One of the other campers, Dale, has been hiking up the hill in front of Hacienda Contreras two or three times a week. We've been up there before too, but we decided to forgo our daily power walk in favor of a morning hike.
Dale and Ruth. Dale is 75 years old, and he does this hike with no problems!
A little higher up, you get a nice view of the valley where the campground is located.
And a nice view of the town of Valle de Juarez.
In an interesting coincidence with our story, today (March 18) is a civic holiday here in Mexico. It celebrates the anniversary of the expropriation of all oil reserves, facilities, and foreign oil companies that took place on March 18, 1938 when then president Lazaro Cardenas decided that Mexican oil fields belonged to Mexico. He kicked out all of the American, British, and Dutch oil companies who were operating and nationalized the assets into a company called Petroleos Mexicanos, or more commonly known as Pemex.
We noticed on our recent drive through Mexico to Guatemala and back that there are a LOT of new Pemex gas stations being built. Although Pemex is a state run oil company, the gas stations where you buy your gasoline in Mexico are all private franchises, just like McDonalds. The price of gasoline in Mexico has risen from 7 pesos per litre in 2007 to 11 pesos per litre in 2013. Is it possible that franchisees make a percentage of the fuel sold and therefore it's become a very profitable endeavour to own a Pemex franchise? That's my guess, although I could be wrong.
Hacienda Contreras on the left, and the new Pemex being constructed on the right.
They've been bringing in a lot of fill to level up the property closer to the height of the roadway. It's caused a little bit of noise and dust during the week, but not as bad as we thought it might be. Obviously we would prefer that the whole thing wasn't happening, but there's nothing that can be done to stop it, so it is what it is. If we look at the bright side, it may be that this Pemex will bring telephone lines and therefore a steady source of high speed internet to the area. It might even bring some long needed improvement to the road surface out front! Also, there is also supposed to be an OXXO convenience store on the property so if any campers needs to buy anything at the store it will be very convenient indeed! Need to fill up with fuel when you leave? Just go right next door.
Of course there may be some downside to it as well, but at least most of the construction will take place over the next two or three months when there won't be many campers here anyhow. When the campers return next fall it should be all up and operating.
Heading into town this morning. I have a dentist appointment for 11:00am, just a cleaning and checkup. Don't mind going to the dentist here in Mexico because you don't feel like you've been raped when it comes time to pay the bill!
Made delicious shish kebabs on the BBQ.
Mmmmmouth watering good!