The state of Hidalgo is situated north of the state of Mexico (EDOMEX) and Mexico City. It is well-known for the archaeological site of Tula and the Pueblos Magicos like Real de Monte and Huasca de Ocampo. It’s nature is very diverse. You find it all: Desert, forest, rain forest and jungle. I started with Pachuca, the capital of the state and was coming from Toluca (the state of Mexico).
3rd Sept 2018
When I arrived in Pachuca, I left my luggage at a baggage checkroom, had a snack (a kind of Mexican pastry) and walked in the surroundings of the bus terminal. On the map I had seen, that there is a mall not far away. When I finally reached it, it was not that, what I understand of mall, but there were some shops in different buildings. There were hairdressers as well and I asked for the price, because the last time I cut my hair was in Belize and it was growing long again. The hairdresser asked for 200 MXN, which I thought is too much. I did not need my hair cut just now.
I walked another way back to the terminal, but did not find another hairdresser in that area. I took my backpacks out of the checkroom and sat down at the terminal, waiting for that time should pass by to go to Jorge, my host, who had to work until 8pm. He is a doctor and works between 10am and 8pm for the most. Jorge send me a sms, that I could have my backpacks at his doctor’s office. A taxi would be for 40 MXN, but the taxi drivers told me, they want more. Though I was not going there, but waiting at the terminal. When I finally went to the collectivo for Jorge’s home, I saw, that there also was a collectivo to the place, where his office is. I asked him, if he knew that, but he answered me, that he did not know.
It was 8pm, when I left the terminal for the collectivos, but I had to wait almost 20 minutes for one. That one, who came, got full very fast, because a lot of Mexican people were waiting as well. The next collectivo came soon afterwards and I was able to go with it, even it always is an adventure to get in with my backpacks. Later Jorge told me, that the collectivos should go every five minutes. I asked another passenger about the place (Casa de Empeña), where I had to leave. He told me, we are not there. I asked him several times and at last the driver, but always got to hear, that we are not there yet. Finally the driver told me, that it is the place, where I was going to. I had to pay 8 MXN.
Jorge met me at the bus stop, though I will find the way. Arriving at his home, he opened the door and his bigger dog went out on the street. He could hold the little one and told me, that the dogs may not leave his place, but for the bigger one it does not matter, because he will find the way back, while the little one (a Chihuahua) would not find the way back at all and it would be very bad, if that dog would run away. He offered me a warm sandwich and afterwards we were talking about my plans. I had written down, what I would like to see. He told me, what was “a must”, what was worth to spend time at and what was not necessary respectively he told me, that the town of Tula – with the interesting archaeological site, was not safe. He added, that he lived there for a year, though he knows it. I put brackets around it. In addition to that, he asked me, what Hacienda I would like to see, because I had not specified it. He told me, that the old Christian convents all are Haciendas and gave me a book with the title “Los Conventos DL Estado D Hidalgo”. He told me, he is interested in architecture and I could choose a Hacienda to see by the book. By the way, his house was warm. He has a kind of heating. I could not see, which kind. When I told him my surprise, he answered, that he had problems with a leg after an accident and therefore keep the house warm. In addition to that, he explained, that the city of Pachuca for the moment has problems with the water. He has a barrel on his roof, which he gets filled off and on. He also told me, that Thursdays and Saturdays they have more water than usual, though if I want to make my laundry, I had to wait for those days. I told him, that I could go to a laundry with my clothes, but he answered, that they have the same problem. I asked Jorge, if he has Wi-fi and if he would share it with me, but he answered, that he does not have Wi-fi, because he is not much at home.
When I was going to bed, I thought the room had mold on one of the walls – the one the bed has it long side against, but fortunately it was clean, but anyway it was dumb. The room also had spider webs in the upper corner of the walls. I tried to ignore it.
4th Sept 2018
Jorge had told me the evening before already, that he eat most of his meals outside his home, but he offered me coffee this morning. He was interested in the Swedish health system and started talking about two doctors (one Swedish, one German), who came to Mexico to learn the way, they treat people here. He explained, that the Swedish doctor told a patient, that she might have a flue and tried to send her for an X-ray, without using a stethoscope and listening to her lounges. Though I told him, that I maybe have a problem with my heart and that it has been very heavy for me with the visit of the Volcano of Toluca. He asked me, if he may listen to my heart and I told him, it is OK. His diagnosis was, that my heart valves are not closing properly and added, that it is not a bigger problem just now and I could take an Aspirin, an hour before visiting or climbing highs. He also added, that I had to follow up this by a doctor at home, though they can see, how much it is – which should be possible by ultrasound (an MRI should not be necessary for it). He added, that I have to check it from time to time and maybe after some years I need a medicine for it.
When I went to town, I first had breakfast at an Oxxo shop, there were no open restaurants. Afterwards I took a collectivo to the city center. The first sightseeing was at the clock tower. It is possible to go up into the tower, which should give an amazing view, but fortunately they had pictures of the way up into the tower and I decided not to try, because the last part was a ladder to climb and the part before were open stairs in zigzag. I might have done the zigzag stairs, if I had concentrated at the end, but the ladder in the open space was something I thought, I won’t be able to force. In the clock tower was also the tourist information center, where I have got a map of Pachuca with all the points of interest. Unfortunately, it was a very simple map. Not all streets were shown and only the most important streets were named. Therefore it took longer time for me to find the places.
My first stop was the Museum of Photography, which Jorge had recommended as well. Of all the more than a million photographs, the museum owns, only around 100 were shown there. The rest one can only see on the Internet. There were fortunately no admission fee. On the way back I was going throughout a park and found some less interesting places, but missed the theater nearby. I had a sandwich at a café before I tried to find the mine museum. It seemed on the map, that there were two different mine museums in town, but there was only one. On the way I saw some churches, most of them were closed. Finally I found the mine museum “Minera” and took a look. It was not very big. Though I continued to the theater “Teatro Hidalgo” and also saw the government building. I had an “Agua de Horchata” on the way back to the collectivo by walking the historic part of the city, orientating me at the Clock tower – the stop for the collectivos is close to the tower, but on another street.
When I left the collectivo close to Jorge’s home, I went to a shop and bought some food, mostly fruit, but also bread and yogurt. Arriving at his home, I tried to keep the dog in, but he anyway run out of it. He has no necklace – not the Chihuahua either, which makes it hard to hold him as well. Jorge was not happy about it and told me, that I have to be more careful, to keep the dog in. I had been as careful as possible. I had some fruit for my evening meal and tried to read the book, Jorge had given me as a loan, but I got too tired and was to bed soon after Jorge was coming home. I had walked the town all the day.
5th Sept 2018
I had a good sleep that night and awoke around 6am. I fell asleep again and had a wired dream before I awoke again around 7:30am. After a short shower I was waiting for Jorge. I stated, that the dog was coming home and he told me, that he were, but that it had been a problem. The dog had bitten the neighbors dog and the neighbor has been very angry with him, Jorge. He also told me again, that I have to be careful and not let the dog run out of his place. It sounded if it was my fault, that his dog had bitten the neighbors dog and that his dog only was running away for me, even it had happened to himself before.
Soon I took a collectivo downtown and changed then to a collectivo for “Real de Monte“, another “Pueblo magico”, which has a mine museum, called the “Acosta Mine Museum”. It is an old mine, not in use anymore. I left in the city and walked the city, which is tiny and afterwards to the Acosta Mine Museum. That was a little longer to walk, but it was downwards and therefore no problem. I was already thinking about, that it will be a problem the other way around, but I had taken an Aspirin, before I was leaving my host’s home. At the museum was a sign with lots of rules, like to leave bags and backpacks at the office, but this was not applied. When I found, after I had asked the wrong employee, where to pay the entrance fee and done it (70 MXN, including an amount for a photography allowance as well), I walked around the area. There was one restriction. The old tunnel was only allowed to enter with a guide. I did not find a guide, but one, who were talking with a couple for a long time. When they were to enter the tunnel, I just accompanied them and I was not told, I had not. There were a big tunnel system and in there, big photos of people who had worked there as well as tools, used for mining, were placed. It was quite cold in the tunnel, meanwhile it outside was really warm.
I had to walk back all the way. I hoped, I could hitchhike, but no car was coming. Anyway the Aspirin did help and it was not so heavy for me to go the street upwards. Nearly downtown again, a collectivo came from the direction of the mine and I tried to stop it, but was told of the driver, that they are stopping on another place. The driver did not take me in, even it was not full. It started raining, but I was happy and reached a bus stop with a roof. Anyway I found out, that people could not enter at this stop either. The roof might have been for the drivers, when they take their rest. A driver was so kind and took me to the place of the official first bus stop in town – I think it was for the rain. There was a collectivo ready to leave.
Back in Pachuca it was only drizzling and I walked to the post office, which was not very far away from the historic city. The male assistant was very kind and service minded, which I had not met before, but once, at a post office. I send five envelopes with postcards with views to my friends as well to a cousin and one card to my aunt. I would have gone to see “murals” as well – that was already the day before on my list, but also this day I was too tired to go there and was going back to Jorge’s home instead.
I reached his home around 7pm and was first waiting that Jorge would be home soon, but he was late. Neighbors were talking to me and asking if they could help me to call him or telling me, that the dog will find his way home. I tried several times to go in, but the big dog was always at the door, trying to run out. I messaged Jorge and asked him, when he will come home. He told me, that it will take a while, he has a critical patient. He also told me, I could buy snacks and try to get the dogs staying inside by throwing the snacks at them. Though I did and it worked. Well inside the big dog drank the water of a bucket (with a towel inside) as well. The little one also tried to drink, but the bucket was too high for him, though I gave him water in another pot. I had to hold the big dog aside for that, because he tried to get of that water as well. It was easy, I only had to hold a finger up. Unfortunately that is not so easy, when opening the door.
It took not very long time, before Jorge came home with his boyfriend. Jorge told me, that he was very tired and tried not to talk with me, but I had to talk with him about the dogs, because they seemed to be very hungry. He told me, he gives the dogs food every morning and that it is enough for them. I was not sure, he remembered to do so, but did not say anything more. All of us were early to bed this evening, but I decided to leave earlier than planned and changed the days for the hotel I had booked as well as I booked another hotel more north of the state of Hidalgo.
6th Sept 2018
It was Thursday and I was able to made my laundry. I had planned to make the laundry in the morning and see other places in the town of Pachuca in the afternoon. I had to ask Jorge, how his washing machine is working. He plugged the cables for the washing machine and the dryer and answered my questions about his washing machine. It got full, though I had to wash with the highest level of water. I was waiting until it was done, which did not really take an hour. Meanwhile I made my files, named my waterproofed inner-bags as well, because I had changed, what I put in them for the different sizes, as I fixed the small bag I use for the extra battery for my cellular phone. I had a little problem with the dryer, because both the washing machine and the dryer are situated outside the house – which I have seen before at other people’s home, but the floor in front of the dryer was very dirty. Though I took one of my plastic bags, I still have left from one of the early laundries and put it on the floor. My clothes stayed clean that way, even I dropped something on it. Jorge put the dryer on 20 minutes, without heat and told me, that my clothes would be dry afterwards. When I tried to take them out, they were as wet as before. Though I put it on an hour, because the system of the dryer entered the time by the program and I had to choose some heat. I think Jorge was sleeping again, that he did not come and say anything about my change.
Meanwhile the dryer was working, I read a book Jorge had given me the day before. It was about the buildings in Mexico City. It explained the architecture of the buildings. Of some buildings were photographs in the book, but a lot was just explained in words. In addition to that, the format of the book was very strange. It was half A4, but divided by the length. It was very thick and hard to read. I read only about the buildings with photographs. I had finished the book before the dryer had finished and waited at the dryer, the time was left. Jorge was asking me twice that morning, if I won’t leave the house that day, but I told him, that I will, once I have done my laundry. I put my clothes in the inner-bags and left. I had my lunch at a pastry shop in the area before I went to town by a collectivo. I was going to the city center again. This day I visited the Old University (on my map declared as an old hospital), which is still in use as an office for the university, but also hosts a museum about minerals and Aztec gods statues found in Hidalgo. The museum was very small and done fast. I asked for the bathroom and was allowed to go up the stairs, where they are. By this I could see more of the University building, which is really nice with a patio with plants and a cascade, even it was not in use. Afterwards I walked to see the murals.
I had to walk for hours. On that map I had got, I could not see, how far away that place was. On the way I also was to a church and to a railway museum. The railway museum was closed, but the church was open. Jorge had told me, that it was just another church, but I liked the interior, because it was not heavy baroque. Before I came to these places I passed a hairdresser, not far away from the Old University. I have been told, that it would be for 50 MXN to cut my hair. I could not believe it and was waiting, that they will tell me another price, when it finally will be done. Actually the hairdresser made a good work, but the price was the 50 MXN, I was told before. I felt ashamed! I would have liked to pay more. They can nearly not buy a meal for that amount.
I hoped to see the Miniature museum as well, but when I finally reached the “murals” it was already 6:30pm. I had to ask for the direction two or three times as well, before I found it. This “murals” are a big mosaic, which one has to walk up and down to see all of it. It seems, it also had been an earthquake there and most of the cracks have been restored, but when I asked Jorge about it later, he told me, that events are hold there and people are allowed to dance on the mosaic, which cracked it. There has not been any earthquake in that area. He also told me, that it is a mural, even it is a mosaic, because one has to walk it up and down and up and down to see the figures, especially the women figures. I had seen that figures, but they were to abstract for me, to see women in it. While I was there, the sun was shining on the mosaic, though I only could see it from special angles.
Already when I arrived at that place I was thinking about to go back to Jorge’s home by a taxi. Even I saw, there was a special bus to the city, I did not change my mind. To get a cab I went to the mall I could see close to the place I was. First I was looking for dog snacks, which I finally found. I also had a meal there. It was Chinese this time and tasty. Outside the mall were taxis waiting. I asked for the price and got the answer, that it is for 60 MXN. I was not sure, if that was a good price, because I did not really know if I was closer to Jorge’s home or more far away. I accepted it. The driver left me at the point I asked him for. It was five minutes to walk for me to Jorge’s home, but I preferred not to be seen in front of his home by taxi. Furthermore the street, he lives, is closed on both sides. It is only possible to walk in there or, by car, it is a long way around to come into it. Jorge told me, it is for his neighbors. They had initiated the closing, because it had been a burglary in one of the houses of the street.
When I carefully opened the door, no dog was in the open-air space of the house. Though I understood, that Jorge was already at home. While he was eating – he had bought special small tacos, a kind, which is only usual in Hidalgo and offered me of them, but I was full from the Chinese meal and only had some papaya cubs as a dessert, I told him, that I will go further the upcoming day. He was interested in knowing, where I will go and I told him “further north”, though he thought I will go to Huejutla, a town in the jungle. I did not tell him my plans. He also asked me, if I had liked to be with him/at his home and I answered “somewhat”, which surprised him. Though I told him, it was for the problems with the big dog. Actually it was for more than that. I had problems with his attitudes as well and that his home was not really clean. He did sweep the floor for the dog fur, but that was all – and of course, he often made his dishes. Sometimes I made them as well. Especially in the evenings he told me, that I did not need to care about my dishes, he will do them – even he first explained, that I have to do my dishes, and found the following morning both our dishes in the sink, still dirty.
After he had eaten lots of this small tacos, he excused himself and I was going to “my room” made my files and prepared for the upcoming day as much as possible.
7th Sept 2018
I left Jorge, his dogs and his home around 9am and took a taxi to the terminal. There I bought a ticket for Huejutla for the 10th September, because Jorge had told me, that it is hard to get a ticket to that destination for the same day. The assistant asked me first, if I want a ticket for the next bus leaving, though it proofed Jorge wrong – like it did regarding to the distance by time between the city center of Pachuca and his home. He had told me, that it only takes 15 minutes by collectivo, it was – depending on the traffic, between a little more than half an hour and an hour. Afterwards I bought a return ticket for Tula. I had to see that archaeological zone and I knew, that tourists daytime are safe on every place in Mexico. I had asked at the counter about the next bus, the time for the ride and when/how often there were buses going back from Tula to Pachuca. All this information was gaining my wish to go to Tula before going further to the hotel in Huasca de Ocampo, which I had booked.
I left my luggage in the baggage checkroom and entered soon the bus for Tula. Well there, I took a taxi to the archaeological site – for 30 MXN, paid there the admission fee of 70 MXN and wandered around the site. It is not very big, but there are special big statues of a god. I had to climb a pyramid to see those. Fortunately it was not very high. I walked around to the few antic buildings and on my way back, something hurt my upper leg. I had my thick canvas pants on, though it could not have been an insect, sticking from outside, but there were lots of ants and I think an ant was coming into the leg of the pants and bite me. It was hurting really much. I did not find the ant, when I put repellent, to apply afterwards, on the place and also I sprayed repellent on the whole leg, in case of the ant still was in my pants. I do not know, if repellent bite on ants, but it was a try. The bites were hurting for a longer while and they still stings afterwards.
The taxi driver, who drove me to the site, had told me, that there are collectivos down the road, going into town. Though I walked the road down, when I had finished my visit at the site – the attached museum was unfortunately not open because of refurbishment. It took not a very long time to the city center. Well there I started to take some photos (unfortunately they are all gone like all the photos between 30th August to 7th September, because I could not back them up. I still hope, they will appear again one day) and saw an interesting cathedral. I walked to the entrance and took a look into it, before I had a lunch in one of the street restaurants – they are a mix between a real restaurant and the street stalls. You can sit down there and eat, but it is not very comfortable. Most of the customers buy the meals to go. I had three tacos cochinita pibil and they were big. The owner was very friendly as well.
I had still time, before I had to leave for Pachuca again, though I walked to the main place and had a look at it and the surroundings. I also bought an ice cream. The shop assistant gave me some tastes to try. There were two sweet tastes and the avocado ice cream. It was not bad, but I decided to take a sweet ice cream. I only took one scope, but it was a big one. I had to pay 20 MXN. I think it was worth it.
Going back to the bus terminal I used a taxi again, because I could not see, where the collectivos were going from. I asked for the price, but the taxi driver was not answering. Well there he asked for 50 MXN, even it had been much shorter than between the terminal and the archaeological site.
I caught the bus for Pachuca at 3:40pm. I actually had to wait around half an hour for it. The bus arrived in Pachuca around 5:15pm, enough with time to catch the collectivo for Huasca de Ocampo, even I had to change collectivo, that means: I first had to take a collectivo to the city center and there to change. Fortunately the collectivo for the city center did leave me directly at the collectivo for my destination. By the time of the day, the collectivo to the city center was not fully occupied, which made it easier with my luggage. The collectivo to Huasca de Ocampo had a space for luggage in the back. That collectivo got more than full. A man was standing up most of the time – until another passenger left. This collectivo left me at the front of the hotel.
I had decided to pay a little more this time. I was fed up with the cheap, not really clean places. The name of the hotel is “La Casona Real”. The check-in was very positive, even I had to made it in Spanish, but I love to use the language. Soon after I had entered my room and would leave again for a dinner, I was looking for my cellular phone. I did not find it and was going back to the desk, asking if I had left it there. It was not there, though I was looking for it outside. I did not find it outside either. The receptionist was asking for my phone number and I told him, that I have that in my room. He was following me there and saw it right away. It was laying on my bed. By the dark cover, I had missed it, but he did see it as soon as he entered the room. Maybe other guests have had the same problem and he was used to it. I was ashamed, of course, but happy as well.
Now I was going to town for a meal – the restaurant at the hotel was not open. I was entering the first restaurant I saw, because of the music they were playing. It was called “1910” and stated, that it was opened that year. It was not a big restaurant, most of the tables were outside. I chose to sit inside, because it was a little chilly now. The prices were not from 1910, it was expensive for Mexican standards and I chose to order a Hamburger, because that was the cheapest meal to get. It was anyway for 110 MXN. I had a beer as well, which was for 35 MXN. The owner was leaving after a while and only the younger waiters were staying. Though they changed the kind of music as well as the volume. I could not understand the waiter for the high volume, which I told her. She did speak up, but not lower the music. When I had finished my meal I paid and left 15 MXN (10%) as a tip of courtesy. I was not happy about the place and sure, I won’t go back there.
I was going back to the hotel by using my headlamp. There were lights beside the street, but I felt, there were not enough. Safely I reached the hotel and was using the Internet for the most important messages. I was asleep around 10pm already.
8th Sept 2018
It has been my first night at the hotel and I have had a really good sleep. Breakfast was included in the price and I had got a dated voucher for every morning, I will be there. When I came into the restaurant, I was the only guest. I could chose of a menu and asked for fruit, café and an omelet with ham. I was soon told by the waitress, that they do not have any fruit. I have got my coffee – with a sweet bread as written on the menu and the omelet with beans – what I had not seen on the menu. When I had eaten, I asked for the juice, because I was thirsty and thought, I could get juice instead of fruit, but I was told, that they do not have juice either. I was not happy about that. When I passed the receptionist on the way to my room, I told him somewhat angry, that there were no fruit and no juice. It is a 4*-hotel and I expected better service.
When I was still in my room, someone knocked my door. First I was not sure, someone was knocking, but then I took a look. One of the hotels personal was outside the door with a plate with fruit, a glass of juice and even yogurt. I took both the fruit and juice offered, even I only had the right for one of it, but told them, that I was not interested in the yogurt. I was happy about the service and happy, that the fruit was papaya.
When I left the hotel, starting to walk downtown, a procession with a female Saint was coming from the little city towards me. The people following sat all on horses and even some minor children were riding their own horses. There were lots of people attending. I took a short video of it. To see that procession felt like the real Mexico.
I continued downtown, which was a short walk only. This place really is a Pueblo Magico, even there are lots of stalls trying to sell whatever to tourists, but also food stalls. The weather was really warm, though I decided to look for a nice hat and fortunately found one in my size. It is not the most beautiful, but for loosing it again, it is beautiful enough ;-). The receptionist at the hotel had told me, that there are no tours to e.g. the waterfalls and he had recommended me to take a taxi and let the taxi wait for me. Downtown, there was a tour operator selling tickets. The tour started at 1pm and I had still two hours to see the town. I actually was then waiting on a bench for the time to pass.
The tour was first for the Museo de los Duendes (Museum of the trolls / goblins). We were told there, that in 1994 the owner of the museum met this magic people and they had told her, that they are sad because people do not care about nature anymore. It is a nice business plan. There are lots of trolls, everyone unique. They also sell such figures, of course. Though they make their living by the entrance fees and these figures. We passed the Hacienda San Miguel Regla without a stop, but we could take a look on it throughout the open gate. Next place for sightseeing was the “Degustacion de Naranja-t y Rompope. Rompope is an alcoholic drink (with rum) and different tastes. For me all that tasted like the Mezcal with the different tastes. The also had liquors, e.g. an anise one, which I liked. There were also sold jams, sauces and food. The place was only for commerce and I think, that makes the tours a little cheaper, because it was for 250 MXN, entrance fees included. The next stop was at a real tourist attraction again. It was at the “Prismas Basalticos”. It was amazing what mother nature had scaped here. There were lots of natural basalt sticks, very close to each other and also a waterfall. It was a nice view. The entrance fee to that area was 100 MXN. There were a swing bridge over the ravine and there were stairs down to the end of the waterfall – which I did not use, because it was steep down. Anyway there were also lot of stalls and restaurants around. It was very touristic, but sometimes one has to accept that at places, everyone likes to see. I was very hungry now and bought two quesadillas to go, because I was afraid, I would not make it in time back to the bus if I would eat at the restaurant. I was in very good time, but the other tourist were just in time respectively late. One couple did leave the group, telling the driver, that the guidance was not in English. She accepted it, without telling them, that there were no more stops and we were going back to town.
I went to the hotel and updated my blog somewhat. I also made my files and found out, what I had done with my money that day. It was perfect. I try to make my files everyday, though if I did forget to write down an expense, I hopefully remember it. So far it worked well. I was out to the pastry shop and bought two pastries. I still had water to drink. The pastries were together for 30 MXN, a cheap meal, but something one should not eat too often, because they are very fat.
9th Sept 2018
This morning I was not up as early as the day before. I had no big plans for the day either, but maybe to go to the Hacienda Santa Maria Regla. When I was going for breakfast, the restaurant was nearly full. I ordered fruit, coffee and hot cakes and I did get, what I had ordered. The waiter was very attentive as well.
I went back to my room and updated the blog for two more days. The cleaners were knocking my door meanwhile, asking if they were allowed to clean, what they were. The did first not care about the bathroom, but I asked them to do it (especially for the trash basket with the toilet paper). It was well done, even they did not clean under the bed, but offered to change the cover of the pillow, what I told them, was not necessary. Soon I had done the two days and was leaving the hotel for finding a cab, which could bring me to the Hacienda. I had decided to see it and ate at the restaurant, well aware, that the prices are high there. I guess it will be a once in a lifetime experience again. I had only 500-peso-notes left, though when I had found the cabs and asked for the ride I showed them, that I only had that note. The taxi driver asked me, if it was OK for me, if he change it at the gas station. It was OK for me, of course. He brought me there and was then going back to town – I had not asked him to stay, because I had read, that it is only four kilometers out of town and I also had seen, that on the main street were collectivos driving.
To enter the Hacienda, one has to force a guard and that is only possible, by buying a ticket. I had not seen the ticket box, but he showed me. The admission fee was 85 MXN, but if one eat at the restaurant for almost 250 MXN, it will be a discount of 40 MXN. It was not hard to eat for that amount, even for one person. I could had done it for less, but I had decided to accept the prices and I also decided to pamper myself. Though I had filled chicken breast rolls with salad. There were neither potatoes nor rice added. I had a beer as well. The best Mexican beer I now, a “Modelo Negro”. That one I have had in Chihuahua the first time. A bottle was for 35 MXN, the same price like the beer at the “1910”. It seemed, here the higher income is not mainly made by the beverage. The main meal was for 190 MXN. I first had asked for another, more interesting meal, but unfortunately it was very hot spicy. Still not up to the amount for getting my discount and still somewhat hungry I ordered a desert for 65 MXN: The cheapest desert was for 60 MXN, but I did not really understand, what it was. Though I took the one for 65 MXN, the five MXN are “nothing”. By this I came to an amount of 290 MXN and had to pay 250 MXN (ca 110 SEK or 12 EUR). Still not a very high amount, thinking about to go out and eat in e.g. Stockholm. The 40 MXN I saved I gave to the waitress as a tip. It was just a little more than 10%. She became very happy about it. – Meanwhile I was eating, I saw a big family – grandparents included, who only left 1 MXN as a tip. The waitress (another one than the one I had) was disappointed and it was her right. It was, like it seemed, a Mexican family and they should know better. If they do not have the money to go and eat at the place, they should not do it, I think. I would not, if I were not able to afford it.
I walked the way back towards Huasca de Ocampo, but halfway a collectivo slowed down and the driver asked me, where I will go. I entered the little bus, even I was in really good shape and happy to walk, but I was not really sure if I will make it before the rain. It had been thundering already. Actually, the dark clouds were flying away and there were no thunderstorm for hours, what I could not know at that time. The collectivo let me out directly in front of the hotel.
I took my notebook out of my room and sat on a bench in the patio. There it was much more light and much nicer than in my room, even the room is nice. I tried to add some photos, but unfortunately it was not working. I hope I can add some later.
10 Sept 2018
I had breakfast at 8:30am, that was the earliest time it was possible. Afterwards I checked-out, because I had to go back to Pachuca to catch my bus to Huejutla, another town in the state of Hidalgo. I walked with my backpacks to the market place, where the collectivos parked. I had seen that the first day I was in Huasca de Ocampo and I did not trust, that a collectivo will come in time from San Miguel Real. The collectivo was half full, when I arrived, but it did not take long time, before more people had taken seats in it. There were still four or five seats empty, when the driver started the engine and drove in direction of Pachuca. During the trip, more people entered, sometimes it was even more than full, that means, a passenger had no seat.
In Pachuca I just had to walk the street, where we arrived until I came to collectivos for the bus terminal. It was not full at all, but the bus driver was taking the tour anyway. I was more than two hours too early at the bus terminal, though I had time to eat lunch there and go to the bathroom. Anyway I was in good time waiting for the bus to Huejutla. In addition to that, the bus arrived late. There were already passengers in the bus, though Pachuca was not the first stop. There were even an ADO bus for Huejutla. This bus ride was a little different, not only by the nature, which makes it take longer. There are beautiful mountains on the way and I was happy about all the amazing views, but that also means, that it was an up and down ride with lots of serpentines. Though the bus ride took around six hours, which made it uncomfortable for my legs. Usually these distances takes less than four hours to drive for the bus driver. On the first part of the trip I was nearly falling asleep, but then we had a rest, when we could leave the bus. Afterwards I was not so tired anymore.
The bus driver took other passengers on board like the collectivos do and also let passengers out before we arrived in Huejutla. The bus had air condition, like all primer class buses. Though we did not feel the climate change before we arrived in Huejtla. Well there, it was very hot, even it was getting dark. I tried to find out with maps.me, how far away the hotel is, but it was not working. I think it is, because of the high mountains around the town. Therefore I took a taxi. I asked the taxi driver right away while entering the taxi, how much it will cost and he answered me: 30 MXN. I told him, that was god. After the check-in and that I had occupied my room I tried to find something to eat. There is a shop directly on the site of the hotel, where I bought different things to drink and chips and took it to my room. There is Internet in the hotel, but it was not working in my room, though I wrote down the report of the day as a document and will add the text tomorrow to my blog. I was so tired, that I fell asleep directly afterwards.
11th Sept 2018
I awoke several times during the night. It always gets to cold for me, when I have the AC on all the night trough. Though I switched it off, before going to sleep. During the night I had to switch it on and off again. I was anyway up in the morning before 8am and after my usual routines I was going down to the restaurant for breakfast. Unfortunately there was no breakfast included in the price, but on booking.com was only this hotel registered. The also had an unusual breakfast menu. There were no possibility to get a combined breakfast. One had to combine oneself. Therefore I had fruit with yogurt and cereals (40 MXN). Fortunately the fruit was not so little like the yogurt and the cereals. It was guadalupe melon and papaya. I also had hot cakes (40 MXN). I could choose honey for it, which I did. I also ordered a cup of coffee. Together it was for 95 MXN and the tip.
After breakfast I asked at the hotel reception for a map. The female receptionist looked surprised and told me, that they do not have one. Though I asked, if there is a tourist information in town. She was pointed in a direction and told me, the only one is on the “Providencia”. I did not know, what the Providencia is, but followed the direction she had pointed out and came to the main square in town. There was a tourist information, but it was closed and old advertisement for all other things, but touristic tours or similar, had been put up there – it was used like a pin-up-wall. I looked around and took photos – still with my smartphone.
I tried to find a shop, where I could buy a camera. It took long time, there were more shops, then I expected, but I had to go further and further and was happy, when I at least found a Coppel shop. I had no big hope, that they also sell cameras, but was looking for it anyway. They had three compact models. Two Sony and one Canon. The Sony models were cheaper, the digital zoom was less, but the most important, there was not written, that I can put SD-cards in it, while it was stated for the Canon camera. The price for the camera was around 3,000 MXN (ca 1,400 SEK, respectively ca. 130 EUR). It is called Power Shot ELPH 180. I hope it will work well.
I bought a small mug “Agua de Horchata” on the way back and drank it, sitting on a low wall on the main square. Mexican women were smiling at me. Back at the hotel I read the instructions and charged the battery. It was quickly charged, though I was out again and taking some photos. Similar to the photos I had done before by my smartphone, even not all of them. I had a meal somewhere, before I was going back to the hotel for another time. After using the Internet in the Lobby, I took another walk in the city, but this time with the help of my GPS. My goal was the bus terminal to buy tickets. I asked for a ticket to Xilitla, in the state of San Louis Potosi. There is a surrealistic garden, created by the Englishman Edward James. Jorge, my host in Pachuca had told me, that it would be possible to go there from here. It was not and later I checked it up and saw, it would be a four hours ride by car, which means: No idea to go there by taxi either. I could not find a tour operator in the whole town either. Anyway I bought a ticket to my next destination: Queretaro. Unfortunately there were on one bus/day and that was a night bus, starting at 9:30pm. The bus ride is for 10 hours. It was actually hard to get that answer as well, that there only is that one bus/a day. I changed my mind from going there on 13th, to starting in Huejutla on 12th, but the assistant did not hear that and printed a ticket for starting in Huejutla 13th at 9:30pm. When she read it for me, I told her, that it is the wrong date and she did change the ticket. The tickets are personal, though she had to cancel it. The ticket price was 541 MXN. It is an unusual high price for me, but I have never made a bus ride in Mexico for 10 hours, if I remember right.
Back at the hotel again, I was sitting in the lobby another time and tried to find out, if it would be possible to go to Xilitla the upcoming day anyway – if there were tours on the Internet, or what I could do in Huejutla. Actually there were tours for around 1,000 MXN, which I won’t buy and the only sightseeing thing in Huejutla is the cathedral and former convent. How to come into the nature I have not found out yet. I got tired and was going to my room. I have not been there for a longer while, when heavy thunder did start and soon it was a thunderstorm with lightning and rain as well. I was happy, I was not on the outside, but was soon not so sleepy anymore. Therefore I tried to back up my photos of the day of my smartphone. I saw them and tried to upload them, but when I put down the smartphone on the table, they were gone. Though I tried to upload the photos from my camera with the help of my notebook. Fortunately it worked. Though I am really happy, but sorry, that I miss all the photos from 30th August until yesterday/today. In addition to that, I had to pay extra money. Maybe a new display had anyway been the better option.
12th Sept 2018
I do not have a lot to report this day, because most of the day I was looking for postcards with views for my friends, who are happy to get them and also for a cousin, who usually does not use Internet. I did not find any. Maybe I will make my own by printing a photo, but for that I have to find a place with a photo printer.
I was back at the hotel in the late afternoon and was on twitter until I had to go to the bus terminal for going further to Querétaro. I checked out and stopped a taxi around 8pm after I have had dinner at the hotels restaurant for 80 MXN. It was a mixed salad with boiled eggs, ham and cheese, but I had to leave of it, I was not hungry enough to eat all of it. My bus would leave at 9:30pm and it was not far at all to the bus terminal, but I am always afraid to miss a bus etc. I was waiting at the terminal and read my bus ticket one more time. I read, that it not even was a primary class bus and thought, it may not have a bathroom, though I used the bathroom at the terminal just before the bus arrived. Then I was happy, because it was a primary class bus anyway.
I had the whole bench for my own most of the time. The bus was stopping sometimes for taking passengers, but I got the impression, that the money was going into the driver’s pocket. The passengers seemed to use the bus like a collectivo. More about this bus ride and my new destination you can read by following me to Querétaro.