10-29-2012, 08:17 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oct 25 Real de Catorce
What a day – on to Real de Catorce.
Start off with an enjoyable jaunt across the high desert heading south on the Libre, Hwy 54. Cut over on Hwy 62 and eventually the turn off to Real de Catorce. Unevnetfull up to there.
The 20 km road into Real is cobblestone. As long as you kept your speed up around 80kph (50mph), it was reasonably smooth - a little wiggly. Had to slow for some corners and other vehicles then it was like a paint can shaker. Noticed my little camera on the Macgyvered arm was really bouncing around so, thought it best to stop and put it in its case. Stopped a little later to take a picture of a beautiful panorama and noticed the view was just a diagonal line. Crap! Now I’ve gone and messed up my most used camera. I’ll have a check it out later.
The cobblestone road keeps climbing until we finally come around a corner to the entrance to the tunnel to the town. Rather than go over the still somewhat daunting mountain, the boys decided it was easier to just punch a hole through the mountain. Waited for the vehicles to come out from the other direction and a whole cavalcade headed in. 2.3 km in length – air reasonably fresh.
What a town. Built on the side of a mountain and all the streets are cobblestone in various states of repair. Bumped along weaving in and out of stalls built on both sides of the street, most with plastic tarps held up with twine strung acrosss the street. I was concerned that some were so low I might snag my GoPro which was on my helmet. That would make for a bad day. Rode low in the saddle.
Stopped behind a truck and a couple of guys come up offering horseback tours that afternoon. Said I didn’t want to do it then but would in the morning. Guy lit up like a Christmas tree. Asked me what hotel I was going to and took me up there.
Since the Hotel Real is up a fairly steep side street and I’m loaded to the nutz, I decided to park on the main street, go up and register and check out where I needed to go.
Thought I would make this a bit easier on myself and took the new tires off the back and carried them up to the hotel. Another guy told me I could go around the block, it was easier. I thought the road would be ok and headed up. It was fine.
Parking was another issue. Had to back the bike onto the cobblestone “sidewalk” which was fine except it was too steep for the front tire to stop the roll backward. Back and forth, getting it over the small lip to the sidewalk, finally maneuvered to where I thought I should be – couple more inches . . . oh, crap! I was apparently against the wall and those couple more inches were enough to push the bike to that point of no return . . .
Usually, just take a couple of heavy things off and the bike pops right back up. Yes, she has been sleepy a number of times before. However, this time she decided to fall so the concrete pole base right behind was wedged between the back tire and tail rack. No way to stand her up.
So, enlisted the help of the desk guy Milo and a guy from Argentina who lives in Louisiana and we dragged her up about 6 inches, just enough so we could stand her up. Pushed her up a bit more and called it good. Lady across the street watching the whole process from her doorway with a grin on her face. I’m sure this is ongoing entertainment for her.
This place is amazingly cool, and I just arrived. Cool hotel, cool room (with hot water, TV, internet in the room) and a stunning view from the roof. And, cool town. The movie “The Mexican” starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts was filmed in Real de Catorce so a bunch of signed pictures of the stars with the hotel’s owner on the wall. See them hanging behind Milo (An Italian living in Mexico who learned "English" in Ireland)
Door to my room
Went to the only restaurant open for dinner down the street and had a surprisingly good pizza. Now, I know my Italian friends will scoff at a Mexican pizza but damn, it was good. Very thin crust, cheese, chorizo and peppers. Served with this outstanding salsa – oil base with some smoked peppers and a good bite to it (I usually find many Mexicans will serve Gringos a really mild salsa - frustrating). Served a great appetizer – pickled peppers and tomatoes with corn chips.
- RexBuck's Latin America
Information on travelling in Latin America.
Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America