October 18, 2010

Where We Are Now—San Carlos/ Guaymas

The landscape changed when we reached Isla Tiburon—the desert became lush and green, completely different then the harsh environment we’ve grown used to. When we reached the mainland it just got greener—a sign of both a wet rainy season and the change we’d made in climatic zones. Pulling into San Carlos, with its soaring Tetakawi Hill covered in palm trees and flowering greenery, I felt like we’d come much further than 170 miles or so from the other side.
the pool where Maia has made Mexican friends and plays for hours and where it seems we might be crashing weddings...
This isn’t our first visit to San Carlos—we were here 14 years ago as well. Back then the town was barely under construction and there was no resort and pool (which we may, or may not, be crashing on a daily basis), no restaurants with waitresses who call you ‘hon’ and offer endless ice tea refills and no strip of shops and services lining the road into Guaymas.

San Carlos was built on an old cattle ranch known as the Baviso de Navarro. In the 1950s Rafael T. Caballero had a vision of developing a tourist resort and over the next 60-years his idea slowly came to fruition. Located on the edge of Guaymas, San Carlos caters to Americans and Canadians in the winter—but this time of year the majority of the town’s tourists are Mexican.
there's not much to see in Guaymas--but there is a nice church
 Down the road from San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas is the city of Guaymas—named for the Guaymas tribes who dominated the area pre-contact. The European version of the town was founded with a mission in 1610. The Seri people weren’t keen on having Spaniards as neighbours though and fought them off until 1769. After that Guaymas gradually became the industrial town and shrimp-fishing port it is today.
I have a weird love of fishing boats--and these are very similar to the ones we find at home, except for the sunken one...
 As far as a place to be on a boat—San Carlos is an easy one. There is a French word: dépaysement, that I was taught when I was last in Quebec. I was told it doesn’t easily translate to English but it refers to that sense of disorientation you feel when you’re not in your own country, that sense of not quite being part of a place. Mostly when we travel we seek that feeling—the goal is to put ourselves a little off balance. But there are some places where the feeling goes away—and the effort of travel recedes. In San Carlos with its green hills and cool breezes; easy shopping and plentiful stores; and its friendly easy going people--there are no challenges. There is no dépaysement.
we never went inside, but the Woolworth's sign was enough to make us feel at home. the brand lives on in Mexico
For a little while we’re in a place where the green hills trick us into thinking we’re close to home, the routines seem familiar and the town’s easy-going acceptance feels just right.

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