Side trips out of Huatabampito to Alamos and Yavaros. Little towns completely different.
Moving On 1
Spending another Winter in wonderful Mexico
Follow along with our adventures in Jennie the RV and Willie the Jeep
Alamos - A Pueblo Magico
Yavaros - A Fishing Village
In the tourist office on the plaza you can buy "Mexican Jumping Beans." They are really the larvae of butterflies. From the plaza we walked up a bunch of steps towards the old Jail. The jail itself is in ruins but there has been a new section added to it as a cultural center of some sorts. It was closed. The day we were there the courtyard was being used by a group of teenage boys. They were a band and were practicing there.
There is a great view of the town from up there.
Back down the hill, much easier, and through a narrow street to the red brick municipal building. There were a couple of city police standing guard at the door but they were very gracious about letting us go in and tour it. It is now a theater - very pretty. Several major musical events are held there throughout the year.
As you walk around the town you'll find that around every corner there is something to see and go "Wow" about. The buildings surrounding the plaza have wonderful arches. The really white buildings with the colorful bougainvillias growing around them. The mansions that have been restored and painted various bright colors. Some times you can get a peak inside a door and see the magnificent courtyards inside. On Saturdays tours are available of some of the restored homes.
As we were walking around Alamos we came to a really pretty hotel As we were looking into the inner court yard a young man came up to us and asked us if we’d like a tour of it.
It is the Hacienda de los Santos- a “boutique” hotel. Way back in the late 1600s early 1700s one of Spanish silver barons built a magnificent hacienda here. The family lived there for many years but when the silver played out they took their money and moved back to Spain. The hacienda was neglected. It changed hands a few times over the years but was eventually purchased by an American couple who spent 15 years restoring the original building and five adjoining Colonial mansions and the old sugar mill. There are a total of 24 rooms, more like suites, they all have 17th century fireplaces in them. It takes up six acres. It was very interesting to see.
One day we took a drive to the colonial town of Alamos. It is one of the towns that has been designated a Pueblo Magico by the government. There is a lot of history there. The old buildings have been restored and maintained so it is like stepping back in time. Silver was discovered there by the Spanish in 1683. One hundred years later the population was over 30,000. And it was made capitol of Occidente (the combined states of Sonora and Sinaloa.) By the early nineteen hundreds the mines had played out and the town was almost a ghost town. In the 1940s the Americans and Canadians discovered it and began moving in and bought up the decaying haciendas and restored them. It is in the foothills of the Sierra Madre about 35 miles northeast of Navajoa. Easy to reach from MX15. The road is very good and there are a couple of RV Parks there. It's not a good idea to take an RV into town. Do your exploring by foot, bus or smaller vehicle.
We’ve been there a couple of times before but it is always fun to go back to.
We usually try to park around the main plaza so we can walk around and see the beautiful buildings One of my favorites is the old cathedral La Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción. It was completed in 1786. According to the plaque in the Plaza de Armas the chandeliers were made of silver. There is a great gazebo in the plaza. The ceiling is a big mural with all types of musical instruments painted on it. And around the plaza are many vendors who sell a mixture of things - among them - hot sauce, a couple different kinds of honey, some spices and quince paste. Also while we were there a pick up truck loaded with fresh flowers came by.
For some photos of Alamos Click Here
Just behind another section of the plant is a big wharf where the commercial shrimp and sardine fishermen moor their boats. Probably close to 100 of them. They were tied four deep and there were row after row of them. Some of the boats were shrimpers others go out for sardines. Some of them had multi-colored nets strung on them.
There were a lot of families here as it was Sunday. Lots of wives and children on the wharf and on the boats. Lots of guys standing around talking and drinking cerveza from coolers in the backs of their pickups.
Bill was asking one of the fishermen how long they stayed out at a time. The answer, “from 7 to 30 days at a time.”
As we were talking to one group of fishermen these two old men showed up. One with his guitar and the other with his bass instrument - a white five gallon paint container turned upside down with a broom handle sticking out of it and a rope tied to the handle and going back through the bucket. They sat down and started to play - and sing. Both instruments appeared to be well used. And they got a lot of music out of them.
Bill decided to pass the hat for them. Everyone got a big laugh out of that. Then he asked one of the girls standing there listening to dance with him. She giggled and refused. By then everyone was laughing so hard they couldn’t play anymore.
At the end of the wharf closest to the village was the ship grave yard. Several rusted sunken boats rested there.
As we drove back through the town we couldn't help but notice the difference in homes. Some two-story newly painted and decorated, others made out of corrugated metal and what amounted to sticks. Except for the main street all the roads were dirt. We wondered how all the laundry hanging outside could be clean when it was taken with so much dirt and dust blowing around. And every house had laundry on something, a line, a wire fence or a bush.
Kids were playing soccer in the streets, families were cooking and eating outside under the shade of the trees. And every house had a different song playing - all turned up full blast. Then came the pickup selling pure water in five gallon jugs. He had a siren that sounded like a police siren. He would hit it every block or so.
We took the periferico - this was just a dirt road around the town last year. This year it is paved and wider and used by the trucks for the cannery so they don't have to drive through the town itself. It follows along the water of a little bay of sorts where the day fishermen keep their pangas -little boats. It was low tide and most of the boats were sitting in the mud. Their only passengers were pelicans.
Several of the fishermen have tables set up next to their boats so they can clean their catch and sell them to passers by.
We really enjoy going there to visit. No tourists and very friendly people.
Another side trip we took was to the little fishing village of Yavaros. It’s not far from the campground. On the road from Huatabampo instead of turning right to the beach and the RV park at the fork in the road turn left. Continue on and you pass a big cemetery on the right and soon you're in the outskirts of Yavaros. If you stay on the main road and follow it all the way through the town you come to a big processing plant? cannery? There was a big boat docked there with a Japanese name.
It was a Sunday and there were several families around just enjoying the weather and fishing. A couple of men were fishing for Liza. They were using very unsophisticated poles. A stick with an empty plastic water bottle for a float. If they caught something they were going to cook it there and have a picnic. One group of five little girls were having fun playing on the rocks. One of the girls about 10 years old pulled out her cell phone to take a picture of the rest of them. Kind of a jarring contrast. A picture taking cell phone and their Dad was fishing in the gulf with a string with a plastic bottle.
Wharf in Yavaros
For some pictures from Yavaros Click Here
Things we've done and places we've been on this trip - Mexico 2009