Thursday, March 29, 2018

San Carlos to Alamos

After 2 nights in San Carlos, we moved the next day southeast to the cute town of Alamos. We stopped in Navojoa for lunch at a private mansion.

The salad buffet was much appreciated after all the Mexican food we've been eating.

When we arrived in Alamos, we were divided into 2 hotels, right next to each other. I ended up at the Casa de Los Tesoros, which was very nice.

In the late afternoon, we went on a "trolley" tour of the town.

After dinner, we were treated to a great young people's singing group. They also danced, and I got to dance quite a bit.

The following morning, there was a walking tour of the town, or you could choose to walk around on your own, which I did. We went first to the cathedral -

Which I always enjoy visiting.

But above our hotel, I noticed a staircase up to the top of El Mirador. I had to go!

At the top is the classic letters of the town -

And a beautiful view of the city -

Including the cathedral and our hotel.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

I Love San Carlos!

After arriving in San Carlos late last night, we had another whole day and another night here. We started off with breakfast at the "hotel with a view"-

Then went on a boat tour on the Sea of Cortez, leaving the mansions of San Carlos behind.

Our first stop was to admire the Indian guarding the harbor. He has a lighthouse on his head, and looks like he's blowing smoke out his mouth.

We saw lots of wildlife, starting with several Great Blue Herons nesting.

There were lots of pelicans -

And cormorants.

But wow! We lucked out and saw some Blue-Footed Boobies!!!

And a rare American Oystercatcher! I had seen both in the Galapagos a year-and-a-half ago, but this was a real treat!

We also saw quite a few Bottlenose Dolphins.

After the boat tour, the bus took us over to a pearl farm, where we had a lecture on how they raise pearls. These are not white or black pearls, but unique iridescent colors.

Back at the hotel, we were treated by a deer dancer. These are really common before Easter.

I though this was funny for some reason...

We also went on the bus over to a cactus garden, which unfortunately is now private and you can't get in.

And we went to the top of Mirador Hill, where we got a view of the other side of the mountain Tetakawi.

Much more to come!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Leaving the Country Once Again!

In the last several years, I have wanted to explore out of the US more and more. When I saw an ad for a 7-day bus trip to Copper Canyon in Mexico, I jumped at the chance. The bus left Mesa very early in the morning, and made its first stop at the Mission in Tucson, where I had just been a few days earlier.

We soon crossed the border at Nogales, and I started snapping pictures - the first being this painting of the Virgin Mary along the highway.

We stopped in the city of Hermosilla, the capital of the State of Sonora. We visited the Government Palace, built in 1859 by Yaqui Indian labor, almost destoyed by a fire in 1948, and since renovated.

The interior courtyard displays fascinating murals depicting the history of Sonora.

Just beautiful!

Also in the square is the Cathedral de la Ascencion.

I just love the interiors of the old cathedrals!

The sun went down, and we still weren't at our destination for the evening - San Carlos.

When we arrived, we were treated to a Mariachi band, a welcome drink -

And then dinner with free wine. We were all very happy!

The next morning, I woke up to this beautiful view from my balcony! Much more to come!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Tucson - So Much to Do, So Little Time!

The WINs had a 10-day gathering in Tucson the beginning of March, so I decided to run down and join them. When I arrived there was snow on the surrounding mountains, but it didn't stay long.

One of the many highlights of Tucson is the Mission San Xavier.

I think the inside is more beautiful than any of the other missions I have ever been to.

The intricate details are amazing!

The Stations of the Cross are located in the garden outside, something I've never seen in another church.

Afterwards, we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and got to sit at the "Presidential Table," where Bill Clinton sat in 1999.

The following day, we went to the Titan Missile Museum, where we got to see the only remaining Titan Missile.

Our tour guide explained the intricate methods used to avoid an accidental firing.

On another day, we went to the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum. While there are some animals in a zoo-like setting -

The raptors get to fly free in their once-or-twice-a-day Raptor Show. First up was the Great Horned Owl.

The birds are encouraged to land in different places to collect their treats. This is a Ferruginous Hawk.

Next up was the Gray Hawk.

Then the Crested Caracara.

And last up were several Harris's Hawks.

They had a nice cactus garden -

And they also had a Hummingbird Aviary - difficult to get photos because it was pretty dark...

We also visited Saguaro National Park, surely the most concentrated collection of saguaros anywhere.

And we did lots of hiking -

And visited the Pima Air and Space Museum, with it's massive collection of aircraft, both inside and outside.

I found out I would be a lot lighter on the moon!

One day, Don led us on a great 4-wheel drive, where we saw some rusty stuff!

And found some mines.

And to top it all off, a Road Runner found a treat (Tarantula?) in the bush right by where my rig was parked!