Sunday, July 24, 2011

UkuAdventures in Mexico: El Salto Falls Adventure Party!

PHOTOS: Truckers! Laura & Ceviche! El Salto! La Rana! Weeble Agua Tree! HB Larry, Laura & Alejandro!

Dear Blob,
What an Exciting Adventure we had today! But First! A quickie summary of yesterday: Thessica recharged her meep-batteries lolling in Casa Canadian's pool, noodling with noodles & eating cookies. We took a quickie trip into Melaque for the ATM, hot, fresh bolillos from the 400 year old bakery and awesome fish tacos, which were fried in a tempura-like batter. The Pescado-Taco man's wife had the most incredibly fake-long-glitter nails, strikingly noticeable as she paddle-flapped sopes dough between her hands.

In the twighlight hour, we played recording studio with Buster between pool-dips. After the rock'n'roll recording sessions, a Taqueria Ramos 'n' Churro stop and many laughs, Buster left us & returned to Cuastecomate, playing hooky from Bar ReyMoMo and worrying his BFF, Memphis Jan, a healer/nurse from Memphis with similar nails as the Sopes lady. Memphis Jan, concerned about Buster's inappearance on Saturday night to work, came to Casa Azul to find him, where she ran into Jessica, who brought her over for a galpal-date. MemphisHealer Jan weaved stories of healing cancer, traveling to "Guad" (Guadelajara), which reminds me of squaddely-quads (fat thighs) and a fabulous thrift store in Mexico. Jessaly perked up at the words Thrift Store, simultaneously saying, "Where?! How Far?" Sadly, the only awesome thrift store in Mexico is 4 hours away.

TODAY: Big Waterfall Adventure!
HB Larry, Laura & Alejandro picked us up at 10am for our adventure to El Salto Falls, 2 hours away. Thessica, bedecked in trucking hat'n scarves, fretted about back-of-the-pickup-travel and bungee-corded ourselves to the truckbed. Alejandro, riding with us in the back, was amused at our actions and I felt comforted knowing his mother, riding in the cab, was comfortable with her son riding in the back of a pickup, unstrapped in. Once we had our pillows properly placed, it was a fabulous and interesting ride, which went by quickly.

One of the most awesome things about Mexican highway travel is the noticeable lack of billboards. I saw, perhaps 4 on the entire ride. We zipped through Manzanillo, the San Pedro/Long Beach of Mexico, being the largest port-city with goods from China constantly arriving. It was interesting to see Manzanillo's suburbs of cinderblock houses; Mexico is the Land o' Cinderblock! From the city, we ascended up a curvy road into the cartoon-green jungles, passing skinny cows grazing on the side of the highway and every shade of green imaginable.

El Salto Falls 'n' Waterpark is a well-worthwhile trip during the hot season. The waterfall is a bit treacherous, with Dangeroso! signs, but I ventured in the swimming hole part anyway, being unable to resist swimming hole beauty. There are parts of El Salto's swimming hole that are very dangerous, with a strong current; it is not for weak swimmers.

At one point Jessica got caught in an eddy, which sucked her under. Laura went to help and was sucked under too! It was scary and dramatic, however, it was not life-threatening, as a saver would only have to pull them downstream a foot to be in calm water. When panicked, it's easy to forget water-safety measures. Swimmers remember, if caught in a rapid or eddy, do not fight the current, but follow it to calmer waters. Jessica lost her cute vintage sunglasses and we all learned a lesson about water-safety; while Mexico is In Charge, Water is Always In Charge.

El Salto's Waterpark is fed by the crisp, mountain water and is unrecycled, but always fresh, entering the giant swimming-pools at the top and exiting at the end. It is full of whimsically shabby slides and structures and reminded me of a Weeble Waterpark. The water was outstandingly refreshing and it was a magical day, feasting on Laura's Incredible Ceviche de Camaron (shrimp!) and swimming in the waterpark pools with Alejandro, who is an exceptional 13 year old. He's sweet, smart, pleasant and funny, rare in a teen.

Mexican children, generally, are amazingly well-behaved and polite. The waterpark was chock-full of Mexican families bbqing carne asada, deep-frying carnitas, playing cards, drinking beer 'n' soda & patronizing mariachi musicians. Hundreds of kids swam joyfully, playing and I didn't see one temper tantrum. Mexican kids are semi-gods, doted upon by generations of family all in the same house, just like in LA. Thoughtfully, the waterpark created a shallow water-trough around the edge of the pools for babies.

There are no lifeguards or safety-people at El Salto; HB Larry revealed that there are no laws for liability insurance in Mexico, hence no lifeguards or water-slide attendants. The slides were ridiculously slow and unsteep, perhaps to keep folks safe, as it is every man for him/herself.

Interestingly it's the cultural norm, according to HB Larry, for the men and women to fiesta separately. Our picknicking neighbors brought this subject up, as a gaggle of drunk men littered Modelo cans and across the pile, the women tended babies.

Other interesting things of note included a redheaded kid, a fabulous blow-up unicorn & a great 'n' horrible story (from HB Larry) about an old, terminally-ill Mexican man who purposely waited by the side of the road until a wealthy-looking car drove by, then stepped in front to commit suicide, assuring his family of financial stability from a payout. HB Larry's friend was the driver, who happens to be the son of the man who invented the microwave; so luckily he had some coin to spare. Insane.

It was a Fabulous Waterfall Adventure!

Love The Ukulady
ps: I got Laura's Shrimp ceviche recipe! Limes cook the shrimp! Incredible! Prepare for a Ceviche party, LA-ites! The Ukulad, sadly cannot eat ceviche, due to acid reflux. He is unable to process onion, garlic, tomatoes, peppers & citrus. He would die in Mexico! Or live on quesadillas & churros.

pps: If I picked up every piece of garbage in Mexico that I'm compelled to pick up, all I would do would be picking up trash. Mexicans are still using, in great abundance, styrofoam plates, plastic cups, utensils & multiple plastic bags for everything, including 1 banana. It's totally distressing. Humankind is F-Meeped. I kept thinking, if this is what's going on in Mexico, what is going on in India?

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