Yes, I made it to Guanajuato (GTO)! Unfortunately my new laptop did not contain any email addresses, so the delay is the time it takes to type in the address list which I had copied from the old computer. And I am enclosing this in a blog page GTOhouse for those who want to read a diary of the adventure.
Left Tyler Wednesday morning after testing the friendship of John and Lynn. Who else would take in a homeless person with the possibility of lice, a dog with fleas and a bladder infection (which undoes some of the house training), feed them breakfast, offer to do the laundry, entertain on my behalf, and express sadness at our leaving after several days of our homesteading on their premises? Only John and Lynn!
Stopped in Palestine to visit brother Paul and wife Virginia, then to Austin for a birthday dinner for son Steven. Then on Thursday, we drove to Georgetown, fired up his Cessna, and with a neighbor Loren left for GTO. The plane was packed with a suitcase for Steven, a suitcase for Loren, two suitcases, three hanging bags, a portable file cabinet, a laptop computer, a suitcase for Millie, my briefcase, a cloth briefcase with books, dog bowls, dog food, and some other miscellaneous stuff such as 35mm slides to be digitized, the slide scanner, etc. etc. (Remember, I'm moving there!). The plane was full.
Millie did the trip as if a veteran. Slept on the stack of suitcases in the fourth passenger seat whenever we were in the air. Cleared customs in Monterrey, and arrived in Leon about dark. Hauled all the baggage about 100 yards to where we could get a taxi for GTO, which took several trips for each of us. We piled into the taxi with the larger suitcases strapped on top (as the car was otherwise full, including some stuff in the back seat with Loren and me) and off we went to GTO.
As I have told most of you, GTO is a medieval city, not constructed for automobile traffic. Nevertheless, there are some passages which are just wide enough to allow cars if one is careful, or if one has a compact car. One of these passages, attained by a circuitous route, ends very near the door of the house, and because of the amount of luggage we chose this route. Steven knows the town, which is built on rather steep hills (mountains?). He had walked the route to be taken some time previously, which required climbing around the city to a point just above his house, then descending perhaps 3/4 of a mile down about a 30 degree slope (OK, maybe only 20, but perceivably steep) full of sharp bends which had to be negotiated very carefully if one wished to retain the side-view mirrors and fenders, and not kill the frequent pedestrians. He directed the driver as to the route, but before starting the descent warned the driver to enquire about the condition of the passage. Either he did not understand, or just ignored the advice.
So we start down this little passage, slowly, slowly making the turns, creeping ever closer to the house for perhaps ten minutes, and about 2/3 of the way found the passage blocked by construction! Now to back up the passage! The tires slipped on the rock surface! The coordination of clutch and accelerator was not great. The car did not move. So the three of us got out of the car, and with the help of a passerby assisted the driver by pushing on the hood to get some traction, and reduce the load. Dangerous, because the car would tend to go forward when he took off the brake and before he hit the accelerator. But little by little we made some progress. Finally found a large piece of concrete which we would place under a front tire to stop the forward motion at each stop. And we had frequent stops because the car was constantly threatening to scrape on one side or the other.
This lasted for perhaps 45 minutes as we crept noisely and very very slowly back up the hill. This all came to a stop when the car would no longer make any progress because the clutch finally burned out, and the car was stationary! Millie and I took the key to the house (the activity did not help this little sciatic nerve problem of mine) and walked the remaining way down hill until we got to the house, went inside, and sat for a while in the very large hallway with nothing to do but wait. Started looking around, found the key to my room, went inside, and I lay down with Millie, which was a little moist as she had been thirsty, and jumped into the fountain by the front door to sate her thirst, meanwhile splashing around in about two inches of water.
Around midnight, I was just alert enough to hear the buzzer for the back door. Went down the stairs (16) and there were Steven and Loren with a mountain of stuff. They had obtained another taxi, which they backed down the little passage, transferred everything, and left the original taxi trapped in a little street with an inoperative vehicle. It may still be there today!
We found the keys to the apartment downstairs, distributed the stuff, and all went to bed.