A Cold Day In Zacatecas
Dec 15, 2009
|Zacatecas in actually close to 8,100’ in elevation and at this time of year the nights are very cold. I expect it dropped to under 5 deg C last night and with no heat in the room it was pretty dam cold. When I pulled in yesterday the sun was shining and it was pretty nice, somewhere above 15 deg C.
This morning there was no sun and the temperature barely rose all day. It reached perhaps 10 deg C. I got out and did some sight seeing and at one point the sun did come out from behind the clouds briefly but it was not enough to warm things up much
Despite the weather, Zacatecas is a wonderful place to spend the day. The centro historico area is very large with an amazing number of ornate buildings. You can wander the crooked, narrow little backstreets for hours. There is a postcard scene around every corner.
In the late afternoon I decided to head to the library just down the street from the hostel to study my Spanish. (Mostly I was hoping it would be warmer than my room).
As I was leaving, the hostel owner Enrique said I had a new neighbour and introduced me to Steve. Steve is riding a Kawasaki KLR and, unbelievably his home town is Red Deer, Alberta. Of course we arranged to have dinner together later, once he got settled.
At dinner I learned that Steve grew up in Red Deer and his parents still live there. He has lived in Winnipeg the last few years and is studying architecture. He is on his way to Chile to study architecture for 8 months. He decided the best way to get to school in Chile would be to ride a motorcycle down there.
One small point; he decided this in July and has never owned or ridden a motorcycle before! It always surprises me how often people come to the conclusion that they would like to ride a motorcycle and then make their first trip 20,000 or 30,000 km through Latin America. Trial by fire indeed!
Steve seems very level headed and now has 10,000 km experience riding from Manitoba to BC then down to Zacatecas. He also speaks Spanish fluently which will be a big help. I think he will do just fine.
After dinner, another fellow who is staying at the hostel, Peter, joined us for a beer. He is a fascinating guy. He is retired, although I never thought to ask from what, and speaks English, French, German & Spanish fluently. He also speaks Russian and is spending his time over the next 6 months in Zacatecas self studying Russian to bring it up to fluency. He has traveled extensively by bicycle on trips of up to 7,000 km at a time and canoed, solo 800 km down the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson last summer.
One thing about staying at a hostel, you meet a lot of interesting people.