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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 39 Sunday 6/2/201

I arrived in Xilitla in the state of San Luis Potosí late yesterday afternoon. It had been a long days ride from San Miguel. It was lots of mountain roads with curves and grades. It is the kind of riding that I go to northern Georgia and North Carolina for and I was tired when I arrived. I parked the bike at the plaza in the centro and started walking around the plaza checking hotels. The second hotel was in my price range, had secure parking for the bike, and that was that…30 minutes and I had a room.

The town of Xilitla has two main attractions, Las Pozas ("the pools") and the church on the plaza, built in 1551. I walked up the hill from the hotel to the plaza late this morning and it was crowded with people. The market was humming with activity and after walking around the plaza and taking a few photos I stopped at a booth for turistas (tourists). The gent at the booth spoke a little English and his name was Paco. Paco and I talked for a few minutes before he said for me to follow him.  He took me to the church and up some stairs then Paco made a sign for me to wait there as he proceeded through some gates into a door. He returned a moment later with the Padre, Paco introduced me to the Padre...we exchanged greetings and the Padre called for another man with some keys. This man opened a door and Paco and I were allowed on the roof of the church overlooking the plaza and much of the town.  This was done for me to have the optimal view of the town to take photographs. After coming down from the church roof and back in the plaza Paco told me a good place to eat and I took his advice.

There was a band playing and people were dancing traditional dances. Xilitla is a town with about 100 indigenous villages, that speak five different dialects of languages, surrounding it. Most everyone here is bilingual, Spanish being the common tongue.

These shots are from atop the church.

These are inside the church.

Photos of the ride to Xilitla through the mountains.

This is the market place surrounding the plaza.

The town is undergoing extensive is being wired for the 21st century....fiber optics.

After lunch I got a taxi and went to Las Pozas. Las Pozas was a 40 odd year project of Edward James, a British citizen and poet-surrealist. Let me say that Las Pozas was interesting and surreal. When I arrived I asked for a tour. "En ingles Senor?" a man asked. "Si, por favor" I answered. He went out of sight and returned with another man who introduced himself as Miguel. Miguel and I introduced ourself and came straight to the point…"how much?". Miguel explained that a tour was $200 pecos in spanish and $250 in ingles. I asked Miguel, "for how long is the tour?" and he said, "about one hour," and I said, "I heard that it was three hours" (that is what Paco said). Miguel then said "let us not quibble over pecos and hours, let me give you this tour and you decide." So we are off.  After two hours it is nearing 6:00 pm and it feels like I have been in the studio of an eccentric surreal artist for long enough and I am ready to be someplace else. Miguel gave me a great tour….I paid him what he had first quoted and he gave me a ride back to my hotel in town saving me taxi fare.

These are some of the photos taken at Las Pozas. This waterfall is over 40 meters high.

This is a replica of Jules Verne's craft that made travel to the center of the earth possible...?  

The garden alone is simply spectacular....July, August, and September is when everything is in bloom.

This is Miguel, my guide.

These young ladies ask me to conduct a photo shoot of them.....thinking I'm a high profile photographer. They called themselves Miss June and Miss July. I played along.....more will be revealed.....

Tomorrow I plan to leave and head south to Hidalgo state. That is where I will see my first really pre-Columbian history. I have been told that the state has mucho history.

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