We spent the entire morning in San Ignacio, walking around the plaza; walking around the center of town (well, in actuality, that would be the plaza and about 2 blocks surrounding it); walking around the iglesia (1768 church). I spotted a tortilla factory and thought the kids might enjoy watching the tortillas made. When Jesse figured out that these were his much preferred "harina" (i.e. WHITE flour instead of mom’s WHEAT flour ) tortillas, he was quite excited to buy some. I coached the boys on the phrase to use, about 5 feet away from the window where you buy them; the ladies heard the entire conversation. Jesse found the entire phrase "una docena de harina, por favor" too long so we split it up; Jesse practiced the "una docena de harina" and Pike practiced the "por favor". We did this over and over and over until the boys felt comfortable with their lines and could remember them. I sent them over to the window (the ladies and one customer had been watching and listening with much interest the entire time) and after they repeated their lines, one lady responded to him with a couple sentences and I could see his eyes glazing over. It immediately sunk in, what she had said to them, and I doubled over in laughter; the customer was laughing and both ladies were laughing. Clear as day, written over the window the boys had used to try to purchase "harina" tortillas was the sign "MAIZ" (corn). In Mexico, tortillas are made of either corn or flour, which is why the phrase I taught them was to ask for a dozen of FLOUR.
I looked to the side, where one lady had pointed and saw the window designating "HARINA". The poor boys thought everyone was laughing at them and they needed a lot of reassurance to understand that it was MOM’S mistake; not theirs. The recovered, and dutifully (by now it was absolutely not necessary, but so cute to see them do it) went to the right window (same lady) and asked for a dozen. Jamie quickly put to eating the entire dozen and they got to practice the phrase again, when they purchased a second dozen. By then, Jesse had memorized the entire phrase and didn’t need Pike’s input, but he offered it just the same.
We left around 2pm (the absolute latest we’ve EVER left camp) and Jamie was really loathe to leave. He found San Ignacio absolutely charming and thought we’d never see anything as cute as it. I knew, from the towns I’ve been to in South America, that San Ignacio was really an ugly little town (by COMPARISON; it is not an ugly little town) with a pretty church compared to the colonial towns in Mexico. I don’t think he believed me, but wanted to get the kids out of the mud. I was concerned about the trip ahead; I’d heard so very many horror stories about "la cuesta del diablo" (the road to hell) and that the road was literally liberally littered (you’d think I could find another "L" adjective) with crashed cars - IF you could see thems down the cliffs you were traversing. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it, to keep my road kharma to a positive balance, but the road was really not that bad. There was a terrific dropoff from the desert with a grade that I wouldn’t want to know the % of, but I simply put the van in 2nd gear and down we went. It levelled off soon enough and that was that. No more narrow than the roads we’ve already been on, but I was hating the guardrails. They seemed to make the road even more narrow by taking away any real estate available on the edges of the roads. There was very little oncoming traffic though (and NO caravans!!!) so that made it much easier. We decided not to stop in Santa Rosalia but to leave it for a daytrip from Mulege. From the Transpenninsular, it didn’t look all that inviting anyway. Dusty, dirty, and without character.
The trip down the "road to hell" was incredible, however, coming from the flats of the desert though an incredible gorge down to the sea; it was absolutely spectacular scenery and road. We followed the Sea of Cortes (so nice to see it again) for a nice ways. Once past Santa Rosalia I spied gorgeous green sea flanked by white sand beaches and noticed signs for RV parks. I asked Jamie if they were in "the book" (the Church’s book) and as he said no, we passed on by. It looked paradisaical, almost Caribbean in the beauty. We arrived easily and quickly enough in Mulege (well, actually, just outside Mulege) and parked at the Villa Real park. After forking over TWENTY TWO DOLLARS (since they gouge you if you pay with pesos), the kids found the (FREEZING COLD) swimming pool and absolutely, positively, HAD to swim. Sissy actually immersed herself but the boys wouldn’t go under until Jamie dared Pike to and went as far as to pushing Jesse in. He may burn in hell for that if Jesse has anything to say about it.
I had been ready to go to town for a number of hours, and as the sun set, the kids finally decided they would get ready to go. We headed in at dark and immediately found a taqueria which has risen to the top of any list we might have. Fish is very lightly battered and incredibly fresh; they have pork (and everyone LOVED it) and beef. The girls split a "sangria" which, from what I could ascertain, is very different from the Sangria’s that Jamie and I have drunk. It was a mixture of grape and other fruits and had a very deep taste; I could easily see it in an alcoholic version. I’m almost certain that it was not a wine sangria but you wouldn’t know that from Ellen’s reaction.
After 16 tacos (a light dinner; last night, Jamie and the kids alone ate 19 tacos), we headed down the streets into town. We were enchanted with the town and can’t wait to see it in the morning. The kids found a playground in one of the placitas (plazita? I’m not sure it that is a word, but it is like a teeny plaza) and we had to tear them away from the teetertotters and swings. It’s been forever since they played at a playground. We found a futbol game and watched for a bit and finally headed back to the car and to camp. It looks like such a cute little town; I think we’re going to fall in love in the morning. The kids are starting to speak more and last night Jesse was complimented on his accent "buenas noches" and after that each and every child made it a point to say "buenas noches" to everyone they met. There is absolutely NOTHING like traveling with kids. I’m so glad we didn’t wait until they were grown and gone. Well, most of the time.