Saturday, April 11, 2009
Our day began with a local bus ride. The local buses are often referred to as chicken buses, though disappointingly no chickens on this one. This is how the locals get around. The half hour ride cost about $.40 for the two of us. You pay when you get off at your destination. If you want to see the country without the feeling of being on tour, this is the way to do it. We wanted to see Valenciana. Valenciana is the site of the biggest silver strike in the New World. Most of the silver has played out, but a few mines operate still today.
We went on a tour of the Boca Mina. This mine was abandoned in 1927 and then reopened for tours ten years ago.
We went down fifty meters and saw the various veins that were dug. On top of the main product of silver, significant quantities of gold, platinum, manganese, and lead were mined.
This mine actually went down to one thousand five hundred meters when it was abandoned.
Can you say gringo? I stick out like a sore thumb down here. No one looks like me, and I find people staring all the time. Guys that use to work in the USA will strike up a conversation and young kids are always trying to learn about who we are and what brought us here to this part of Mexico.
It is the beauty of the place. This is the church of Valencia. The mine owner spared no expense in building this one.
That is gold and silver from the mines of Valenciana. Religion is a mighty strong force here and it being Good Friday, we were treated to a procession like one I had never seen before.
At Churches all over the stations of the cross are acted out. For those that do not know what the stations are, they are the events in the final days of Jesus Christ's life. Good Friday is when he was crucified. This is him carrying his cross to be crucified. Mary will be following on the next float.
The bearers are wearing course cloth and hoods are worn as a sign of penitence.
I was deeply moved by this act of devotion.
This was like nothing I have ever seen before and I was totally unprepared by the experience. We have seen religious processions before while on other trips, but nothing as stirring as this one.
After Valenciana, we made our way to the Mercardo Hidalgo for the comida corrida. This is a fixed price lunch that gives you fruit drink, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. This costs twenty five pesos. That translates to about $1.85. We splurged and each had an Indio beer.
Most Americans would never trust this kind of meal. Most think they will get sick. Those that think this way are truly missing out, for food like this is really something special and the women cooking it are so happy to have us try it and actually enjoy it. After this huge lunch it was back to the room for a nap.
We caught wind of another procession taking place in Guanajuato. Earlier in the day Jesus was lead to the place of his crucifixion.
The procession began with him dying on the cross.
He was then taken down and lead to the place where he was placed in the tomb. This acting of the stations involved a great number of people. Many parts to be played for kids and adults.
The bearers in their hoods have me most captivated.
These floats are very heavy and the devotion it takes to carry them is very great.
The procession has been walking about two miles through the streets by this point and has about a half mile to go to get back to the church. Mind you they are all doing this bare footed and the city is very hilly.
Not very sure of which saint this is. His reverence is frozen on his face as he follows in the procession.
After a day like today, the only way to wind down is with a few tacos. Tacos bistek this time, five for $1.40...