Disclaimer: From March 27th to April 8th - that's 11 days for those who don't want to do the math, we didn't really drive 4.973 miles. We only drove 1,366 miles give or take a few since we flew to Chicago. Makes it sound wimpy doesn't it! As you can see, we're back in Mexico. This year has been full of returns - going back to places we've already visited, but we always have to add something new, and this year it was Zacatecas. What a wonderful addition it was. But first...
We stayed in a cute little Airbnb in Tucson and the kids spent the night with us before we were to leave altogether the next day.
We flew to Chicago for Kyle's (Ky's dad) memorial. It was wonderful to spend time with family to remember this great man who we all loved so much.
We flew back to Tucson then went to Phoenix to take care of some things and I got to have a fun flight with my friend Carol and her boyfriend in her Bonanza. It was a beautiful day for a flight and I'm always happy to get up in the air!
Ky and I started our journey south and stayed just one night in Nuevo San Carlos, MX at a friend's Airbnb. Sadly we didn't have time for pickleball. Next time!
Next stop Mazatlan. It's pretty, and the beaches are nice. It was just a two night stop though, and I wouldn't recommend the Airbnb we stayed at this time. Photos were better than the place actually was, which is unusual. It was a very convenient location though.
We enjoyed hanging out on the patio bar at one of the hotels. Something strange about that sailboat!
Enjoy chile rellenos? At the hotel where we were just hanging out for a drink, there were a group of guys meeting to compare their peppers. They were from all over Mexico and the U.S., and their whole job is to breed all different types of peppers. Just peppers, for one of the largest pepper companies in the world. Who knew? They get together to compare and decide which types do best, and which are the hardiest, best looking and tastiest. There were a LOT of peppers and a LOT of different types..
Driving from Mazatlan to Durango, we took the the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge which is a cable-stayed bridge that has a total length of 1,124 m (3,688 ft). It is the third highest cable-stayed bridge in the world and the highest bridge in the Americas. at 1,322 ft above the valley below. It passes through a gorgeous mountain range, and the numerous tunnels and bridges make it a picturesque ride.
Next stop Zacatecas, a UNESCO World Heritage City. All new to us, and one of Mexico's most beautiful cities. We would definitely love to spend more time there. Our Airbnb was amazing. As usual we booked at the last minute, and we only wished we had advance notice to invite friends to join us. It was 3 large bedrooms, 2 baths with beautiful artwork and gorgeous antique furniture and a whopping $67 a night for the whole place!
This was the night time view of La Bufa from our rooftop. It is a famous hill that presides over the town.
And our day time view ...
Walking in to town our first evening, we discovered the Mina El Edén, a very famous mine from which an enormous amount of silver, gold and other minerals were extracted. It is one of the top tourist destinations of the state. It looked as if it were about to close, but the guard on duty said that there was an underground bar/disco where we could go get a drink. We waited about 10 minutes for the cute little train to come get us and ventured in to experience a truly unusual place. We ordered drinks and went in to a large round open area where a group was celebrating a quinceañera (a girl's momentous 15th birthday event).
This well stocked bar brought a whole new meaning of keeping booze "underground""
After the birthday crowd dispersed, we paid and readied to leave, only to be told that the train had a malfunction with it's clutch. We had the highly unusual opportunity to walk the 656 yards back to the opening. Few people ever get to walk this path and we were thrilled, although Ky had to take special care not to knock his noggin' on the quite low ceiling. Here is us at one of the high spots in the tunnel as well as one of our high points of the night!
The romantically beautiful, El Cubo aqueduct was built in the last years of the colonization at the end of the 18th century. It was used to carry water from the El Cubo mine area which gave it its name. It ceased being used in 1910 when the fabulous and popular Jardin Independencia was built, but fortunately it remained an integral part of the city's panorama.
We were up unusually late (for us) at the time that the city comes most alive, and is at possibly, its most appealing visually.
El payaso (the clown) in the square was really funny. At least the part we could understand was. Our Spanish takes two steps forward when we hang around Mexico for awhile and one step back each time we leave for awhile.
If you're in the area, La Leyenda (The Legend) is a must-go-to restaurant. The artwork is bizarre and prolific, and the food is fantastic. This photo shows one minuscule part of the multi-room eatery. The owner and artist, Don Roque Ortiga, collected art and unusual pieces for 30 years. In Dec of 1997 he began to display them. It's the best place I've ever seen to play "I spy with my little eye", which Ky and I had to do of course. One must give good hints or no one would ever find a single object on their own.
The whole town is preparing for Semana, Santa, Easter Week. We are glad we already have a place to stay arranged, and we're looking forward to our first Semana Santa in Mexico.
Our timing was fortuitous to see the suave and embellished mariachi band in front of the Shrine of Our Lady of Patronage Catholic Church. Turned out that they had been hired to....
play for this fellow's proposal to his novia (girlfirend). She said YES! Lots of their friends were around and it was a very joyous, raucous event.
Whew! So many places, so little time! We feel blessed! Next stop,
San Miguel de Allende