While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Real de Catorse

Next stop after San Luis Potosi was Real de Catorce. An old silver mining town approximately 250 km north from San Luis Potosi. The road between Potosi and Catorce is not very fascinating. Unless you like desert:

My mom always tought me that it's healthy to have a divers diet. Taco's get boring after a while and some hotdogs seemed a nice change. They weren't really hot though and there was no mayonesa!

About to enter the cobblestone road to catorse.

Not really a problem, although you need a certain speed to overcome the most vibrations. Above 55kph worked for me, and the bike, because we arrived without losing parts (i know off anyway..). The cobblestones are quite slippery, combine this with oil spilling old cars and trucks and you can imagine that it can get real slippery. Aparantly, because at times my front wheel went a slightly different direction than anticipated.

Fantastic scenery halfway to Catorce.

Waiting for a GO!! the tunnel is the last bit to Catorce and one way only.

Inside the tunnel, just enough time for a pic. Total length is about 2km. Interesting: In the hayday of silvermining the was a railroad through the tunnel.

The light at the end of the tunnel was not from a incoming train, but the first view of Catorce. Nice place, very laid back and relaxed. But not, as i experienced, in weekends and Mexican vacations. The village and hotels are booked really well and the people on the street apply a bit more aggressive sales techniques. Not fun.

If you go there, make sure it's on weekdays!!

Nice pic of the church from our hotel.

By now Catorce is quite famous and the tourism really got to this likable town. There's quite a lot to do: horseback tours to a small ghost town or to the desert.

The museum gives a very good overview of the period when Catorce was in it's prime, which was about 1900. Around that period the silver price dropped and Mexican war for independence started which led to the closing of the mine. Ever since less and less people lived there. The town, although nowadays quite a few people make a living of the tourism, still has lots of deserted houses. Which gives it a nice atmosphere. The museum has usually one or more expositions on contemporary Mexican art.

The owner of an internet cafe told us that back in the days,1925-ish, this was the biggest power plant of mexico.

Everyday street life:

Pictures from the mine entrance. A 40 minute walk uphill. You can hire horses if your health doesn't allow that. Altitude of Catorce is about 2500m.

I liked Catorce. Very laid back and enough to do and see for a couple of days. Oh, i think the coolest bar in town is Club Social "Amor y Paz" . Very wel restored old building and awesome interior. Great contemporary music. Certainly worth a visit, if you happen too be in the neighberhood

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back on the road - San Luis Potosi

After 4 weeks I'm finally back on the road. Although i really liked this city with its great colonial architecture, tunnels, and winding streets, 4 weeks is a bit too much. Last week i finished my Spanish classes. Two weeks were great, the last week the grammar got so complicated my brain decided to shut down. Needed another week to recover ;-).
Maybe a little to much. 5 hours a day and homework really intense. The hostel live doesn't help either, English all around and too much diverdad (=fun).

Anyway, right now i feel i know less Spanish than i started with! Not true of course, it's all in my head somewhere, it's just that it's not there when i need it. Strange. Maybe i put to much pressure on myself to learn Spanish in three weeks. What was i thinking?! Not really realistic, ain't it?

Plan was to go to Real de Catorce and loop back to Guanajuato via Zacatecas. Would be nice to spend xmas there. Unfortunately Claudio had rotten peanuts for lunch yesterday and is in the middle of some serious cleansing of his digestive system. Poor guy. Hope he gets better soon. The last part to Catorce is quite a challenging road, so he needs to be fit.

San Luis Potosi is a crowded town with a charming and lively colonial center. Quite a suprise since the first appearance when entering the city is very industrial. Yesterday evening i went for a walk and i saw this magnificent illuminated churches and buildings. They (don't know who...) project animations on buildings accompanied by classical music, turnes out to be the annual Fiesta la Luz. I made some pictures and they turned out really bad, so i stole them from the government website:

There's also a movie, take a look, it's really special.