Somewhere outside of Durango, Mexico we crossed another geographic milestone. This is a first for the new camper rig.
Driving into Zacatecas we knew that we were in for a treat. Narrow streets, tight curves and low hanging tree branches set the tone for a colonial city to unfold before our eyes. The first test was getting in to the “camping” location. And I use that word in quotation marks because it was actually just a crowded, hotel parking lot. It required some serious maneuvering to access, and once we were in……. we were going to stay for more than one night!
The spot offered shade, privacy (surprisingly), electrical connection and a view of the city. It wasn’t ideal for the dogs, but we could make it work.
Zacatecas is a large, sprawling city that is built up and down the hillsides. Streets are at steep grades, and zig zag back and forth as they climb up and down the hills. Most access is gained on foot; through narrow alleyways, stairways and steeps walkways.
Once we got settled in our parking space we wandered out to explore. Crossing the parking lot we saw many people in formal wear, a wedding party and a beautiful bride. The hotel was hosting a huge wedding and fancy reception. We could hear the band warming up in the ballroom. Outside the ballroom was the truck shown below. Apparently this is the custom for the “getaway car” for the bride and groom, as we have seen it several times since then. I guess the nice bouquet on the hood and rear doors is a nicer touch than clattering cans and window paint.
The view as we walked down the hill toward the city was pretty amazing. It really is a gorgeous place. Nestled into a valley, built of bright colors and glorious churches. Most of the homes use their rooftops as yards, since almost no one has an actual yard. The rooftops hold dogs, laundry, gardens, children’s toys, construction materials and craft projects as well as solar panels and water tanks. The photo below shows two boys being scolded. They were supposed to be hanging up laundry, but they got distracted “snapping” each other with towels. When dad caught them horsing-around, things got serious. As we wandered through town toward the central plaza we realized the activity was picking up. Following one of our rules of the road – we stopped to read a poster in a shop window. It seems that we had arrived in the midst of a big music festival and cultural event. There were art shows, film screenings and street music and clowns performing. As the streets closed down and filled with people, the food vendors set up their stands and sold regional food to the crowds. We were elated!
We didn’t take a lot of photos, but you get the point. It was jam-packed, full of smells, loud and fantastic! We stayed up wayyyy too late and enjoyed ourselves completely.
The next day we slept in a bit and then headed to town for museums. Our favorite was the R. Coronel Museum which specialises in masks from around the world. There were far too many to photograph. But room after room displayed masks of various themes and countries. Here are a few: The museum is housed in an improved section of the ruins of a very old church. This adds to the beauty of the experience. The city came alive again in the evening and we returned for a another night of street food and entertainment. This beautiful city was quite entertaining to us, by day and by night.
Sitting on the edge of the concrete parking area, overlooking the city of Zacatecas.
We left this bright spot only because we needed to meet up with someone in Guanajuato. This felt like a city we could have spent many days exploring and enjoying.
With a two-day drive ahead of us, we chose to overnight at a huge balneario at about the halfway point. But once we got to the water park we were too tired to partake of the water! We didn’t even take any photos except this one. Notice Mango on the back deck, standing guard! Adios Zacatecas. We had a great time! See you soon Guanajuato……