We are beginning a new life in a very rural, mountainous, and little known area of Veracruz, Mexico. We are the only Norte Americanos we have met in our beautiful little adopted town of Teocelo...
Some readers of this blog know that I am partially disabled. Walking is very painful becauase of peripheral neuropathy in my feet and legs. I get prescious little good exercise walking 20 steps and then having to sit back down (!) so swimming's the way to get the exercise I need. Without the effect of gravity on my muscles in a pool, there is little pain and I can move about almost normally and get in a good swim and some real aerobic exercise. But where in an area that is as poor and underdeveloped and mountainous as where we live was I going to find a commercial swimming pool?!! Of course, we looked anyway. To our absolute astonishment we found no less that two big lovely pools right near Teocelo.
One was located in a pretty little resort right at the north edge of town. It was bit pricey, right on the highway with many noisy busses and trucks passing very close, and heavily chlorinated but I was mighty thankful to find it I can tell you! A beautiful pool it was...
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But then on a short trip to explore a little village called Baxtla five miles to the south of Teocelo, I found "the pool of my dreams". :) "Some day my pool will come..." you know the tune. We had driven only about 1 km south out of town on a good paved road which had plunged us down into a tiny valley right below Teocelo. There were only four little houses there. It was as pristine and picturesque and beautiful as spot as any place we had seen in the area. But there was a strange apparition there. It looked like a huge pool of some sort (perhaps a trout farm or something) but certainly not a SWIMMING pool. Impossible -- when you like to swim and need to swim as much as I do, you imagine pools everywhere. :)
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Mindy popped out of the truck and asked a young chap who was out fixing his car what that big water thing was anyway. It was a swimming POOL alright, ten pesos a day to swim anytime! I started shouting and making a fool of my self and didn't waste much time!
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This pool was HUGE and less expensive to use than the resort pool. There was no need for chlorination or special filtration as the river which supplied water to the pool was fast moving and constantly replenished the pool. Notice the big water spout at the right of the picture continually filling the pool. Excess simply spilled over the top of the pool at the far side and back into the river below. There was almost no traffic through the valley. And oh... what ambience!
And so, this pool is now home #2 for us. We are their most steady customers I am sure. It's all one big extended family there, and we are always greeted so warmly. Some of the folks are now becoming close friends. One young man, Torebio, speaks a little English as he worked construction in South Caroline for two years awhile back to put together enough money to get married. Indeed, he did marry his girl who was still waiting for him back home, and they have just had their first baby, a little girl. This was a big event in the Valley as almost all the kids in the valley family have been boys.
During the week, we have the pool to ourselves. On the weekends many kids walk down from town to swim there. With the start of Winter, however, the nights are becoming chilly and the water has become muy fria (very cold). I still swim regularly anyway, but am the only one now to do so they tell me. I come fortified with a thermos of hot coffee and wear a nice warm ski hat when I swim. Just another loco Americanos, what can you expect anyway! :) We got a good laugh from the fellow we were talking to when I so termed myself. He didn't disagree (just what he had been thinking I am sure). :)
As it turns out the new place we found to rent for the Airstream in Teocelo is on the very street which turns into the road to Baxtla and the big pool. We couldn't be closer to our "pool in paradise". Some things are just meant to be...!
- jim and mindy