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Mexico on a Motorcycle Part Five

door-in-birnal-four.jpgDay FIVE


Today we are going to see Birnal. Chicon and I get stopped by the police. I only catch a few words of what they are talking about. I guess that my presence gave a different tone to the discussion as somehow I look as though I speak Spanish fluently.  Of course, now we have lost the rest of the party. We drive through the country side until we come to Birnal. It is the fourth largest monolith in the world and dominates the view for miles.


We are supposed to meet at the central square and have lunch here but the streets are very narrow and it is difficult to maneuver the van with trailer. Chicon tries to call but gives up when it is clear Bruce does not have his phone turned on. After some time, we decide to try again—this time I watch for the signs noting centrio—and we discover Glen standing on the street.


The little town is somewhat touristy with little shops selling little knickknacks. Glen spies a small turtle made of clear resin and embedded rocks. I somehow manage to negogiate the purchase along with a calendar. A school group is here and the teachers play several games with the students—variations of London Bridge and Fox & Goose. One of them wants her picture taken while she is sitting on a motorcycle.


Lunch is at a small taqueria with ladies making the gorditas as you ordered them. The last time we had food this fresh and this good was in La Paz at the Hermano Brothers. There is ice cream too, and several other folks indulge as the day is hot.


It would have been fun to climb Birnal but we must move on.


I see several shops labeled—Venda Polla de Pie—and I quiz Chicon—why would they sell just the chicken feet. He is startled at my question and says..En Vivo! It’s the version of beef on the hoof—only it’s chickens.


That evening we stay at hotel off square. It is very chilly and the women all wear shawls in the morning. I shop at the market—and buy cookies from a bakery—just so I can take pictures of the food.


The bikes must go in through a narrow ramp and through the doors into the center of the hotel and are parked around the swimming pool. This is not as intricate as it seemed at the time—but everyone was tired. One of the maids chats with me in Spanish—as though I understand everything she is saying. I struggle along with a few comments.


The church off the square is large with huge buttresses. There is another smaller chapel down the street. I wander around taking photos of doors and architectural details. A small bookstore is near the hotel and I browse for a bit. There is a table covered with classics—all in Spanish and I choose Los Tres Mosqueteros. I think it is for middle school age children which will be quite a stretch for my Spanish.


The van has a flat tire and our first project of the next day is to get it fixed. The tire guy looks a shorter version of one of my brothers—who also worked on vehicles and changed tires. He looks over the tire very carefully and discovers a large staple. He pulls it out, I hold out my hand and he drops it in. I’m sure he wonders why I would want such a thing—and then I am asked what is called in English. I remember my Dad calling them two headed nails. Chicon asks me if the cowboys fixing fence will ask the other guy to hand him a two headed nail—of course I tell him that cowboys wouldn’t be fixing the fence—the farmer would and he’d most likely be by himself and wouldn’t have to call it anything.


More photos are found here:

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