Edit Blog Post
Published: November 8th 2008
The weekend planned in San Luis Potosi was cut short due to the disgusting state of the hostel. Whatever you do, don´t stay at San Miguelito Hostel, described in the Rough Guide as a brand new place with a roof terrace, it has never been cleaned since. There´s a fusty odour and grime on everything...to give Angela her due, she made a small effort to mop the floor and was a very sweet lady but I didn´t fancy staying another night there, especially since I was the only customer!
The city was named after the Bolivian Potosi in the hope that it would become as rich as it´s namesake. Whilst the silver was profitable, it never reached the heights of the heyday of the Bolivian City, though in the long term, they have fared better by being able to retain a higher standard of living today.
San Luis itself was a charming place and Friday´s streets were alive with music and people. Mexico´s museums tend to stay open fairly late and I stumbled accross a free ballet concert in the local arts centre on Friday night which was a bit of a bonus. Whilst being a city, the centre
Ahh...not the fish..tuna is the name for the fruit of the prickly pear. Nice flavour a bit like lemon but full of really hard pebbly seeds.
is small enough to see in a whole morning. The highlight being Federico Silva´s sculpture museum, famous Mexican contemporary artist. His works are displayed here alongside another exhibition from Javier Marin, another sculptur worth a Google.
Apart from the obvious culture appreciation the security guards had me in stitches watching them try and chase a large moth out of the building with a very long feather dusty. The crafty moth would evade them at every turn and they puffed and panted around the place before finally banishing the pesky creature.
On the bus that day I saw some real Mexican Mennonites (see film Silent Light fior a great portrait of their culture). The man was wearing dungarees, checked shirt and cowboy hat, the woman had on this horrendous floral pleated dress with bows, puff sleeves and her hair pinned back under a scarf with a floral puffy dress. There was a violent film on the TV above their heads, I wondered if they were allowed to watch it..then I noticed that they had a bottle of Coca-Cola in their bags, religion cannot save you completely from consumerism I guess.
I headed to Zacatecas to find
Tamales are crushed corn concoctions with some sort of meat or cheese filling, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed...que' rico!
some company for Saturday night and was lucky to bag the last bed in Villa Colonial, a very nice hostel with roof-top terrace overlooking the cathedral of this beautiful colonial town. It was easy to spend four nights here wandering the streets, visiting the museums and doing the touristy cable-car, mine tour thing. The silver mine was crap and a wasted of 60 pesos but the museums were all fantastico: the Arte Moderno was huge and converted from an old factory with hangar sized paintings to match and one room so tall and thin it had three gangways running through it to get a close-up of all the paintings. Another was the Museo Rafael Coronel, housed in an old convent and home to his personal collection of over 4000 Mexican ceremonial masks, a sight that needs to be seen to be believed. His brother, Pedro Coronel, had an equally amazing collection of art including Goya and William Hogarth etchings and Miro prints.
I think you pay more attention to your surroundings when you´re alone and have never missed a bus-stop yet (touch-wood). But today with Rikka (my local Finnish contingent), we managed to totally miss Guadelupe, much to the
Eating churros in Guadelupe
Churros are like long piped doughnuts, rolled in sugar and sometimes with chocolate sauce or condensed milk. Not to be confused with churro, also meaning joint!
amusement of the driver. Then spent the next hour philosophising on religion at the monastery museum. The outcome being that Jesus must have been a drug dealer, dishing out the mescaline and having people believe he could turn water into wine and bread into fish. We felt sure that we would be struck down with a bolt of lightning outside. I did choke on some water, perhaps that was my penance. Afterwards we spent a happy few hours eating tamales and churros; watching the people going by and guessing what stall they would be opening next. At the Taqueria (taco restaurant) we opted for whatever the man next to us was eating..which was a plate of crispy tacos with shredded beef, topped with finely sliced cabbage and mayonnaise with fried onions and lime on the side. This was a lucky hand at "taco roulette" as we later discovered tongue, brain and cheek also on the menu.
Got rudely awoken by "EL GAS" the next day..it is hard to describe how irritating it was. Try to imagine a truck selling gas bottles circulating through town from 7am with a load hailer booming a terrible electronic tune followed by the staccatoed
voice of "EL GAS"...just F-off and please STOP!!! Even at the top of Cerro de Bufa (the local mountain) you could still hear it!
The hostel was bit dull after everyone headed back to their Universities in Monterrey or Guadalajara, only a quiet Guernsey guy was around. He had studied a Masters in Durham and had not even heard of Barnard Castle or High Force, what a heathen! The hostel owner Ernesto persuaded the stragglers to go out with a free round of tequila (well, someone has to). The Quatorce Letras bar was a locals haunt and they even had pictures of their regulars behind the bar dating back 100 years. Once a traditonal cantina, the men still had to piss behind a swing door..but this was far better than the days when pissing into the channel on the floor around the bar was commonplace.
The dry desert terrain surrounding this area of Northern Mexico is home to the Huichol indians. Every year they make the 300 mile journey from their homelands to the are around Real de Cartorce to harvest the peyote cactus. Peyote contains a strong hallucinogen that allows the people, guided by their shaman to
realise messages from the gods. They produce some amazing beaded crafts sucha as carved iguanas and bowls with coloured beads covering them and some easier to carry earrings!
Well that´s all for now folks...I am sooo behind!! Will add the photies when I remember to bring my cable out! x
Tot: 0.302s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 7; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0353s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb