Biology of Mexican Vertebrates

After we leave Los Cocos and start home, we travel north about 18 hours and stop in a town called Real de Catorce in San Luis Potosi for a night in a hotel. Real de Catorce was a booming mining town in the late 1800s, but was mostly abandonded after silver prices fell and the Mexican Revolution started. Recently, it has become an out of the way tourist stop with many interesting and histroicalsights.

photo along the tripThis is looking up the hill from the high side of the square. The elevation of the square is about 8200 ft. and the town is built on a steep hill side.
We stay at the Hotel Real and this is a shot of the dining area. Kathyrin. Chris. Mark, Gelyn, and Andy waiting for breakfast.photo along the trip
photo along the tripThere are two large Catholic churches in the town. This is a picture from inside the newer and larger of the two.
Inside the church is a room dedicated to St. Francis of Asis. The wall is lined with small plaques that people paint as prayers.photo along the trip
photo along the tripThese plaques are called retabloes and this is a close-up of such a plaque.
This is a photo of the vendors' stalls that line the street coming into Real de Catorce. This makes for a very tight squeeze in the vans when we leave during market time.photo along the trip
photo along the tripScene of the town looking from the entrance to the town. Note the bell tower and dome of the newer church.
This is Lindsey testing a ceramic flute in a small shop called La Luna. La Luna mostly sells the wares of various artists from around Mexico.photo along the trip
photo along the tripOne possible event is a hike to the top of Quemado, which is a sacred mountain of the Huichol, who would make a pilgrimage to Quemado from their more southern homeland. Along the way to the top we passed several small farms and the ocassional goat herder.
The trail to Quemado is quite steep and ends at an elevation of about 9600 ft. This is Mark, Gelyn, Travis, and Matt along the trail.photo along the trip
photo along the tripMark, Travis, Matt, Ariel, Dwight, and Gelyn made it to the top of Quemado.
This small building was built by the Huichols. They have places on the rocks where they would leave prayer offerings, but people kept messing with their offerings, so they built a small house in which they can place offereings and lock them up. Some Huichols continue to place their offerings outside on the rocks.photo along the trip
photo along the tripThis is a prayer bowl made from part of a gourd and lined with figurines cast in a combination of beeswax and pine tar. Other items are often left on the top of Quemado.
Picture of an agave.photo along the trip
photo along the tripPicture of the mountainside. Before the miners came this used to be an extensive pine forest, but all of the trees were cut down for smelting the ore and the process of desertification permanently changed the landscape.
Dwight and Lesley standing in front of a tree. Note the intricate masonry in the wall to the left.photo along the trip
photo along the tripA photo across the town from the top of the hotel.
This is Humberto, who is the owner of the hotel. He graciously offered to fix breakfast for us before we headed back to the USA.photo along the trip
photo along the tripAs it was early in the morning and the hotel staff had not come to work, Ursula took over the job of serving pancakes for about 25 people.
Humberto was born in this general area and moved to Real de Catorce about 35 years ago. He is a shaman in the Huichol religion and here he is regaling Bruce, Jennifer, Daphne, and Amy with stories of what it was like to first come to Real de Catorce.photo along the trip
photo along the tripThis is the only way in or out of Real de Catorce, unless you have burro. During the day there are people on either end of the 2-km tunnel to make sure that everybody gets through okay. After 10:00 at night until about 7:00 in the morning, you take your chances.

Last updated on 21 September 2004.
Provide comments to Dwight Moore at mooredwi@emporia.edu.
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