November 04, 2005 GMT
Zacetecas... Will They Ever Leave

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(Late Entry Photo: Road from Parras to Los Muchachos)

Zacetecas is a beautiful city. It has alot of baroque architecture, little 'walking only' alley-ways, paved streets and over at least 10 museums. There are great markets and losts of street stalls, you can buy almost anything you need.

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The time for Deb and Dave to leave came. It was sad to see them go. Jules really enjoyed having another woman to talk to. We hope to catch up with them again some place some time.

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We left the Hostel and moved over to Federico´s Hostal, Hostal Plaza del Carmen at Avenue Juarez, No 222.

There Grant was able to utilise Federico´s workshop to do some work on the valve clearances, oil change and general maintenance.

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After a few days there we were invited to stay with Federico until we were ready to leave Zaceteca.

We took a day trip to Villanueva , with Federico and his sister Tlalic, to the pilgrimage to the Church for Santos Judas Tadeo. The 400 year old church was decorated beautifully, full of flowers. The town, normally very quite, was packed with street markets and people.

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People walk from Zacetecas to Villanueva (60kms) overnight to attend the church service. You seel some people entering the church on bended knee going to the alter to light candles, give flowers and pray.

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We also saw this excellent girl drumming band....

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Staying with Federico was excellent, we were able to get quite a few little jobs done on the bike that needed doing, like extending the Touratec tank saddle bags. We had not been able to ustilise the space as well as we hoped as they jamed up the steering, they always had to remain half empty to allow free movement of the handle bars. So Grant designed some extensions and he and Federico went to an upholster to have the alterations done.

Another day trip we took was out to Jerez, about 60km south of Zacetecas. The road off the highway reminded us very much of the road from Strathablyn to Goolwa and the road to Manum in South Australia.... eucalyptus and all.

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We also went camping to his Fathers ranch, in the Sierra, with his sister Tlalic, her husband Victor, thier two children Paula and Santiago and a friend of theirs Josana.

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We arrived at night and set up the campsite. We had chosen a spot known as 'The Cemetery'. It actually is an old village. We could see the outlines of the buildings but would have to wait until the morning to see where we were.

We cooked on an open fire and sat up until late looking at the stars, the campfire and talking, though the kids could not handle the pace.

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In the morning we woke to the beautiful scenery we mised the night before. We had set up camp at the edge a small canyon, surrounded by hills, trees and palmiters and ruined buildings.

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After breakfast we went for a walk to the end of the canyon to a grotto where during the wet season (June - August) there is a waterfall, then to the top of the hill and back down to the campsite.

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Our guide, 'Crocodile Tortilla', took us through fields of wild sage, that gave off its strong distinct scent with each footstep.

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Along the river bed to the grotto where our 'Guide' proceded to try and convince us to scale the wall to get out!

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However we chose to scale the outside hill where Jules got stabbed in the head with a cactus and Josana had some difficulty getting up and needed assistance.

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Once we had all reached the top we walked across and back down to the camp. Covered in scratches and bumps and bruises the 'Guide' enforced the NO REFUND policy! So everyone had a little toyotito (nap) for the afternoon before a late lunch of chille relleno´s (roasted chilles filled with cheese) and bistec (marinated thin steaks).

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We left the ranch and the sierra at dusk and arrive home tired boys and girls.

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Posted by Julie Rose at November 04, 2005 03:05 AM GMT
 



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