It would be our pleasure to welcome you to our little adobe home situated about 225 miles south-southwest of the international metroplex of McAllen, Texas - Reynosa, Tamaulipas, or between four and six hours of easy driving, depending on your number of stops. We are situated 30 miles west-northwest of Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the Mexican State of Tamaulipas, in the middle of a truly majestic and compelling geographical and cultural zone.
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The Old Gringo, with Cleo the cat, and Prince, the lazy dog
A fairly dull set of day to day observations, published every now and then, privatouring.blogspot.com is a blog outlet where folks can feel free to connect with us at any time....It is a place that is your home and which provides you with the opportunity to disagree, agree, inquire and enquire, and generally participate with the Old Gringo. One must necessarily be aware that the Old Gringo is a crotchety old goat who has been seeing things pretty much the same way for several score years. As an official curmudgeon, he will give his best shot at the truth and at giving honest, forthright advice and information....but always filtered through a decidedly conservative political and cultural point of view.
About the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre
We have a long west-facing corridor..... where a visitor can sit in a mesadora (huge rustic rocking chair) and read an Agatha Christi mystery under the shade a huge avocado tree.....or await the arrival of flocks of parrots headed to or from the nearby Sierra Madres. The rugged summits of the Sierra can be seen in the very near distance, and just knowing there were colonial gold mines there makes a person wonder.....Look! There's a family going down to the Rio for an afternoon swim.... and they meet a man coming up on
horseback; they pause to talk or gossip....are they friends, or family? The Quinta's Cats come, go, cat-nap, and pass by to size you up for a hand-out or head-scratching...as do the Dogs...... The neighbour's rooster breaks the silence briefly....then you wake up from a 22-minute siesta to find another Corona, with lime, in the little ice-bucket on the table by your huge rustic rocking chair.
Your adobe hide-away is situated...on a large tract that descends to the Rio Corona ( pictured below) is a clear, cypress-lined, spring-fed mountain stream which supports considerable irrigation in the area. The Rio Corona holds blue catfish, largemouth bass, and two types of perch. During recent years the environmental condition of the river continues a steady improvement. We try to help in this matter by "policing" the accesses to the Rio when and whereever we can. In all cases we strive to encourage and enhance natural activity.....although sometimes you might just go for a walk with the Old Gringo and neighbour's 160 pound Rhodesian Lion Hound (aka: Ridgeback Hound) along the banks of the Rio Corona.
These areas are within 100 yards of your 'long, west-facing corridor'
The primitive area of the Quinta's grounds.... lies about 100 yards from the homesite. We strive to maintain this portion of the property.....that which is adjacent to the Rio Corona, in as primeval a condition as possible. These efforts have been rewarded with almost c0ntinual visits by hundreds of birds, butterflies, and other creatures on a daily basis as well a never ending effusion of flowering things. For instance, we have red, yellow, gold, and blue shrimp plants, numbering well over 100, which are especially good for attracting hummingbirds. (UPDATE) During the rains of late July and August of 2010 the place where you can see the Old Gringo walking up the path was inundated to shoulder level due to 100 inch rainfalls in the nearby mountains, all coming within a two week period. This was the highest level in memory or on record, tieing the same level as Hurricane Beulah in 1967.
BUTTERFLIES & BIRDS ABOUND
These beautiful insects are found in great abundance in this area. The number of species counted on the Quinta itself by one expert, on one day's efforts, exceeded 50. It should be pointed out that this count included dragonflies and moths. The combination of nectars, minerals, moisture, shade, and sunlight forms a perfect place for the pursuits of these non-feathered flying friends.
We are situated..... on one of the major flyways of the Mariposa Monarca (monarch butterfly), and they flood through the grounds of the Quinta twice a year....usually for a period of a couple of months each time. April and May marks the northward flight, and October - November is normally the times Monarcas to be making their way to the cold moun tains in Michoacan State, several hundred more miles to the southwest. There are times that the Monarch completely cover our duranta tree, our blue mist patch , other other vegetation, obscuring the trees and plants from view. They make "butterfly beards" even high up on the cypress trees down by the Rio Corona. Perhaps more importantly, hundred of other butterfly species make use of the Quinta on an annual basis....such as those pictured above....almost guaranteeing a successful time of it for "butterfly people".
Birds, of course, are also visitors in abundance.....with over 400 species having been sighted on or near the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre. Daily specie-sighting counts can range from 120 to as high as 170. The area is famous for the bumblebee hummingbird (early Springtime during their annual visit from the higher elevations), and has at least nine (some say as many as 13 ) other types of hummers on a year-round and/or seasonal basis. Warblers, wrens, songbirds, and other feathered friends abound....various types of Orioles, the two types of Ani's, kingfishers of three different types, and hundreds of other birds, both common and rare can be encountered. Visitors are frequently delighted to hear and see flights of as many as four different types of parrots during early-morning and late-afternoon fly-overs. Although we are not the sophisticated type of birdwatchers...... who come through our area at times..... we are given to understand that we have 5 sub-species of oriole that frequent the Quinta. Their long, drawn-out, complicated songs are frequently heard during the morning and then again the late afternoon. We can have as many as twenty different individuals in the gardens simultaneously. Recently green jays decided to call the Quinta home. These birds, along with the giant kiskadee flycatcher, the tropical kiskadee, two types of mockingbirds, and a few common domestic hens can be seen contesting for the blisteringly hot chili piquins that grow wild around the edge of the Quinta's grounds. Chili piquins are very small peppers, about half the size of a pencil eraser. It is also considered to be among the top five hottest peppers known. On any given day, however, as the issue concerns birds, we readily see up to 100 species just from our front corridor.
Man and one of his best friends, Trouble the Dog
We provide....a nice breakfast or brunch usually served between 07:00 - 09:00, or to the extent possible as the client wishes. This can be a combination of Mexican, American, and Continental fare, which will follow early morning wake-up service of coffee and juice. Breakfast (or brunch) is quite ample and is included in your room charge. We also can provide nice light meals for later in the day ...deli-sandwiches, home-made soups and the like for mid-day, and suppers that can approximate gourmet quality. Lunches and suppers carry an additional charge, albeit quite moderate. It is requested that you advise us before arrival of your intention to take additional meals on premises. We will have selections available from which you can choose for your additional meals, and we can recommend other alternatives, both nearby and in Ciudad Victoria.
Also. at times, folks like to have an old -fashioned Texan - Mexican parrillada (mesquite & charcoal grilling) and this can be arranged as well. To describe such a thing, we are a bit hard-pressed. It is rather-much a controlled disorder, perhaps a man's thing, beginning around mid-afternoon with the lighting of the charcoal, mixed with orange and mesquite wood that ha s been placed in the parrilla (an outdoor grill). Background music from somewhere (not too loud), dogs ever-lurking around the edges sizing up food-lackeys, the cooking of beef cuts, chicken, even fish and shrimp, potatoes, beans, onions, chili peppers, carrots, broccoli, continual chilling of beer and soda pops, deploying of citronella anti-mosquito candle buckets...serving and being served .....and just generally having a good time without a script, while buying ice and and tending the fire......is all part of the parrillada In the summer it is ideal in the late afternoon on into the night, while during the winter everything will start outside and retire indoors for a bit of dessert away from the even's chill.
The legendary parrilla and the Old Gringo
We do earnestly request... that you give us at least three weeks of anticipation before your arrival, so that we can do the kind of shopping for native goods and products that will make your stay special. Mexican supplies and qualities are really quite good, and with your ample notice we can then keep up with what is available, and make our purchases in an effective way so as to ensure an excellent dining experience with us. We grow a considerable amount of our own vegetables and herbs. There is no micro-wave at the Quinta, and we make almost everything up from scratch. We generally have very cold beer, usually Corona and/or Bohemia, and we can usually make a limited selection of mixed-drinks...ie martinis, cuba libres, margaritas, tropical smoothies (a house specialty).....and we have a bit of white or red wine for before, after, and/or during mealtime. All alcoholic beverages are sold at a very reasonable charge. Wine served at extra meals has no further charge, in that it is part of the overall meal.
How's the weather?
To be sure, the area is hot during the summer, although the mornings and late afternoons, and the nights are blessedly pleasant to even cool. In our years of being there, and receiving guests, we have only had the clients use the air-conditioner on five nights. An honest observation is that we have to run the air-conditioners once a month just to keep them operational.
Winter nights can be quite bracing, due to our position away from the coast and adjacent to very high mountains.
Temperatures in the 40's F are not rare in December and January during early morning hours. But, even in the depths of winter the daytime highs will range from the upper 60's to the lower 80's. We might have three or four cold fronts of any significance during any given Winter that might drive the daytime highs into the 50's for a couple of days.
During the period from late April through June and then again during the tropical episode of the Autumn, say from September through mid-November, we have fairly predictable periods of heavy rains. Nighttime thunderstorms against the nearby mountains are very common during the Summer, and provide very attractive, if a bit humbling, lightning shows.
What is an "ejido"?
An ejido (eh HEE thoe) is a Mexican peculiarity. Sometimes Gringos are told that the word "ejido" is an Indian word meaning "land" or "tribal territory". That is something desperately in need of a Hefty Bag. The word comes from old Spanish, and even older Arabic, and is best translated to "land pertaining to the Throne". That term later transformed into "Estado Real" or 'royal estate'....from whence the Americans derive the term 'real estate'. The term was re-employed and re-defined by radical marxists during the post-revolutionary period (1917 - 1930) so as to mean "a rural community surrounded normally, by those lands that were expropriated from large landholdings"
These large landholdings pertained to very wealthy Mexican hacendados (hacienda/plantation owners) whose holdings generally ranged from 1,000 to 10,000,000 acres in the period before the 1930's. Usually these holding were granted by the Crown during the colonial period, mostly to secular interests, although there were haciendas, small and great, that were awarded to the Roman Catholic Church as well.
The expropriated lands were distributed to landless rural people, but in such a way that production values plummeted and rural progress stagnated for three generations. Mexico rapidly changed from a food exporter to a country dependent upon selling oil, silver, and gold for corn. During the mid-1990's these small tracts were finally made into fully private holdings that could be used for collateral, bought, sold, willed to descendants, and generally treated as what they should have been from the beginning of the program....private property. Because of the normal attendant corruption that always accompanies leftist "reforms" , the common rural "Mexican in the furrow" did not believe that this reform would be brought to reality.....but finally, because of certain "fundamental transformations" within the Mexican will, legislation, and action....the small rural tracts have been privatized....to about a 97 per cent level.
Your Mexican hideaway rests upon one of these properties; a rocky piece of river-front land that could not be farmed in any reasonable way....neither by ox-team nor small tractor...but that could be sold by the previous owners for a great financial gain for their family. Since they had become urbanized, professional people, they used the money for home improvements and to finance a small business that has proven to be quite successful.
Medicines, film, regular lap-top and other computer devices, etc.?
There are supplies for your laptop fairly readily available in the area. More certainly there are always place in Cd. Victoria where a person can obtain necessary supplies for most computer situations. At this point, however, we have neither wire connection for the internet nor wifi.....it is very close in both cases....but another few months away, perhaps in 2011. It is best to make sure that you have a good supply of any necessary back-ups and/or expendables in hand before arrival. Charging batteries is no real problem because our electricity is the same voltage and cyclage as American. Old-fashioned film and digital camera loads are pretty much same story. You will want to arrive with a good supply in-hand but Cd. Victoria will almost always have what is needed if we cannot find it in the locale.
NEW NEWS - There is a fairly good chance that your Mexican-adapted WiFi does finally reach us with some dependability. It seems that connections are steadily better as days and weeks go by. (April, 2011)
Water, food, diseases, shots, UFO abductions....etc.?
While we might style this topic with a bit of humour, there is reason to ask and to be answered. Water, for instance, is always an issue for people travelling outside the United States, especially for the first time. Water issues in Mexico were always a much more complicated issue than generally assumed.....It was "here, yes but there, no" . In some nowhere place like Matehuala, or Santa Engracia, one could drink the water from the taps without concern. Other places with decent water were Real de Catorce, Villa de Santiago, and even Reynosa. BUT! For instance, Mexico City, Guadalajara, most coastal areas...always "NO!" Public water supplies continue to improve throughout the country, but you are still well advised to carry bottled water and inquire locally to a reasonable respondent about your supply at the tap where you are. YOUR PLACE HAS VERY HIGH QUALITY TAP WATER, which I use (for me) straight from the tap. We also filter (three times) what we place in your room as well as providing bottled water. Our granddaughter as an infant used the straight stuff, as have my wife, daugher, and son-in-law, and my parents-in-law, and it seemed to do them good. In Cd. Victoria the tap water and any water served to you in any reasonable looking place is 100% potable.
We also have the same report for food in general. When eating out, one should apply his same standards as he might in Dallas or Tulsa. In the Victoria area, food is not terribly exotic although dried beef, yucca blossoms, nopal cactus, various types of sausages, and such things are more common. But, the general diet of the folks, depending upon their class origin, is remarkably similar to what Americans seem willing to chow down on. Processed goods, milk, cheese, canned goods, pastas, are eqivalent (sometimes tastier) to American. We find good buys in better cuts of beef. It seems that chicken, however, is not quite up to the same level as the beef, but is still good. Fish and seafood is abundant in terms of quality and selection at the gringo-style grocery stores.....Gran-D, Soriana, WalMart, etc. Fresh produce ranges from high-mediocre to excellent (shop Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Gran-D, for instance), and like Yogi would say, the selection is exactly the same except for what is completely different.
The biggest disease concern we have is the Dengue (DEN -gay) fever, a half-brother to malaria, and which becomes rarer as the years go by. Last year there were 1,500 cases within a Statewide population of 3,300,000. You all might recall the outbreak of Dengue in the Florida Keys - Tampa Bay area during the Summer of 2010. Most of our outbreaks here are usually in the far southern part of the State, around the Tampico area, and result from laxity on the part of people in neighbourhoods in the Tampico area who fail to police their grounds for standing water, which provides the breeding ground for the mosquito.
The State of Tamaulipas in general, and our little area especially, have done and continue to do a very good job in the control of this problem....one which affected my daughter who was infected in Texas back in the mid-1980's and my father who was infected in the late 1930's, also in Texas. My eldest brother and I were both hit with the malaria which still bothered folks in Coastal and Southern Texas into the 1950's. During the past several years we have not had either rabies or dengue reported in the this county, so perhaps we are on the way to putting those problems into the dust-bin along with polio, rabies, and diptheria and the other childhood diseases which used to affect this and most other areas of Mexico.
There is no need for any shots, and certainly not for the "preventative use of antibiotics" for warding off digestive problems. The latter will almost always seem to cause more problems that solutions. Shots, innoculations, vaccinations are all unnecessary either for entering Mexico or returning to the United States, (except for pets, who require an active rabies certificate).
While we understand jokes and skepticism....it must be pointed out that very strange things move around in the sky...day or night....(usually between midnight and dawn)....are somewhat common here. But.....no abductions by space aliens have been reported .......so far........ this month.
The Guest Room and in-home facilities
The Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre only receives one, two, or (rarely) three guests at a time. Therefore, when you arrive, you are obviously members of the same family or friendship grouping. This means that when you are with us, you are, in fact, the exclusive guests staying in a private home that is essentially yours. Because we are at the end of the road, it must be understood that we are, in a way, on the edge of civilisation. The electrical service ends with us and thankfully includes us. The man who delivers our propane gas has to drive to the end of the road. Our telephone is a peculiar combination of stationary instrument, antennae assisted (20 feet), and cellular. There are major mammals hanging around in the river bottoms and all the way up into the nearby mountains. (bobcats, tejones, puma, bear, fox, coyote, racoons, o'possum, weasel, and others that do not come to mind as I write)
Your home is all adobe. It is built in the same way...by hand...and on the same basic plan as what was used for building of quarters for Spanish military officers during the Colonial Period.....(1521 - 1821). It is not very imaginative, and it is built so as to be easily
and economically repaired with native materials. Most of the electrical wiring runs on the outside of the wall, just s if the house had been built before the time of domestic electrical applications. The Saltillo tile floor is set at the same level throughout the Quinta, so there are no "surprizes" as moves about the home. Your guest room has two large-sized single beds which we move into a queen-sized configuration gladly, at your request. Please advise us before your arrival. Your room also has a bit of air-conditioning which actually works. We do advise that nights are quite cool, even in the Summer, so most guests wind up openning the window and putting the fan on. You have a standard reception television, AM-FM radio (for those who want to listen to overnight radio for flying saucer up-dates). We have an electric heater for your room for those very rare times when we have a bit of cold....normally possible from mid-December to mid-February.
This is a scene from of the guest room, on the left ready
for a long Winter's night, and on the left, prepared for a Summer
essentially prepared for a summer arrival
The guest room has its own private bath, complete with 'round the clock' hot water, (somewhat of a luxury in our area), fluffy towels, various types of soaps and conditioners, and enough room for a bride to dress for her wedding ceremony. Sometimes the Old Gringo jokes that an entire soccer team can shower-out in this bath, but that really is repulsive.
The parlour serves as a dining area, a reading room, and a television room. In spite of being on the edge of civilisation, we do have SKY satellite television service so that people can keep up with whatever telenovela or Paris Hilton escapade might be de jour. It joins the kitchen where our guests can feel free to "raid the refrigerator" or even heat up some treat. It should be pointed out that anywhere in our little adobe hut that has water...it is potable. Our water supply from the Ejido is of very high quality. We also filter any water th at is served three times, and we provide bottled water for our guests' use in the room overnight, or any time requested. Diana would beat me with her shoe if I did not confess, with at least a bit of humility, that our visitors seem to be pleased with my culinary efforts. We have empty plates coming back from the table, and we have folks who request repeats of meals they had on previous visits. It is much easier when Diana is down at the Quinta when we have guests, essentially because she does all of the work and is much more pleasant company than I. It also helps when our Mayordomo, Alvaro, is on-site since there is very little that he cannot fix or do. If he cannot do the fixing or doing, he can always quickly find a person who can . He is always warmly greeted by our returning guests.
There are touring options:
We frequently joke that we guarantee "absolute boredom"......which only means that ours is a place of "soledad y tranquilidad" . Many of our clients want nothing more than to have a chance to read their Agatha Christi....drink beer and/or margaritas....and siesta on the corridor. Like the lady told me one summer, "It beats the heck out of paying a therapist". Other folks put on the trappings of combat birdwatchers and trek two, three, or even five miles roundtrip while making scores of species sightings during a four hour jaunt (the record for a mid- afternoon to sundown sortie is 170 species). Then they come back have some refreshment....eat well....and then sleep without moving for 7 hours. We have had folks with tripods, easles, ghost monitoring & sensing equipment, night nature photography gear, and even reporters. All seem to agree that there is something restorative about being at the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre. But, when and if you want to do a bit of moving around, there are things to do and places to see that are neither distant nor difficult.
EL CHORRITO and the APPARITION of the HOLY VIRGIN
This is a morning trip, leaving around 09:00 from the Quinta and going back to the main road and then to the north a little ways....to Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, (our county seat) and then west, up to the mountainside of the Sierra Madres, where one can see the Gulf of Mexico almost 120 miles to the east. A basilica sits upon the site of a cave where Saint Mary, Mother of Jesus is said to have appeared, concurrently with the Apparition of Fatima and before. The place is clean, calm, and dignified..... although we try go on dates that are not traditionally periods of heavy pilgrimages. We'll also visit the colonial-era aquaduct of the Hacienda La Meza, and the Waterfall of El Chorrito. There is a pleasant place for lunch. This is a 92 mile roundtrip, and can be accomplished in an unhurried 4.5 to 5 hours.
Price for one to two persons: $50.00 which includes transportation and lunch and certain gratuities
THE SPRINGS OF EL TIGRE
Also a morning-type trip, best to leave around 09:00. This is a very close-by jaunt, and takes the client through some of the very final settlement and to the very innards of the Sierra Madre, where the watersource for our river, the Rio Corona, originates and some 200,000 acres of farming and citrus draw their irrigation. Ancient canals, rustic but somewhat progressive villages, stunning geographical backdrops can all be taken in during this brief excursion to our west. This, among scores of other nearby places, is an ideal site for birding, photo layouts, and artwork in general. This place is very close by, and we can go and come in less than three hours easily. Various brief stops for photos....homes, businesses, and other things of interest will be made.
Price for one or two persons: $20.00 which includes transportation, refreshments, and certain gratuities for home and business visits.
A DAY IN CIUDAD VICTORIA
On days that we are scheduled or are required to go into Cd. Victoria for supplies or other business, it might be possible to accompany us into town, especially if it is going to be just a matter of a very short period for us to attend to our affairs. This will give you the chance to see an environment that is very foreign, yet very familiar and therefore typically Mexican, from the point of view of a resident. You will notice a certain "benign neglect" that is afforded to Gringo residentes. This town visit might include a stop at the supermarket, drop off some paperwork with the attorney or bank, and/or a stop at the typical market area to buy a couple of new serapes for use as bedspreads for the Quinta. A couple of sightseeing stops and a light lunch at some popular place ....there are scores from which to choose.... and we can pretty much call it a day and go back to the Quinta.
Price for one or two persons: $45.00 which includes transportation and lunch at a pleasant place
Check in with this excellent, British-based directory of similar bed-and-breakfast facilities.
Just touring through this site is better than taking most get-aways and holidays
The area around the Quinta has scores of lesser and greater attractions. Whether it be something as simple as a walk through the gravel streets, admiring the luxuriant flowers, bushes, and trees that the people care for, almost reverentially, or visiting other places....some quite magnificent....some quite humble.....the area provides considerable opportunity for memory building, photography, and general learning about the human condition in rural Mexico.
The Hacienda de Santa Engracia
This fabled place has endured in this area since the first quarter of the 1700's, mid-way into the Spanish Colonial Period. Although not the largest of Mexico's haciendas, it was originally nearly one-half million acres....say roughly the size of half of an average Texas county. The braiding of genealogy brings us to the present fact that there are still descendants of the original
Spanish grantee involved in the ownership of the remnant properties pertaining to this place....which was essentially a duchy located in the wilderness that would be roughly equivilant to a present-day outpost on the Moon.
To-day, however, that ownership is not one solitary Spanish Don lording over a thousand peons, overseeing essentially a completely self-contained, self-supporting, self-defending enterprise. It is a complex of individuals and corporations, including Cementos Mexicanos, S.A., and it is operated as a guest lodge....open to the public. Most, if not all, of the members of the directorate do, in fact, have genealogical roots in the ancestry of the Hacienda. But, to-day, the Hacienda is thoroughly modernized, 5-star facility with rooms both recently constructed and quite antique, nice grounds, swimming pool, bar, and elegant dining facilities, along with tennis courts, traditional rustic sauna, and other amenities one would associate with such an installation.
It is worth a visit, and the staff is normally very tolerant of folks just dropping in to enjoy the grounds and even will show a couple of the rooms in the colonial section, if requested. The owner of the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre at one time owned an excursion company and was the first to bring groups to the Hacienda after its rehabilitation in the late 1970's. During the time of operation of the excursion company we probably introduced four or five thousand different folks to the Hacienda.
The first group came in during late January for a couple of nights' stay, and was surprized on the second night with quite a sleet and snow episode. It was all very pleasant....most of the 29 adventurers were from the Mid-West and were not overly concerned with a couple of inches of snow....and the fireplaces kept everyone cozy.
In any regard, this legendary facility is full of lore, legends, ghosts, and history....and it would behoove the visitor to invest a morning or a day or a meal or a couple of beers there. We have clients who come and stay at the Quinta for three or four nights and then stay at the Hacienda for three or four nights on the same trip.....and on a somewhat regular basis: seems strange perhaps, but it makes sense especially to our clients who do it.
The Hacienda de la Vega
The main entrance to the Hacienda de La Vega
Only a few hundred feet from the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, one can enter into another place which connects Mexico's past and present effortlessly. This entrance-way leads to The Hacienda de la Vega (aka Huerta La Vega), passing by Valencia orange trees that are over 80 years old. It is owned by a family that is essentially "on the register" in Cd. Victoria. They would be embarrassed to read this, but they are well-placed, well-educated, involved socially, politically, and professionally in the life of their community. They are a fusion of upper-middle class and "poor-rich", titled colonial people who always seem to come out on top of any adversity or opportunity. They are typically civilized, generous, and even-handed folks who have been better than good neighbours to the Quinta, its ownership, and its guests.
The Hacienda de la Vega is not as old as the Hacienda de Santa Engracia, but it has its own tales of war & peace, conflict & resolution, dating back into the most troubled period of the Agrarian Reform....following the Mexican Revolution of 1910 - 1917. The 1920's and early 1930's were especially difficult in the area around the Hacienda de Santa Engracia, and the story behind this property has much to do with the resolution of the contentious issues of the period. The picture below has a bit of the the original "manor house" built in the mid-1930's and behind it the original barn and service building. The barn has been rehabilitated and formed into a nice apartment for visitors and extra family.
The two-story barn - loft apartment
The Hacienda de la Vega is only a few hundred feet from your home at the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, so you will have easy opportunity to visit. There is also an access to a different part of the Rio Corona which is particularly picturesque and relatively inaccessible save for passge through the Hacienda La Vega. Nearby, and here pictured below is the old, original country home of the Salazar family....where they retreat from the city and modernity at every opportunity.
The 'Old Manor House' - 1934
The New Manor House - 1962
This picture shows the main front yard and the present-day residence, which is decidedly more modern and comfortable, but not as interesting, perhaps. It is a pleasant home, with an architectural style that I refer to as Mexico City earthquake-proof, or bomb-proof modern. But, it serves its purpose well, providing a "country elegant" setting for entertaining as well as relaxation for the Salazars.
This is a scene from the banks of the Rio Corona, at a point about 140 yards from our "long west-facing corridor". It appears thusly about 80% of the year while the rest of the time it runs muvch higher. This is, for instance, the same place where we had to rescue a cow and several yearling bovines during the rainy season of 2010. This is the same rio that came to within 25 feet of the famous "long, west-facing corridor" during that rainy season. At that time, the water here would have been about 25 feet higher than the photographer's head.
Thanks for your visit!! Feel free to e-mail us at any time....or stop by if you are in the area. We are always glad to see and/or hear from friends, either old or new!!!
All material included on this website is copyrighted and is the possesion of David Christian Newton and Diana Garza Newton, their heirs and assigns. Permission can be readily obtained to use all or any part of this website or other information derived from the website simply by asking via email for said permission. It is strictly and totally prohibited to use any material from this page or the blog represented and accessed from this page for any purpose associated with pornography, racism, or sedition against either or any of the United States of Mexico or the United States of America.