Badlands, Onions and an Ogre.

Our challenge this week is to find pictures that best illustrate something that is layered.

One of the first thing that came to my mind was a stack of pancakes smothered in syrup, or how about a mouth watering hamburger loaded with toppings. Unfortunately I could not come up with the appropriate pics, so I will have to bore you with these.

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A rolling stone gathers no moss, but in this case…………
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fungi to climb.
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Where I live you don’t need layers.
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Almost too many layers to count.

And who can argue with Shrek when he said, “Ogres are like onions……onions have many layers.” Who wants to dispute an ogre?
Layered

Cobblestone Streets of Puerto Vallarta. No. 8

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Cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta lend to the charm of the historic city center. Although some would call them dangerous due in part to their uneven surface and ability to form potholes, the original use of cobblestones during the early days was quite practical.

Paving with cobblestones allowed a road to be heavily used all year long. It prevented the build-up of ruts often found in dirt roads. It had the additional advantage of not getting muddy in wet weather or dusty in dry weather. Shod horses or mules were also able to get better traction on stone cobbles. The natural materials or “cobbles,” a geological term, originally referred to any small stone having dimensions between 2.5 and 10 inches (6.4 and 25.4 cm) and rounded by the flow of water; essentially, a large pebble. Although the noise of riding over cobbles may seem annoying, it was actually considered good as it warned pedestrians of oncoming traffic….horse, mule or automobile!

Cobblestones are typically either set in sand or similar material, or are bound together with cement or asphalt. Cobblestones set in sand have the environmental advantage of being permeable paving and of moving rather than cracking with movements in the ground.

In Vallarta, the making or remaking of a cobblestone street begins with the leveling of the underlying dirt. Then comes sand. Next parallel lines of larger stones are laid in rows, sometimes with cement holding them in place. Rows are them filled in with the smaller stones. Finally, sand or cement is packed around all the stones and left to settle with gaps filled in as needed. Repair of potholes tends to be a mixture of stones, sand, cement, pulverized terra cotta, or asphalt. In the historic area, the original streets are required to remain in keeping with the original construction, the stones having come from either the Rio Cuale, beach, or nearby quarries.

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Today, walking on cobblestones has been considered good exercise depending on the distance, frequency, surface and grade. Author Via Anderson in a recent article in the Vallarta Daily News (November 4, 2014) wrote, “Find and walk on the many cobblestone walks here (in Vallarta). Walking on cobblestones a few times daily with bare feet (preferred) or minimal shoes (to protect from debris) provides stimulation to the foot musculature that in turn adapts by becoming stronger and better able to handle these forces for longer periods of time…. and may be significant in reversing aging.”

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A little back round on the origin of the word cobblestone is needed here.

The word ‘cobblestone ‘ derives from the English word ‘cob’, which means a small, round lumpen shape. Stones of a similar shape were taken from streams and rivers and referred to as cobbles. Eventually these stones were called cobble stones. Recorded history has all this happening around the beginning of the 15th century.

Later ‘cobble’ came to mean any rounded stone between 2.5″ and 10″ inches across. But, no real measurements were taken. The laying of the stones was all done by eye and fitted together like a jigsaw.

So lets go back a little further. Apparently the Romans were using this method of road construction as early as 250 B.C., where over 50,000 miles were layed down. More info can be found at steptoesyard.co.uk/history-cobbles.

This weeks photo challenge is The Road Taken
. During our stay in Puerto Vallarta we have had the opportunity to walk many of the cobblestone streets and roads; it has become part of our journey.

Time has shown us that life’s journey can be taken on a smooth or a rocky road. The course travelled depends on ones attitude, take on life, and how well we play with others. Do you approach life with a positive attitude, or do you let it beat you down; blaming others for your lot in life.

We only pass this way once, so why screw it up, hurting yourself and others close to you. Life is not fair or a walk in the park. We will fall on rough ground; we will make mistakes. It is how we deal with it that will make a difference – to yourself and others. I speak personally, I’ve been there.

Making  an effort to be positive, though not always attainable is the healthy choice. You will be rewarded, not overnight, not just when you would expect it, but over time your life will be enriched and also the lives of others close to you. According to Dale Carnegie, “attitude is everything”.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff”. If we choose to, and, the choice is ours, the effect can mire,and bog us down. If that path is taken, we carry the pain and bitterness around inside, and that can have a bad effect on those closest to you.

Look around you. Life is to be experienced, not just endured. As we weave our way around the potholes, it is important to keep a grip on what is honest and true. The world is still a beautiful place. Smile at it, laugh at it and embrace it. It will feel your “joie de vivre”, and smile back. Cheers.

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The Sidewalks of Puerto Vallarta. No. 3

Puerto Vallarta is a intriguing town to wonder around, but if you are going to gawk, be alert to where you walk. or you will find yourself doing the stub and stumble shuffle. Most of the sidewalks in the main tourist area are flat, smooth and well maintained. It is off the beaten path that your eyesight and agility are tested, especially at night.

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As mentioned above, in the main tourist area the walkways are safe to navigate and wander, as evidenced  by the last three pictures. Here one is able to be as graceful as one is able. A few steps with your favourite libation in hand and you are safe to navigate unscathed. If you follow the winding trail (small black stones embedded in cement) you are on your way safely.
Graceful

This Little Light of Mine,

I’m gonna let it shine…..  Stephen H. Scott

While on our way to Mexico last year, these two sites caught my eye. The one on the left (the serpent) is near Gainesville Missouri, and the other is over Prairie Du Rocher, Illinois. The sun was just in the right place to make these locations shine.

p1000368This night scene in Puerto Vallarta was too tempting to pass by. The play of light and shadows shouted, take a picture. There are not too many street lights in PV, but this one worked its magic.

The little body of water by a local trail jumped to life when sunshine flooded through a break in the clouds. The sun is also responsible for the reflection on the cow bell, creating its own circle of light. Though the salt lamp struggles to shine,giving off more of a glow than anything, its light is very warming.

img_0402img_0182As the day comes to a close, an evening ritual takes place. The rays soften and they beckon us to share their last few moments. It is pure magic. The shine may be off for the day, but the memory lingers.
Shine