Monday, March 19, 2012

Off to the Races

We continued to enjoy the festivities of the XXXIX Celebration of Isabela by going to the horse races on Friday afternoon. Now this was no Kentucky Derby – not a fancy hat in site! There were seven races many with repeat horses and/or riders. The "jockeys" were the local caballeros – the cowboys and most of the saddles were a homemade contraption of a few padded strips with stirrups hung on them with rope. The course was down the main street of town with the race starting a few blocks away. You could see this cloud of dust as the horses were heading for town. It was a bit frightening at times as young children, dogs or people would just cross the street nearby when the horses were either getting ready to run or on the run. At one point, a young girl playing in the street was grabbed away just seconds before a somewhat wild horse decided to rear near her. But it was a blast to watch the horses, the people and the event. Several men were walking around with wads of cash obviously taking bets and you could always tell the winners because of the big smiles.

The party continued with music that started at around 9 pm and lasted until 6 am the next morning.

On Saturday morning, we awoke at daybreak (just as the music in town was wrapping up) to head into town to find the farmer's market which is supposed to happen every Saturday morning at 5 am. Now, because of the fiesta – we weren't 100% certain it would happen – but we got an early start to see. The open air place where we were told it's held was empty when we got there. So, it really is over by 6:30 am or it didn't happen. Luckily we did run into a farmer selling some fresh stuff out of a pickup and picked up some fresh tomatoes, a new "dulce "(sweet) cucumber, some choclo (corn on the cob) and some fresh basil.

We came back to the boat by 8 am and Michael got to work on sewing repairs of the headsail. We needed to restitch most of the sacrificial cover. It was a big project that took him most of the day set up on the aft deck with sewing machine. That was a big project completed. We got the sail back up on Sunday morning.

More boats have come into the anchorage so it is now quite cozy.

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