Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday in San Blas Nayarit


Only 30 or 40 kilometers off the main highway between Mazatlan and Tepic is a little bit of heaven, in my opinion.  As I have mentioned in a number of different stories, I have visited San Blas at three different times and stages in my life.  Without a doubt, this time around is providing lots of food for thought, reminiscence, and a juggling of the memory tapes even moreso.




 I was up at the crack of 7:00 AM.  The village dogs and I patrolled el centro,  and very soon the shops began to open.  It was interesting how the dogs got themselves organized in the early morning, before the garbage trucks were picking up the nights' remains, and before the shopkeepers were out to monitor the refuse.  The dogs were jaunty, and meaning business: organized into little packs and knowing their routes to find some food.

The church, and the missing clock, were maginificent in the morning sun.  This church is relatively new, whereas the older one is significantly older.

 Early morning streets of San Blas, before the sun opens up...

 Hundreds of doves around the hotel, cooing away and making love songs to each other...
 Spanish cannon in the courtyard of the hotel...

 Most of the bikes in town are 125 cc, and apparently made in Mexico


 Pobre Perro, looking for anything to eat...good luck doggie.



Tough guy, another Alaskan Malmute to add to my stories...

 I was sitting in the square and talked to two fellows who are friends of William (AA members) and they were soliciting funds for a recovery center.  A world-wide organization that saved my life...


Psyhedelic mushrooms, anybody??



I have seen infants riding motos, so the fact that this nino has a helmet is a bonus, I guess...

 My turf, my garbage, take off eh??
 Un moto: 1400 cc made in Mexico




 You again???



ToughMiles.com role into the hotel, glad of a swimming pool...



One of the most significant features of San Blas is the Spanish Fort, which is about 2 miles out of town.  I remember visiting it in the 70's, and I wanted to return and see it again.  I really lucked out, in that I met a school teacher, historian, and excellent English Speaker who filled me in on the real goods for over 2 hours.  This gentleman had also been a deep sea fisherman, and was familiar with the water from Washington to Alaska.

We got talking about Tahsis, Friendly Cove, Yuquot, Port Alberni, and the Quadra/Vancouver convention.  It was really interesting and fulfilling to meet someone who had such a passion for history,as well as a deep knowldege of the history from the San Blas end.  We talked about chief Maquinna, and the various results of the peace between the English and the Spanish.

He was very informed about the significance of San Blas in terms of Mexican history, and he explained how the people of San Blas were the  last ot hold out against the Yanquis during the war with the States.  We talked about the Huichole Indians, who also happen to be my faviourite Mexican indios.    The fort is at least 200 feet about the plain of San Blas.  What an ordinary person would assume is that the for was built on a natural hill or mountain, but the truth is, according to our school teacher, was that the fort was built upon a man made pyramid.  He explained that there were tunnels that had been sealed, and that he hoped someday to be able to get a grant to excavate them properly in an archeological manner.

The fort itself is massive, with 4 foot walls and a massive structure to it.  At one time, this fort was the center of the western universe, from Terra Del Fuego to Alaska. I have alway marvelled that  mariners left these ports in the early 1600's and headed north to California and futher, looking for converts and gold, not necessarily in that order.  This fort has a direct link to Friendly Cove, and I was very grateful to have run across this gentleman.  I promised him that when I get back to Canada, I will get a good photo of Fort San Miquel, the remains of which are standing  due east of the present Friendly Cove lighthouse.

The original community of San Blas was built around the fort, to the backside.  The remains of the church for the community still stand.  Again, a massive structure.  My contact speculated that both the church and the fort were build by Indian labour, and that there is a strong possibility in his opinion that the builders of the Church and the fort were from Lima, Peru.  The Spaniards, but the time the fort was build, had established themselves in Chile, and they were working their way northward with their ships, and with their native labourers...











An English pistol, and a Spanish pistol



The San Blas Battalion has special battle honours for their resistance and fight to the end...
 This fellow was the first Spaniard to land on Vancouver Island...Navarez??
 Somehow, a Japanese samuri sword ended up in San Blas.  Apparently there was also a very large Chinese population a few hundred years ago, and that bloodline has now been integrated into the local mix.  The Spanish were in the Philippines of course, and apparently they would need the northerly current and winds passing by China and Japan in order to make North America.




I have seen very similar petroglyphs in the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia...




 The fort is at least 150 above the town.  The amount of man hours to build the pyramid would be mind boggling.  The island in the distance is sacred to the Huicholes, and one of their ancestoral chiefs is buried there...




I had to visit the beach and see what was happening there.  True to pattern, I ran into a bunch of charter guys drinking beer.  Hey amigo, how fast does the moto go, and how much did it cost???Come have a beer with us....Do you know Walter from Vancouver.???  LIke I said: too many boats, too few touristas.  Had a decent conversation, and the guys were all happy go lucky for their Sunday afternoon pissup....




 These were the islands that I got to when I decided to eat some peyote, 40 something years ago.  I think that they were across from the playa, but who really knows???


Marine patrol, I think...




Blondie back at the hotel, naked for her ride to the fort over some dicey cobblestone roads...


The only wifi I could find is in a ex pat bar across from the hotel. I have already listed to one domestic and heard the story of a misspent life, so some things never change.


In case of snow..

 Seems like the locals are leaving their reading here after they are done and done....


The current plan is to ride inland, towards Guadalajara and move into the mountains.  I am guessing that the road along the coast is going to be hot and humid, and it may be time to get some altitude.