The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

December 30, 1999

Sierra Madres


Hi, we sent the kids things for Christmas through other cruisers going to the states. We went to the Sierra Madres for a jungle trip Tuesday. We took jeep-like vehicles but they had German Mercedes engines and big wheels, pretty smooth for the bumpy roads we went on. We went north to Buceria right through 5 other cities, each had their own town square and church and anywhere from 2000 to 7000 people in each. These were farm communities and every family had about 9-15 kids.  

The native Indians that live there don't like you to take their picture because they think it steals their souls. They live off the land, they spin their cloth for clothes also make some from the cactus. There is art that the natives have created for sale. We had sodas, beer and water to drink all the way but the places to pee were bad!!

We crossed some farm fields and saw cows, brahma bulls with big horns. We then unloaded and walked some trails led by Indians who pointed out some of the trees. This one you could use for toilet paper, big leaf, the next one would burn your ass right off so don't use it. Then one tree with deadly thorns. The Saguaro Cactus with arms that sprout one arm every 50-75 years. This one is about 800 yrs or older. A Capumu Tree used to treat diabetes; if you take tea from the bark twice a day it cures the disease. But the tree is becoming extinct. They are planting farms of it though. Maybe we have some hope for recovery also.

Our Indian guide showed us ant piles.  Some real aggressive ones that drag things in their holes and some with huge mounds; fire ants that bite and sting you. He had a book about snakes.  I didn't see any thanks heaven but some one behind say a "red hat". They were all poisonous. He said there where little green ones that hang from the trees also. There were all sorts of cats- panthers and other such cats but we also didn't see them.

There was three Mexican cowboys we saw half way through. They did lasso rope tricks and sang and Big Dan got up and rode one of the horses, looked like Scout. He started up the trail and the cowboys said go after him. But I called him. I guess they thought he would run off or something. We got back in the rigs and through the jungle some more then we came out on a beautiful private beach with palopas for shade. We sunned ourselves while drinking margaritias and beer and sodas and when all the others arrived in about an hour we had a great BBQ. The whole affair lasted from 9:00 till 5:00 before they delivered us to our hotels. Thursday we went for a long Dinghy ride, 5 miles across the bay to La Cruz went into town; Larry was looking for a surf board. We had fruits bowls and yogurt and granola and sodas and I bought some fresh French rolls for sandwiches. We visited some of the other boaters anchored there and headed back about 3:00.

We waited a little too long. The sea began to build and got quite wavy by the time we got back. Hard on the back when we slam like that. Friday we took 10 people out for a ride in the bay on our boat. No wind at first then it picked up and we had a nice sail.7 knots boat speed. Saturday was clean-up day then we went out to dinner at Ernesto's with 10 other people. They have an ocelot cat in a cage there. I guess some people have petted it and an acutamundi (raccoon family) wild that runs loose and a rabbit that is loose and a parrot.

Good food at Ernesto's, Dan had pork chops and I had Chile Rellenos. There is a local Rodeo but I think Dan is too tired to go. He has been putting the water maker in the cockpit lazeritt from the engine room said it was too hot there for it. It is amazing to see him turn circles in there. Till Later, Sandy

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Saguaro.jpg (6390 bytes) The saguaro grows extremely slowly at the beginning of its life. In fact, it may take 5 years for the young plant to achieve a height of 5 inches! These cactus are familiar because of their wildly branching arms, but it is not until they're about 65 years old that these arms begin to develop. Some may develop as many as 50 or more of these appendages.




BramaBull.jpg (6269 bytes) Through centuries of exposure to inadequate food supplies, insect pests, parasites, diseases and the weather extremes of tropical India, the native cattle developed some remarkable adaptations for survival. These are the "sacred cattle of India," and many of theHindu faith will not eat meat from them, will not permit them to be slaughtered, and will not sell them.




Fireant.jpg (14825 bytes) Known for their venom, large mounds and bad attitude, imported fire ants have become a pest in 12 states in the South since their introduction, one species around 1920, a second around 1940. Native to South America, fire ants will attack humans and animals without much provocation.