A slice of Mexico
It’s New Years eve in Media Luna, a small mexican village. I watch as the clouds float by against the dark sky, lit only by the stars and a beautiful full moon, rather amusingly in my opinion, considering the name of the place (“half moon”). With such beautiful night skies to gaze at, I don’t mind not seeing any of the firework display, though we can hear the bangs coming from Rio Verde, the nearest town. We’ve stayed up to welcome in the New year, and we’re spending the evening watching a Finnish tv show from the laptop. I’ve got to admit that seeing the familiar scenery of lakes and the Finnish summer turn our hearts and minds towards home.
In the morning we continue on traveling through the country side. The most popular crop around here is sugar cane, and we see plenty of trucks overloaded with heaps of it on their way to the nearest sugar factory. There are lots of stalls by the road side selling fresh oranges, and no wonder, since the orange trees we see are drooping under the weight of these nutritious fruits. Another popular crop is Agave, which is produced both for the textile industry as well as for making tequila. At the outskirts of a village we encounter some local people, a man in a stetson riding a donkey, another battling with a less than cooperative horse and a third fellow holding a lasso. We also see a young couple greeting each other with a kiss before hopping on a scooter and riding away together. There are people sat leaning against the walls of their homes, sleeping off last nights celebrations and chatting to their neighbors.
After a few hours of driving on a bendy road over the mountain, we find ourselves inland, in the dry “cactus land”. I smile as I remember my little nieces wondering how we’d manage amongst “ all those thorns “. We do indeed see a lot of cactuses, as well as the odd cypress. The mid day sun beams down mercilessly here in the open, withering all greenery and leaving the grassy plains brown. The nights, however, are cold.
In the early evening we arrive at the city of zacatecas, situated in the highlands, nearly 2,5km above the sea level. The city’s historic centre in the valley was built around the Spanish colonial era and it’s edges reach up to the surrounding hills. We’ve got enough time to wander up and down the narrow, cobblestone streets and see a lovely cathedral with beautifully detailed stonework on it’s outer walls, before the night cools down and we get back up to our campsite on the hillside, just in time to watch the city lights getting switched on. A hot cuppa and our ponchos are just what we need to get cozy.