotted Jose who's son used to practise English with Chris and young Jose is now 22 and luckily was back home so they caught up. I eventually found Chulie and she runs a beautiful hospedaje in town with 5 gorgeous rooms. She chastised me for it getting in touch sooner and she was right I should have. We had some lovely times together. We also met Michael in the market and were able to wish him well. We went to Catalina's for lunch, eating on the deck looking our on to the lake, and then Uwe drove us round the lake to show us how much it has changed. Loads more houses and insufficient infrastructure, terrible roads and only a sewage system for part of the lake. In the evening we went next door to see Ben for farewell drinks and a fire and to watch the moon rise over the mountains. A magical end to a wonderful week. Uwe and Marlene are a fabulous couple with hearts as big as frying pans and we had a great week. We laughed loads, took the piss out of each other and here is a great example .One evening Chris said “Is Ben going to assist us?” but in his northern accent all of the words ran together and eventually Uwe decided he would give Chris English pronunciation classes, us not uzzz. Chris response was huh a bloody German correcting my English. Great times. We hope they will come to Spain soon.
Tuesday we said our goodbyes , drove to Guadalajara airport and flew to Merida and are now in a lovely hotel with swimming pool, spotlessly clean and nice staff. But boy the heat !
More of that next time
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