Good mines and bad oil seals.

The group is all together again in Zacatecas, Mexico parked up at the Hotel Hacienda del Bosque (N 22.774032 W 102.619750 ), this hotel is not to be confused with the Hotel del Bosque Teleferico in downtown Zacatecas, where large RV's are not welcome by the police, as Bodo found out.

Since the last update the group has been split up. Bodo developed a bad oil leak from one of his rear wheels and returned to San Luis Potosi to a fine Mercedes garage that replaced the seal without problem. K-Nine and Mog meanwhile visited Real de Catorce, an old silver mining town, now a major tourist attraction.

The road to Real de Catorce is well signed, but the last 30km is fairly rough cobble.

Because the town can only be reached thru a low tunnel (2.7 metres?) we camped near the entrance (there is an area used for parking large tourist coaches).

In the morning we walked thru the 2.2 km tunnel. We could have hitched a lift in a passing pick-up, but the walk was fun.

The town itself is interesting with a fine church, much visited by pilgrims from the south of Mexico. An entire room, the Retablos room, is dedicated to painted metal plaques nailed up by pilgrims thanking San Francisco for (alleged) help. There are several thousand plaques ranging from over a hundred years old to the present day, each illustrating a problem that help was/is needed for.

There is also a great restaurant/hotel (El Meson de la Abundancia), well worth a visit. The hot cakes are recommended. (N 23.689872 W 100.887033).

Stephen Stewart.

The hot cakes at El Meson were exquisite, the best I've ever had. Ann was bold enough to ask for the recipe, and she came out of the kitchen holding a colorful bag of ready mix!

The mining town is at 2700 metres. At this altitude, the reduced air pressure got things popping, like a toothpaste tube, the loo, and a canister of Pringles that blew up in my face.

We met a real Mexican character named Bonifacio, who appears to be a celebrity in Real de Catorce. He's been mining quartz crystals for 43 years, and claims to have 39 children from four or more mujeres! He gave us a tour of part of his private mine, complete with assorted healing crystals that apparently give him "strength and energy". ;-)

Judy Bartos.

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