11-02-2012, 07:32 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Quick history of this fascinating town. Started silver mining in the area a little over 200 years ago which industry ebbed and flowed depending on the Mexican political situation. Around the early 1900’s started getting some foreign capital in, they built the tunnel into town and for awhile the area was a significant producer of silver in the world. Production finally petered out and the town declined to a few hundred hardy souls. Somebody decided they should capitalize on tourism and the town has reestablished itself solely on that industry. Really enjoyed it.
Went to the only ATM machine in town for about the 6 th time and got the “can’t connect to your Bank” message. Which I think roughly translated means it is almost out of cash and we’ll save it for our own customers so, take a hike. Kinda running thin on kish-cash but should make it ok.
Go and find Emilio, one of the “Approved” horse tour guides and decided on a three hour ride up a neighboring mountain.
My faithful steed, Dollar, and I worked our way up the mountain with Emilio on his mule. It was actually a lot of fun.
Went through some old mine ruins on the way.
That's me, playing a bad imitation of someone who really knows how to ride – have not been on a horse for at least 30 years
The remains of some old houses
Got to the top and then had to pony up another $20p to some guy who appeared out of nowhere for "permission" to walk the trail to the top. Took about 15 minutes walking down that trail but something substantially longer going up as I was breathing pretty heavy as we were around 10,000 feet altitude. Here is Emilio trying to look busy so maybe I won’t want him to walk up with me . . . Ha!
Fantastic views of the flatlands below.
At the top there was a big ceremonial circle with a bunch of things people had made. Further up was a small building with all sorts of stuff in it. Emilio tells me the natives come up here to do their spiritual thing which involves consumption of parts of the local cactus, peyote. The natives have apparently been using this stuff for a few thousand years. When the peyote is available for harvest they apparently have a pilgrimage of sorts of natives from other areas.
Coming back – some of the houses in Real
I found the Mexican saddle interesting – much larger horn and hardly any leather
Across the street from the hotel was this big Mexican transformer. It was getting pretty long in the tooth and the more I looked at it, the funnier it got.
The steel poles are dual purpose – hold up the transformer and stop runaway cars. Useful in this town
Oh, and don’t forget to thread those wires through the steel structure . . .
There has been a big church service both nights I have been here. Apparently in connection with a religious festival that lasts more than a month. Quite a few will pilgrimage here to participate which all contributes a bit to the local tourism.
Like most churches, they ring their bells regularly and when they were still ringing away at 11 PM and waking me up, I figured that was ok as some poor junior Monk has to get up and pull on those ropes – picturing Lon Chenay pulling on the ropes. Then looking at the church during the day, I notice they have speakers stuck all around the bells – they have it on automatic – no Junior Monk, no hunchback . . .
Ate dinner in the Hotel dinning room. Had the rabbit – outstanding!
- RexBuck's Latin America
Information on travelling in Latin America.
Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America