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Old 04-30-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
pdedse OP
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Joined: Dec 2007
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DAY 1 Continued...

Quite a bit of nondescript landscape east of San Miguel de Allende, but once I headed N on HI 120 out of Tequisquiapan, the scenery began to improve. Since I've never been in this neck of the woods, the Laguna de Tzibanza sounded as good a bet as any. After Cadereyta I asked about the Laguna and sure enough, I needed to head N another 5 kilometers and then turn off for Palmar, after which I'd have a cobblestone road for “a while”.

Above, the church at Palmar. I stopped to ask directions again and was told the same thing as before, rocky road, can't get lost. 15, 20 minutes? I ask. A little longer than that, I was told.

This was the first of about 100 burros that I would see over the next three days. They are some crazy rascals that when spooked do funky things—impossible to determine if they're going to run away or run right into you. I gave them very wide clearance.

Rocky road continued and so did I. I was looking for a “lagoon” but no sight of any water yet.

Another few kilometers and I spy the 'laguna' or lake...

And I arrive after 4 hours and only 115 miles! First close view of the Laguna

Isla de Tzibanza.

These steps lead up to the second floor of the hostal (023). The bottom floor is the restaurante and the top floor there's 18 beds.

The cost is 100 pesos, a little less than $10 for the night. Nancy and Anabel, two 18 year olds are running the place and they tell me no one else is there and they aren't expecting anyone else until tomorrow Saturday when I group of 10 is coming. Seeing as the only other alternative is for $85 a night for a cabin on the island, I think I'll take the hostal. I have a dinner of quesadillas and sopes. It's an absolutely perfect evening. The gals sit with me after cleaning up the restaurant kitchen and their uncle Pablo joins us and he fills me in on the making of the laguna, or lake: early 1980 the government decides they to build a dam, or cortina (curtain). They had to displace several communities who used to enjoy the river which had avocado, fig, mango and a number of fruit trees. They were paid handsomely, but weren't able to manage the money well. According to Pablo, the communities were relocated beyond the dam and now they have no money and no fruit trees—now they have to buy what they used to take for free. I asked him what he thought of the man made lake and said for their town (Tzibanza) it's been good because the lake is well stocked with fish and now their community fishes and provides boating services for those who want to fish or explore. They said I was the first American they had seen in some time—most visitors are Mexican nationals with money. Nancy and Anabel were very pleasant. I'm in San Miguel de Allende until the end of May as the leader of a group of students studying Spanish, and so I told the gals that I would try to convince the guys to come and visit. Nancy was the less shy of the two and asked what they're like—I told them lots of the guys have blond hair and blue eyes, and so they said, yes that would do, but to leave the girls in San Miguel! They left about 9:00 pm and the hostal was left to myself! No locked doors, nobody around. Beautiful lightning show over the lake and a wonderful breeze to cool off the hot day. I thought what a perfect day...then I didn't sleep until after 4:00am because all night I was attached by moscas, or mosquitos that kept buzzing my ears. I awoke at 9:00am the next morning with the sun shining in my face and over 200 tiny mosquito bites all over my neck, arms and legs! But not one of them itch!

pdedse screwed with this post 11-09-2009 at 02:14 AM
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