On a very sad note, I have to say goodbye to a business associate, but more importantly, a friend. Bruce Turcotte, of Olds Alberta Canada. Bruce lost the fight after a short battle with a cancer that was only diagnosed a few short months ago. I have known Bruce for about 30 years. He was one of the hardest working people that I have ever met. I remember looking out from our deck after hearing a noise at 10:30 or 11:00 pm at night, only to find Bruce loading up a trailer of electrical supplies, heading for Black Diamond, yet another 2 hour drive south. He was just getting in from a jobsite that he was tending to, 4 hours north of us. His day started about 4 am. This wasn't a normal day for him, nor was it unusual. Bruce was a man of many talents in the construction business. Bruce, you will be missed dearly by your family, co-workers, and friends. I only wish I had been able to say goodbye in person. Adios Amigo.
Our travels thus far have taken us from Canada, through the U.S.A., and now to Mexico. You can check our travel log at Sandy's blog, http://canusamextravels.blogspot.com/ She is busy up-dating it right now as I write this. Then we will go out for her Birthday dinner here in San Carlos, Son. Mex. In our travels we have met people from all parts of Canada, U.S.A., and Mexico. The common thread? All great, very nice, friendly people.
To my friends in the United States of America, keep your heads high. The economy will pick up. Always be proud to be an American! I watched the "Winter Classic" outdoor hockey game from Chicago, with the Black Hawks hosting the Detroit Red Wings. The display of patriotism from the crowd, standing, singing, and cheering during the Star Spangled Banner, with fireworks and jets in the air, got me all choked up! That's the U.S. I admire! Healing your economic woes is much like trying to get out of a personal depressed state of mind. You have to like yourself first. Stop watching the news and all the gloom and doom stories about how bad things are, and go out and buy a new Ford, GM, or Dodge vehicle in the new year! The economic engine will start up only if you turn the key! God bless the U.S.A.!
Now on to Mexico. You all have heard how dangerous, dirty, and un-safe it is here in Mexico. People will advise against travelling here due to the danger, and even more so now with the drug wars going on in the border towns. We're here, and guess what? Haven't seen any of that. There are gang wars raging on in Calgary, Alberta! I haven't been caught in the middle of one of those either. This isn't to say that it couldn't happen, just not likely, in Calgary, or in Mexico. You can find trouble anywhere if you look hard enough for it. Yes, Mexico on the surface isn't as clean and sterile as it is in most parts of the U.S.A. or Canada. It's just different. They don't get all hung up on some of the details that we do. However, I have had some of the best restaurant meals here that I have had anywhere. Top notch service, and excellent food!
Sandy and I got a good laugh in Puerto Penasco when we saw a beat up old car with 2 men in it, the passenger holding the door closed with a piece of rope. A door sign made with colored paper and a felt pen said: "We repair fibreglass and paint motor home". Yeah, right. We'll get right on that! Don't call us, we'll call you! While parked in our R.V. park at Playa Bonita, these guys stopped by one morning and noticed that we had a 6 or 8" crack in our gel coat at the front of the motor home that I got when I bumped in to a steel bollard at U.S. border crossing. He asked me if I wanted them to repair it. Only $80 (usd). I had no intention of getting it done, but he proceeded to show me many pictures of his before and after repairs, and invited me to check with others in the park who had work done. He told me: "You no like, you no pay". I let him go ahead, and I would challenge anyone to spot the repair. He filled the crack, blended the paint and gel coat to perfection. All right there on the beach, with the sand, the wind, and no fancy paint booth. I was so impressed that I gave him a bigger challenge. I have always wanted to get my car trailer painted, or decals on it to match the motor home. He gave me a price of $450 (usd) and I told him to do what he can. Antonio and his helper, (also Antonio), worked really hard, and put in some long days, and here is what he accomplished.
As you can see he did a great job. Again out in the elements, with a small portable compressor and a paint gun. The motor home is done with decals from the factory. Antonio did this with paint, masking tape, and a decal for a pattern that he had made by a friend that makes signs I would presume. All I gave him for a pattern was a print out from a picture I took of the motor home. This is the result. The paint colors match perfectly, and he properly prepared the surface, primed, and painted. Thank-you Antonio's!
It has been said before, and it is so very true. The people that discourage Mexican travel have never been here, and are not likely to ever travel here. Come see this country for yourself. If not, you'll be cheating yourself out of meeting some excellent, friendly people, great food, and spectacular scenery. Again, check Sandy's latest blog entry for some pictures from this area of San Carlos. Arguably, one of the most scenic places on the planet (in my humble opinion).
Tomorrow we move further south towards Mazatlan.
Happy New Year!