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Posted by Lee--WA from ( on miércoles, julio 09, 2003 at 12:44:26 :

Hammering on sheet metal at the school at 6:40 AM. Breakfast at las Braceros--chilaquile. Not impressed. Took local transport to la Barra (bus and truck), wholly adequate. 1st impression of the la Barra area is of tranquility, then comes Century 21 selling too small lots, lots of them. There goes the neighborhood. Delivered my "care" package to Laura, whose birthday it was. Met Noyo. Fun people. Also muchacha and her kids.
Took tour of "Casa del Encanto" and took walk around the area, down to the estuary, with its illegal pigpen and 6 pigs, saw 6 black vultures, and 1 each: little blue heron, white ibis, and snowy egret in their own little group. Then on to the village along the shore (gives you a good feeling) and back to Encanto where Noyo had some fresh home brew from pineapple--becomes vinegar in 5 days. Had a bite of his very good cooking, and back to Zih. A most gracious couple.

Arrived at the hotel to the strains of a drum and bugle corps--really bad. But I'm a sucker for any drum and bugle corps. Followed the sound to the basketball court. Some sort of country-wide competition was going on, as close as I could tell, but not just drum and bugle. It seemed to be an entertainment competition, invitational, high school and jr high ages. All but 2-3 were dance groups of 7-8 couples, performing a dance which was either specific to the locale or to a period of history. The groups were from (as best as I could understand) Oaxaca to Baja norte pacifico, and many points in between. The costumes were just plain gorgeous for the ladies, and pretty basic for the guys--sandals, white shirt, local hat, and maybe a serape. The dance routines were bout 15 min. Temp was about 85 and these gals were wearing ankle length frocks, and all of the dances were f-a-s-t, with extreme precision and great enthusiasm. Any of these could have been featured at Lincoln or Kennedy Center. My favorite was from Baja nort pacifico, a kind of a Mexican "River Dance" without a soloist. Had to have been 20 minutes. I felt very privileged to have been one of very few tourists to have seen this. Went back to the hotel, and bed. And then it hit: Montezuma(?). I didn't think so, but the effect was the same.

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