Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's Tuesday - must be New Mexico

First of all, here are a couple of pix I took last night of the new Daphne Dolphin reorganization project #453!:

This is the 'loft' area with the center section removed - all storage is around the periphery.  The pink drapes are closed most of the time, hiding this storage area.  Believe it or not, I can access any little thing in less than 10 seconds.  The bin on the left has gifts for grandchildren;  behind it, extra toiletries; the green bag is books and books; orange printed material covering toaster oven; blue tote shoes; red and white bag clothes I didn't need!; dog carrier; more winter clothes I needed in CA in January; front right extra afghans and handmade table bought in Mexico.

This is a view looking down from the 'living room' to the cab area (with the center loft section gone) - it's much easier to get back and forth from cab to living room now!

April 30, 2013  Leasburg Dam State Park to Rock Hound State Park, New Mexico


We said 'adios' this morning to Renate; she's heading to City of Rocks SP and the 'kids' and I drove to Rock Hound State Park.  Renate has lots of time to get back to her base in Casa Grande, Arizona, so we may or may not see each other again for a while.  It's been fun keeping a communication going these last several weeks.  We're both pretty darn independent, but  we've enjoyed getting to know one another.

Yup, Rock Hound SP is just what the name indicates; there are several campers here and it looks to me like most are 'rock hounds.'  The park ranger encourages rock hounds to dig to their hearts content.  Each visitor is allowed to carry out up to fifteen pounds of rocks!  Well, somebody else can dig and carry out my 15 pounds!

The drive from Leasburg Dam SP was less than a hundred miles - very easy - on I-10.  And, along the way we stopped at a Love's (total car and truck care stop) where unleaded gas is selling for $3.13/gallon.  Pretty good; too bad my Daphne Dolphin only holds about 14 and a half gallons!

We drove in here about 11:30.  It's HOT, DRY and WINDY!  From time to time the wind gusts rock the parked RV - it's pretty serious wind!  Lacy and I have gone out for a couple of walks and photo shoots, but it's lots more comfortable inside with the air on.

I've spent some time this afternoon getting overnight and visit stops lined up for the rest of the trip home - via LA for the Addison Mae Duane Graduation Show.  I'm very excited to see my little Addy, who had a terrible time as a toddler with pronouncing the hard 'c' or 'k' sound.  When it was cold, she wore a t-o-a-t.  And, she lived in Tin- Tuty (Kentucky).  Boy how the time flies - she's 21, a woman, a university graduate, and a Teach For America in Denver teacher, beginning in about a month.

Here are some pix of another desert State Park.....

Taken from my site out towards the visitor center.

 A little closer to those impressive boulder formations

 A couple of pix of Daphne Dolphin rocking gently in the breeze!

Last night and during the drive here I have been listening to "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer - much food for thought.  My friend, George, recommended it; we'll discuss it in our phone and email conversations.

Although I'm not a big fan of wind - I've taken several walks this afternoon around the park.  There are so many different an wonderful cacti - hopefully, before I leave tomorrow, I'll get some nice photos.  Some I've never seen before.  They've done a very nice job of landscaping with the native plants and rocks / boulders.

Here are a few more pix....

 Sunset over the desert once more - with telephone lines!

 Looking towards the visitor center at sunset.  The rock formations are amazing

Of course Lincoln wanted to play outside - so while he was out on his leash this kitty came to visit

On one of my strolls I spoke with the man next door, who was cleaning some of his 'finds' this afternoon.  He showed me his rose quartz and explained how one goes about rock hounding.  He's really wanting to find one (or more) of New Mexico's black opals.  Hmmm.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday in New Mexico 4/29/13

Leasburg Dam State Park - on the Rio Grande

After I talked with the volunteer at the park headquarters office (the ranger was on his lunch break - 4PM), at her suggestion I moved into this spot and got hooked up and relaxed.  Then Renate came later and explained that the site I'm in is a one-night only site.  I can't stay in this site a second night; so I need to go to the office this AM at 9 to see if there are sites available in this park for tonight.  If not I'll need to move on.  I checked for two SPs about 100 miles West and find there are no water and electric sites available for today!

So, as of now, I may be discovering how to be a tried and true RVer when there's no available sites!!
Wal-Mart parking lots?  Truck stops?  Expensive RV parks?  We'll see what happens.....

I'm in my 'new' address - same campground, site across from where I was last night.  On issue I'm noticing is that my holding tank gauge is not registering volume of gray and black water accurately.  So, I went to the dump station this AM and completely emptied both and 'washed' them out with fresh water before closing them to go to my new 'yard'.  They're both registering that they're 2/3 full.  So, unless I can think of some other remedy, I'm not going to trust what they register and simply plan to dump every so many days.

I'm happy to be able to stay here another day - I'm going to clean house and call Jorge.  Tomorrow I'll head out for City of Rocks - only about a hundred miles and then ?????

Lacy and I went for a bike/jog this morning; she's really getting to enjoy the exercise - easy, steady pace - and I am too!

A very productive day - I reorganized "Daphne Dolphin" [I'm trying out names for my little RV - comments appreciated] one more time.  I discovered several weeks ago that using the loft 'bedroom' every night necessitated lots of work - oh that word!  So I reorganized at that time, making the loft into a storage area that I can close off (with drapes), making the whole RV appear more roomy and comfortable.

So I 'moved' my bedroom downstairs to the couch - it's actually a single bed.  That worked great, but now that I'm traveling so much I don't like to bother with setting up and taking down the dining table and banquettes.  So, for about three weeks I've been sleeping on the 'dinette' bed; it also is very comfortable.  Each morning I simply fold the bedding and then I have two couches - for Lacy, cats and me.

Well, today I decided to make some modifications giving more wiggle room while I'm driving.  The loft has a removable center section that I stacked on top of the rear portion of the loft area (the 'rear' portion being the area closest to the front window over the cab of the Toyota.  There's a 'U-shaped' area across the width of the vehicle and the two sides of the loft area.  I try to take a photo - a picture is worth a thousand words!  Now, even though it may look crowded, I know exactly where every single "stuff" is!  I can access books, vet papers, extra toiletry supplies, gifts purchased for grand kids, knitting, et al in the blink of an eye.  By removing the center section I've made it possible to jump into the 'house' from the driver's seat without having to exit the vehicle to enter through the side door.

Tomorrow will be my trial run - hopefully everything stays in place with some strategically placed bungee cords.  We'll see how it works and what more modifications may be necessary tomorrow night!
One thing I can say for sure ... this is one heck of a lot easier than rearranging a bedroom, living room, kitchen and garage in Roseville!

Here are a few pix to say "Adios" to this wonderful park ... Sunset in the desert:

 Love the play of light and shadows in the desert

 April 29th coming to a close 

 Facing east at sunset

And, just one more look ...

Happiness can be so simple.  Enjoy a sunset whenever you can.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Texas to New Mexico, Land of Enchantment April 28, 2013

4:15PM Mountain Daylight Time

I left Balmorhea state Park (off I-10) at about 9:30AM Central Daylight Time [Renate left a couple of hours later] and headed West - on I-10 Through Van Horn and El Paso, Texas and then crossed the border into New Mexico and then turned North on NM-25 to Las Cruces, where I did a little grocery shopping before heading out to Leasburg Dam State Park.  The mileage today was about 250 - that's a little long for this crew but the highway is so easy one could practically go on auto pilot!

This little RV doesn't hold much gas - and in country like this I'm not at all interested in running out; so we stop to fill up more than's absolutely necessary 'cause I usually have no clue where there'll be another station.  Also, the driving's a lot more enjoyable if we take breaks for potty walks, etc.  Once again, my 'kids' were great travelers - no complaints at all.

Boy, will I have some words of wisdom for anyone who thinks we're running out of space in the US.  This continues to be WIDE OPEN COUNTRY.  The desert just goes on and on; in some areas a little less arid but nevertheless DESERT.  The time changes to Mountain Daylight Time while you're still in Texas, before El Paso.  So Texas lies in 2 time zones - interesting!

Here are some photos of the wide open spaces of Leasburg Dam State Park ....

 Terribly overcrowded State Park!  This shot is taken from next to my RV

And, here's our campsite - each site is about a half acre!  
 All dogs are supposed to be leashed at all times - Lacy is!

$14 / day for this site - in CA it'd be about $30 in a State Park

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday - Spring - Texas State Park - Sunny and going to be warm

Balmorhea State Park

The sun is shining, the sky is clear and blue and BIG, campers are stirring and coffee odor fills the air.  Ah, it's morning in Texas.  The birds are chirping and Lincoln is outside on his tether taking it all in - whiskers twitching, he imagines he's a big cat ready for the hunt.  However, breakfast for him will be the "Purina" bird!

Eleanor, the rescued feral kitty, has shown absolutely no interest in leaving the comfortable confines of her home on wheels.  She has her favorite perches:  the covered range top, the loft and behind the drivers' seat when we're traveling.  All three animals want to be with me in the cab while we're driving; so, Lacy is in the passenger's seat, Lincoln is always on my lap and Eleanor is either on my lap or  between the two seats - all sleep 99.9% of the trip.

Finished another of Rosamund Pilcher's novels about Cornwall, England, Coming Home, 725 pages of the warm and interesting family tales of pre, during and post World War II England.  I love her books, my favorite still being The Shell Seekers.

I'd brought several books and have picked up some along the way on this adventure.  I just started reading Nicholas Evans, The Loop:  A Novel; I'm fascinated by wolves and this promises to be a good read.  I'd read his earlier novel, The Horse Whisperer, many years ago and enjoyed that too.  It's interesting that Mr. Evans is an English writer - he's gleaned so much knowledge of our American heritage, etc.

Today will be a day of relaxation; I'll take a few walks, visit with a few, mostly Texan, campers and who knows what else.  I have done a paradigm shift in my life - I no longer need lots of activities planned to know I'm going to enjoy the day.  What a concept!

Yup, that's just what I'm doing - relaxing and reading and enjoying my air conditioned RV - as it's about 90 degrees outside.  This is desert country:  dry, hot and windy.  Lacy and I did a jog/bike this morning before it got too hot and she's been sleeping ever since!

I'm also doing a little research on how I want to spend the next two weeks - working my way to LA for Addison's graduation - 2 weeks from today.  From here Renate and I are planning to get to New Mexico tomorrow for a stay at Leasburg Dam State Park outside of Las Cruces on the Rio Grande - about 250 miles.   250 miles per every other day is just about as busy as I want to be - driving.  Since I don't have to be in a rush, I say, why make the driving more work?

            8:45PM         Sunset over the desert - Balmorhea State Park, Texas

Photo taken from my RV - shortly after I took the photo Renate came to tell me there was lightning in the middle of the cloud formation.  I saw the lightning several times but wasn't quick enough to get a shot of it - also, interestingly, there was no thunder!  Hmmm

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Don't Mess with Texas" April 26,2013

April 26, 2013   

Posts are a little out of order but I'm going to post for today to let everybody know where I am.  
Actually we've been in Texas since Saturday, but driving West on Interstate 10 I am really learning how big this state is!!!  So far I've stayed just northwest of Nuevo Laredo - where we crossed the border.  Then on to San Antonio for three days - it's a fantastic city to visit.  Then we headed west on Interstate 10, which is 881 miles long just in Texas!  We spent two nights in a wonderful Texas State Park, South Llano River State Park ......

 This is South Llano River State Park - one of the nicest campsites I've had on this trip.
Each campsite has lots of space - not parked one on top on the other - like some RV Parks.

Lincoln loved being outside and made a hit in the park - walking on the leash, which he did about 3 or 4 times a day.  He's really turning into a feline-type dog!  Lacy and I got our exercise by jog/biking around the Park.  And, Eleanor watched some of our antics - and slept the rest of the time!

 This is a view of the  campground from my RV.  Renate is parked on my other side

The only negative about South Llano - no cell phone or Internet reception.  Drats!

April 26, 2013 ... 5PM:  This morning I headed again on west Interstate 10 out from South Llano R. State Park towards Balmorhea State Park - about 250 miles west between Fort Stockton and Van Horn.  I plan to stay here for two nights also.  It's much more arid and windy - high about 90 and low for tomorrow morning about 50.   Here are some photos taken along the way...

 Out in the middle of nowhere - our American Flag waving over this beautiful Texas hill country

 We've got a long way to go to run out of country in this Country!
 More open country

 And more ...
Of course, everywhere I step out of the RV, I remind myself to be on the lookout for snakes and scorpions and spiders and mosquitos and ....

And, some Texas quotes:

George W. Bush:  "Some folks look at me a see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking"

General George S. Patton:  "Give me an army of West Point graduates and I'll win a battle.  Give me a handful of Texas Aggies, and I'll win a war!"

Sam Houston:  "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."

Finally, the "Don't Mess with Texas"  is a sign all along the highways - it's the same as "Don't Litter!"

4/26/13 ... 9PM:  Balmorhea state Park - The best thing about this Park is Internet and cell phone reception!!

Happy Birthday, Kari - April 25, 2013


Because of the lack of Internet or cell phone coverage, I'm writing this birthday wish offline to insert whenever I again get Internet service.

Kari is my wonderful daughter, loving wife and heroic mother, Ironman, triathlon  coach ........ who is 51 today - April 25, 1962.

What a blessing in my life and those of all she touches ......

This photo was taken while Kari visited me in Antigua, Guatemala

San Antonio - Home of The Alamo 4/21-2/24/13

We are spending three wonderfully relaxing days in San Antonio - the weather is a little chilly for this time of year, I'm told.  It's in the 70-80 degree range during the day.  And, it's even sprinkled a couple of times - for only a few moments at a time.

April 22, 2013 - Monday

Renate and I took the city bus into the downtown area.  She was anxious to visit The Alamo, which I had toured on my first trip here.  So, I decided to go to IMAX to watch a dramatization of the battle between Texas and Mexico - that resulted in the slaughter of all 100 Texas defenders of The Alamo at the hands of Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna in 13 days in 1836.

But, on the afternoon of April 21st of that year, the 'Texian' army attacked Santa Anna's camp; they were taken by surprise and the "Battle of San Jacinto" was essentially over in 18 minutes during which time many of the Texans shouted as they attacked, "Remember the Alamo."  Santa Anna was captured the following day and General Sam Houston forced him to order his troops out of Texas, ending Mexican control of the province of Texas and giving some legitimacy to the new republic.

Renate's visit to the Alamo didn't happen because it was closed for preparation for Fiesta activities.  I did see the IMAX movie and enjoyed having my history knowledge refreshed.  We met a little later and found a place where we could watch one of the highlights of Fiesta - a parade of nautical floats in the San Antonio River.  The tickets had been sold out but we found seating inside a mall restaurant dining area.  My pix are not very good - taken through glass - but the experience was fun and we met lots of nice people - tourists and natives.

Waiting for floating parade to start

 Lots of floats with kids from local grammar, middle and high schools

And lots of military represented

Vaquero Village, Laredo to San Antonio KOA - Sunday 4/21/13

Sunday – 4/21/13 - Vaquero Village to San Antonio KOA campground

What a joy to drive on a four-lane freeway WITH shoulders!  We left Vaquero Village at about noon for the about 130-mile drive to San Antonio.  We stopped once for gas because my rig only holds about 14 gallons – 200 miles if I’m lucky.  One of the important things I learned in Mexico is to start looking for service stations when I’m just over a half tank down – just in case!  Speaking of gas and mileage, I’ve been getting between about 11 and 14.5 mpg on the trip, depending on the starts and stops and increases and decreases in altitude.  I’ve been impressed with the altitude throughout the interior of Mexico – much of the country is in 4,000 – 7,000 foot range. 

I visited San Antonio about 12 years ago - for a Surgical Services seminar - boy, am I glad I'm not there anymore!  It's interesting that I was here at exactly the same time of the year!  It's San Antonio Fiesta time.  The city (of about 1.3 million people) has more than a million visitors during this annual 10-day 'street party.'  Much of the action takes place in the downtown "Alamo" area - at the 'Riverwalk' along the San Antonio River.  It's a lovely and upscale location with hunions of restaurants, boutiques, souvenir shops and strolling paths along the river.  Very charming - and very crowded this week!

This KOA is one of the nicest I've ever seen - located next to a creek and 40 acres of pecan trees - that's PE' can!  It's about 10 minutes from downtown; there are city buses that stop right outside the campground that go to the historical and cultural district where all the Fiesta action is.  The staff is very friendly and helpful, the shower and bath rooms are immaculate, lots of jogging, walking and biking trails, nice large dog park, nice heated swimming pool, great laundry facility and a public golf course next door.

We're planning to stay and enjoy San Antonio for three days.

Gracias y Adios Mexico ..... Hello, United States of America - Saturday April 20, 2013

Saturday 4/20/13

Saltillo, Coahuila to outside of Nuevo Laredo, Texas, US of A.

We set off this morning for the USA, leaving La Fuente at about 11:30.  The first thing we did was get into a Pemex station for me to gas up.  Saltillo to the Colombia Bridge border crossing to the West of Nuevo Laredo is 192 miles.  We were hoping that our timing would be good for crossing the border – Saturday afternoon.  But, I got a little nervous when I saw the number of huge trucks heading to the same border crossing.  I had read and heard some stories about how long it might take to cross to the US – waiting and waiting in line.  And, I’d read about all the things I’d have to have ready to show the immigration border patrol.  I’d made a list of all my purchases – tee shirts, blouses, various pieces of clothing from Wal-Mart, hammock, patio / beach umbrella, souvenirs, vacuum cleaner, Radio Shack radio, etc.  I hadn’t realized how much STUFF I’d accumulated in four months and was a little concerned because it does add up to more than the $800 limit!  I defrosted the refrigerator and gave away or threw away anything I thought wouldn’t be acceptable for entry to the US.  Interestingly, there claims to be much distress about ‘foot and mouth’ disease so any food coming from a cow I’d been informed is restricted.

The Mexico 57 toll highway between Saltillo and the border is an excellent 4-lane highway.  The tolls were steep; if I remember correctly, they were in the neighborhood of $450-500 pesos (about $37 – $40 US).  But, I have to say, it’s worth it, if for no other reason than we avoid the pueblos and their ever-present ‘tomes’ – speed bumps.  I can’t express how frustrating and potentially very dangerous and injurious to the RV those speed bumps are – to hit one at about 15-20 mph – can knock cupboards open, spilling contents all over the ‘house’ that must be cleaned up before continuing.  It’s happened to me so many times and I’ve tried so many solutions for avoiding the onslaught of extra work.  I now have about 20 bungee cords of various lengths that I secure all cupboards and drawers with - it takes about 10 minutes of work to prepare all of them for the trip and another 10 minutes of removal when I arrive at my destination.  But it saves on grief over spills, breakage, etc.

This is the 'welcome' sign to the border immigration area  at the Colombia River Bridge Border Crossing

Back to the trip:  It turned out to be a relaxed trip to the border - no bandits, no bad experiences, no drug busts, no bad ‘federales,’ no murderers or rapists, no stress.  We sailed along at about 60mph – made my second Pemex stop for gas – and arrived at the border crossing at about 2pm.  There was not one car in front of me – as I drove up to the stop, the border policeman waved an invitation to join him.  (I think he might have been bored – standing there with nothing to do)!  Anyway, two gentlemen, one of whom asked me if I’d bought anything in Mexico, met me.  I answered, “Yes, lots.”  He then revised his question, “Do you have any food you bought while in Mexico?  Fruit? Other food?  I listed about 5 or 6 types of food I presently had in the RV.  His response was, “OK.”  He asked if he could come in to take a look and entered the side door and made several comments about how beautiful my dog and cats were.  He put his hand on one of the cupboards, but didn’t open it, took a couple of looks around without touching anything and then stepped back out onto the pavement.  His colleague, standing at the open door, asked what part of California I’m from.  When I told him I was born in San Francisco he said it’s his favorite city in the world.  Then, both gentlemen said, “Thank you and have a safe trip.”  And I was off.  The whole process took in the neighborhood of 50 seconds!

 So, essentially in the middle of nowhere these modern buildings - must be the US of A

 After my 50 second 'inspection' and admission to my country, I parked the RV and

 Waited for Renate, a German citizen, to be welcomed to the US

And here she is!

From the border it was just a hop, skip and a jump to our first RV Park in the US .... 

Vaquero Village RV Park, Laredo, Texas

Friday, April 19, 2013

Saltillo - A surprisingly interesting city

Arrived in Saltillo at La Fuente Hotel and RV Park yesterday afternoon after an easy drive from Matehuala.   It was all on Mex57 Cuota - but I only paid about $15 dollars in cuota so it was well worth it not to have to go into all the little towns with their speed bumps.

This hotel is not really outfitted for RV camping for any length of time.  We have electricity and can, if necessary, move our RVs to add more non-potable water.  Other than that, we´re boon-docking.  We are parked on pavement  that is nice for no dust/dirt blowing inside.  When we arrived yesterday it was probably in the 90s; today we´d be lucky if it hits 70!  I  have on a sweatsuit.
This afternoon we´re going to take a city bus into the central historical district of the city (population about 700,000)  to visit a Serape  Museum.  The serape is the colorful poncho-type coverup worn all over Mexico for hundreds of years.  I bought one many years ago to use as a tablecloth and I´ve always loved it.  If I can find some that are reasonably priced I´d love to use them for reupolstering in the RV - wow would that be colorful and cheery!

I´m using the hotel (Spanish keyboard) very old  computer -  very difficult to touch type.  So, I´ll just have to blog more tomorrow, maybe after I get back in the States......


This afternoon Renate and I took a city bus from the hotel into the central area of Saltillo; we wanted to visit the Serape Museum.  We weren’t exactly sure where it was located so we exited the bus where the bus driver suggested.  Once on the very crowded sidewalk it seemed that nobody could tell us where the museum was so we stopped a cab and decided to have him take us.  It was only about four or five blocks from where we were - but we could have walked around in circles for who knows how long.

The museum offered free admission and although it's not large, our visit was very interesting.  A young lady at the entrance explained how to use the laminated information cards for each exhibit - they were written in Spanish and English.  The museum consisted of three or four rooms with very nicely arranged exhibits and interesting slide shows depicting how serapes are worn, traditional costumes including serapes and also some interesting history of women's fashion that coordinates with the men's wear including the serape.

The serape is a knee-length garment made of two identical blankets sewn together at one edge except for a central, head-size slit. It is worn hanging from the shoulders, or folded over one shoulder. The serape was originally made of cotton and ixtle, a maguey (Agave) fiber, with traditional indigenous designs by pre-Colombian indians of what is now all of Latin America.  The material, type of weaving and design identified hometown, family and / or social status. The name "serape" originated at center of production in Saltillo, Coahuila. In different parts of Mexico and Guatemala, the garment has different names.

 This is the museum store.  I wanted to buy a book about serapes, but the only offering in English was too expensive!

 The designs, colors, materials, etc. are indicative of different regions of Mexico and Latin America.
The Maya still do much of the hand weaving; although they are certainly not the only indigenous group to wear them.  They were also worn by Spaniard Conquistadors and later by every echelon of Latin American society.

 Most of these examples are made of 100% wool.  Modern machine-made serapes can be woven by machine of almost any natural and / or synthetic thread / yarn.

I found the flowered pattern one that I'd never seen before.  In a way it reminds me of the flowered shawl / scarf worn by certain groups of Indian Muslims in the 'Kutch' area of India, near the Pakistan border.

 More examples of wonderfully handcrafted serapes.  

And more ....  In some it's difficult to see the slit in the middle of the center seam, placed so that the serape can be worn as a poncho - over the head.

After completing our museum visit, we wanted to see the Saltillo cathedral, which, like most city cathedrals is located facing a central plaza / park; in this case the cathedral, which was built between 1745 and 1800 is located in the Colonial section of the city.  It is an historical and beautiful central area to this bustling city.

 Saltillo Cathedral

 Unfortunately, if you notice a smudge in the center of the photo - it is a smudge on my camera lens.  I kept thinking my eyesight was on its way out!

 This city also has beautiful iron work

 Magnificently carved doors

 And, take a look at the stone work on the facade

 I walked through snapping, without flash, the gorgeous interior

 A chapel off to one side of the main church

 Tile work in ceilings

As Renate and I walked through the Cathedral a custodian, who was sweeping up close to the main altar, asked me if I spoke Spanish.  "Yes," said I.  He said he'd like to take us on a tour of the choir and bell towers.  Renate didn't want to climb all the way to the highest bell tower; but I decided to give it a try.  Boy, a closed in, steep-stepped, circular staircase that just kept going higher and higher.  I'm never as worried about going up as I am with coming down.  I'm so happy I went on the adventure.  The following pix are taken from various different heights ....

 Besides smudges I have no idea what setting I had the camera on; but this is a shot of the central plaza / park from one of the lower bell towers.  The building is the background is the Palace - seat of Hispanic government in Colonial times - not the city government building

 Looking down from the choir loft

 The young man offered to take my picture - in case I have to prove that I actually did climb up there!

This is a special wooden clapper - used only during Semana Santa.  It produces an eerie and ominous sound - to go along with the Passion of Christ

The following are some shots of the central plaza / park and also a couple of interesting buildings

 A blend of Colonial buildings and modern sculpture in the central plaza

 Kids playing of a distinctly Chinese bronze sculpture

 Close-up of 'Chinese' man in sculpture - no identification of the work or the artist

 A very stylized bronze horse

 Another angle of the same horse sculpture

 A female human form and a serpent

Child playing with pigeons (las palomas) and a government building in the background

 This lovely stone-work building is now a bar.  The precision cutting of the stone is incredible.  This building is located a couple of blocks from the central plaza

Another government building with a different, but also beautiful, stone-work

Saltillo, Coahuilo, Mexico was not a destination but simply a stopover place for our trip North to the border.  I'm so happy I had an opportunity to be introduced to this rich and historic city in Mexico