Sunday, 17 March 2013

Merida Day 11 - on Paseo Montejo

Last night we again went to see the free show (serenade) , Noche Mexicana, at the bottom of Paseo Montejo. This time we saw an amazing Mariachi band. Now I know, outside of Mexico, you don't often hear "amazing" and "Mariachi" in the same sentence and I can't believe I actually typed it. My only experience with Mariachi bands has been with the small (4 or 5 musicians) versions that play in resorts or Mexican restaurants, at your table whether you want them or not, for tips. Well this was nothing like that and from my subsequent internet research Mariachi have a long and proud history.

This band consisted of 3 trumpet players, 3 guitar players, 1 base player, 7 violinists and 2 flutists. Occasionally a woman, in an elaborate costume would sing with them but the music seems to better lend itself to male voices.

The men took turns doing solos and were almost operatic. They also sounded wonderful as a male chorus. The crowd knew many of the songs and sang along. They were bought back for about 4 encores.
Today we decided to go and see the bica-ruta and the artists corridor, back on Paseo Montejo. The north bound lanes are closed to traffic and full of families bicycling (many have bought their bicycles there in/on their cars). Bicycles and family style bicycles (the two adults peddle at the front half and 3 kids can sit behind) are available for rent. The artists area was disappointing as there were only about 8 displaying however there was other entertainment:
A lap full of  cute Chihuahua puppies. Unfortunately they will grow up to
be Chihuahuas (sorry my big dog bias is showing)
A performance of Beauty and the Beast in front of McDonalds at the top
of Paseo Montejo.
Monumento a la Bandera o a la Patria, in the centre of the roundabout
at the top of Paseo Montejo, above Walmart.
We did the obligatory shopping at Walmart as its got a good bakery section and wine selection, compared to our local grocery store. It is however more expensive than shopping there or at the produce markets. For instance I bought Chaya (I think I spelt it wrong in the previous post) in the downtown market for 10M$ and less of it at Walmart for 12M$.
On the topic of chaya. We have found green vegetables in short supply, unless you count peppers and I'm scared to try a lot of them, not knowing how hot they will be. I had read that chaya is a green veg used in Mexican cooking so I bought some and then went looking for some recipes. Lucky I did as it is poisonous if not cooked for at least 20 minutes.
It looks and feels like maple leaves and comes from a deciduous shrub.After it is cooked it is rather like a dense spinach. We had it boiled then served with butter once and the other time boiled and then chopped and fried with onions. Quite nice and I at least feel we are getting our greens and our fibre.
It was much hotter today. Last week it was very comfortable, mid to high twenties and a little cooler at night. This week its mid to high thirties and tonight as the wind has dropped it is still quite warm. We spent the afternoon in the pool and hammock and were thankful for the shade in the courtyard.
A new filter has been ordered for the pool and until it comes the pump isn't circulating. We are skimming it for leaves and throwing in chlorine every couple of days and that, and swimming in it, seems to be keeping it in pretty good shape. George found a dead scorpion in it today while skimming. I will look a little more carefully when I an walking in the garden now!
Heaven is nachos and homemade guacamole, in the hammock. With an e-book and a glass of wine.


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