Catching Up: Real De Catorce, Mexico

This entry is part 28 of 34 in the series Latin America Series

My journey is over (previous announcement) but I have dozens, perhaps a hundred stories to tell. Maybe this collection of stories are book worthy, and the upcoming posts over the next few months will be a kind of rough draft. Sifting through my written notes will take some time and I think this blog is a perfect vehicle for me to make some sense of this whole journey.

I will also be creating an all encompassing Google Map that will be a guide to navigate through all my stories, photos and videos. I think it will be a great visual aid to make sense of everything. First I need to recreate my route…

Location: Real de Catorce, Mexico (wiki) (map)
Date: September, 30th 2010
Photos: Flickr Set

In Monterrey I was not doing much of anything besides weathering the culture shock. The most remote desert road in America was more comfortable for me than ordering coffee in a cafe of Mexico. I didn’t know the language and I felt an eye upon me everywhere I walked. Through the serindipity of couch surfing my host was incredible. Carmina was my tour guide to Mexico. Very empathetic to my situation. She was intelligent and exuded a kindness not often encountered.

After five days I left my safe haven of Monterrey and rode to the town of Real de Catorce on the advice of Carmina. The town was home to an abandoned silver mine that was now a sort of ghost-town but had a healthy touristic presence.

The road to town was a 10 mile cobblestone conveyor belt that nearly rattled the teeth from my head. This was the first rough road I had come across and I was riddled with anxiety over the capabilities of my motorcycle, luggage and in particular my own riding skills. With the mantra many motorcyclists hold in their head in hairy situations, “when in doubt, give it gas” I continued.

I reached the entrance to the tunnel that would spit me out into Real de Catorce on the other end. I stopped for some pictures and then entered until I was stopped by some official looking person. There was a toll to enter, about $2 USD. My lack of Spanish stuck out like a sore thumb. I was just a stupid gringo.

The tunnel was otherworldly.

I rode my bike through the market directly at the exit of the tunnel. I would explore it later on foot, but now the sun was setting fast and I need to find a place to camp. There was a grassy clearing ahead that laid across the road from an abondoned cemetary and church that had a 13 foot wall around the huge 100 acer perimeter. I had to ride through what looked ancient, a bull fighting ring. What’s the conversion rate between horses and bulls? Perhapse two to one? I respectfully idled my 20 bullpowered motorcycle through the ring. This was quite possibly the most bulls that have been here. I settled in an inconspicuous location and setup camp.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Series Navigation<< Survivor’s Guilt, a Shift in Perspective and the Overrated MindTruck Blocking the Road, Guatemala >>
  • diemfdie50

    Loved the article, cant wait to read more of your trip.

  • Sid

    Nice video! deeply impressed…fascinating images…good job! thank you!

More in Latin America (15 of 50 articles)
Saying Goodbye to Jenny