I had decided in La Paz that it was time for an oil change for my Africa Twin..did I mention that I am thinking about calling her? I will hold off on that for awhile, as I seem to putting my foot in my mouth (figurativel) lately, so I will hold off on any official naming party. My first opportunity for a real Honda dealership was Peurto Vallarta. I thought that there would not be a problem, and finding the shop was relatively easy. I was at their doorstep bright and early Monday morning, only to discover that they could not handle a 1000 cc bike. I wondered about that, but it was probably more about not having a trained tech, so I looked around for Plan B. This Plan was to head for Tepic. It has been a long time since I had been in Tepic, and that adventure was accomplished from the floor of a very overcrowded chicken bus, over 40 years ago. Oh well, the ride there was great as I had elected to stay off the toll roads and take the more liberating and free (libre) roads. There was less traffic, in most cases, and the scenery was more rural, in my opinion. The ride from the coast up to Tepic was challenging, fun, and very worthwhile. The twisties through the hills and mountains were memorable, and I was glad of the Mexican habit of signing the serious corners effectively.
A very helpful TECEL person helped me to get my phone straightened out. Apparently the money that I had paid in Baja Sur for service was not any good over on the mainland. At least TECEL has lots of opportunities to manage the phone account, and the employees are helpful, as opposed to my very poor experience with AT&T. It is worth noting that I consider myself to be a digital immigrant, or maybe even a refugee. Everywhere I look, all sorts of folks are on their phones. Young kids and old guys are comfortably texting and googling away. I feel like a alien from the Planet land-line when it comes to knowing and understanding smart phones and their accounts. To compound the issues, I have a phone that I bought in Australia with a SIM card from lower Idaho. I will have to find some accommodating 10 year old to explain to me the intricacies of international telephony.
In the middle of the square, some enterprising and courageous artist had placed 100 women's shoes, painted red. They were place there to symbolize the large number of women murdered in Northern Mexico as a result of the drug trade.
The art piece is a visual protest against the violence towards women and children in all of the world.
The artist specifically mentions the murdered women in Juarez, where 33 were murdered. (I stand to be corrected on my poor Spanish translation.)
Not after heading out of Tepic, I headed on the libra highway is a somewhat southwesterly direction. I was looking for a particular Archaelogical site, which I never did find on this jaunt, but I did run into the so-called Los Toriles, or Ixtlan site. Fortunately, there was a "Ruinas" sign at the side of the road, and I was able to find the nearby site without difficulty. I had the whole area to myself, as it was just past mid-day, and hotter than I had wanted. Nevertheless, my photos will give you an idea of the extent of the ruins. I have also copied directly from Wikipedia a much better account of the region.
The archaeological ruins of “Los Toriles” are related to the Aztatlán tradition. Its buildings contain temples with stairs and worship places made of round stones jointed with clay, stone slabs and in some cases, with motif carved stones including spirals and a snake.
The Aztatlán tradition is chronologically located on a period from 700 BCE throughout 1520 CE, it is considered a western mesoamerican cultural event that shares cultural traits with the Toltec and received cultural influences from central highlands.
This rich tradition is manifested in their varied and beautiful complex ceramic and polished stone, obsidian, and jade, such as: arrowheads; human instruments, gods and animals. Metal work impacted the agricultural activity and environmental exploitation, manufactured utilitarian artifacts as well as ornamental and sumptuary objects.
Architecture reached its peak when ballgame courts appeared, their construction prompted the organizing of large well designed platforms, patios and squares with pyramids of certain elevations, walkways and paved roads, stairways, worship stone carvings, columns as roof support, roofs, posts, palm and grass, utilization of adobe walls and floors. The burial was common in large pots where skeletons lie in sitting or extended position, accompanied by offerings primarily made of pottery.
The " Aztatlán Tradition " flourished in the south of the State with the cultural development of Ixtlán de Río, on a period from around 750 BCE to 1110 CE, recognized as the Mid-Ixtlán period. Its early phase corresponds to the period that goes from 300 BCE to 600 CE.
From the "Aztatlán Tradition" the Shaft Tombs are highlighted, and it is noted that the discovery of Smoking pipes vestiges in Amapa imply that tobacco was farmed, there are also samples that demonstrate the use of metals, form manufacturing needles and fish hooks, also bricks for construction evidence was found.
In more recent times, within the "Aztatlán tradition", the now called Sentispac town, formerly known as Tzenticpac or Centicpac, was the seat of the lordship of the same name, which extended to Omitlán, Itzcuintla, Cillan and Atecomatlán and was occupied by Totorames native groups, who dominated and receiving tributes from Coras and Zayahuecos settled in the same coastal region.
Can you feel the heat of the day?
The Federal Archaeological Department had a good description of the site, in a number of different languages, which I appreciated.
I very much appreciated the time and effort put into restoring these sites. I could feel the history as I walked about, and could imagine some of the vibrancy of the area, long before the Spanish arrived.
When the light was better in the early afternoon, I could see that some of the rocks contained petroglyphs, which was very interesting to me.
According to Wikipedia, this site was a major source of obsidian. Sure enough, at the entry gate, there was a huge chunk of black, shiny obsidian. I am sure that some folks would have mistaken it for a lump of coal, but the sharp edges and the hardness evoked a sense of farther back in geological time.
After this visit, I continued my ride south and west. The libre road was narrow and winding for the most part, and overall a great motorcycle ride. Periodically, the road would pass by the construction of the new bridges being built to overcome the huge canyons which typically make road building so difficult and expensive. The supports for the bridges being built were incredibly tall and super-sized. I was really impressed with the technology and engineering skills involved with improving the highway to the coast.
Well, I eventually did bump into the Pacific again, so I knew that I at least still had my "Never Eat Soggy Wieners" rule worked out..