Our next stop was Durango, another beautiful Cathedral and Plaza, another bustling market, but without the vivacity of Mazatlan. I was eager to move on, as was Jacquie, so we stayed one night before hitting the road once more for Zacatecas.
Zacatecas is a gorgeous colonial town, a Basque minor found silver in the 16th century and the town grew. The Basque settlers made their mark with French buildings side by side with Spanish Cathedrals. Finding our hotel was a task and a half. Manoeuvring the Harley down the steep, narrow winding streets, with my GPS trying to send us the wrong way down one-way streets. We went round and round the same street until finally a local led us to it in his car.
A major difference here was the large numbers of fairer skinned European looking locals, as well as the Creperies, cafes, and bakeries side by side with Taco stands and Gordita shops. We took the cable car up to La Bufa, at the entrance to the old mine-which now is home to a nightclub deep underground. The cable car took us over the myriad of rooftops and was high enough to make our knees weak.
Getting out at the top after the ride on the cable car we were greeted by the sight of three enormous statue of Zapata and his revolutionary comrades on horse back , and a photographer willing to wrap an ammunition belt over your shoulders and take polaroids of you behind a tripod mounted machine gun, which we declined.
The views over the city were sublime, a hodge podge of rooftops and alleyways, interdispersed with grand Cathedrals and museums.
We returned on foot to our hostel and sat on the rooftop balcony chatting with the other residents, a couple of German guys, just back from Real de Catorce, and pair if French girls down from Monterrey, a Canadian couple recovering from excessive Mosquito bites in San Blas, and another couple of French guys on the hunt for marijuana, all swapping tales of where we had been and where we were going.
We spent another couple of days wondering the street, checking out the markets, and trying local dishes before getting back on the bike and heading south to Guadalajara.
We took a side trip on the way down to La Quemada, an archeolgical side on the road south.
La Quemada was our first experience of one of the many pre Hispanic ruins the are found all over México, and it was magnificent.
We had the site practically to ourselves, and took the opportunity to climb and clamber all over the ancient city. Up pyramids, across the playing fields, along alleyways. It took my breath away. I left Jacquie halfway up and continued alone to the highest point, following tracks and trails that were centuries old. The heat was intense, but the scenery was spectacular and I pushed onwards and upwards until there was nowhere to go but back down.
The experience was one I will never forget, and I wished I could have stayed longer, but once again , the road was calling, we still had hundreds of miles to do that day so we descended to the base, mounted our iron steed, and rode off in the direction of our rest stop at Aguas Calientes.
We weren’t expecting much from Aguas Calientes, other that a room for the night and a place to rest , but once again the colonial city, in its usual format of Catherdrals, Plazas and Avenues was a joy.
Again , there was music playing everywhere, a buzzing vibrancy filled the streets and we had to walk around the town on the evening of our arrival and once more on the morning of our departure, to get a feel for the city if nothing more. The leafy plaza was cool and shaded, and the Cathedral was a work of art, the more we travelled through Mexico , the more of the equisite edifices we came across, it seemed that even the smallest hamlets had a magnificent Church or Cathedral at its core. The Spanish missions were nothing if not diligent.
Jacquie had read about the town of San Juan de Los Lagos, and deemed it worthy of a final stop on route to Guadalajara, so the next morning we pointed the bike south east and rode off. San Juan de Loa Lagos is one of the most important towns to religious Catholics, and many make pilgrimages there each year, usually walking there, even from as far away from Zacatecas-a six day walk.
On arrival, the devoted then make their way down the 100 foot aisle on their knees to show their …well to be honest, I am not sure what they are showing. We watched this spectacle, as young and old alike made their way down the aisle, some in tears, some beaming, some moving quickly, and some taking a very, very long time. Outside the Cathedral, another beautiful structure, hoards of street vendors were selling religious artefacts, ranging from pendants and bracelets, to life-size Jesuses on donkeys to the pilgrims and visitors to the town in a most irreligious way. We avoided the vendors and returned to the bike, anxious to be on our way once more.
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
Next HU Events
- UK Haggs Bank: Sep 19-21
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
New to Horizons Unlimited?
Membership - help keep us going!
Books & DVDs
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!