Yesterday we weren’t sure if we were stuck. Today we heard through the very reliable grapevine that there is no more gas in the area and that due to the road blocks by semis, that the fuel trucks are not getting in to replenish the supply. We did also hear though, that they are not blocking the way now for cars and non-commercial trucks.
We had been thinking about going further south for some sights we wanted to see, but we agreed that if we couldn’t get fuel by the end of the day after our planned excursion, we would take it as a sign that we shouldn’t go farther.
We had plenty of gas to take our trip today and still have enough fuel to get back to the U.S. so we were not going to let a little civil unrest stop us from enjoying the beautiful day.
We drove to an unusual area called the Colonia Juarez, a Mormon settlement that was established in 1886. Many of them left during the Mexican Revolution, but after a few years, quite a few returned. It is unusual because you go through typical Mexican towns filled with buildings made of handmade bricks and stucco. Upon arriving in Colonia Juárez one is struck by the unusual American looking buildings . The Academia Juárez is an extremely prominent school and it looks like a colonial type school house made of red brick.
Our next stop of the day’s tour was to bumble our way to the Cueva de la Olla. The directions that we found online were quite difficult to use because of construction going on the road near the caves. The signs leading up to the cave were quite good, but apparently while doing the construction, they removed the sign to turn into the caves. We drove right past the entrance and tresspassed on two different properties that we thought might be the right place. We were quite lucky that no one was home! A very kind motorcyclist led us in the right direction to the entrance.
We trespassed here by climbing over the locked “Welcome” gate. Doesn’t this look like it should be the right place…?
Cueva de la Olla is an archaeological site that has quite a unique feature inside – yes, it is a gigantic pot. It was used to store vast amount of McDonald’s hamburgers which was the cause of their demise. Clearly just joking, they used it as a granary. But if they had stored McDonald’s hamburgers in it, it really would have been big enough to kill everyone.
We also explored the nearby Golondrina caves where we found a few petroglyphs and beautiful views. People have always worked very hard to have great views! What a climb.
Ky was as happy as a pig in mud with the six water crossings we made in our trusty Yukon on the way in and just as happy to cross the same six on our way out.
Our last stop of the day was to visit village of Mata Ortiz. It is a very small little village where some of the worlds finest and most famous pottery is produced. It has quite an interesting history and it was quite a treat to look through several of the intimate galleries. They are typically in people’s homes. I was offered, and happily excepted a freshly made tortilla in a home where I purchased a couple of small mementos.
Before dinner, we were invited to join Spencer and Emi at their friend Carmela’s house for wine and cheese. The history of her family in the area is an amazing story. She grew up here on 1,000,000 acre farm that her family owned but had taken from them during the Mexican Revolution . After the revolution J.P. Morgan bought the land and after his death, her family re-purchased part of it including their families hacienda, from his heirs.
We enjoyed having dinner with Spencer and Emi again this evening in a beautiful but mostly empty restaurant called Pistoleros. The economic toll that has resulted from the reduction in tourists from the United States is evident and quite sad. People just don’t know what they’re missing. With the value of the dollar to the peso, it is an incredible value to vacation in such an interesting, beautiful and culturally rich country among such hospitable, friendly people.
We have no fear that we will be able to return to the US when we want to or need to. I’m just sorry for what is going on here because it just discourages people from visiting even more. Currently we do not think we will be headed south unless the fuel situation changes very quickly.
In the meantime, we are happy to be where we are. And tomorrow once again, we will be happy to be wherever we are 🙂