Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Zaragoza, Parque El Salto - Otra Chulada

Hi everyone! Yesterday was a straight drive to Zaragoza. Looks like Dolly is now a category 2 hurricane and will hit the north of Nuevo Leon Thursday morning with 40 mph winds and 3 -5 inches of rain. I received an advisory from the American Consulate this morning (Im a volunteer warden).

The drive was great, we first stopped off to check the house in Allende. Everything there is fine and lots of good news. As we were coming down the main road to the house there were about 10 surveyors on the road. I asked them what the plan was and they said they didnt know. I get to the house and the property manager says that they sold what was going to be the second phase of the development to a university and they are widening the road. Good news for me. I thought they were going to build a highway through there. A university is a good neighbor for us.

We headed to Linares and stopped at the Soriana which is at a crossroads with the scenic route through the mountains via Iturbide, Galeana, Aramberri and on into Zaragoza. We stocked up on groceries and in the parking lot was a new Jayco fiver with new 350 from Canada. The guy said hi and that was about it, looks like he wasnt interested in knowing us. We gassed up and in the parking lot of the gas station was a Travco motorhome. The owner of the gas station had just bought it. May not be a big deal for most but for me, being an rv nut, this was a real sight to see here.

Lots of wAfter that we headed West across the mountains to Iturbide. This is truly a scenic route through the mountains. You will love it, windy and curvy but you climb pretty quickly to about 7000ft.

We entered Iturbide where we stopped at the presidencia and asked about local watering holes and things to see. It is a small town but what was great was getting out of the car and feeling a difference of about 15 degrees F.

The woman said it was 12C the night before. Im in heaven with cool mountain air. I went to the plaza to sit for awhile. No wonder people hang out in the plazas. Being a talker, I could strike up a conversation with just about anyone. It was very peaceful and like most small towns, practically empty.

As we sat in the plaza it all came back to me. We had talked about the best place being Zaragoza to buy homemade flour tortillas. But lo and behold, there on the corner was the place that looked like the tortilleria but was a restaurant. We went there to ask if there was a place nearby that sold flour tortillas. The owner started to send us down the block when he mentioned that the restaurant used to be the flour tortilleria. He showed us where we could buy this delicious treat which I had for breakfast this morning (only 1 tortilla).

Continuing up the mountains we set our goal on Zaragoza. We passed lots of moutains, open fields, and lots of green, green, green. One great thing about the rural wilderness is you see little to no trash and zero pollution.

One thing though on this route, watch out for animals wondering the highway. We passed cows that literally dared us to cross their path, horses in herds, and lots of donkeys. Makes you wonder why that stupid chicken tried to cross the road besides just getting to the other side.

As we approached Zaragoza, the stress was lifting off my shoulders again as I saw nothing but beautiful things. People and nature at a pace that made even me want to stop and get off. Quick, where is my hammock!

We made our way into Aramberri. Not unfriendly, but they could have been nicer. The streets are narrow but hey, tour buses pass through here you can get your 36ft motorhome in here too! Take off the TOAD first. We made it without any problem. The only tricky spot along the route is in between Aramberri and Zaragoza, 2 kms of very sharp turns and narrow road. Big trucks passed us with ease as I crinched behind the wheel.

We entered Zaragoza and headed straight through town asking along the way to make sure we had the correct route. Remember, you can always stop somewhere as you enter a town, take a taxi to scout out the route to make sure you wont have any problems. We turned left at the plaza and right again and that took us up the mountain to the park. Prices have gone up to 130 pesos for camping. You get a lot of scenery, fresh air and quiet for that price. There are palapas with cement countertops, a kitchen sink with running water (city) so you can fill your fresh tank. They have wonderful bathrooms and showers. Showers are with lots of hot water and cost 10 pesos. I opted to shower in the trailer.

We took a quick stroll before dark, watched the sunset and headed to our palapa for a well-deserved cocktail of my choice. The sound of the waterfalls in incredible. They are everywhere. Also, because this state park is a concession, the concession owner has a trout farm and takes advantage of the waters. The fish are at your disposal to either catch, or you can choose the one you want for dinner, cut, cleaned and ready to grill.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the town and the waterfalls. The plant and animal life is abundant here especially if you are into bird watching.

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