El Gran Payaso
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
The Town With the Silver Lining, I mean, Mining
Pachuca is a very lightly touristed town, just about 50 miles northeast of Mexico City. It sits in somewhat of a bowel, with houses brightly painted and dotting the hillside somewhat like San Miguel and Guanajuato, and like Guanajuato, Pachuca owes much of its history to mining. Two years ago, I was in such a mine in nearby Real de Monte, experiencing what getting smacked in the noggin is like even though you think you’re protected by a mining helmet. Pachuca is the capital of the state of Hildalgo, and we would probably not have stopped there, save for the fact that we had been shooting for Puebla, but since we made the stop at Xilitla, we didn’t have the desire or the need to push to Puebla, so we selected Pachuca as the overnight stop. Being Saturday night, it meant that we would pull into Puebla on Sunday, the big market day, and see all of the activity centered on that. Better than getting to Puebla on a Saturday, and missing the festivities. Serendipity at work again. Love it.
The zócolo is dominated by the Reloj Monumental, the Clock Tower, built in the early 1900s to celebrate the centennial of the independence. I shot it in the evening at daybreak, when nobody was around. I’m not sure why Pachuca doesn’t see more tourists, as it is plotted in the direction away from Mexico City in the direction of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the mountains we had just traversed. Perhaps it is too close to Mexico City, easily by-passed by nationals on their way to the coast or to the Huasteca region.
The hotel we stayed at was another Lonely Planet find. We followed the highway into town, easily, using the “Centro” signs. Wasn’t hard at all to find the Hotel Emily. Right on the zócolo. Parking for the motorcycles was right beneath the hotel, although we parked on the street initially, and walked to the front desk which borders the zócolo on the south side, the only side without a street for cars, just a pedestrian walkway. Access to/from the garage seems to be via a short, private drive reserved only for the hotel. If you visit Pachuca and stay at the Emily, I hope you meet Mayte (Mah -E-Tay) at the front desk. Charmer. She speaks virtually self-taught, almost perfect English, and she was most helpful. Rooms were mid-priced, but the amenities of the hotel were welcome after beating ourselves up in the mountains. It was another long day for Subcomandante, but after this day, there would only be a short day to Puebla and another short day to Veracruz, with lots of chances to stop and see things.
Secuestradores = kidnappers
Our Pachuca Taxista