One more ring

Trip Start Dec 20, 2009
Trip End Mar 27, 2010

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Flag of Mexico  , Central Mexico and Gulf Coast,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 6

Zacatecas is at approximate 8000 ft above sea level very near the Tropic of Cancer. Even in January, the climate is pleasant (for us Canadians… the locals are wearing touques.)  It was home to one of the largest silver mines of all time.  The Mina El Eden (as in the garden of plenty) was hand dug by native slaves and produced 1/3 of the world's silver.  It is no longer in operation but is now an excellent museum.  We took the tour underground which was well worth the 300pesos.  The other people on our tour were from Bowen Island.  There is a disco IN the mine and get this… it even gets excellent cell phone reception!

We also took the teleferico which connects two hills in the city.  The more southerly one is the site of Pancho Villa’s victory battle for the Revolution in 1914.

According to tripadvisor, the #1 attraction in town is the Raphael Coronel Museum which we also visited.  I more enjoyed the setting of the museum than the items on display.  It is housed in an old convent partly in ruins with beautiful lansdcaping.  And I would disagree with tripadvisor on this one… the El Eden Mine was a far more interesting attraction.

Driving in Zacatecas’ centro is not unlike many cities; they do love their one-way street in Mexico.  But just outside of the centro and away from the newest infrastructure the streets can be ridiculously steep.  I made a tight turn (3-point turn) off of a steep street and Keara asked, "Will this van roll over if it’s too steep?"

Finally it was time to do some ring shopping.  I’ve added another ring to my “Around the World in 80 Rings” collection.  Silver is very affordable so I came in under budget… guess I’ll have to get another one somewhere along the way.

So far, I’ve been very happy with the planning/itinerary that I outlined for this trip.  The one thing however that cannot so easily be planned ahead is meals.  Meal planning is as much a hassle on the road as it is at home.  We shop in grocery stores and often have breakfast (fruit and hot or cold cereal) in our room and lunch on the go.  But dinner is the thing that always seems to put us over budget.  For this reason, we often debate on where to eat.  This day, on our drive back to our Zacatecas hotel, north-west of the city (on the highway), we passed a palapa which Jeff (rightly) assumed was a restaurant.  I made a U-turn and the kids and I decided to go check out the menu.  But we, unknowingly went to the back door of the dining room.  The waiter came and opened the door for us and, as we stepped in, absolutely EVERY eye in the place was on us.  Even the music stopped!  There may have even been crickets chirping.  After making such an entrance, I felt obliged to stay and not run away with my tail between my legs.  It turned out to be great!  There was an extensive playgournd with trampoline! in perfect view from our table where the kids jumped themselves silly.  The food was very good as was the service.  And shortly after we arrived the other tables finished up and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  The name of this fine establishment, in case you’re in Zacatecas, is El Gandul, and I highly recommend it.  And yes, it put us over budget.
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Karen Teichman on

Hi Step and family. Certainly enjoying your travel log from Mexico. We will be departing on Sunday night, RED EYE, for Cancun. We will be at the Ocean Spa for 3 nights on an agent FAM. $ 310 for both of us including tax at this all-inclusive, with a day trip to their 5 star "Green" All inclusive Hacienda Tres Rios. Hope we didn't bite the big one here. On the 5th we'll move to the Marriott Casa Magna. We had to use our free week before the 17th and this was a task to get this week. Hopefully we can "stay under budget" Glad to hear your Mexican adventure is going well. How's your Spanish doing? How many miles have you logged so far. Keep in touch. I will be coming to Vancouver for the CLIA 3 Sixt in June. Conference is June 3 - 6, 2010.

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