Travel to Ensenada
Feb 25, 2009
|The last four days have been basically travel. From Mulege to Guerrero Negro, from there to Catavina, and then to Colonia Vincente Guerrero. The last day was to Ensenada, where we will spend three nights, then back to the states.
Same old same old as far as the roads are concerned. Mostly very narrow two lane, with the odd bit of four lane (very odd), and some wider two lane. The road is being upgraded, but very little really big road building equipment means that it will be a fair while - measured in years - til the whole road is finished. An example of the lack of powered equipment was the crew of two we saw putting in posts along the road. They were using the old fashioned hand post hole digger. Not too quick. The posts are also interesting. They are not wood, they are cast concrete. Of course, when you look at the landscape, it makes sense. There simply are not forests by any definition from which to cut timbers. A few of the older houses use a part of the stems of a cactus as posts and beams to build shelters, but I haven't see any new construction like that.
I note also that no houses, or other buildings, are built from wood. Almost all new construction is of concrete block. Some timber is used for rafters and perhaps sheeting, but many don't have roofs sheeted as we do at home. They are to be covered in cloy tile, or perhaps palm fronds (special palms grown for this). I don't think I have seen a single roof with asphalt shingles.
Virtually all work is labour intensive, which I guess, spreads the jobs out thinner, but cheaper. We are all familiar with the stoop labour "problem" in the states with those who perhaps cross the border illegally. Precisely the same sort of labour is used in the agricultural industry here. We watched perhaps fifty people work their way across a field of strawberries picking, and I can't imagine they receive as much for their work in Mexico as they do in the states.
I think I mentioned that the trailer park in Catavina is in a park. The whole area consists of huge boulders helter skelter across the landscape, with cactus growing between. I'd like to know the geology which created them, but suspect it must be earthquakes to break up the rock, then very slow weathering by wind and a very little water to round them off.
The odd valley has enough water below ground to be pumped up to support a few fields, and they are a startling contrast to the grays and browns of the desert.
In those areas, there might be a few cattle that aren't longhorns, and which can be fed better. I expected to see many more goats than I have. I believe they can survive harsher conditions than cattle, but I really haven't seen too many of them.
Anyway, more from Ensenada later.
Chuck and Janet.