11-11-2012, 10:21 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oct 31 to Nov 2 The City - Rivers and Tunnels
As with many if not most cities in the interior, they appeared on the map as a result of rich deposits of silver and other metals. Guanajuato was no different. Itís kind of cramped into this valley and was originally built with a river running through it. As it grew, they built a tunnel under the city to contain the river but I suspect it didnít work that well keeping folks dry because they eventually just diverted the river.
Now, there wasnít water flowing regularly but people had built their toilets over the channel and it got a little, shall we say, stinky. You can see the type of structure they would have had Ė these may well have contained teh original toilets.
So, somewhere along the line they decided to create a big annual City Fiesta on July 2 when they would release a bunch of water from this dam which would "flush" the old river bed, making everything fresh as a daisy.
Being they were a bunch of underground tunnel building miner types anyhow, they dug a few more tunnels for drainage, etc and eventually when technology improved that they didnít need those tunnels for that purpose anymore, decided to use them for transportation. That was so successful; they continued digging tunnels to the system in place today. Once they could convince people to stop crapping in the river, they could turn that into a road also. But, always ones for a good Fiesta, the Guanajuatoians continue the July 2nd tradition today and still release a bunch of water down the street.
The tunnels are a very slick (cool) system that moves traffic out of the narrow streets of the downtown.
One of the tunnel openings with a hotel built over it
A video riding back to my hotel. This shortcut saved about 10 minutes or so by not having to go through the congested downtown. These videos are a huge pain in the ass to produce but Iíll try to do some more video of in towns later.
Of course, the video I really wanted of me following Gerardo through the downtown streets and alleys didnít happen because the idiot video camera operator didnít start the camera properly. Iím going to have to fire that useless bastard.
Here is a pic of the main drag at its widest part Ė it actually has two lanes here. The only thing missing from the picture are the endless buses.
- RexBuck's Latin America
Information on travelling in Latin America.
Includes links to ride reports to Mexico and to South America