Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 17 - San Miguel Allende to Real de Catorce

A bit of a post script about San Miguel Allende. Forces conspired against us to see really any of the town. When Roger led us into town for the first time he'd intended to show us the town square on the way to the hotel. It was blocked off because of Constitution Day celebration, which was all weekend and into today, Monday. We decided to wait to go for a town walk til after Roger and Jim returned, but it was too late once they returned and our distant relatives were awaiting us in the hotel for the Super Bowl party. Bottom line, we didn't get to walk the city. Oh well, another year, maybe.

Breakfast was at 7:30 in the hotel dining room and was pretty light for most. Fruit with granola and some creme fresh with coffee for me.

We aid more good byes to Javier, family and friends and made our way out of the city, stopping at a spectacular overlook for some pictures.

Some panaoram of the city

A cathedral of many spires.. Form the overlook.

Typically, many colors ripple through the city's structures..
 Most of the day was freeway and toll roads. Along the way, we noticed large truck chassis((only) being driven on the opposite lanes. Each had a helmeted driver dressed in very warm clothing and sitting on a wooden bench. Seems like a fun job to us macho bikers.

Lunch was at a family run operation at our noon Pemex stop and were fabulous vendor small chorizo tacos. Onions and red chile sauce were all the additions needed. Bona Petit.

The afternoon ride was more of the same, but the temps went down and up and down from 54 to 74 to 60 degrees with some showers starting just about the time we turned onto the cobblestone road to Real de Catorce, which was a huge silver mining town in the early to mid(and later?) 1800s.

Now that I've safely reported home, I can confess that in a moment of brain fade, my speed over the cobbles(it had been raining) led me to a close encounter with the road surface. Too much speed led to a low side(rear end trying to pass the front resulting in the bike resting on it's left side supported by the front guards and the rear pannier. I did it right and kept my feet on the pegs. A small patella bruise was the only body damage, but the left pannier didn't fare as well. Bent, but it fullfilled it's secondary purpose, protection. It's at home in the garage awaiting a planned refurb.. Love those Happy Trail paniers!!

Back to Real de Catorce, it is at 8800 feet and reached via 14 miles of the cobblestone road. At the end of the cobbles is a tunnel 3Km long that was originally built in the early 1800s for access to the silver mines. It's a one way tunnel and traffic is directed at each end by highway personnel with walkie talkies.

20 pesos toll for the amazing tunnel..
 We slithered(and slid) up the slick cobbles to the tunnel and held while opposing traffic finished flowing out and then took our turn in the well lit flat bottomed hole thru the mountain.

Back out into the sunlight and Roger hired one of the several young men, who guide tourists to destinations, to show us the way through the narrow, shop lined cobble streets to the hotel. His direction led us to a place only sheep and goats could ascend, and remember it's slick and wet, so Roger dismounted and went to the hotel for some help. Milo, one of the Hotel el Real's employees came to our rescue and sat shotgun in Ken's truck, directing him to the Hotel el Real. A beautiful rustic place. There was a nice boutique shop in the hotel center and the owner came down and opened it up for our perusal.

A late afternoon view of the village cathedrals

WooHoo.., we have internet..

The hotel boutique. Jim bought his wife Jo a dress.. Fingers crossed..

Nxt morning, Tom ready to load up the bike

Some photos of the gorgeous courtyard!!

And, at the desk, here's beautiful Nancy from Montery.
Ken was in love..
We lounged a bit with a beer and then found our way to dinner at the Restaurant el Real run by Milo. One block over and a block and a half down, and I do mean down. I'm gonna guess 150' in a block and a half, this is a steep place. Dinner was Lasagna for three of us and it was just great, but each was a serving for two. Milo said the leftovers would go to the donkey, no problem. Milo turned out to be an interesting fellow, born in Italy and had 1 year stops in Ireland, England and Spain. Hist Italian accent had a great Irish brogue. Strange, but it works for him. He'd been in the city for two years, so it was long term this time.

Back to the hotel, remember it's about 150' walk up the cobblestones at 8800'. After dinner and a couple of beers. I stopped at least twice.. Into the room with no heat but a great set of blankets and off to sleep

No comments:

Post a Comment