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'Mi casa es su casa' - but not all of the time!

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  • 'Mi casa es su casa' - but not all of the time!

    A whimsical post from me to start off 2021 ….

    'Mi casa es su casa” – aka 'my house is your house'– is a well known Mexican phrase indicating hospitality when inviting people, often strangers, into your home.


    When I emigrated to Mexico 30 plus years back I found this attitude somewhat different to that of my fellow Brits back home. Not that we Brits are inhospitable, we just tend to be somewhat reserved and a little more formal with people who come knocking at our doors, especially those we haven’t met before.

    Over the past years I’ve gotten more used to folks suddenly appearing on our doorstep and being invited in, however, there are occasionally times when I simply don’t want to have visitors appearing unannounced. Maybe I’m busy doing something and don’t want to be distracted, maybe I just want to take a rest without interruptions or maybe I am just feeling a little antisocial. It’s in times like these when I often counter the “mi casa es tu casa” phrase and general attitude of my Mexican wife, Norma, with my English version which goes along the lines of “mi casa es mi castillo” – aka 'my home is my castle' - and no one enters without my permission. Norma has often commented that if I feel this way I should go build my own castle!


    Well, this weekend I was out on my motorbike exploring a previously unvisited area of Mexico not too far from my home when Norma’s comments resurfaced in my mind.

    I was riding around an area known as Agua Linda, close to the town of Agua Blanca de Iturbe in my home state of Hidalgo, Mexico, looking for a small lake and eco-tourist development. As soon as I left Agua Blanca I lost my GPS signal on my phone and hadn’t a clue where I was heading. Undeterred I just followed where the tracks took me. It’s fair to point out that I tend to ride with the philosophy that roads and tracks un-travelled often lead to unexpected surprises so given the choice I’ll take them.

    The following 3 min video shows part of my ride and a surprise encounter on the way. Apologies in advance for the bad audio. I was filming the ride for the first time with a Gopro camera.. A combination of wind noise, gravel crunching and the sound of my bike engine, which is more reminiscent of a Singer sewing machine rather than the typical throaty bike sound, is something I need to work on to improve in the future.

    This video was edited in the free version of Davinci Resolve 16 and I’ve uploaded it to my new Youtube channel called Cyclopean biker. You can find it by clicking on the following link


    Mi casa es su casa

    Footnote: This was my first serious stab at video editing and I anticipate that future uploads will be more professional looking.

    Cheers!

    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Now that is the castle of your dreams! Unexpected find in that area I'll bet. The landscape reminded me of northern Arizona. Nice mini-film!
    Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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    • #3
      Happy New Year Jim!!! Yep that house has just about the right space for your guests and for you to get lost in. I'm thinking that it even has room for a nice big workshop.
      Website:
      www.wix.com/tangowooddesign/home-page
      ___________________

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      • #4
        Now that is impressive! Did you ever find out more about the castle? And kudos for your debut as the Cyclopean biker. The video was clear, in focus, and told a story. What more could you ask for? 👏👏
        Carole

        Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Now that is impressive! Did you ever find out more about the castle?
          Hey Carole - well, you got me sleuthing with that question! So after putting on my Sherlock Holmes cape and hat even though I didn't exactly know where I was for a large portion of the ride I consulted with the magic of Google maps on my PC and was able to retrace my ride out of Agua Blanca towards Agua Linda using the traveling camera part of their app. Amazingly I was able to navigate up the road leading to the castle. Although the scenes were obviously shot a couple of years back judging by the growth of the trees on the roadside I found the castle and when I reverted back to the Google maps street view it was identified as 'Un Paseo por Las Nubes' - translated 'A Passage By The Clouds'.

          Back to Google search and I found out that this place was built as a medieval themed restaurant and a rental place for large parties as well as offering camping services in its grounds. There was obviously no signs of life when I passed it by so whether it was actually inaugurated or whether the owners abandoned the idea I really couldn't say.

          Norma and her sister will be somewhat disappointed when I pass this info on to them. They were both convinced that this castle was a folly built by a local ' narco' to help launder money. They could well be right, but I don't think it would be wise for me to investigate any further. Sleuthing done - LOL!
          Jim in Mexico

          Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
          - Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            Great video and story. Thanks for sharing it with us.
            "Time to Give Back"

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            • #7
              Well that’s an unexpected twist! But an interesting adventure and good story, nonetheless. Thanks!
              Carole

              Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                As always thank you for sharing your adventures!
                You are a brave man doing these solo adventures. How do you know you are not turning into a Narco residence.?
                I am impressed with that Go pro camera.
                Rolf
                RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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                • #9
                  You are a brave man doing these solo adventures. How do you know you are not turning into a Narco residence.?
                  Hi Rolf - I doubt I am quite as brave as you imagine but having worked and lived around the world, often in some dubious places, I am reasonably worldly wise and have a good dosage of common sense so when venturing into unknown territory I generally evaluate my surroundings and circumstances before deciding whether to push ahead so as to avoid taking unnecessary risks.

                  Here in Mexico over the past 30 plus years I've only once come across a situation where I felt uneasy. I was travelling on business in the north of the country in an area frequented by drug dealers and criminal gangs. I was driving down a main highway and in the distance saw a road block with a group of individuals who looked a little suspicious. I immediately stopped my car, consulted my GPS and found an alternative route which I'd passed earlier to bypass this blockage. I turned the car around and backtracked to take the route. It was a winding secondary road which put an extra 45 minutes on my travel but logic told me that it was a route less travelled and liable to be much less attractive to anyone looking to carry out nefarious actions on travelers. The following morning I heard on the local news that the military had broken up a gang of criminals who were stopping traffic on the main road and robbing the drivers of their personal possessions and contents of their vehicles. Chalk that one up to a good decision to backtrack!

                  Getting back to that Gopro camera. I bought the Hero 8. For a first try at shooting video without really knowing too much about how to best configure the settings I was pleased with the result. The raw footage for this small video was much better quality than the slightly blurry version I posted on Youtube video. This was largely due to my ignorance in knowing what was the best compression setting to export the file to from my editing software. The original file was just over 3 Gb in size and was compressed down to 230 MB to upload to Youtube. I spoke last night with a good friend of mine who is very knowledgeable of the Davinci Resolve software I used for the editing and he's given me some pointers on how to improve this going forward.

                  Like all issues there is a learning curve to this venture. I have one good thing going for me in that I am a very quick learner once I set my mind to taking on something new, plus of course, as you have previously commented, the internet is a wonderful resource to help you once you work out how to best find information and then sort the wheat from the chaff.

                  Thanks to you and all others for your kind comments

                  Cheers
                  Last edited by jim_mex; 01-14-2021, 02:52 PM.
                  Jim in Mexico

                  Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                  - Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for sharing your explorations. I enjoyed the video. Reminds me of a trip into Copper Canyon some years ago.

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