Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Car Trip 32

After our successful tour of the talavera factory, we headed back towards the main square downtown. We had seen a coffee shop there and all wanted a cup of java to rejuvenate. We walked around a bit more and then had lunch. After lunch we headed over to Barrio del Artista.

This is an area that has been set aside only for artists. It is a pedestrian zone of little working studios. Each artists displays his work in front of his studio on easels for passersby to admire and, hopefully, buy! There was some very good work there, but there was no way we could buy a large painting and transport it home again!

Just down the street and around the corner was the huge crafts market. The kind that has stall after stall of the same stuff all crowded so close together you can hardly move. We spent some time ambling around in here and actually bought a few little trinkets.

On the way back to the hotel, we passed a store that specialized in wine. In we went! We purchased a few bottles and took them back to the room with us. Once there, I filled the wastebasket with ice from the ice machine and we were well on our way to chilling the wine for later. All of our hard work done for awhile, time for a siesta.

Upon awakening awhile later, we decided that the wine was chilled enough that we could go down to the outdoor pool/patio area for an early evening snack and game of cards. We decided that we needed a snack to go with the wine so off L went to find some. He returned a short time later with not only snacks, but a corkscrew! We had forgotten all about that! So, with plastic cups, snacks and two bottles of wine in hand, off to the pool we went.

We had a great time, relaxing by the pool, playing cards, watching the sun slowly set and changing the colors of the tiled rooftops and domes clearly visible all around us. While shuffling the cards, L, who had the better view of the mountain range in the distance, suddenly let out an exclamation. We turned to look and sure enough, the volcano, quite some distance away, was erupting! We could see the smoke plumes rising into the air. I ran up to the room to get the binoculars and we then had a very good view of it. No lava, just a lot of smoke. It was exciting to see all the same! Now feeling in very good spirits, we returned all of our junk to the room and headed out for dinner. I stopped just long enough to stuff three plastic bags into my pockets. I had a plan for later!

Puebla is also famous for its’ mole (moe-lay) sauces. The most famous mole sauce is the brown one, made from chocolate. All mole sauces have fresh chilis, smoked jalapeno peppers, peanuts, almonds, cinnamon, aniseed, tomato, onion and garlic among their ingredients. We were headed for the Fonda de Santa Clara, accordingly to the guidebook, one of the better mole restaurants in Puebla. And they were right!

We all ordered enchiladas, but each with a different mole sauce. B opted for the traditional brown, chocolate one; L went with the red, spicy hot one and I went for the green, curry one. Each one was a taste treat! Of course we all sampled each other’s. Three taste sensations for the price of one!

After dinner, we returned to the Alley of the Frogs. We returned to the same bar, sitting outside again. The waiter recognized us from the night before and brought the same drinks we ordered before. I was impressed that he remembered us. He must see hundreds of tourist faces every day. We had a very good time but did not stay very long. This was our last night in Puebla and we were all tired, even though we had had a siesta earlier. Before we left the bar, I pulled out the three plastic bags I had brought along. I gave them to the waiter requesting that he fill them with twelve bottles of Sol Oscuro to go! (I had discovered that the proper name is Oscuro, not negra) He laughed but returned with the bags, four bottles to each one. Clever me, I had brought three so that L and B could assist in carrying them back to the hotel. My mission, to find dark Sol again, which had taken over a year of searching, was now accomplished! I was very pleased and a happy camper as we returned to the hotel, bottles of beer clanking in plastic bags!

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