A prelude to meeting Montezuma

After locals in Matehuala, SPL, Mex asked if we had been to Real de Catorce and told us to look it up and check the place out, Brandon was convinced to check out the cool little ghost town of a former silver mine town in the mountains. He forgets that I had been trying to talk him into this side trip for a while now, the place having been mentioned in our trusty guide book. Ah boys….
 We arrived after a 20 some kilometer ride over cobblestones that took us up to 9000 feet and through a 3km tunnel to arrive in a town of ruins sporadically rebuilt into homes, hotels and storefronts. I got off the back of the bike and lead Brandon down the only somewhat flat street in the city. This proved to be a  crowded pedestrian market during what we later learned to be a festival.
 Fiesta de Revolution. aka Buen Fin.( Buen Fin seems to have been bastardized in the cities a shopping holiday similar to Black Friday in the USA) Real de Catorce celebrates the Mexican Revolution in Style with reenactments, live music, burro races, and best of all, a food festival.
As I type this post, I’m sitting in the hotel room with Brandon, back again in Matehuala, both of us suffering from our education of traditional Mexican street food… Worry not, we shall survive to ride on, Montezuma shan’t beat us this easily!

Before I get into the photos did I mention that Brandon keeps a blog too? and that he’s better about posting often than I? Check it out and enjoy!  www.freewheelings.com

Cruising around Matehala looking for a hotel,
we passed by a shop full of kid sized pinatas

Looking down toward a little plaza near our hotel. 

La Abueltia down the block. 

Tell me, Brandon, how do really feel about these cobblestones?
We are currently about 1/4 of the way into Real de Catorce. 
Move along burritos this road is bumpy enough
The light at the end of the tunnel, we’re nearly done with the cobblestones!
Or are we?

Secure parking in the Hotel San Juan required us to get the bike to the courtyard…
Up 3 steps using a 4″x 2′ piece of steel along with help from some new amigos.
No easy feat when the steps are 8″ high and the ramp kept sliding. 

Bike parked and secure, we wander the town and check out some ruins

And the rain clouds roll in while we explore, lending a shroud of mist to the atmosphere atop the mountain. 

The cobbled streets slick with drizzle, the stones show their true colors. 

Tiny flowers grow from crumbling walls.  

Twilight is falling, my tired eyes blurring in the failing light….
For once the camera captured things exactly as i was seeing them.  
Other motorcyclists assure Brandon that he is not alone in the challenge
At least we made it into town before the rain.
This poor guy stalled out 5 times trying to make the corner on the wet bumpy hill. 

One of many 1942 Fords in the town used for taking tourists down to the old mine
We rode on (yes on) this one the next afternoon. 

The marketplace quieting down after the rain 
What is it?
Delicious, that’s what. 

Local kids in period dress for the festival

Oh so much good food cheap! Cheese enchiladas anyone?

Indian girl making and selling her beadwork
While a local pup tries his best to look pathetic for scraps. 

Our somewhat musty hotel room
(musty is to be expected in a refurbished ghost town)
The road down to the mine… check out that dropoff!

Brandon and me atop the mine, waterfall behind us.

Our ride to and from the mine.
We got bamboozled… Thought we were on the 3 hour tour,
we ended up paying 200 pesos for one hour…
 Language barriers will occasionally result in such happenings.
Ah well.. it was a heck of a ride on top!

Our new friends, Will, Elizabeth and Brandon, from Monterrey
So nice to have a conversation with new people… in English. 

The top of the Cathedral in Real de Catorce

Looking down from the highest point in town,
cold cervezas under a full moon. 

Out is easier than in. Only took one guy to help this time… took 4 to get in. 

A little point of view for the streets in Real de Catorce.
San Fancisco, eat your heart out!

Almost home free… these streets are no joke… and our brake pads are due to be replaced.
Notice… I was holding the camera and not riding along in town. 

Best way out is the way we came in… the market place.
No hay una calle mas facil por los motos.

Yes, that sign does say pedestrian zone.
But that street is flat… ish.

Waiting for our turn in the tunnel

I’ve found a new chauffeur… Brandon might get jealous.
Okay he took the picture.
El hombrito se gusta los motos. 

“Happy travels”
Can’t you just see Brandon’s excitement for a 23km cobblestone road out of here?

Sunny view from the top of the mountain bumping along, only 22 km til asphalt!

I realized after getting through all of these photos that i skipped a good portion  of the trip on the blog… Brandon’s blog can catch you up if you want a bit more verbal detail with the photos!

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