Downhill days are very important to me. Those are the days when I take Dod down the hill and usually into San Blas. Last Thursday was just such a day.
With the difficulties getting back up the hill in Dod, I try to plan very carefully so that I can accomplish all that is needed in one trip. Sometimes I am successful and Thursday was just such a day! Here is what I accomplished on that trip:
1. Took out the trash. I know for most of you this seems like a minor thing but living on the hill in Aticama the procedure is a little different. I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and having to haul out the 30 gallon galvanized metal trashcans once a week. As I grew older the cans became plastic and the shape changed and separate cans for recycling and green trash were added but the task never changed. Here on the hill we have no trash pick up!
I keep three separate bags in the house and my trash actually goes 4 separate places. The edible scraps either go to Sara or get thrown over the patio wall where the tejones (coatimundis) remove them nightly; the paper items go into a box and get burned along with the cuttings and leaves from the grounds; the plastic bottles go into a bag to be taken down the hill for recycling; and, all else goes into small bags which accumulate until I go downhill. On the highway into San Blas there are several blue 55 gallon trash cans in front of houses and businesses along the way. Unlike in the U.S. these cans are community property and do not belong to the property in front of which they are placed, so I put my basura in these cans along the way.
2. All drinking water here is of the bottled kind and comes in 20 liter bottles with a weight of just over 40 lbs. You can imagine that hauling a bottle up the hill from the village is no fun so I make sure I have an empty bottle to exchange each trip I make downhill.
3. My generator took a dump so it had to be added to my cargo destined for a repair shop in San Blas. After checking out the generator, the mechanic showed me a screw that was broken off the choke in the throat of the carburetor. He could either use a rivet to repair it or go into Tepic (60 mile round trip) for a used carburetor which would cost $40. US. Hey, it's Mexico so the rivet was just fine with me. While it took 5 hours to fix that was no problem as I had a dentist appointment and some shopping and socializing to do.
4. The dentist took an hour and a half but I walked away with my new bridge and so far it is working great and will need just some minor tweaking to make it perfect.
5. The shopping was completed in about an hour as I went to 4 different tiendas (small shops) because after a few months here I have learned where to buy the best items at the best prices. Paper goods, household items and toiletries come from one tienda; ham, cheese, eggs and smoked pork chops from another; pork and beef from the butcher; and, produce from the Mercado Centro (central market).
6. With my grocery shopping done I walked back to the San Blas Social Club for a beer and internet. With all my errands and internet surfing accomplished, I still had two hours to wait for the generator which gave me time for a couple more beers and some great conversation at the Club. Old friends showed up and I met some new friends. This is where you catch up on what is happening and get advice on anything you may need in San Blas.
The really good news about Thursday is that when I returned to Aticama, Dod powered up the hill with no slipping whatsoever! Jesus and I had repaired the two worst spots on the road where Dod normally would have bounced off the ground and spun his drive wheel, there was nothing but smooth sailing. Since then, Jesus and I have added another 10 square meters of empandrado on the road which means I no longer have to dread the trip up the hill!