Welcome to the Adventure
Living in Mexico is often indescribable...you just have to live here. I have been journaling experiences for a while, and I hope you can get a feel for stupid-ass gringos trying to get it. But I am still here, and that says a lot for those of us sticking it out, as the payback is what makes life so good here.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Jaguarundis and getting the coffee
I’ve lived here three years (dang it goes so fast), looking for Jaguarundis. I saw my first jaguarundis this week. The first was strolling across the lot below us. I said something like, “damn that’s a big, long bodied, very long tailed cat”, but likely a more descriptive oh shit! came out of my mouth. So that’s what they look like. Yesterday we went up to Pluma for coffee, because we have sold our souls to that little community and try only to buy our coffee there. Many of you in the next few weeks will be benefitting from this lovely coffee. The trip up is not so easy, as the road is always in the process of disintegrating at a blind curve, leaving gaping holes that are one’s worst nightmare. Lupe went with us, and we howled all the way up. For those of you who have driven that road, it’s not that good anymore. As we started into Santa Maria, there lopping across the road, was my second jaguarundi, heading into the tall grass on the other side.
I am not sure of the size of Pluma Hidalgo, but it is basically the church and a surrounding block of people, but spread out, on the perilous ledges that drop into deep canyons out their back doors. We just about know everyone surrounding the zocalo now. We stopped by our coffee guy, Diamonte, a shack of delicious coffee. I love that shack and I love the owner..... His family has owned a coffee finca for generations, and he has blown up posters of his father leading a horse, out in the coffee fields, surrounded by workers from long ago time. He continues the tradition today, and we’ve seen him a lot, because when visitors come, it’s one of those short road trips that shows off how incredibly beautiful this part of Oaxaca is, and how a 45 minute drive up a mountain can put you into a completely different, Alpinish Tahoe, world. The trip out of Pochutla up to Oaxaca is an even more dramatic drive and view, for those of you who do not suffer from car sickness or fear of heights.
There are a couple of bakeries , a couple of basic needs type tiendas, three restaurants, which tells you a lot about the population, because in Hautulco it’s how many per block, and one of the best churches outside of the one in Santa Maria de Hautalco (lovely homage to the Virgin in all of her manifestations, done by local people). The church in Pluma Hidalgo is the Dr. Jesus church. I wrote earlier about the PEMEX baby Jesus, here, Jesus is portrayed as a physician. All the accoutrements hang about him, and I think he must have a diagnosis and cure for me. I love that church, always quiet, cool, and different yet again from anything you have seen anywhere else.
We always want to stop by the plant woman. A block down from the zocalo, on the corner is a little tienda, that sells a bit of this and that. Small, limited selection. But her true treasure is what is behind her tienda, the most amazing nursery/preserve you will ever see in the area. Her specialty are orchids. I lust for them, but alas they would so die just 45 minutes down the mountain from here. We do buy shade plants from her, and linger to talk of the history of her little nursery. Hurricane Paulina, in 1997, pretty much wiped the coffee plantations, farms, and native plants out by the salt dumped into the soil when Hurricane Paulina hit, ruining many lives in it’s wake. (A side to this hurricane, many, many girls born in 1997-98 were named Paulina). She went on a rescue mission, and started cultivating her own collection, and growing local plants to put back into the area. She knows everything, and is wonderful resource.
Driving back down, I looked for Jaguarundis once again. They are on endangered species lists, and I hope the sightings suggest they are starting to thrive. Lupe always says when she’s out with us, there’s always “something” happening. It was indeed a beautiful drive, even the parts where the road narrowed to barely a lane, as the other lane fell down a few thousand feet, and there is nothing there but air, but oh a lovely waterfall, and incomparable views from the mountains to the oceans. It is much cooler up there, and a perfect drive for a hot day. And the jaguarundi was the bonus....