Sunday, January 28, 2018

“Come Sing With Us “Mozart, Haydn y Handel” at the Angela Peralta Theatre

  A few days ago George and Sharen dropped by to offer us their tickets for today’s performance as they had decided to go to the Dixieland concert in the Plazuela and weren’t going to use them.  Eric has never been to the Angela Peralta but he really likes classical music so we accepted their offer. 


We were off on the bus by 11am and and downtown by 11:40.  The bus is still letting people off a couple blocks east of Benita Juarez so it’s a bit longer walk to the theatre than usual.  That’s Eric heading down the street.




This will be an impressive line-up today.  Along with the Culiacan choir and orchestra we will have four accomplished soloists. 


We are seated in Row D with Mike who has Eddie’s ticket and Angie.  Ruth is not here yet as she had to take her daughter Joanne and boyfriend Dwight to the airport.


Look at these two colorful young ladies.


The head violinist who I believe to be Olga Khodoblayak brings the orchestra and choir to attention.


Gordon Campbell greets us and explains today’s program.  He also mentions that the Culiacan community choir only meets once a week for one and a half hours to practice.  Along with this 90% of them can’t read music!  They practise from tapes and receive help from those who do read music.  Amazing!


As usual Maestro Campbell is so very happy that we have all attended.   He notes that at the end of the concert he will invite members of the audience to join them for three songs from Haydn’s Messiah …“And the Glory of the Lord,  ….For unto us a Child is born and the grand finale …Hallelujah.”


The orchestra starts….


The choir was ready and the performance started…it was absolutely breathtaking!  The sound of the choir was rich and full and the hair just stood up on the backs of our necks.   Amazing, amazing sound.


This is soprano Perla Azucena Orrantia Duran.  Perla is the voice professor at the Escuela de Musica of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa.  Along with this she has many other positions.  Her voice is just glorious!


Taking a bow is Lucia del Carmen Ramirez Casillas (mezzosoprano) and at present she is the soloist of the Community Chorus of Culiacan. 


Jesus Miguel Holguin Blancas (tenor) left andMario Alberto Salazar Vega (bass) on the right.   These four very accomplished soloists had just completed a number where they were alternating leads.  Sopranos on one side, tenor and bass on the other. 


All four performers received a huge round of applause. 


Here Gordon Campell  is inviting members of the audience to join them on stage. 


As members of the audience filed on stage the maestro asked them if they knew whether they were sopranos, altos etc.  They all did and the choir generously shared programs and opened up spots for them.  Even a few men ventured on stage.



I think all these ladies have sung before!


Men filing on stage for Hallelujah.


As we reached the last number “ Hallelujah” Gordon remarked that anyone who wanted to feel the glory and power of the music could come and just stand on stage.  A few people did just that.  Even in the audience you could feel the sound moving through your body.  An uplifting experience!


Thank you all for coming and please,please, please continue to come back.  We will!


The performance is over and we all file out.  The total time today was about one and a half hours without an intermission.  It would have been cumbersome to have the choir and musicians leave the stage for a 15 minute break.  The concerts start early so that everyone in the orchestra and choir can return home to Culiacan.


A huge undertaking to bring this many musicians and singers to Mazatlan for a performance.  To us it was totally worth it…..thank-you so much for coming!


Time for something to eat.  We had stopped at the box office to get tickets for the Feb. 25th performance and I will likely go back and get tickets for the 18th.  The 4th is sold out and there will be no performance on the 11th due to Carnival.


We are at an Italian restaurant right next to Gala where we ate last week.  That’s Mike and Ruth.


Sharen and George stopped by to say hi on their way to the Dixieland performance.  Eric gave Sharen a big hug and said how much he’d enjoyed the concert.  The Dixieland music is right next to us at the Gala restaurant….we think we got the better deal going to the Angela Peralta!


That’s Angie talking to Mike.  Angie flies to Mazatlan and stays in a condo by herself and Mike drives down in his small Class C from Vancouver Island. 


That’s the Dixieland Band playing next to us.  You bought a ticket at the restaurant which included music,  food and liquor. 


Relaxing with a drink while we wait for food.


Lots of people sitting in the square enjoying the music for free!


Here comes Sandi to say hello.  Many people from the park are at the Dixieland event.


I had a pesto pasta with walnuts.  Good.


Eric had a pepperoni pizza that only had ….pepperoni and cheese.  He said it was mediocre.  I’d told him he could have paella today but that’s at the restaurant next door where the Dixieland is playing.  Maybe next time!


Angie had pasta and Mike had ministrone soup that he also said was mediocre.


Ruth had pasta that was good as well.  I asked her to take our picture so everyone would know that Eric actually came!


So….time to head back and catch the bus.   Wait a minute Ruth came in her car and said she’d give us a ride home.  Bueno!


This is the Casa Haas where next week’s sold out performance of Death and the Maiden de Schubert is being performed.  A smaller venue so….less seats. 


Heading down the malecon at Olas Altas and home.

It was an absolutely wonderful performance and we are both glad we went.  If you have nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon in January and February go to the Angela Peralta and take in a performance.  There are always extra tickets that can be bought on the day for 300 pesos.  Next year we might even get season’s tickets!

We were home by 4pm.  A couple of beers (no supper), tv and early to bed as it’s been a busy few days.  We were out for dinner last night and on the big motorcyle ride on Friday and that’s a lot for us! 

Night night!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Dinner at Ian & Linda’s ….Bazil and Brenda’s last night.

It’s Saturday night and Ian and Linda have invited us for dinner to share the evening with them and Bazil and Brenda.  Bazil and Brenda are Ian and Linda’s good friends from Kelowna and they have been staying with them for the past ten days.  Tomorrow Bazil and Brenda  head home to the snow and the cold.  Ian and Linda leave on Wednesday but they are going back to the Palm Springs area in California for February and March.  All good things must come to an end!

We started the evening at 4pm with the customary happy hour and some chat.


Linda took care of the dinner with no help from the rest of us and it’s time to dish up.  I did bring stuffed mushrooms so I did contribute a little bit!


I think Bazil is waiting for everyone to join him for dinner.  Brenda has already loaded his plate.  What a nice wife!


Does that look delicious or what!  The shrimp came from Geraldo who delivers shrimp to our RV park and they were delicious.  Sauted in garlic and bit of chicken broth.  Tasty and tender.


Ian and Linda rented a lovely condo in the Cerritos Resort.  Plenty of room for company at this table.


Brenda and Bazil.  Bazil is looking quite pink…I think he may have had a little too much sun today!


Eric and Linda.


To end the lovely evening I didn’t even have to do dishes.  Ian washed and Brenda dried. 

Good food, good company and a really nice evening.

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Ride to Playa Novillero

Today we were off to points south for a ride and lunch with friends…we hope.  Arnoldo who is Manny’s friend is taking him, Dennis & Marilyn and Frank & Sandi in his van on a sightseeing tour and we hope to meet up with them when we get to Playa Novillero.  We are uncertain as to what restaurant they are headed to and will give Manny a call when we get there.


Today’s ride was a long one….135 miles each way. 


Heading towards the bypass east of Walmart. There is two way traffic here as they redo the new pavement on the north side heading west.  It looks like they may be adding services etc.  Maybe they should have done that first!


Stay left and head onto the bypass.  This eliminates the travel through the city and we will end up in Villa Union.


We are heading south on the libre and you can see Villa Union behind us.


Wide open highway ahead.  We are on the free road or libre. 


Lots and lots of chicken barns and they….smell!


Up ahead El Rosario



We don’t go downtown El Rosario heading south but you can see the steeple of the very large church.


We head out over the river and south.


We have arrived at Esquinapa and if you are on the free road you have to go right through the middle of town to head south.  You come in on a one way street heading south and return heading north on another one way street. 


Uh oh….that doesn’t look good.  That is our return route that is under construction…never a good sign.


We head into town and follow the signs for Tepic.  This is the way that you go to Teacapan as well and you would turn right and head west part way through town.


Congested and busy.


We stopped to remove some jackets and stretch our legs just as we were leaving town.  These three young boys caught my eye and they reminded me of Eric and his brothers Ian and Brian.  I wonder why they aren’t in school….it’s not a holiday. 


This is mango country….what are you eating?


South of Esquinapa and there is a long line of vendors selling tamales. 


We don’t actually like tamales….seem like a bunch of mushy dough with stuff inside.   An acquired taste I guess.


There is a short stretch of four lane divided toll road south of Esquinapa and then it’s back to the libre where we only have two lanes.


The wide open estuary flats south of Esquinapa. 


That’s a Federalie impromptu check point behind us….they waved us through. 


Acaponeta 13 km ahead and we’ll turn right (west) towards Tecuala and Playa Novillero.


We are really motoring along here….65-70 mph.  Big Red is made for cruising. 


This is a huge new fruit packing facility.


Turn left for Acaponeta or right for Tecuala.


36km to the town of Novillero and then a bit farther to the beach.


Beautiful landscape here and lots for the cows to eat.


We are really flying along here as well…60mph.


Here they are growing a variety of sorghum.


Coming into Tecuala and it’s a pretty little place.


Welcome to….Tecuala. 


One way in and it’s congested.  You couldn’t take a big truck through here.  I wonder if there is another way through town.


Not too busy here.


Always lots of pretty old buildings.


Statue of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.  He was a Roman Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican War of Independence. 


Roadside vegetable and clothing market.


Another 22km to go.   It’s a pretty ride and there isn’t much traffic.



Nice and green and….


…more sorghum. 


Guess who again


As we get closer to the ejido of Novillero the water starts to appear.


We’re getting closer to the ocean and you can see the boats pulled up.


How do you get your boat to the beach…well you pull it with your tractor!


Ejido Novillero.


Pretty here too and this big tree is covered in orangey red blooms.


Town square.


And now for….Playa Novillero.


We’re at the beach and we park and give Manny a call.


So….Manny where exactly are you?   Well…I’ll let you talk to Armondo and he can tell you.  Turns out they were about 20km away at a restaurant that is not on the beach.  We decided not to try and find them and just stay where were and have lunch by ourselves. 


A short walk down the little road by the beach to see what was there.


Hmmm…..not much down this way.


At this point we walked down onto the wide open beach to head back to where we were parked.


The beach here is really flat and everyone seems to be driving on it. 


When this fellow and his horse pulled his cart past us I asked him “ Donde esta un bueno restaurante?” this isn’t quite correct but he got the idea that I wanted to find a good place to eat.   He suggested one just up ahead called El Marinero and that’s where we went.


We seated ourselves in the big palapa restaurant and next to us was a coconut stand.  He was playing his music and the restaurant was playing it’s music.  No one ever seems to care…just us!   Ah Mexico.


I ordered a pina colada and Eric thought I might fall off the back of the bike after drinking it!  It was more coconut than pineapple and really light on the rum, delicious and thirst quenching.


Eric got the teeny tiny beer! 


Beautiful palapa roof and it’s still a bit green.


A very good lunch.  Much similar to the one we had in Estacion Dimas but quite a bit pricier.  80 pesos in Dimas and 140 here…still only about 10 bucks so no complaints. 


Eric as usual is rolling up a fresh tortilla to eat with his meal.  I tend to fill mine with fish and salad.


While we were having our lunch the rest of the crew was having their lunch at Botonero Los Corrales in El Filo.  Pictures courtesy of Frank.  This was about 20km away from where we were and down a dirt road so that wouldn’t have worked on the bike.


The deal at this restaurant is that you pay for beer and the food is free.  How can that work economically.  On the left you can see Manny and on the right Dennis and Marilyn and someone else I don’t know. 



You’d have to drink lots of beer to pay for the food.


Just as we were leaving the beach we heard some yelling.  Turns out the rest of the crew had come to find us.  We said hi to Frank and said it was time to hit the road.  It was 2pm and it would take 3hrs to get home.


Back along the pretty estuary. 


In the first little town I noted you could have a table dance if you wanted…any takers?


We stopped for fuel in Tecuala and asked for directions out of town.  Three gas station attendants had a big conflab…go three blocks and turn left….no, go five blocks and turn left, no go….  In the end we were all laughing and we just left.  Took the first street with pavers and eventually found our way out of town. 


Turn left for Mazatlan.


Holy…does anyone need a coffin.  If one fell off the truck on us we really would need one.


We are leaving Nayarit and heading back into Sinaloa.


We’ll take the free road home.


Taking the free road wasn’t the best idea in the end.  Lots of traffic so…lots of passing and then there is Esquinapa. 


Remember earlier I said the route out of Esquinapa was dug up well…here we are.  We turned right and things went pretty well to start with.


We turned left up ahead and followed the river on a nice paved street.    When we got to the end of it there was a sign that said Mazatlan but nothing else.  Straight ahead it was dirt and we knew we had to go right to the free road so that’s what we did.  We crossed the river and then it went straight up.  Eric pulled the bike up a steep gravel driveway and I got off.  As he was backing out a Mexican driver in a cube van stopped and asked where were going…I said Mazatlan and he motioned for us to follow him up the hill.  He got to the top and signaled left and waited for us.  We followed him down and right onto the free road.  I think it was his own short cut for the detour and it was great.  What a nice guy!


So…it’s hot…we’re tired and we still had quite a way to go.  Saw this truck of calves as we travelled along.   Back to El Rosario where we stopped at a Pemex and downed a bottle of water each and then on to Villa Union and the Mazatlan bypass and home by 5pm.  Tired and hot.  Beer, soup and crackers and bed!  A good day.