Mexico 56, 9th July 2004

The hot showers didn't appear in the morning. I had a few promises from the caretaker that he would light the boiler, finally I actually watched him light the boiler. After 30 minutes still not hot water. I checked the boiler, it was not alight. So I tried to light it myself, it kept going out. I shifted to the boiler for the ladies showers. Success! 30 minutes later I had my shower! Meanwhile I had been taking short walks, making friends with the puppies, doing a bit of maintenance on the van such as carpet cleaning and vacuuming, similar sort of maintenance on the computer, and taking a leisurely lunch at the viewpoint.

Lucas and Lucy had gone off to climb the volcano, 12 km hike, I did not even consider joining them. But we met up later and had another pleasant evening.

It's rather a long hike to the bus stop from the tourist centre so I gave them both a lift into Uruapan in the morning after regulation photo. The volcano is in the background.

They decided to go to the supermarket where I was heading - I bought a new frying pan, 40 pesos - then dropped them off at the bus station.

I spotted another computer repair shop and stopped by. Must be 5 or 6 I have called at now, generally they say, we can't do laptops. Normally when you open a laptop the lid, which is the screen, stays where you put it. For 6 months now mine has been floppy I have had to more or less prop it near the vertical to use it, I have been worried it would fall back and break the screen. Anyway this guy starts gently probing with a small screwdriver and finally clips out a small faceplate which eventually allows access to the hinges. The two screws holding the hinge were totally unscrewed, the threads had gone in one, no problem, in a couple of seconds he was back with a slightly larger screw. The lid is much tighter now but he is not satisfied. He takes the other hinge cover off and tightens the screws. I am thinking "perfect" but he now starts dismantling the surround to the screen. Sure enough, there are two more screws on each hinge. All were loose. With these tightened the screen positioning really is perfect.

50 pesos he says. I was so relieved at getting it fixed I gave him 100 pesos ($10, or 5). Bit over the top I thought afterwards but it didn't exactly break the bank.

Next stop was waterfalls. 40 minutes to walk down says one guide book, lots longer on the way back. Nice waterfalls just south of Uruapan.

I took this photo from the same spot as the last, just swung around to the right. The water is just pouring right out of the rocks.

There was a complete rainbow, look the end is just this side of those hills, now where's that crock of gold?

I noticed it was already 7.30 pm so stopped by the plaza in the next town. Is it OK to park there I asked a policeman who was sitting on the steps of the town hall. Without drawing breath, no problem he says.

Next morning I walked around the town centre, spotted the post office, and posted a letter. I asked for more 10 peso stamps. He offered 8.5 peso stamps. These will be OK he says. I must have looked doubtful because he now came up with an offer of two 6 peso stamps. He seemed to think that was near enough too. Turns out he doesn't have 10 peso stamps or even 5 peso stamps. I've said before, I don't think they send many letters in Mexico. Come to think of it, I don't recollect ever seeing a post box.

I turned off the tourist route and headed west, still in the general direction of the coast. Lots of green fields, crops growing everywhere, even I noticed tractor repair shops. I've hardly seen tractors anywhere else never mind special repair shops for them.

I saw a doctors sign in Buenavista and called in. I take a daily tablet for a minor prostrate problem, I'd brought a good supply but am getting low, and haven't been able to find the same tablets here. I bought some the pharmacy told me were equivalent but I was not sure, the drug name was different. He told me yes they were OK but suggested a different make and said they were the best. He wouldn't let me pay for a consultation.............

I stopped briefly just after and a car pulled alongside. Did I have a problem? No I said. OK he said, I saw you stopped in Buenavista and then again here, I wasn't sure. Claudio he's called, he's an artist, lives close by where I stopped, just 2 days ago returned from a visit to Vietnam, and he has a website........I'll look at it.

After about 70 miles of fields the road started climbing to cross the range of hills to the coast. Quite pretty.

Claudio had told me the road turned into a dirt road for about 20 Km. I reached Coaloman and there was the dirt road. I decided to stop the night, parked near the town centre, and asked a policeman sitting on the steps of the police station if it was OK to park there for the night. Without drawing breath, no problem he says.

Strange how thing repeat themselves.

Best regards

David Barker

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