Saturday, 31 December 2016

Tepoztlan, Mexico – Days 102 to 108

The nativity scene almost opposite our bedroom window

Happy New Year, well nearly, it's actually twelve hours off here, but by the time this is posted......

We are sitting on a sofa each, surrounded by sleeping dogs, life moves at such a pace we don't know if we can keep up. Until a horse goes past, when particularly Luna runs out going mental. More horses than you would think go past!

Christmas dinner was a great success, though I do say so myself. Chicken from the 'chicken man' who we pass on our daily walk so fresh that he'd run out on Friday so we had to wait for the new culling on Saturday! He's lovely, and has a few words of English we have discovered. The other man we pass, just before him, who just seems to spend every day sitting on the doorstep is also very friendly. We do have to go down without the dogs at some point soon to go and meet the new puppies his dog has had. He has no English. Despite this they both invited us to the street party that was held on the 28th.

Christmas dinner in the garden at 3:00pm
We thought we'd go and have a look, though explaining to the dogs that yes, we were going out at 21.00, was quite a challenge. They obviously didn't approve! There was a small stage set up which we arrived at the back of, so had to squeeze past, good, that means the noise, sorry music, will be directed away from the house! Bang on 21.00, much to our surprise, the music started, very loudly! We were all issued with polystyrene cups with hot pineapple punch and then basket after basket of snacks came out and were passed around. Was it rude for us to take? Or rude for us to refuse? I took, he refused! We had a bit of a dance (well shuffle, it was that or completely frenetic) were greeted by the chicken man, looking resplendent in black suit and hat, and green shoes, who was thrilled to see us, and ran away. We'd managed an hour and a half and lost half our hearing, which perhaps made sleeping easier!

Dinner, before gravy was applied before you ask
The dinner and wine were good!
Our first little bit of street party, was the opening of the nativity just opposite the house, which is very cute, but seemed to be appreciated best with lots of firecrackers, you know, the ones we don't have anymore that you light and then throw at people so they scream! I mentioned to Louise that we quite liked the nativity which made her laugh, firstly because it was only taken down about three months ago, and secondly because last year it obviously wasn't silent, as it is this year, this was her email: "Oh good, I'm glad you think it's cute!! I sent a video to my parents of them doing it and they were absolutely horrified and are convinced that no housesitters would be able to endure 'that awful noise'! The dogs seem to really enjoy it though!! I find it funny most of the time but if it's at night/when I'm in the middle of work/it goes on for longer than a few minutes then it's less amusing! And I do worry that it might bother housesitters so I'm glad you're ok with their 'choir'!! " So what we are 'missing out on' I dread to think!

A bit blurred, but this was the street party in full swing
Its a hard life, but with good company!
Although I am loving the chance to cook, we have in our three weeks had three meals out, the first one on our first night, followed a week later by a shared T-bone steak which came with a bottle of wine, for £12.00 and was absolutely delicious. Last week was a trip to the vegetarian Hari Krishna restaurant as Louise described it. The closest we are going to get to Indian here, which although being very enjoyable, wasn't very Indian! Tonight we are staying in, it not being a popular night to go out, and have finally finished the chicken, so we have a fish to be roasted whole and served with pico de gallo and new potatoes. This, as Christmas dinner was, will be followed with Apple crumble and proper custard, cream and egg yolks, no calories there then which also means we have to have meringues to use up the egg whites, more sugar and whipped cream! In conjunction with the shortbread he has made for afternoon tea, we are going to be the size of houses!

Our blunder through the woods
We have been for a blunder through the woods looking for the mirador on the summit of the hills to the left of the pyramid. We failed, we found the path to the pyramid which was absolutely heaving, so I refused to go up it. Interesting little walk nonetheless. We were going to try again today, but apart from needing to buy the fish, we also had to go to the ferreteria (hardware store). Suddenly realised as I was washing up last night (yes, I do wash up, despite his claims) that water was jetting out backwards from the bottom of the tap! On closer examination, it has obviously been on it's way out for a while as the screw fitting was broken, and we've seen no bits. So with the tap 'pipe' in his pocket we headed into town, the homeowner was sympathetic on the phone last night, but won't be here till next weekend, so we thought we'd be a bit proactive. Amazingly, for £3, the same as we paid for our fish, we got exactly the same pipe and fitting, which took him about a second to fit! We then tried to go to the convent which we visited yesterday, amazingly with no photographic media, think he must have been ill. So wanted to get a few pictures, but we were too early, so they will be to follow!

A bit overgrown in places
The only real 'excitement' we've had was capturing the scorpion. I know he wasn't actually doing us any harm, but he did wander about at night, just waiting to be stepped on which freaked both of us out a bit, when I read that 1000 people a year in Mexico die of scorpion sting, and no sting is painless! So it's nearly midnight we've had a glass of wine, and we've got a scorpion on a card covered by a plastic pot! What next? Ask our helpful Facebook friends and deal with it in the morning obviously! So it spent the night on the outside table, under a plastic pot, with a saucepan over it, with a brick on top. Just in case! The Facebook thread made entertaining reading, never have we received so many comments to a post, they ranged from "burn it with fire" "take it to the vets" "drown it in tequila" to the most popular of deep fry it! I had to explain that I could see no place for fried scorpion with our traditional Mexican Boxing Day meal of cold chicken, cauliflower cheese and jacket potato! In the end, dressed in thick gloves, jacket, socks and shoes, (Brian not the scorpion) a knife was slipped under the pot, it was pinned down and a brick firmly applied. Sorry Louise. All over very quickly and easily!
With occasional good views
We did get a nice panorama after scrambling up some rocks however
The tale of the scorpion. It's up there in the top corner of the bathroom, just coming out of it's home in the crack...
Here's a close-up. We'd seen it there for almost a week, one night Jackie finding it down on the window shelf
Then, on Christmas night, there it was, in the middle of the wall...
So I slapped a plastic container over it, slid a piece of card under and we'd caught it. Now what do we do?
So, next day I put it all on the patio, slid the card out....
Slid a knife under, pinned it down, removed the plastic container and......
Glad it was pinned down!
This was Christmas night outside our bedroom window, loud music, firecrackers and lots of laughing
The church by us all lit up
Returning from a dog walk, outside the house
Street art near to the house. The small rectangle under the people figures is below...
It says that it was only painted on 2nd December 2016
Best photo so far of the hummingbird that visits the garden. Just as I took the photo it decided it had had enough of the flowers and was just flying off at high speed. Just managed to catch it
The entrance gate to the big church in the centre of town, built in 1580
The church from the corner of the grounds
Inside the main church. The nunnery was closed, so hopefully will get photos later as it was fabulous when we visited yesterday without camera
And then we visited the fish stall in the market to buy fish for tonights (NYE) dinner. Sadly not the one he is holding though, that weighed 9kg. We had one of the smaller ones on the right
She didn't mention my iced coffees. Just a hint of sugar and cream in that (not!). Fabulous!
So its Happy New Year from the dogs.....
And even though she's the smallest, Maty


  1. What great pictures! I love the church. Keep up the good work bloggers! X

  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR. We have been trying to scan and send you your Diwan calendar, but the printer is being an arse and refusing to play. Once it does we will send you Jay's present in instalments! Xxx