Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Morning, at the Vivero, Near Chacala

I woke up this morning, to another glorious Chacala day. It ended up the high was in the mid-80'sF. Clear and sunny with a light breeze. Cloudy in the late afternoon.
I decided it was a good day for a trip to the plant nurseries, located about 10 miles down the highway from Las Varas. That's the big city (12,000 pop.) where Chacala folks go to medical care, bank, ATM, paint, high school, the dentist, cell phones, long-distance buses, 3rd class buses and so on.

I got a ride with a taxi driver who had just dropped someone off in Chacala. He offered to take me to the two nurseries and wait while I chose my plants. For $150mx ($13.50us). since that included hauling 4 burlap sacks of nice soil, I accepted the offer. Taking the collectivo's etc would have been about $60mx ($5.40us), and I couldn't have brought home the dirt. So it seemed like a fair deal.

Besides, when I was getting dressed this morning, I found 2 -$ 200 peso bills folded in a tight little square in the pocket of some shorts I had washed last week. I can't imagine me folding money into a little square, so I don't know where it came from. Those bills are about $36US.
So I convinced myself it was okay to spend the money. And I did. On plants, dirt and the taxi.
The bags of dirt were $75 mx, ($6.25) and the plants were 260mx ($23.40). Plus a tip for the driver. Who kept me company while I selected the plants, and carried them out to the taxi.
First we went to Benjamin's vivero, just north of a row of fruit stands, on the east side of the highway just north of La Penita. I got 4 vine-type bouganvilleas and one bush type, 2 large Rosas del Desertio/Adenium Obesum/Desert Rose plants, and 6 Kalanchoe plants (in three colors). For about $19us. Actually I got a discount. I heard Benjamin telling the young guy who helped me say "discounto". My guess is I got the Mexican/locals prices. The plants are cheap anyway, but it's nice to get a deal. I took a bunch of photos of the place to have printed up for him, for a little thank you.
I actually prefer to go with the nurseries without a taxi guy waiting for me. Because then I can hang around and visit and watch how Benjamin's workers take cuttings, pot, and transplant things. He always has some guys doing that kind of work, and I love sitting there watching them. But when I am hauling dirt, I need some help. I can't seem to load big sacks of dirt into the collectivos very efficiently. Although I have done it before.
Then we went down the road a mile or so to the "Pemex" vivero. "Pemex" is the name for all the gas stations in Mexico. State-owned. And this vivero next door to "Pemex" station on the north side of La Penita.
I was hoping for some Portulaca's or some other succulents, but the lady said "Manana" and we laughed and laughed. She always says that, and they are never there on any of the mananas in the last year or so.
They did have these Kalanchoes. 25 pesos instead of the 12 pesos I paid at Benjamin's. Slightly bigger, but otherwise the same colors, etc. The woman on the right, the red hat, is the main customer service person at this nursery. And she's really fun to walk around the place with. She sometimes looks for some really ugly, half dead plant and offers it to me for a bargain price. Like 1 peso off. It's a joke. And she has given me cuttings from some plants. So that's nice.

We headed home. The taxi guy played a great CD and sang along with it. He was a much better singer than the CD singer. When we got back to Chacala, we put the plants on the stairway up to the garden at home. Along with the sacks of dirt.

Nice trip. Quick and easy. No waiting by the side of the highway for a taxi-van to come by. Some of the drivers have no interest in picking up a woman with 13 (some very large) plants surrounding her. Especially thorny bouganvilleas. Whatever.

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