Friday July 18th
I left Zacatecas after a lost day spent in the hotel while the bacteria in my stomach were battling, and presumably loosing to, some new arrivals.
The road to Real de Catorce is mostly straight and well paved untill the cobble stone stretch which leads to the town. Thanks to RW66's advice I ignored my GPS and didn't turn on the road marked, I think, Est Real de Catorce. This has led many riders along the rutted dirt back road into town. Fun on an appropriate bike, I'm sure. I waited untill after crossing the train tracks to turn on the cobble stone road. Lots of shaking and rattling but the stones are set tightly together so no problem. The views are good as the road winds over the mountain and finallly through a long, damp, mine tunnel into the narrow valley where Real de Catorce sits.
The streets of Real de Catorce
The town is tiny. Half of the buildings are still in ruins, some have been renovated, like the Hotel Real where I am staying. There is a large church, of course. I'm still trying to work out the code of the bell ringing. Beginning at 7am and ending around 10pm, often on the quarter hour, and two different tones. Sheep graze the hillsides and aspiring shamans, one wearing a top hat, sit on the street corners. Seems to be a thriving peyote culture here driven by Mexican and European hippies. A lot of middle class Mexican tourists are here, and a few Europeans. The streets in town are steep and nerve wracking on the big ol' BMW.
The view from my room in the Hotel Real