Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hacienda Contreras (day 8)

We didn’t do very much yesterday, but we sure made up for it today! Sal had to go into town to get some auto parts, so around 9:30am we hitched a ride with him and he dropped us off at the Los Cazos area the other side of the town of Mazamitla. Los Cazos is a pine forest subdivision that has cabanas (cottages) on cobblestone roads, and a trail that leads to a waterfall.

This is a gated area and if you want to enter for a walk or a visit you have to pay an entrance fee of 12 pesos ($1.00) which apparently goes towards conservation of the forest. It’s really pretty and it was interesting to see the variety of “cottages”…many are large homes that are used as summer or weekend residences by wealthy people from Guadalajara or Mexico City. We were the first people through this morning, and had some time at the waterfall all by ourselves. By the time we were walking out, there were quite a few people heading in, so I’m glad we got an early start.

Ruth, on the cobblestone road through the forest

One of the cottages in the forest at Los Cazos

This used to be a cobblestone road, but it has been washed away and never repaired

We walked up these steps that were carved in the rock

Ruth, standing behind the waterfall at Los Cazos. I would love to see this during rainy season!

After we saw the waterfall, we walked the 3 kms or so back to Mazamitla where we wandered around the shops, and had some lunch. We stopped at a food stand in the market where we each ordered a plate of birria. This is a dish of stewed meat in a consomme which can be made with either goat or beef. Ours was the beef variety, and it came with tortillas. We should have only ordered one plate and shared it, but we ordered one each. Cost was 32 pesos ($2.70) each for lunch.

This street in Mazamitla is closed to traffic

One of the market stalls

Then, we picked up a few fruits and vegetables, and a couple of pounds of pork loin at the market before taking a taxi for 50 pesos ($4.20) back to Sherman. Arrived back at about 2:15pm. Spent the next couple of hours puttering around on Sherman. Got the rest of the roof cleaned, and got one side washed. Will finish up the cleaning tomorrow.

Barb and Sal had told us about a tradional horse ride (a calagata) that takes place every year between several of the villages in the area. All the local ranchers dress in their best or tradional Mexican cowboy (charro) gear and ride their horses from village to village, stopping at one of their ranches overnight for a fiesta each evening. Some come from far away to take part in this event. There were about fifty horses that rode past Hacienda Contreras at close to 5:00pm, we all stood out at the road to see them.

Here come the cowboys!

One of the ranchers knew Sal, and invited us all to take part in the fiesta that evening. So at the last minute, six of us piled into Sal’s pickup truck and headed to a nearby ranch.

When we arrived, we saw some commotion going on in one of the cattle pens. Turns out a cow was about to give birth, but she was having some trouble. We had never seen a calf being born, so this was an interesting event for us. It was a little troublesome though, because we were afraid that either the cow or the calf wasn’t going to survive. They had a veterinarian there, and they had a rope tied to the calves hoofs which were just starting to show. I avoided getting detailed pictures because it wasn’t a real pretty site watching about 10 or 12 men trying to pull this calf out while holding the cow still. They were working at it really hard, and it took about a half hour before we watched the calf enter the world. We weren’t sure it was alive, and the cow itself looked nearly exhausted to death. But as the men worked away at it, we saw a little movement, and they dragged the calf over to the mothers head. She was lying down, and lifted her head when her calf was brought near, but the calf was still not moving. One of the cowboys close to us nodded his head and said to us that they were both going to be okay. I guess they’ve probably done this kind of thing many times and so they knew. The crowd was dispersing to the fiesta area, so we went and sat down there.

The ranchers working on the cow

About an hour later, we went back to check on the calf, and of course it was dark by this time. The cow was still not standing up, but amazingly, she was finishing cleaning her new calf, and the calf was actually trying to stand up. It was nice to see they will be fine.

The calf is only one hour old!

They had a six member mariachi band playing, and they were really good. They didn’t stop playing the whole night, and never repeated a song. Really enjoyed the music. There were maybe 200 people there, and they kept bringing us food! What a great party! The owner of the ranch came over and introduced himself, and said that we were welcome to visit anytime, and we could even go horseback riding, so we have that on the agenda for next year!

Forget what this soup was called, but it was really good!

This was another one of those fantastic days that we have here in Mexico!


  1. You sure had a full day and the people are all so gracious, that was the thing we like about our last visit to Mexico, was the people. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  2. A truly memorable day, one for the books! Lucky you!

  3. I have a funny feeling Mexico will be full of rvers next year.

  4. Kenny and Angela...Thanks.

    Sam and Donna...We meet great people all over, but there is something special about the people we meet in Mexico.

    Contessa...Definitely, we feel so lucky.

    Chris...I sure hope you are right. Mind you, we don't want it to crowded down here.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

  5. Our niece once lived on a dairy farm in Alberta and we had the "pleasure" of seeing a newborn calf get dragged out of it's mother with a tractor! We were told it was a normal practice if the mother was having ant trouble at all. I just about gagged!

  6. Croft...Ouch! As a mother I really feel for both of the cows. It was definitely hard to watch what they were doing, but at the same time you wanted to see the calf being born.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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