Morelia In The Rain and Michoacan DirtTuesday, August 08, 2006
Thirty two years ago Rosemary, Ale and I went to Morelia. We are making the same trip and will probably see the same places this August. This time we are taking Ale's niece, Rebecca. Rebecca's mom, Hilary we left behind as she must have been around three. Through Morelia in the rainy season all it does is evident. Rosemary insisted on wearing white jeans. Morelia, in the state of Michocan, has dirt the colour of Atlanta dirt. I cite Atlanta, as years later in the mid 90s when Rosemary and I flew to Atlanta to a American Hosta Society National Convention, we were struck that Atlanta was red from the air. Morelia and Michoacán dirt stays on white clothing forever. When we returned to our home in Mexico City there was nothing even the state-of-the-art detergent FAB with enzymes could do.
But it is because of the rainy season in Mexico that mountains are either green or ochre and brown. The eternal rains of Vancouver keep our mountains mostly green. While the mountains will be green in Morelia at least the dirt will be red. There is nothing like a warm colour to lift up one's spirits.
The rain has been most evident in Morelia this time around. Yesterday we went to meet the precocious little girl that befriended Rebecca at the zoo. Her name is Estibaliz. Her grandmother Nora and her little friend Maria Fernanda were waiting for us at Park 150. We wondered about the name and what kind of a park it would be. When we arrived we had to pay a 50 cent entrance fee and the girls played in all kinds of games including a trampoline. There was a slight chipi-chipi rain so we waited under a merry-go-round until the rain stopped. The girls played with a tan-coloured cat they immediately called Flan. We took a taxi to Sanborns which is the ultimate drug store, even beyond the very good American ones. Consider that every Sanborns, besides having an excellent restaurant, it also has one of the best variety of books in Spanish. While we were having our lunch it poured. It poured all night and Santiago, our friendly PR man at our hotel (Villa Montaña), explained that there have been recent floods because so many trees have been cut in the upper valley and on the mountains. The rain stopped this morning. Nora, Estibaliz and Mari Fer will arrive around 11 and if we are lucky they might swim in the hotel swimming pool. No matter what happens it has been a delight to listen to Rebecca speak in her very good Spanish. She has to, as blond, freckled-faced Estibaliz speaks no English.
Last night I was pointing out to Rebecca the fine scent of rain falling on the pink Morelia stone. Coincidentally Santiago mentioned his delight at the smell of rain on dry stone and dirt. Walking from our room to the hotel office is a walk through a complex combination of scents. My favourite comes from the trumpet-shaped brugmansia but only at night. Our hotel specimen is double flowered.