A step back in time
On our way back to Canada there are a few places we wanted to stop and one of these was a little mountain village called Real de Catorce. It is found about 40km or a 90min drive off our highway home. The long slow drive is part of its charm.
To access this remote village, you wind up the mountain on a 24km cobble stone road and then travers a 2km tunnel through the mountain. On the other side is literally the end of the road. Real de Catorce was a mining village founded in the 18th century and then nearly completely abandoned when the sliver mines closed in 20th century.
It survived however due to its spiritual roots. It is a place where you feel close to the heavens. At 2700m in altitude, it is built right into the rock and most buildings have caves dug out of the rock in the back for extra rooms. The village has (far) more horses and donkeys than cars and horseback is the main mode of transport both in the town and around. There are multiple groups (both native and Christian) who claim these mountains as there spiritual grounds and I can see why. There is something truly special in the air here. It is rare to come across a place that touches your heart is such a way.
We stayed in a very cool eco-lodge with a great veggie garden and very lovely hosts. Many of the hotels, including ours, in this town are run by the a small community of European expats who have been attracted by the old-world charm without the all the rules and high cost.
On this visit we only had 2 days here since we are on our way to visit our friends for the weekend in Houston, but this is a place I would love to return for a longer visit – a perfect place to slowly explore on horseback, observe and just let time pass.