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Last week I accompanied my g/f to visit her grandmother who was sick in the hospital in Mexico. Unfortunately, while we were on our way, we got a call that her grandmother passed away. So it was an even sadder trip than I thought it was going to be. Despite the somber occasion, I managed to take a few pics of sights you don't see too often here at home.

Rather than drive 14 hours to her family's ranch in Mexico, we took one of these, a Turimex tour bus. The seats are bigger and more comfy than Greyhound seats, and they recline way back so you can sleep if ya want to. It was only $105 roundtrip for the 14 hour ride, much cheaper than the $200-plus in gas, Mexican auto insurance and border permits it would've cost had we driven the Bronco down there.
 

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all you got was a pic of the bus?
 

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Her Uncle Arcadio picked us up at the bus station in Matehuala, San Luis Potosi and took us to his ranch about twenty minutes away. Here's an eastern view of his ranch:



Here's an old horse-drawn cart sitting in the shade of a Mesquite tree on his ranch:



Many of the corrals are lined with "cactus de organo" (organ cactus?). This one held a baby calf at his ranch:



No trip to Mexico is complete without the obligatory sighting of a burro. This one was looking right at me while inside another one of her uncle's cactus-lined corrals:



All work and no play makes Johnnie a dull boy. In this case, 11 year old Arcadio, Jr. (aka "Calito") was taking a break from the rigors of ranch chores by practicing bullfighting with one of his pet goats. Yeah, that's a real knife he has in his hand, and I was afraid he was going to accidentally stab the poor little thing. Instead, animal rights activists would be pleased to know that the goat bopped him real good with those horns right on the kid's shin.

 

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The day after the funeral we decided to "get away" from it all by taking a trip to Real de Catorce, about an hour's drive from the ranch. It's an old, semi-abandoned mining town where Spaniards used to mine for gold and silver. Some of the local Indians near the town still use peyote in their religious ceremonies, while other locals claim to have seen strange, UFO-like lights, or balls of fire, dancing around the mountain tops. Lots of trails for fourwheeling in and around the town, too:



Here's an old, abandoned building on the road to Real de Catorce. There are quite a few ruins and ghost towns in that area just waiting to be explored by horse or 4-wheel drive:

 

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Last, but not least, here's a pic of my g/f's Uncle Arcadio with the rest of his family - Ms. Gloria, Mary Lou and Jacqueline.



Her Uncle Arcadio is a real cowboy and one tough ole dude. While cutting maguey, the plant used to make tequila, some of the maguey juice splattered in his eye. For some of you tequila experts that know about maguey, the unrefined juice can cause burning and itching when exposed to skin. If it gets in your eye, it hurts even worse. Despite a swollen left eye and intense pain, her uncle never once complained and continued to cut more maguey to feed the cows, carry 50 lb bags of feed, milk the cows, round up and head out the herd and perform other ranching duties each day. I helped as much as I could and learned alot about ranching in those few days. The generous hospitality and humble politeness they showed me endeared me to him and his family.
 

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i Love going down to places like that were poeple r so real, they don't give a damn were u come from they treat u the same, **** I have to go back to Sinaloa.
 

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eljefe said:
i Love going down to places like that were poeple r so real, they don't give a damn were u come from they treat u the same, **** I have to go back to Sinaloa.
My wife is from Sinaloa.....Ixpalino.......about 45min from Mazatlan. Yo quiero ir a visitar su familia, pero nunca tenemos mucho tiempo. Posible podemos cuando los ninos son mas grande.

Nice pics. It would be nice to get out of SoCal and see an easier way of life.
 

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I'm diggin the pics ed, it sure is pretty down there.

Sounds like a Tx offroading weekend just waiting to happen :toothless
 

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Sorry about the loss.

Those are some great pics!!! Thanks for sharing them man.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Yeah, the folks I met were definitely real and very down-to-earth, laid-back people. They were more concerned about keeping me happy, feeding me and making sure I was fine more than anything else. And her uncle is the kind of guy that'll pass ya as many beers as you want, including his last one!

The ranch we stayed at has no a/c, no central heat, no cable TV or internet and no hot water. To take a hot bath, you have to heat the water up and pour it in a big tin bin like they did in the Old West days. It was the perfect excuse not to have to take a bath or shave - lol - but I did feel compelled to shampoo the dust out of my hair (albeit in cold water cuz I was too lazy to heat it up) the day of the funeral. It's a serene, simple life with alot of hard ranch work and very generous people who'll bend over backwards for ya. Definitely good to get out of the fast-paced, rat race kind of life here in the mean streets of Dallas.

Cameron (Dosdovi) - they got some great wheeling down there! I told my g/f that if I can't sell my POS neglected old 86 Bronco, I'll just spend the money to fix it up, drive it down to her uncle's ranch and leave it there so whenever I visit, I can wheel it around those mountains and explore the ghost towns! If that happens, I'll definitely invite y'all for a Mexican-style off-roading trip!

Broncobabe - I've never heard of a mecate rope, but I'll ask him. It wouldn't surprise me if he could make one, though. From what I saw, they're fairly self-sufficient.
 

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equin said:
Broncobabe - I've never heard of a mecate rope, but I'll ask him. It wouldn't surprise me if he could make one, though. From what I saw, they're fairly self-sufficient.
If he's a real Mexican cowboy he'll know what it is and how to make it. :thumbup

It's pronounced mé-cay I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If it's written "mecate", then it's probably pronounced meh KAH teh, although I'll admit my Puerto Rican Spanish accent is much different than a Mexican Spanish accent. I don't think you could find a more Mexican cowboy than her uncle, though, but I guess that depends on what you consider a true Mexican cowboy!
 

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Ah, I dunno then. A friend of mine grew up in New Mexico and Texas working the ranches and that's how he said it's pronounced. :shrug I'd love to get a rope made for him.

If he knows how to ride, rope and ranch, I'd consider that a cowboy. :thumbup
 

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Actually wouldn't he be a Vaquero? (Sorry just my Arizona coming out)
 

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2fastnaz said:
Actually wouldn't he be a Vaquero? (Sorry just my Arizona coming out)
Yep, he'd be a vaquero alright!
 

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vaquero is a cowboy, a caballero is a gentlemen.
 
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