Durango observations

(January 13 – written by Dave)

Durango is famous for a number of things – first up, many traditional old western movies were filmed here.  They even have a cowboy/western tour of some of the old movie sets.  We didn’t go on the tour but we did spot a local cowboy busting some moves in a local square.  I’m not sure how authentic in terms of “the old west” this guy was, none the less, he was a pretty good dancer.  As you look at the photos below, imagine traditional, very up-tempo, Mexican music blasting out of a nearby speaker.  I tried, but was unable to get Nancy to show off her Pendleton roots and join for a quick whirl (Senior editor’s note – if only I’d had some cowboy boots with me…).

Durango is also famous for its churches.  The largest church is in the main square, right by our hotel.  It is called the Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción.  Construction of this church began in 1695, and was formally completed some 150 years later in 1844 –some serious long-term commitment shone by the local congregation.

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción 6

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción 3

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción 5

Catedral Basilica Menor Inmaculada Concepción – inside

Nancy the angle

Nancy the angle

At the other end of our street is another famous church called the Church of Santa Ana.  At this church you can see what looks like bullet holes in the tower and facade stonework.  We met a couple of very interesting locals having their Friday night social just outside the church – they repeated the story we’d heard of the bullet damage coming during the Mexican Revolution.  I’m not sure that we got the full correct story but we had a lot of fun talking “Spenglish” with guys.  Their English and our Spanish made communication a challenge but also educational – who needs language learning applications on your smartphone when locals are willing to lend us a hand with these private lessons.

Church Santa Ana 2

Church of Santa Ana

Santa Ana hosts

Spenglish spoken here

While shopping we passed a couple stores selling sewing machines.  Normally getting me to stop a sewing machine shop would be a challenge.  The difference here is that these stores were selling the famous old Singer (and other brands) machines that fit into those old tables that one finds in the hallway of trendy wine country bed and breakfast establishments.  The difference here was that the machines were either brand new, or refurbished.  In other words, they are still manufacturing brand new machines and people still use these machines here in Mexico.  The shop owner was quite proud showing us some of his more unique machines.

Sewing 7

Need a new machine for your antique table?

Sewing 6

Lower priced, it’s not a Singer

Sewing 1

Take your pick

In addition to wandering around a bit and relaxing we also got some laundry done, shopped for supplies and did some bike maintenance – chores that need to be done even when you are on “vacation” for an extended period.  We found a great restaurant/deli called Wallanders that is a few blocks from the hotel and we’ve gone there for a late breakfast/brunch the last two days.  Great food and lots of tasty cookies and bread products, so we are stocked up for the road.

Durango food treats 1

Durango treats

Durango food treats 2


Durango food treats 3

Omelette in a bun – delicious 

Tomorrow we head west and a little south from here.  Durango is as far north as we are going to be for a long time.  Sometime in the next few days we’ll drop below the Tropic of Cancer and back into the tropics again.  It is sunny and warm enough during the day here, but the mornings are cool.  In fact, we’ll have to probably rug up a little when we leave tomorrow.  I’m happy to report that in spite of the morning coolness, Durango and its 800,000 folks don’t seem to burn wood for heat, so the air quality here is better than it was up in the mountains.  While there will be some climbing it should be nothing like what we had on the way up to Durango so we are looking forward to the ride.

Street seller 1

Popsicle street seller

Man with bird cage backpack

Man selling birds – his backpack was actually multiple stacked cages.

6 thoughts on “Durango observations

  1. Hi David… talked to Alice today.. she is  not happy with the weather.. makes her unhappy.. no sun!!!Read the news on your nephew  Matts,   wow  he sure is  traveling alot  and seeing the world.. what a great job fr him  doing what he loves.. how many of us find that…Happy Birthday to Nancy  on Wednesday… I have read that on here and Alice told me  so Nancy may be getting a lot of  HB”S from people who read the blog..I love my blogs.. have to check  daily to make sure I don’t miss one… yesterday I got two…’Yesterday my power went off at noon  and came back on at 9pm…soggy ice cream  but it will freeze up again.. I read    ALL DAY   at night it was by candlelight.. then went to bed and couldn’t sleep so got up  and watched tv till after 2am..  so today i am  a little groggy..I noticed on one of your pictures of the riders you met (in red)  the hiway  coming DOWN   the line was quite crooked.. did you see that??? it was with the riders club….I didn’t realize you  cross so many states  in Mexico.. just think of it as one big country..no states…  but that makes sense..when I think of the USyou are sure having a great time talking to all the people you meet on the  road..and all the  tortilla’s you eat…..guess everything they have is with tortilla’s . stuffed even!Glad you are getting your legs back since “resting in La Paz…I can’t believe you are doing this, so proud of you….no snakes yet???  is there a lot of desert there???? well   take care   and please be careful   we love you lots   AP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s