A few days after arriving in Real de Catorce, we spent four days in the house on a juice fast – and then Hurricane Alex hit, and we spent six more days in the house, watching sheets of rain pour down the side of the mountain. Cabin fever.
Then, Alex was back-ended by four days of torrential thunderstorms, and that’s when things started getting weird. Parts of the one-way tunnel collapsed and there was a sinkhole in the parking lot the size of a moon crater which almost ate the medical clinic:
In town, people were looking at each other with the intent, yet faraway gaze which wordlessly wondered what would happen to the town if the tunnel completely collapsed. We made a run on the general store.
The night of the last big thunderstorm, I was lying in bed and the house made a mighty cracking sound and I started to wonder if it might slide down the mountain. In the end, every house in town was either wet or molding with the apparent, miraculous exception of mine. Credit: The Swiss.
On the 10th day, I was standing outside on the patio looking intently at the 12-foot-high ruin wall which forms the southwest corner. It looked to be buckling. I walked inside, shut the door, and it collapsed into a pile of stone. If I would have been standing where I was standing 10 seconds prior, I’m not sure what would have happened. The wall was probably built by a 19th Century Spanish mine employee. This is the “above/after” shot. Que lastima:
After the storms, the hills around Real became greener than anyone had ever seen them. Water spilled down the gulleys and the Sierra Catorce was, for the first time in anyone’s memory, flush with water. Streams, waterfalls, and the sound of running water became a nice, if temporary, addition to normally dry, dusty climate.
After we finally escaped down the mountain, we took a trip to Mexico City. We stayed at Casa Gonzales, ate at the original Al Pastor taco joint, and drank mezcal like it was going out of style, which it most definitely is not. From D.F., we flew to Huatulco, spent a week at the beaches there, and then moved on to Zacatecas where – you read it here first – we decided to get hitched! The wedding plan is to neo-elope in some exotic locale around the end of 2010. After the big moment, we went to La Leyenda and celebrated our engagement with queso fundido. This one’s for the relatives:
A few days later, we were walking near Puerto Palillos and Elli stepped on a rattlesnake’s rattle, which, since I was walking ahead, meant I had stepped directly over it. The snake whipped around and hissed. Elli screamed and ran. All parties were equally terrified.
A great man once said: “Para todo mal, mezcal. Para todo bien, tambien.”
P.S.: A few weeks later we were in a taqueria in Kilgore, Texas and the woman working there was from Matehuala.