WELCOME! You have arrived at a place of great tranquility and relaxation. Please, come in. Make yourself at home, and stay a while.




Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre

This is your invitation to visit and stay at a Bed and Brunch,a birdwatching paradise,
 and a wildlife refuge in the Mexican Outback.  Please stay with us for a while and get
 to know us.   Read through our descriptions of places and pertinences that make up our environs.



 YOUR PRIVATE ENTRANCE
Thanks for having stopped by.
  We appreciate your time and interest.   We think we have the
 ideal setting for *relaxation and for rejoining a time gone by,
  We are fixed in a theatre designed to frame a really good old
  movie.   Always check backwith us with information and/or
 questions and/or for reservations at


______________________________________________


   It would be our pleasure to welcome you to our little adobe home situated about
 225 miles south-southwest of the international metroplexof McAllen, Texas -
 Reynosa, Tamaulipas, or between four and six hours of easy driving,
 depending on your number of stops. We are situated about 28 miles
 north-northwest of Ciudad Victoria,the capital of the Mexican
 State of Tamaulipas, in the middle of a truly majestic
 geographical and cultural settings.

     Simply by enquiring via our e-mail,  we can give all kinds of
 pointers about road conditions, clean restrooms, snack
stops, and so forth. The highways range in quality
 from very good to excellent, so for veteran
 travellers in Mexico it is pretty easy
 work to make it down to our
 place.We shall be more
 than glad to give
directions down
 to the kilometre
 post. We have
never "lost"
 a guest.


Finding Us?  It's Easy!

                           Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre                          

   

(a friendly tip - click onto the little square on
 the lower-left for satellite view.  Much better!)

Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre




oo000OOO000ooo

   Butterflies and Birds Abound 

Over the years we have had the pleasure of receiving many visitors
 and guests who enjoyed our grounds, location, and the attendant
 opportunity to see, hear, and experience the bounty of birds
 and  butterflies that occasion our precincts.
 The Old Gringo appreciates these folks and our

 many other visitors
 and clients.

   They are the people who have made our establishment of a place "at the end of the road" a truly rewarding
 adventure.  We have arrived at that pleasant
 point where we can say "We have the
 best and nicest guests in Mexico,
 no matter where they come
 from", with reference
 to our visitors.

    We have been favoured to receive an eclectic clientele, from as far away as France and Japan, to as close
 by as our pleasant little Capital city of
 Tamaulipas, Cd. Victoria, just
 a bit less than 25 miles
 to the southeast of
our little home.

   

The overwhelming majority are folks essentially looking for
 a respite from urbanity. This means that some are
  looking for birds, butterflies,dragon flies, and/or
certain other forms of wildlife, especially
mammifera, or vegetation,
 such as bromeliads,
 types of yuccas,
 and tropical 
flowers.

    We have had photographers, painters, horse trainers, even reporters
 and ghost hunters.  All our folks seem to enjoy going about their
 pursuits knowing that they have a private room with
 a private bath in a private home where access
 is restrained, traffic is slight, parrots
 and hummingbirds are many,
 and, while rustic, all the basic,
 necessary luxuries are
  available.
 
      We also really do have 430 species of birds, on an annualised basis, who call the Quinta,
 and the area within 25 miles radius, home. A normal bird count for a person just
 trying make numbers and see a lifer or two during a day's watching can be as
 high as 170 different species.    Because of our geographical situation
 we attract mountain, desert, chaparral, prairie, pine and oak
 and cedar forests, ground birds, riverine, coastal,
 tropical, maritime, and migratory.
   
We have had people record numerous songs of scores of different species,
 declaring later their recordings to be the best they had ever made.
   We are also on a major monarch butterfly corridor and
 have them either coming down to Michoacan in
 the late Autumn or heading back to Canada
 in the Spring each year, about two
 months for each episode.
    And, we have scores and
 scores of other species
 of butterflies many
 not seen in Texas.
 
 
     This is a place where you can be pleasantly bored.   You can drink beer or not drink beer, Cuba libres, Gin and Tonic, Grapefruit Juice
 w/ Hornitos Tequila and even Margaritas sometimes
 when we have a little notice.

     You can feast or fast, or do almost anything that is tolerated by the somewhat antiquated social standards of our peculiar little
 rural community.    It is still pretty much the
quintessential place to be laid back and to
 relax. We even permit smoking,
but never inside the house.
 
      Come unto this place all ye who travail and are heavy laden, as it is said in the Old Book. Those who wish to establish or re-establish with their
 ancestors and/or Creator will do well here.    Or, perhaps one
might  just  like to see and appreciate a place that is 
truly particularly and peculiarly interesting on
 the face of this planet.  A lady said one
 time, during one late afternoon,
with the birds preparing for the
 nightfall and things becoming
 quiet and the sun setting
on the nearby mountains,
 "This must be where God comes to gather
 His thoughts and lower
 his blood pressure".
      It just might be.
 
     When the Old Gringo has the cats and dogs fed in the late afternoon,
 he can sit on the long, west-facing corridor, and he will be able
 to see weasels, racoons, opossum, bear, puma, bobcat, coyote,
 fox,and other beasties but more especially birds.   Some of
these beasties are seen rarely,others more frequently,
 but they have all been seen.
  
Of the birds, we have four types of parrots, at least 13 types
 of hummingbirds, 4 types of orioles, or more, enumerable
 types of warblers, wrens, and ground birds, various
and types of trogons, who come by at times.

There are always the jays, mockingbirds, ani's (both grooved
 and smooth bill), Kiskadees, Kingfishers  many different
 raptors, including various eagles and hawks.
  During the Spring and Fall, migratory birds
 come from all directions. Geese and ducks,
 and even pelicans, cranes, curlews,
 and so on can appear to delight
 the serious or amateur
 birding enthusiast.

    We have three different types of kingfishers that come up to visit
from our nearby Rio C0rona.    During recent times birders
 both as guests and just passing through, found your
 adobe hideaway to be among the very best they
 had experienced in terms of rustic
 comfortability, and surprisingly
 good food and drink.

   We have had a couple who came back a year later and did the walk
 to Tiger Springs and back, specifically for the mix of birds.
   They anticipate coming again in April. The walk is
 about 11 miles round trip, and takes about 8 hours,
 including bird-watching and
 photographic episodes.
   They know what they are doing and are in good shape, so it should be another
 really good experience.  There is no scaling or rugged terrain,
 although it does go from our groves and woodlands
 up to the base of mountains that shoot
 up fairly quickly to elevations well
 over 10,000 fasl. This particular
 amble goes only to
 about 1,270 fasl. 


 

ooo000OOO000ooo

The Guest Room and in-home facilities 

The Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre  receives only 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,
 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 mindreadily as I write). 
   Your home is all adobe.   It is built in the
 same way 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 as if the house had been
 built before the time of electrical service.



  The Saltillo tile floor is set at the same level throughout the Quinta,
 so there are no footing "surprises" as one 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 opening the
 window and putting the fan on.
 
The bedroom itself is large, with a panoramic window overlooking
 the  valley of the adjacent Rio Corona.   It is pictured  here,
 readied for a Winter night's stay. The room has
 a nice heater, just in case, although normally
 the adobe construction prohibits much
 invasion of the overnight chill that
 comes down from the nearby
 mountains.



 
   And, as stated above, we have air-conditioning that actually.
works. We have reading material, games, a standard reception television that also has a linkage with the
 SKY satellite service, and a nice radio to pick up
 your favourite overnight radio programs.
  The radio picks up Spanish transmissions from all over Mexico and even the Gospel  according to Fidel from Radio Rebelde in the Citadel of Democracy.
Yanqui Imperialist stations come
 in clearly after nightfall.
  
 For instance: KTRH - 740 Houston,    KRLD - 1080 Dallas,
   WOAI - 1200 San Antonio, and WFAA - 820
 are good selections. Electrical adaptation
 is not necessary since our electricity
 speaks standard Gringo
 volts and cycles.

The Guest Room has its own private bath, complete with
full-time hot water, (something of a luxury in these parts).
  The Guest will encounter nice fluffy towels and face-cloths,
 a selection of shampoos and conditioners.
  There are even some things to replace
 necessary items that might have
 been left behind. 

The bath is large enough for a bride
 to dress for he wedding and even
 Dolly Parton could do her
 coiffure up real proud.

     And, so long as we are talking about running water, please advise us
 about any plumbing or water
 matters. We can usually
 fix anything in a
 matter of 
seconds
or minutes.

   It is a bit more important than that,
however, since any unrestricted
flow would cause us a bit of
 a problem with supply.

  The ejido's water supply sends us about
 600 gallons of potable water, usually
 for a period of three hours in the
 afternoon.

  So, if we lose water, we have to wait for a 99.3% reliable delivery on
 the next day to replace our supply. The number of days we have
 missed a resupply with guests present,
 in any regard,  has been zero.


 

ooo000OOO000ooo 

The Parlour  -  El Salon Grande 

 
The parlour serves as a dining area, a reading room, a television room,
 and a conversation site during the colder times.   Guests can
 feel free to raid the refrigerator, or retrieve some secret
 goody or necessity that has been entrusted there.
    Sometimes the guests make themselves their favourite
 tea or one of our own availabilities.
   It
 should be pointed o
ut again
 that anywhere in our little
 adobe hut the 
water
 is potable.

   Our water supply from the Ejido is of very high quality. 
 
We also provide triple
filtered water from this supply,
 as well as bottled water
 at any time requested.

 Your room will be stocked with two bottles
 per person, which will be found by
 your 
bed upon arrival.

     There have been birthday parties, office parties, and even parties associated with weddings and funerals centered here.   There have been Presidential candidates,
 government under-secretaries, and secretaries 
of this or that Ministry
 of this or that 
State and/or the Central Government.

    The magic of adobe walls and a cane ceiling always seems to provide the perfect setting
 for conviviality.   No arguments are permitted. 
We often lament not having taken live
 pictures of the various personalities and groups who have taken refuge
 in front of our fireplace during cold
 snaps, or who have dried out from
 being
caught in a
 
sudden
 thundershower.


There are touring options:

          We frequently joke that we guarantee "absolute boredom", which 
actually means that ours is a place of "soledad y tranquilidad",
 or solitude and tranquility.   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
 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.




 ooo000OOO000ooo
 
THE  APPARITION of the VIRGIN of  El CHORRITO
 
The above image is carved into the limestone of the cave behind the altar of the Basilica.
   The carving came long before the Basilica.   It was either put there
 by shepherds in the middle 1700s who were paying homage
 during idle moments by employing their stone carving
 skills, or it appeared supernaturally replacing
 a voice heard by children and animals when
 walking by the dripping springs
 known as El Chorrito.

     The Basilica came afterwards. The site was recognized by the Vatican
 as a place of interest and as an appropriate venue for
 contemplation, pilgrimage, and religious devotions
    This was a fairly bold move in a Mexico
 that still had the prohibition of outdoor
 religious celebration and/or the
 wearing of religious vestments
 by the clerical class outside
 of a church building.
  by force of the
 Constitution
 of 1917.

This is a morning trip, leaving around 08:00 from the Quinta and
 going back to the main road and then to the north a little ways,
 to Hi
dalgo, Tamaul
ipas, (our county seat)
and then west,
 up to the mountainside of the Sierra Madres.

    
On a very clear day,
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,
 both with and before the
 Apparition of Fatima.
 
     
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
.

 
It should also be noted that the journey, most frequently,
 
takes up the entire day.
The people at the little restaurants
 and stalls are very
engaging, albeit passive. 
A
short conversation leads to other things like
 tales of personal experiences,
 storms, miracles, seen and
 heard about that were
 done by the Virgin.

  
People delight in showing their plants, animals, and home projects,
 especially to foreign visitors. 
Shopping is something that
Gringo Viejo avoids, but he always winds up buying
 some previously un-realized necessity.

   
So...while the distances are
relatively short...the time can be pleasantly longer.
    It must now also be pointed out that the site has become
increasingly
 organised and clean even during our visit
during pilgrimages.
  It is really a strange, and very pleasant place.
 
This Basilica, somehow or another, remains amazingly
 clean in spite of the literally hundreds and sometimes
 many thousands of worshippers who arrive
 to its portals.

There are little stalls selling numerous varied and sundry goodies for  sale.  
It  is good to note that most of the little gift ideas are inexpensive,
considering isolation of the place, and that the vast majority
 of goodies were "hecho en Mexico" or "Made in USA".
   Quite a refreshing departure from the tsunami
 of "made in china" junk.

   Many people buy jars to take back some of the waters that are encountered running
 in various natural and amended channels.  The water is thought to be
 spiritually charged for healing, protecting,
 or comforting a faithful person who
is in communion with Saint Mary.

   There are people who swear that they have used the water in their auto's radiator, and
 that the leak healed itself.

  During the period of the "Fiestas Guadalupanas"
 (shortly before, during, and after 12 December),
 there can be as many as 300,000 visitors
 from all over Northeastern
 Mexico and Texas, over
 a 10 day period.

   That date commemorates the apparition of Saint Mary, not here, but on the Hill of Tepeyac
in Mexico City, known as the Virgin
 de Guadalupe, Patrona de Mexico
  y de las Americas.


 
ooo000OOO000ooo
 
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 the very final settlement areas since
 the time of the agrarian reform's entrance into
 the Santa Engracia area in the
 mid-1920s.
 
   Our jaunt can be done easily in three hours.
 
Various brief 
stops for photo
s at homes,
businesses, 
and points 
of interest
can
 be made, 
depending on the guest's
 inclination.
We have had guests
 walk to and 
from
the 
Quinta
and the Springs, round
trip 
It is about
5 hours
 of ambling, 
bird
watching, 
jawing,
and 
gossiping 
with the locals.
 
     They are actually a shy lot, but engaging once engaged. They really like to see the Gringos meandering around, because it gives them a break from the
 restraining 
schedule
 required 
in a
 farming
 area.

   No coins to children, please, for
 only Godfathers have the
 right to give
coins.
  But, pens with
 advertising,
 
New, yellow #2 pencils with new erasers
 and 
the like are 
great gifts
to the
 little 
squirts in primary
 school.

     Los Man~antiales de El Tigre, which are
 actually several clusters
of springs
 coming
out
at the base of the first
 ridges
of the Sierra Madre
 Oriental, effuse over
 400,000 gallons
 per minute at
 the base
 flow.

Those springs provide
life to much of the
 Santa Engracia area as they form
 the beginning of the Rio Corona,
and its attendant
 irrigation
system.


ooo000OOO000oo
 
A DAY IN CIUDAD VICTORIA
 
On days that we might be scheduled to go 
into Cd. Victoria for supplies or other business, it might be possible to accompany us, 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
 "residents".



   This town visit might include a stop at the supermarket,
 a 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.

There are scores of popular places from
 which to
choose,
and we can
 pretty
 much call 
it
a day and return
 to the Quinta.


 
oooooOOOooooo 
 
Nearby places of great interest
 
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.


 La 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 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 o
wnership of the remnant properties
 pertaining to this place, which was
essentially
 a duchy located in
the wilderness that
would 
be
roughly equivalent to-day
 to 
an outpost on the Moon.


   Now it is about one kilometre from the Quinta Tesoro de
 la 
Sierra 
Madre
To-day, 
the ownership is not one
 solitary 
Spanish Don lording over a thousand
 adult male 
vaqueros,and five thousand
 peons, 
and overseeing 
essentially 
a
 completely 
self-contained, self-
supporting and defending
 
feudal enterprise with
 500,000 acres
 of extension.

 During these times, it is a complex of individuals and corporations, including
 Cementos
Mexicanos, S.A.  
It is operated as a guest
lodge, and is 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 cou
 
rts
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 j
ust "dropping-in"
to enjoy the grounds.    They will probably even
show a couple of the rooms
 in the colonial section,
if requested, and if it is tactically possible.
       The owners of the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre at one
 time owned an excursion company which was the
 first to bring groups to the Hacienda after its
rehabilitation in the late 1970's.

     During the time of operation of our excursion company we probably introduced four thousand
or more different folks to the Hacienda.  The first group came in during late January
 for a couple of nights' stay, and 
was surprised on the second night with
 quite a sleet and snow episode.
It was all very pleasant.
 The clients were mostly adventurers were from the
 Mid-West
and were not overly concerned with
 a couple of inches of snow.  Plus, we
 had
the fireplaces keeping
 everyone cosy.

 
In any regard, this
leg
endary facility
is
full of lore, legends, ghosts,
 and gossip.
It would behoove the visitor to invest a morning
 or a day
or a meal or a couple of beers there.
We have
 even  had 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. S
eems
 strange perhaps,
but it makes
 sense to our clients
 who have done it.


La Hacienda de La Vega

Only a few
hundred feet from the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, 
one can enter into 
another place that demonstrates Mexico's past and pres
ent effortlessly. This
 entrance-way leads to The Hacienda de la Vega.
Passing by
 Valencia orchards 
80 years old, we can see orchards
 that are being 
modernized and have been fitted
 
with an elaborate drip-irrigation system
     for the new plantings of special
limes, for which there is an 
expanding 
demand.





The property is owned by a family that is essentially "on the register" in Ciudad
Victoria.  They would be
 embarrassed to read this, but they really  are
well-educated, and well-placed socially,politically.
 and professionally 
involved in the life of their community.
They are a
f
usion
of upper-middle class and "poor-rich"  and titled colonial
people who always
 seem to come out on top,
regardless of any adversity or op
po
rtunity.  
 
They are typically civilized, generous, and even-handed 
to the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre
its ownership, and its guests.
They have been better than
good neighbours.

The Hacienda de La Vega is nowhere near 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 first picture is of the front yard and present "manor house" which is an uninspired structure that brings to mind the architectural style of "Mexico City Concrete Earthquake Bunker" .
 But, it serves well as a center of operations and country home for the owner, his family, and friends.
The house is actually very well built,
considering that it was put
 out in the middle of
 nowhere in 1961.
 In those years, of course,
 there was no electricity
 or much of anything
 else.

The family had rural traditions, but had been long urbanised. 
The grandfather received the land in the form of payment
 for services rendered by him to the government's
   Agrarian Reform efforts and essentially
 pioneered there from homes and
 business interests in
Monterrey and
 Victoria.


The second house is the original "manor house", built in 1934.
   One can only imagine the difficulties involved in the
construction of this home. No roads,
 no electricity, no propane,no
 nothing.  Try to imagine
 the delivery of sillares
huge sawn limestone
 blocks, each
 weighing
 over one
 tonne.
 
It is said to have been built over or near a place where
a skirmish involving radical insurgents
attempting to force "voluntary"
expropriation of land from the
Hacienda de Santa Engracia
in the late 1920s resulted
in the deaths of four,
or perhaps five
persons.

   
Oddly enough, this particular text and
the associated picture
have always been
difficult to hold
in place.

The text seems to squiggle and disorganise and picture
will have been  found to be "dancing" during
our absence, and we will have
to struggle to put it back
in it correct place.
     
In these days the family has put substantial effort
into restoring the two bathrooms
and bringing the previous
lustre of the home back
to normal.

Then we have the old barn and smithy area.
This Anglo-Irish standard structure is
from the same period as th
e original
manor house.  
In style and
configuration, it is the
brother of the old
Manor House.

The owners have been  gradually bringing this
fine 
old structure into a new serviceability.
(
We think about
 
putting
 together a
 package of "home stays", or a
sedate bar and snacks place.) 





datacheck - 1 September, 2015 - 10,335












                                                                                                                                                                           
 
















                 A Gringo in Rural Mexico
Voice from the Sierra Madre Oriental



 

YOUR PRIVATE CORRIDOR
Thanks for stopping by here, too!
El Gringo Viejo with Cleo the Crazy Cat, and Prince, he Lazy Dog on 
the "long,
west-facing corridor". This is a place where people can
 "keep an eye onthings".  Birds, butterflies, chickens, people, dogs
 and cats, visitors, and all nature of wonderment.
   It is a good vantage-point.


_____________________________________________

      The Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre and the the blog site named  A Gringo in
Rural Mexico - Voice from the Sierra Madre Oriental are identical twins who are
completely different. One is a physical place of great beauty and tranquility;
Great Birds & Butterflies, cold beer, lime-ades & orange-ades,smoothies
of varied and sundry types depending upon the season, soda pops,
great food, and accommodations with the comforts of basic
luxuries one might well not expect on the edge of the
wilderness.   Rustic comfort is the theme.

  
      Then, the reader can communicate at length with questions and/or comments at our page designed
for such things on the blog-site.  The reader can read about various political, historical, and cultural
matters pertaining to the United States, Texas, and Mexico at the linkage provided above the
picture i
s a
literary experiment, with opinions and
observations 
pouring 
from glands full 
of
acidic
gizzard 
bile, 
tempered with a 
bit of humour, 
all flowing from the 
keyboard of a
mean, old 
man.
   All 
who visit are 
invited, at their own risk, to check 
in with our blog.
 
It is an eclectic set of observations about life along with 
the 
grumpy 
comments of 
a
grumpy old 
curmudgeon who lets 
things like 
pampers 
in parking lots and park
benches
bother him a little too much at times. 
Any and all are welcomed to
email comments and criticism and approvals.  All mail is read and all
should feel at home, both at the Quinta and the blog. We are glad to
 respond to requests for information about Mexico
 on almost any front.

  
Remember when asking, however, that El Gringo Viejo tends to be very conservative in political and
cultural matters. Your responses will be filtered through such thought processes. But, his
analysis will be truthful and sincere. His favourite parable is that of the
Samaritan, so you will receive fair treatment, friend or foe.

      Another link, www.bnb-directory.com  will connect the visitor with a registry to a
directory where literally hundreds of places such as ours, some very elaborate,
others rustic, all good and interesting, are displayed with pictures, costs,
locations, service and accommodation format,  and other
information is readily presented
in readable fashion.



ooo000OOO000ooo
Alvaro and our Semi-official Road-sign

     We now have a somewhat semi-official "historical
 marker - road sign" for our little mud hut.
    Its production was overseen by our neighbour at the adjacent Hacienda de La Vega.
   He has a similar sign that announces his more extensive acreage about 50 feet from
 this sign, placed near the main entrance gates.   Alvaro moved the sign closer to our
 main entrance about a week after this picture was taken.


ooo000OOO000ooo

Accommodations and Rates

The first and most important condition concerning rates and availabilities is that the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre takes reservations only on the basis of 'estancias' of three (3) nights more.   We have only one guest room, and it has its own private entrance and bath.  We take one, two, or three individuals and no more.  There are special rates for weekly (six nights or longer).

Three to five nights -  One person with brunch:   800 Mexican pesos per night,
Two persons with brunch: 900 Mexican pesos per night
(total room charge)
 
Six or more nights   -  One person with breakfast:   750 Mexican pesos per night.
Two persons with brunch / breakfast:  800 Mexican pesos per night.
 (total room charge)

There is no deviation nor exception to the 3 night minimum rule, for friend,
foe,  extraterrestrials, angels, or family.  The same applies to the rates.

There is no smoking permitted within the walls of the Quinta.
One may smoke freely in the out of doors.

We accept Mexican or American cash money at the rate of the day as established by the average of the purchase and sale of the American dollar as evaluated by the Mexican Peso.  Guests can prepay by forwarding a personal check or bank transfer to our account in Texas, as per the very simple instructions we shall provide if the client wishes to prepay by that manner




    The Office on the Corridor
 
 
THE FAMOUS "LONG, WEST-FACING CORRIDOR"
 
From here a person can pick his own avocados, or take a long
 siesta in the cool shade of a warm day.  Imagine with one of
 those really great Mexican Coca Colas, or a cold Mexican
beer, sweating in its little bucket of ice, or a tropical
smoothy, or just being left alone to study the mountains
to the west.  The biggest bother might be a dog or a couple
of cats who think they deserve some special attention.
  Shoo them off, or give them a treat, as you so will.
   Just look out for the cats' tails when you are rocking
back and forth.


    


 
 
 
ooo000OOO000ooo

 What we do.  What we offer.  What to expect.

 
We provide....a nice breakfast or brunch usually served between 07:00 - 11:00, or to the extent possible, when 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 well 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 has been placed in
the parrilla (an outdoor grill).

Background music from somewhere (not too loud),
dogs and cats patiently waiting for
bones and morsels, around the
edgessizing up food-lackeys.
These things complete the
 controlled disorder.

     The cooking of beef and/or pork 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
candles, serving and
being served,
and just generally being congenial. This  having a good tim3
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 early twilight, while
during  the winter everything will start outside and retire indoors for a bit
of dessert away from the even's chill.  These events are more social than
commercial, might involve a very limited number of third parties,
like neighbours or other highly-filtered participants,
and really has no fixed charge.
Each puts in a bit
here and there.

     Usually the house bears the brunt of any cost overruns,
because it is an hospitable way to be and
because it's just such a pleasant
episode for the Old Gringo.

A fully private parrillada can be arranged and provided
at a fixed price, depending upon what is
desired by the client.   This would
normally be for anniversaries,
birthdays, and such.



      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 quite good, so 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 such as martinis, cuba libres, margaritas, tropical smoothies which  are  a
house specialty, and that depend upon the availability of fresh tropical produce.
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 meals has no further charge, when it is part of the overall meal.  Below, one can see the Old Gringo hard at work (?).  We confess with a bit of humility to having a bit of culinary ability, developed at this late stage in life.   We have empty plates
coming back from the table and very few crumbs and leavings under the
table.  
It is all 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 
seem to quickly locate the 
person who can.   
He is also always warmly greeted by our returning guests.   
While this petition might be redundant, we do earnestly request that the client give us
at the very least three weeks of advanced notice so as to stock the larder
and make as close to perfect as possible preparations for the arrival.
We truly are, without complaint, on the very, very edge of
civilisation in many ways.   Oddly, things that are simple
take a little extra preparation to accomplish. Since it is
Mexico, the impossible is easily accomplished.
 It is only the simple things that are
 difficult for us to do.

These next pictures might seem a little silly, but if one can imagine a very chilly Winter's night, very clear, and
very, very still, perhaps he/she can also smell the fragrance of a rich and
rough Mexican chocolate (the real stuff) being prepared on our humble 
little stove.
The chocolate takes on measures of sour cream and 
whole crea
Then slowly and at different and
specific times other nice things are melded into the mixture like canela (cinnamon), and perhaps even a capful or two of a reposed tequila or rum, along with a generous pouring of mesquite log honey, a specialty of the region. Lacking that, we might be forced to use the orange blossom honey instead.   The variations for this potion are almost endless, and we always have little adaptations that might enhance the guest's enjoyment.   We prepare to watch an old Sherlock Holmes classic with  Dr. Moriarty fight to the death with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce defending all good things English against that nefarious master of crime.












Winter's Moonlight filters through the Frangy Pangy tree's leaves, when we hear the call from Diana, "The movie's
starting, come on inside.

"Come, Watson!  The game's afoot! Bring  your revolver!"
 
   We head inside, away from the 39 F chill, and find Alvaro lighting the small fire in the fogata (fireplace). He then
bids us a hearty "Buenas Noches!" and leaves, holding
the main door open for a second so the two sister cats
can make their royal entrances.  Smokey, the
long-haired, nervous Rag-Doll,  and  then
HRH Cleopatra, her even more neurotic
Maine Coon sister,  who both bound in
joyously, eyeing us for some treat
that is totally un-deserved.
Failing that, they move on
towards the fogata, to watch the dancing of the flames, and await their
time for using the Old Gringo as a bed warmer, later in the evening.
We can hear Alvaro close and lock the front
gate and then ride off on his nice bicycle
the short distance to his small castle
about a quarter of a mile from the
Quinta.  We settle in after the Old
Gringoserves one and all a bit
more HappyChocolate
(reg.us.pat.off.).

With the old English movie done and everyone ready for a good night's sleep, we take another look at what is truly a "silvery moon" and listen to the nightbirds for a bit.   Even with the coolness, the lightning bugs amaze
the guests with their brightness and numbers. During the Summer six-months it is even more intense, but
our guests can hardly believe that.  It seems as if there is a veritable convention of the glowing insects.
Here, at night, one must study the growlings and snortings of the dogs who sleep on the corridor, 
and one must be sensitive to the eye-intensity of the self-involved cats; a puma might be nearby,
or a coven of foxes.
 The "home-animals" have their signs and El Gringo Viejo has 
learned
what each inflection's meaning carries.

    To-night, for instance, we can hear the simultaneous laughing and howling of the coyotes along with 
and it seems as if he is a little more than half-serious.
  Who can know? While this little assembly of pictures and descriptions might seem a little mushy or a bit over-romanticised, it is pretty much the nature of things
at the Quinta.   On clear nights it is still one of those places where stars are within arm's reach.   One
can hear  the red foxes, yipping a bit closer to the Quinta.
The guest asks, "Do you train them to do
that?" 
and it seems as if he is a little more than half-serious.
  Who can know? While this little
assembly of pictures and descriptions might seem a little mushy or a bit over-romanticised,
it is pretty much the nature of things at the Quinta. On clear nights it is still one of those
places where stars are within arm's reach.

 It is still a magical place, where during those 
remaining moments of pleasant, cool darkness, right when
the first pot of coffee is finishing its brew at 05:00,  I can
hear the door open and close from the guest room
I call out,
"The coffee is ready.  There's half and half, brown
sugar, honey,and cups on the table.  Fresh juice
is in the little ice chest.
I'll be feeding the
dogs outside."
 
The gate squeaks.

Alvaro arrives.Another day begins, with guests, the animals, the visitors,  and all such things that come to us, at the end of the road.


 ooo000OOO000ooo
 

The Out of Doors 

There is a long, west-facing corridor, where folks frequently choose to relax in a mesadora (large, rustic rocking chair). From here, they
read their Agatha Christi or whatever, or sit with a nice set of binoculars and a good bird book and relax. They relax profoundly.  Some ask for a Corona or Bohemia beer every hour or so. Others do not use
alcohol. They all attract, in a passive way, the 
dogs and cats of the Quinta Tesoro de la
Sierra Madre who think there might be
a canape of ham & cheese, or even a
hidden doggy-bone as a reward for
being cute. The view from the
corridor, both close and
distant, seems to absorb
the poisons of life. Birds
come close by.

   Butterflies fill the air after 10:00 in the morning. Hummingbirds, sometimes by the score, whirr
and flit from one shrimp plant flower to another in their frenzied search for nectar. Bees stay
busy all day long. Almost all guests can be found on the corridor at one or all the following
times; in the morning after brunch, or in the earliest part of the afternoon, when the
searing heat is just beginning and a strange sense of normalcy seems to permeate
everything, and then, of course, during those mystical couple of hours before the
late afternoon sun slowly slices into the Sierra Madre that forms the western
horizon. Birds are the theme of these moments. Tranquility is the sub-plot.


The main plot is....that this is life.  No horns, sirens, traffic lights, and few engine noises. Roosters crow
a bit, birds call and sing, at times one can hear children and families playing or swimming in the Rio
Corona. People come and go on foot, horseback, or an occasional pick-up truck.During the
nighttime hours, when the mountains flash with with almost incessant lightning, the
guests will repeat their occupation of the "long, west-facing corridor" to watch the
greatest show on Earth. There are other times when the rains, usually
night-falling rains, will make everyone retire to drier quarters, but
it makes us anxious to see how much greener and florid we shall
encounter our surroundings in the morning. In any regard, We
have come to think that this corridor must have been built over
some kind of magic stone that pulses tranquility and
relaxation out to any who sit above it.

Your property fronts onto the banks of the Rio Corona, a spring-fed, mountain stream that has never gone dry in its known history.
The first encounters by people who
recorded such things comes from the latter 1500's
although settlement in the area came much later.
It is generally understood that the base flow of
the springs that feed the Rio Corona is a little
more than 400,000 gallons per minute. That
seems like quite a bit, but that water is
heavily used to irrigate several-score
thousand acres of citrus and grain in
and around the area of the Santa
Engracia cultural zone.

Our little ejido is a part of a legendary Valencia orange, Persian lime, and Texas-Variety red grapefruit producing area,
famous throughout the citrus industry in the world.
Many of the "huertas" (orchards) are now
irrigated by well-water,
if necessary, during the dry season or in case the
wet season is late.

      The Rio Corona is lined by cypress trees that can reach up as high as 200 feet. There are some that are thought to be, or have been otherwise proven to be, around 1,300 years old. These are the famous Bald (Montezuma) Cypress. There are some of this same specie of Cypress, a time and a half older in Tehuacan, State of Puebla
and, of course, just outside of Oaxaca, State of Oaxaca further to the south in Mexico in a village named
Santa Maria del Tule. We have been present in the area off and on for about half a century, in various
postures and purposes over those years. When we bought our property, it was somewhat depressing
to see how folks had used the banks of such a noble River as a garbage dump. The expression was,
"It's okay, because when the floods come the water carries away all the garbage." While this war
has in no wise been won, we are able to claim at least a running victory, because we can go
through two or three weeks at a time between episodes of abuse. Before the dumping was
daily. With the efforts of our mayordomo, Alvaro Balboa Huerta, and the rest of the
Quinta's "extended family", our river's edge is in really good condition now,
perhaps 95 percent of the time. At first our grumpy nature and demanding
posture was not so well received by those who sought convenience in
ridding themselves of litter and garbage. Now, however, even some
of those same people come by to say that things are much better
when they are cleaner. Go figure.

     We advocated for a scheduled garbage pick-up, which was initiated, with many people saying that it would never work. Now after about five years, it has become a twice-weekly institution, giving us more than a little pleasure to see the garbage cans, boxes, and other containers lined up along the highway when we go to
town on certain early mornings. The people even sweep clean the dirt around their garbage cans.
Some times the smallest steps have the greatest effect.

Some of our land adjacent to the Rio Corona's banks is kept in a nearly primeval state. Various of the property owners on both
sides of the river have pretty much agreed
to this measure so as to ensure reasonable predictable
habitat for the riverine beasties as well as the birds
and other critters. There was a time during my life
when it was just accepted that prepotent
individuals who did not feel themselves
to be constrained by law, morality, or
reason would hunt to elemination of
any mammal larger than one pound
adult weight. The people of lesser
means were in the business of
gleaning what few animals
out of the wilderness that
they could, edible or
otherwise.

      It seemed to be a pretty bleak outlook, and a certain one,
for many years. Just recently however, during the past 10 to 15 years we have been witnessing a very
significant re-population of bears, deer, mountain lions, bobcats, and even ocelots, crocodiles, and
things such as the mink-like weasle known locally as an "onza".   All repopulation has been from 
native population already in place.

     Our "Green Zone" is not something caused by any solidarity with Al Gore or the Peoples' Democratic Tree Hugging Alliance Against Normalcy.  It is simply the extension of the normal practices of a farm boy whose
father taught his sons conservation, respect for the land, and the things in and on it, and to exercise an
Anglican catechism which includes stewardship over the affairs of Creation.  This has led us to have
several thousand square yards of terrain that is chocked full of birds and where anything from
bobcats to red and grey fox can be and are seen.  Just to the side, and in the River-course
proper (called an avenida, like "street" or avenue, in Spanish) we have encountered
puma and coyote.  Birds are too numerous for us to mention accurately.  Now, at
this writing, after over ten years of listening, and witnessing, it is clear that the
bird specie count might actually surpass 500 for our place and 25 miles radius
around us.  The dragonfly, butterfly, and other such beasties are equally
impressive, and as stated elsewhere in this website, we are situated on a
very heavily trafficked flyway for the Mariposa Monarca.
(Monarch Butterfly).


 ooo000OOO000ooo

What's Cooking?

Suggested Menus and Meal Prices at the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra
 Madre.  This will give our clients some idea of what a
 menu for a three night stay might include.
 
Breakfast or Brunch
 
Chilaquiles - a delicate combination of chicken, shredded onion, cheeses, mixed in a cream sauce with fried tortilla strips and grilled strips of poblano pepper. Exotic sounding but actually a mild welcome to a new day. Covered with our famous,homemade green tomatillo sauce.

Shrimp Omelette - three jumbo shrimp, grilled to perfection and served in omelette presentation, with a nice Swiss cheese and cream cheese filler. Served over a bed of select-quality asperagus spears, freshly prepared for a
special wake-up.

100% Mexicano - a desayuno (break your fast) for the alban~il (bricklayer) and the arriero (donkey train driver). Menudo, gorditas stuffed with classics of the region like newly gathered free-range eggs, scrambled with dried beef, chorizo, and/or white queso casero, bowl of stewed Oaxaca-style black beans (with or without diced or
whole serrano pepper).

El Texano - Grilled select-quality pork steak strips, scrambled eggs with deli-cheddar, two large pancakes with  maple syrup, and/or our incredible miel del monte (honey from the chapparral).

Southern Pride - with poached eggs on toast, grilled shredded potatoe, fried green tomatoes, with extra crispy bacon. Served with toast and sweet bread. A simple, but ample approach to confronting the challenges
of a new day!

El Oaxaqueno - prepared with two fried tortillas, mounted with a black bean pate', grilled onions, poached eggs, on top of grilled, select, sliced deli-ham, then covered with thick crumbles of excellent white cheese, topped
again with rings of freshly sliced onion, black beans, select-quality English peas, and a thin but generous
layer of Swiss cheese. Known as Huevos Motulenos, this is a classic breakfast of festivity times in
Southern Mexico.

El Vaquero - which is a simple breakfast with scrambled eggs, done our own secret way, placed in a circle on the plate and smothered with carne con chile. Eaten frequently with only totopes (tortilla chips), it's okay if
the guest uses his/her fork/spoon. It is something like a cowboy's comfort food.


These brunches are very ample, and further come with toast and/or pan dulce, jams and/or jellies, coffee, mexican breakfast salads of tomatoe, avocado, and/or citrus fruit sections, and our special salsas, some picante (really hot), others suave (kinda poofy, but flavourful). These meals are included in the room charge for those
on a B&B plan.



Light Lunch Suggestions
 
Club Sandwich - three deli-quality meats, two cheeses, pickles, chips,and a refreshment, with Country Club presentation.   Triple decker...big enough to share with your companion; includes one beer/Coke
5.00/am.cur.

Super Nachos - totopes with beans, cheese, and carne con chile or dried beef or steak pieces, topped with serrano peppers or jalapenos; 18 nachos, enough to share, and a refreshment
5.00/am.cur.

Cheese & nut bowl - cubes of quality cheese, dried beef, and a selection of domestic Mexican and imported nuts, includes the first beer or Coke
 5.00/am.cur.


 
Supper Suggestions
 
Whole Huachinango - (red snapper) a la VeraCruzana or grilled al mojo de ajo, served with generous portions of a nice steamed vegetable and a white rice mountain, includes white wine - 9.00/am.cur.
Tampiquena Plate - including a sirloin strip (7 - 9 ounces), two enchiladas, guacamole, rice, and beans, a classical preparation of the region, includes red wine - 10.00/am.cur.
Rib Eye Steak - with (Mexican prime, 9 ounces) our over-stuffed potatoe, a nice steamed vegetable, includes red wine - 9.00/am.cur.
Enchiladas Suizas - four overstuffed corn tortillas, filled with excellent chicken, and drenched in, out, and over with our homemade salsa verde...topped with Swiss and fine Mexican white cheese (almost a sin), finished in a 500 degree oven for four minutes and served with red/white wine - 9.00/am.cur.

On colder winter nights, we sometimes have caldos (stews) of beef, or chicken, or seafood. These are rich and traditional makings for the cold in this neo-mountainous area. Because they are "caldos", they are made up from scratch and take several hours in the
preparation. With the little extras that our meals always present to
the table, they make a perfect response to the intimidations of El
Viejo del Invierno. With a room temperature or chilled beer, or
Coca Cola, they make a good meal that warms a person from
the inside out - 6.00/ am.cur. or 6.50/with wine.

      Also, during the Winter, or any time requested, we are famous for our special Mexican hot chocolate, known as "Chocolate Feliz" (happy chocolate) which we
take almost two hours to whip up. Very slowly we produce an almost sedative
taste experience that truly presents the best of the Mexican kitchen. Served
at the whim of the owner or at the request of the guest at no extra charge.
     Some of our folks say that just the fragrances of the "caldos"
simmering their flavours together is worth the experience.   And, in keeping with the
habit of the mean old man who is the chef, we generally make enough to serve a
healthy round of seconds to our guests.  These are actually stews that require
a fork, knife, spoon, and a good cooled (not cold) beer, coca cola, or wine.


All visitors need to be aware that we serve no diet nuthin'.  Everything is heavy, and we have no sucaryl, artificial sugars, light or lite anything, no de-caffienated nuthin'.....margarine or "spreads" etc. are not allowed.   Sugar to us means brown sugar, agave syrup, the heavy mesquite, wild flower, or citrus flower honey of the area, or a combination of all of those things.

     People who stay with us comment that they wind up losing weight in spite of the lack of "diet" alternatives.  We chalk this up to the signal that the body gives when it says..."Yes, I have the necessary stuff, and will not store up fats because of the fact that you are using Same-as-sugar and drinking diet Cokes and life-beer. I do not sense a bout with starvation coming."
 
      Complementing this is the amount of walking up and down gentle grades that lead to and from the Quinta. Very little walking, even around the grounds of the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre, necessarily work
muscles that might have been in a bit of retirement. Nothing strenuous even, just a bit of re-awakening.

The few children we have had always eat everything....oatmeal, brocolli....everything. The people who are a bit on the thin side, seem to gain a little weight. Therefore, although we know the truth of what is stated here, if the prospective guest cannot deal with these parameters, it is best that he/she go on with his diet and remain with the debilitations that that same diet causes. But it
is best if it be continued at some other venue. If the client can put
up with three or more nights of the gruel we serve, he/she will
feel better and rejuvenated.
This we believe and
this we know.




 







Pictures of Various Times, Events, and Interest Groupings




Avocado in bloom, Spring of 2014
and now below, heading for
 the old guacamole bowl


El Gringo Viejo examines which avocado goes to supper


Our bouganvillas invading into the bramble that is our
natural zone as one approaches the Rio Corona from
 the house that lies about 200 feet to the left,
 and about 15 feet above the level from
 whence this picture
 was taken.






STATEMENT CONCERNING SECURITY ISSUES:

     It is only reasonable that folks should ask about security issues.   We do state without fear of  being incorrect in the least that the Cut and paste United States State Department Advisories are of little worth, quite frankly.  They are mainly out-of-date or  impertinent to specific destinations and/or trip purpose.
   
     The military offensive impulsed by past-President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa did massive destruction to
the cartel structure and organisation.   Of the very few correct actions taken by the present
administration of Jose Enrique Pena Nieto is the continuance of the
military pressure against the disorganised
leadership of the cartels.

     Folks are surprised to note how much military is on the highways and byways when they are travelling
in our area.   Our little zone has a deployment of about half a regiment at this time, situated in the
middle of the Estacion de Santa Engracia, about 4.5 miles from our little adobe hut.   Every
engagement between the military, to a 99.999% level, and the "cartel" people results in a
total destruction of the "cartel" opponents.   The Mexican military is a substantial
Triple-A minor league to very major league operation.   The cartels are now,
sociologically and militarily, mainly assemblies
 of inter-feuding "pandillas" (gangs).

     And, truth be known, there are precious few engagements anymore.   Pleasantly, when there is a flare-up, it is almost always small fragmented gangs killing each other, a la Waco Biker War style.   In our area, there is a feeling of normalcy, although people still have their stories about "three years ago, my cousin...."
    There is now a willingness to report criminals and criminal activity underway on the Army and Naval Infantry hot lines.   Such reports have become the norm, and not the exception.   The response within an hour to however long forensics might require....perhaps 36 hours if they are working a group of slavers.

    In short, one might well be aware that he/she is safer in Mexico....save for very, very few well-known
and small in geographic scope, areas.    Safer than what?   Anywhere in the United States in a
community of 250,000 or more with a substantial inner-urban population.    This is just the
truth...actuarially, sociologically, and in fact.

     Even my channel, the FOXNews folks, does horribly misleading articles about Mexico....and one might remember the Corporal in Brownsville - Matamoros who was detained and Sergeant Tamorisi who was
detained 
for several months in Tijuana - Tecate....and Greta and O'Reilly and so forth railing
incessantly 
about the matter.    Both of those stories were substantially different than what
was presented 
by Greta and O'Reilley.   From O'Reilley one could expect such ablowhard,
but we expected better of Greta.  And if they say, "Well, we gained knowledge of the
issue that El Gringo Viejo could not possibly know....I respond, "Pigs' wallow!"
Both of those fellows have, since their ''liberation'' created quite an
interesting, 
shall we say...life archive.
    
     FOXNews and especially the Obsolete Media totally misled, for instance,  the public concerning "The Missing 43" which was a classical Communist sham meant to cover up a Stalin/Trotsky feud of the sort that frequently develop amongst the Reds.   The blame was engineered by the Obsolete Press to shift to the hapless
Pen~a-Nieto, leaving the common Gringo with the head-shaking lament..."There they go again"
when in fact the misunderstanding lies with the sloth of the American listener/viewer who
is unwilling to do his/her own research.

UPDATE - The escape of El Chapo Guzman from the Maximum Security prison  north of Toluca has been a true setback for mainly the Pena-Nieto administration.  The military is holding in, but the shame and chagrin
affecting the administration is pervasive and palpable at the same time.  There seems, however, to have
been no effect in terms of the improvements to the general social scene.  We shall keep all and everyone
up to date concerning this and all other matters concerning personal security.   (addenda - 29 august 2015)
We need to point out that there were seven of the "worst of the worst" cartel heads in the prison
from whence "El Chapo" escaped.   At this writing, six are still incarcerated.   Attorneys are
attempting to get some of them out, others are attempting to avoid extradition of their
clients to the United States or Europe.

     In any regard, we still can say that we guarantee boredom at our place.  Birds, butterflies, boredom, and brunch....all in abundance. 



Connect with Mexico Mike Nelson on Google+
Read More From Mexico Mike Nelson's Blog