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Los Mochis - Zacatecas 3 - 5 April

We took off at 8.20 a.m. from Los Mochis, but in spite of the early start it was quite turbulent over the mountains for the last hour or so of the 3-hour flight to Zacatecas.  Zacatecas is an hour ahead of Los Mochis, so it was after midday when we landed.

Zacatecas is a lovely old silver mining city in a desert setting.   At 2450 metres, it is even higher than Creel and I needed a little time to adjust. We booked into the Posada de las Monedas in the colonial centre, with a view to the beautiful pink-stone cathedral and, beyond it,  La Bufa hill.

We spent the afternoon visiting the Francisco Goitia museum of modern art and the old mine, where they extracted silver, gold and copper.  It would still be in use today if  it hadn't got too near the foundations of the city.   They have built a discotheque in the mine accessed by an underground railway.   We went there the following evening and I actually got Flemming onto the dance floor for the first time on this trip.  Hopefully it won't be the last!

Our way back from the mine took us through Parque Alameda, a delightful little paseo surrounded by lovely old colonial houses.  We dined there that evening in the Quatro Vientos restaurant that had just been opened the previous week.   Gerardo and Graciela, the charming young couple that owned it, had lovingly restored the interior.  We were their only customers and it was just like dining in a private house.  On top of the excellent meal that we ordered, they kept coming out with other tasty specialities for us to try at no extra cost.  We were almost embarrassed at how little they charged us.  I don't think they are commercially minded enough for their own good!

We couldn't stay in Zacatecas without taking the Swiss-made teleferico up to La Bufa hill.  There were superb views of Zacatecas from the top, as well as a museum about the revolutionary Pancho Villa, who fought and won a battle against the president of the day on the slopes of La Bufa in 1914.  Pancho was one of Mexico's most colourful characters - a ruffian who welcomed any good excuse for a fight.

There always seemed to be a hive of activity across the street from our hotel.  People gather on the steps to chat and watch street performers or a band playing.  I was reminded of the Spanish steps in Rome.

On our last evening there, we dined at the 5 star Quinta Real hotel which is built around a bull ring.  The bull ring and the old aqueduct were in full view as we ate in the grandiose dining room. 

Altogether, Zacatecas was a charming town with equally charming people - and only a few tourists, most of them Mexican.  Well worth the visit.

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Aerial view of canyons on the way to Zacatecas

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Museum Francisco Goitia set in a former governor's mansion
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The old aqueduct near the Quinta Real hotel
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Large mural found in a linen shop
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Swiss-made cable car to
'La Bufa'
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View of the cathedral from 'La Bufa'
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Statue of the revolutionary Pancho Villa
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