Archive | January, 2013

Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel

31 Jan
Download all five "Driving Adventure" books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Download all five “Driving Adventure” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

An excerpt from my, “Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel”

These are easy one day trips from San Miguel de Allende. Trips to historical, ecological, archaeological, and just plain magical places that can be enjoyed only if you immerse yourself in the history of the region and its people first. It’s their story….

 

Table of Contents
Dolores Hidalgo……………………….1

Mineral La Luz………………………..9

Acámbaro…………………………………21

Cerro de San Pedro…………………..29

Hacienda, Jaral de Berrio…………..46

 

History and Walking Tour of Dolores Hidalgo

by William J. Conaway

Just 24 miles from San Miguel de Allende is the city of Dolores Hidalgo, named for the Virgin, Our Lady of Sorrows. The area was named Cocomacán, or Hunting place for Herons by the nomadic Chichimecas. It’s an easy drive, or bus ride from San Miguel, and a pleasant way to spend a day. In addition to its history Dolores offers a huge assortment of ceramics and tile to tempt you.
As you enter the city either by car or by bus you will pass a huge cantera stone monument dedicated to the heros of Mexico’s Independence: Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama, and Morelos. It was designed by sculptor Jorge González and architect Carlos Obregón Santacilia.

Throughout the political area of present day Dolores Hidalgo artifacts of ceramics and stone tools continue to be found; relics of Pre-Hispanic campgrounds that lined the Río Laja, a major tributary of the Río Lerma. The Spanish settlement began in 1570, with the formation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows, established by Viceroy Enriques de Almanza. Its first priest, Father Alvaro de Osio y Ocampo enlarged the area of the Congregation by purchasing, from the Viceroy, neighboring lands. This formed the limits of the original settlement. It wasn’t until the XIX century that it received its designation as a city.

In 1710, Viceroy Marquis of Montecarlos, began the Hacienda de Erre just eight kilometers from town. The lands were dedicated to the raising of cattle, horses, mules, etc. for the growing population of the colony as a whole, and more specifically for the mining operations in nearby Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí.

Father Miguel Hidalgo, the Father of México, was sent here from nearby San Felipe at the beginning of the XIX century moving into the House of Tithes, Casa del Diezmo, in 1804. (The house now serves as a museum.)

Father Hidalgo immediately began promoting economic and social development. He began the ceramic industry, planted vineyards, and tried to begin a silk making trade by planting mulberry trees and importing silkworms.

His House in San Felipe had been nicknamed «Little Francia,» by the locals because of the concerts, balls, and the intellectual discussion groups that Hidalgo hosted there. He was to initiate the same sort of social setting in Dolores. It has been suggested that these discussion groups formed the basis for the strong, local independence support Hidalgo later received.

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Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel

30 Jan
Mineral La Luz, destination in "Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel," available on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

Mineral La Luz, destination in “Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel,” available on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

Driving Adventures: Day Trips From San Miguel

29 Jan
Download all five "Driving Adventure" books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Download all five “Driving Adventure” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Catalog – Papelandia Publishing

28 Jan

Day Trips med

Papelandia Publishing Catalog

Gringo Guides
Living smallA Gringo Guide to Living in San Miguel de Allende – A complete 150 page, perfect bound book a guide, and advice for living and enjoying San Miguel de Allende as a resident or a visitor. A fun filled, Cartoon illustrated day-to-day guide with stories chronicalling the authors «Early Years» in San Miguel. Even long-term residents are guaranteed to find information they never knew before, supplied by a 50+ year Bilingual/Bicultural American resident of San Miguel. GG-101 – $20.00 plus $12.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com.

…to Mexican History – A 354 page, complete History of Mexico with historic pictures. An easy read to learn the incredible history of the Republic from the Conquest until Today. The places, events, and the characters that played out their roles in one of the bloodiest histories ever recorded. Interspersed throughout are accounts of events taking place in the U.S. and the rest of the world simultaniously to give one a sense of the time. GG-103 – $24.95 plus $19.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com at a considerable discount.

…to the Mexican Revolution – A 56 page, coffee table style book with the complete, bloody history of the Mexican Revolution 1910-1921, with lots of great historic pictures. GG-105 – $16.95 Plus $6.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Christero Rebellion small…to the Cristero Rebellion – A twenty-eight page book with the complete forgotten history of the Rebellion against the Calles Administration 1926-1930 in which the Pope closed the Mexican churches, and the government waged modern warfare against their own people over religious differences. hundreds of thousands of people died and a half million people migrated to the U.S. GG-106 $14.50 Plus $6.95 Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…to Witchcraft – A 30 page booklet about the practice of witchcraft in Mexico now and in the past. Implements, herbs, and spells used in Mexican witchcraft told by a 50 year resident. GG-108 $7.95 Plus $2.95 International S&P. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount (Includes the following book in the same download)

…to Pulque, Mescal, and Tequila – A 30 Page booklet about these spirits from production to imbibing. The History surrounding the discovery and modern production. GG-109 $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com at a discount. (Includes the previous book in the same download)

…to a Bullfight, a Mexican Rodeo, and a Cock Fight – A twenty eight page book that serves as your personal guide to these Mexican sports events. Describing the tradition, the culture, and the mechanics of the events to promote understanding of them. GG-107 $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Mexican Kitchen med…to a Mexican Kitchen – A full 200 pages of time honored, traditional Mexican Recipes, with food and food preparation glossaries. Hundreds of Full-Color pictures, and it’s spiral bound for the cook’s convenience. The book Includes Party Snacks, Gala Banquets, and Mexican Adult Beverages too. GG-102 – $24.95 plus $18.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, for a considerable discount.

…to: Salsas y Chilies – A 28 page booklet with everything you should know about chilies, and naming the most popular Mexican variaties. Including how to prepare them. Seventeen delicious recipes for Salsa with full-color pictures. GG-102-A – $7.95 plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…to: Mexican Beverages – A 28 page booklet to Non-alcoholic, and alcoholic beverages alike. Recipes from teas; coffee; hot chocolate; punches; egg nog; cold thirst quenching, cooling drinks and fruit ades to 27 different, popular, alcoholic ones. GG-102-B – $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…to Soups and Salads – A 28 page booklet wth 10 delicious recipes for popular Mexican soups and 11 scrumptious Mexican recipes for salads including full-color pictures. GG-102-C – $7.95 Plus $2.95 Internat. Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…to Mexican Desserts – A 24 page booklet with 20 fabulous recipes for some of the most popular and delicious recipes of Mexican desserts. GG-102-D – $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for $9.99

…to Throwing a Mexican Fiesta – A 24 page booklet with 5 delicious Mexican recipes for appetizers, botanas; 11 great recipes for Mexican dips and spreads; and 8 wonderful, time-saving recipes for Mexican microwaves treats. GG-102-E $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

Walking Tours
Walking Mexico’s Colonial Heartland – A full 123 pages of History – Legends – Step-by-Step Walking Tours of the world famous Spanish Colonial cities of: San Miguel de Allende; Guanajuato; Querétaro; and the history of Mineral de Pozos, the Ghost Town. These are 450 + year old cities protected and preserved in the Spanish Colonial style of the XVII and XVIII centuries. They are living, breathing cities, full of life and culture, but mysteriously silent about their history and legends. With this book you will appreciate fully your visit to them. WT-101 – $10.00 plus $12.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

Walking Tours of San Miguel de Allende – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460 year old Spanish Colonial city, a National Monument. The booklet has a four-color, slick cover suitable for saving as a souvenier, and includes lots full-color pictures. WT-102 – $16.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

San Miguel’s History – A twenty-four page booklet of the history of San Miguel de Allende from the settlement through the War for Independence with historic pictures. WT-101-A – $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…of Guanajuato – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-103 – $16.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Santiago de Querétaro – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-104 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Int. Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…of Morelia: The City of Music – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-105 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble at a discount.

…of Puebla de Los Angeles – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-106 $14.50 Plus $6.95 Int. Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Taxco de Alarcon – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-107 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Intnational Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of San Luis Potosí – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-108 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Intnational Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Zacatecas – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-109 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Driving Adventures:
Day Trips From San Miguel – A 56 page coffee table style guidebook to easy one-day trips with historic and full-color pictures. Visit Acambaro, Guanajuato’s oldest city; Dolores Hidalgo, the Fountain of the Independece movement, La Luz, Guanajuato’s Other Ghost Town; Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí’s Ghost Town, and Jaral de Berrio, the ruins of an historic Hacienda. DA – 102 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…Hidalgo, and the Ancient city of Teotihuacan – A 56 page coffe table style guidebook with the history of the State, and instructions for driving around the state of Hidalgo with stops in: Huichapan, Alfajayucan, Zimápan, Ixmiquilpan, Tula de Allende, Teotihuacán, Pachuca, Mineral del Chico, Real del Monte, Atotonilco El Grande, Metztitlan, Molongo de Escamilla, Tlahuitepa, Huazalingo, and Huejutla de Reyes. with lots of full-color pictures. DA – 104 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…Mexico’s Colonial Ghost Towns – A 56 page coffee table style guidebook of the history and legends of: Mineral de Pozos, Gto.; Mineral La Luz, Gto.; Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí; Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí. This book contains lots of historic and full-color pictures of these XVI, XVII, and XVIII century Silver and Gold mining cities. DA – 101 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…Michoacán, Touring the Tarascan Empire – A 56 page coffe table style guidebook with the history, and instructions for driving the state of Michoacán with stops in: Ihuatzio, Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre, Pátzcuaro, Janitzio, Zrahuén, Santiago Tingambato, Uruapan, Paricutín, and Paracho with lots of historic and full-color pictures. DA – 103 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…in Mexico’s Huasteca – A 56 page coffee table guide book with a complete driving tour of the Adventure and Ecotourism Paradise that is the Huasteca area of Mexico. Includes areas in the Mexican states of: Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Puebla, and Veracruz. Includes information on White water Rafting, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Swimming, Spelunking, Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, and Camping. With lots of historic and full-color pictures. DA – 105 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Adventure and Ecotourism
…in the Copper Canyon – A 38 page coffee table style guide book with the history, accomodations, and tours of the entire Copper Canyon System located in the State of Chihuahua. Lots of full-color pictures and Driving Adventures down into the depths of the Urique and Batopilas Canyons. AE – 105 – $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Barnes and Noble.com a considerable discount.

…with Mexico’s Glittering Monarchs – A 38 page coffee table style guide book with the Complete story on the migrating Monarch butterflies. Where they are, how to get to them, and how they were found. A Driving Adventure loaded with full-color, full-page pictures. AE – 106 – $16.50 Plus $7.95 Int. S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…in San Miguel de Allende – A 36 page coffee table style guide book with the Complete possibilities for Adventure and Ecotourism sites to visit while you’re in San Miguel de Allende with lots of full-color pictures. Includes Horseback riding, ATV Rentals, Hot Air Baloon rides, Mountain bike tours, hiking tours, touring the Botanical Gardens , and the Cañada de La Virgen pyramid. AE – 107 $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…in Edward James’ Surrealistic Garden, Las Pozas, Xilitla – A 28 page coffee table style guidebook of the Surrealist Sculture garden of Edward James with lots of full-color pictures and a map of the complete site. AE – 101 $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

All of these books are available in the San Miguel de Allende Library Gift Shop, the Casa de Papel Card Shop, Garrison & Garrison bookstore, La Deriva bookstore, and for downloads Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. Follow the author on Twitter @williamjconaway, and Facebook/williamjconaway. Join and comment with him online at: http://www.williamjconaway.com

 

The Early Years – Becoming a Writer

26 Jan

San Miguel med

The Early Years – Becoming a Writer

Writing the Walking Tour Series
When I began writing the Walking Tour Series, in 1977, it wasn’t supposed to be a series. I just began wiring aout San Miguel. I was here, the research material readily available, and so it began. I had no idea what that first book would lead to, I just did it.
The idea wasn’t mine to begin with. My friend Peyton Breckinridge came up with the idea first, but he couldn’t remain sober long enough to do the work so I took it up. The research required delving into history books written in Spanish, ages ago, and if you’ve ever read a Spanish language book you know how frustrating it is. They begin in the middle, wander around the subject, viewing it from every angle, return to the beginning, and sometime later get to the point. Its madening. But there it is.
The first book contained no pictures except a cut and paste one, and I mean I cut out the picture, pasted it onto the master page, and used that to photo copy the book, fold in half and staple. that was it. A twenty-four page, 5.5″ X 8.5″ book (U.S. post office classifies a book as having 24 pages) with a black and white cover of plain paper that sold for the equivalent of $7.00 U.S.
It was a success! And it began my treking around Mexico, the nearest colonial cities first, doing the necessary research, plotting out the walking tour parts, and later taking pictures, with one of the first cheap, HP digital cameras, to include in the books.
Guanajuato medGuanajuato was my second book since it was close by, and my daughter lived there. It took several trips to find out the secrets of the place. (There are no public libraries there, only a few private ones that are open to the public, but you have to tell them which book you’d like to see. As if I knew. And you have to do your work right there. They don’t lend.) That was to set the trend for all of the rest of the books. I had to do the research here in San Miguel with what I could find in our public library, and occasionally order Spanish language books (all subsidized by the various University presses).
Now, the books number eight. I’ve found that the farther from San Miguel they are, the slower they sell, so I’ve stopped doing them, and turned instead to the “Adventure and Ecotourism,” and the “Driving Adventures” books.

Living smallThe first books that I had written, “Mexican Kitchen, and “Living in San Miguel,” became the first in the Gringo Guide series. I added the Bullfight book, and began peddling them outside the local bullring. From that experience I learned not to expose myself to the public , and changed the book to include Charreadas, and Cock fights, “A Gringo Guide To: A Bullfight, A Mexican Rodeo, and a Cockfight.”
About that time an old friend, William Stephensen, who had driven down to San Miguel from California, in an old Mazda, and while staying with us had car trouble. Not able to find the parts the car needed here in Mexico he signed the car over to me and flew back to California. I was able to have the water pump rebuilt in Celaya in just a few days, and I had just what I needed. Transportation to Morelia to finish the Walking Tour book I had begun years before, and from there to see the Monarch butterfly sanctuaries ..and the Adventure and Ecotourism series began, and now consist of four titles.
Mexican History MediumMy uncle, Charlie Carr, bought several of my books, and convinced me to write the complete history of Mexico. A project that took several years to complete in between my other various books.
While I worked on the History, I had an opportunity to go to the Huasteca. My brother and a friend of his, on a visit to San Miguel, offered to pay for a short trip, to wherever…. I had always been interested in the Huasteca area of Mexico. It sounded so mysterious…. So off we went, and had one of the biggest adventures of our lives. The result, “A Driving Adventure in the Mexican huasteca.” And that began another series “Driving Adventures,” that now consists of six titles.
Huasteca smallAnd so it goes. I have no idea what’s next….

Walking Tours of Zacatecas – An Excerpt

25 Jan
Download all eight "Walking Tour" books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

Download all eight “Walking Tour” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

An Excerpt from my, “Walking Tours of Zacatecas”

Walking Tours of Zacatecas
Copyright William J. Conaway, 2000 Derechos Reservados

Getting There
Your ordinary guide book, perhaps a “Frommer’s,” can give you directions for getting to Zacatecas and also give you a list of the four and five star hotels there, but for the purpose of my guide I suggest you take a bus to the city and a taxi to the Centro Histórico. There are a few small, “no star” hotels located in XIX century buildings with very low rates. There are even a couple of three or four-star hotels to choose from, even a Howard Johnsons, the important thing is, you’re right in the heart of HISTORY.

I recommend the Hostal del Angel, Primero de Mayo #211, which offers clean rooms with bath, a free washing machine, and a communal kitchen. Practically next door is La Oficina Cantina, a typical Mexican man’s saloon. As it turns out, my favorite watering hole in Zacatecas.

Zacatecas is the capital of the state of the same name, with all of the necessary government offices, and boasts a major university with an excellent school of mining. The city is situated at 8,200 feet of altitude, and is hilly so if you are not used to this altitude, you will get winded. Just take your time and rest frequently. There are approximately 160,000 inhabitants within the city limits.

The state got its name from the abundance of Zacate trees that were found here. Even the nomadic Indian tribe that controlled this area were named the Zacatecans. Agriculture, a minor industry, consists mainly of cattle ranching in the south and west of the state with goat-herding in the north. Mining continues to be the most important occupation in the State with mines producing gold, silver, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, tin and mercury.

So abundant were its precious metals that Zacatecas was named Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de las Zacatecas by King Felipe II, in 1585, receiving its own coat of arms in 1588. The Latin words at the bottom of the coat of arms translate, “Work Conquers All.”

The region surrounding the city of Zacatecas is bleak. It’s semi-arid to downright parched, and the mountains are low and unassuming. Vegetation is sparse and consists of cacti and huizache bushes.

The city is situated in a narrow valley, flanked on all sides with mountains and rolling hills. The valley itself is 7,800 feet above sea level. The altitude keeps the temperature down and abundant water was found in wells. The soil is poor in almost the entire State, except for a few areas, and the inhabitants have to depend on food mostly from the nearby Bajío region.

Zacatecas’ patron is la Virgen del Patrocinio, the Guardian Virgin. (This Virgin is a depiction of the one present at the last breath of Christ. A symbol of a Catholic Church cult.) An important icon of her is in the chapel on La Bufa mountain. Her fiesta is held on September 8, the birthday of the Virgin Mary.

The city of Zacatecas, very much like that of Guanajuato and Taxco, is a ciudad Toledano, a city similar to Toledo, Spain. Its charming, narrow streets and alleys wind around and up into the hills.

Walking Tours of Zacatecas

24 Jan
Download all eight "Walking Tours" from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Download all eight “Walking Tours” from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Walking Tours of Zacatecas

23 Jan
Download all eight "Walking Tour" books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

Download all eight “Walking Tour” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. search William J. Conaway.

Walking Tours of Taxco de Alarcon

22 Jan
Download all eight "Walking Tours," books on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway!

Download all eight “Walking Tours,” books on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway!

Walking Tours of Taxco de Alarcon – An Excerpt

21 Jan
Download all eight "Walking Tours," books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Download all eight “Walking Tours,” books from Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble.com; or Kobo.com. Search William J. Conaway.

Walking Tour of Taxco de Alarcón


Copyright William J. Conaway, 2003 Derechos Reservados

Getting There
Getting to Taxco (Tahs-ko) by bus from the Terminal del Sur in Mexico City is easy. It’s 111 miles south of Mexico City, 50 miles south of Cuernavaca. There are busses every 30 minutes and they take 2-3 hours to get there.

The bus stop at Taxco is too far from the center of town to walk, so if you have a reservation in one of the top hotels take a taxi, or if you’re like me, on a budget, ride a minivan bus marked “Santa Prisca” or “Zocalo” to the center of town, Plaza Borda.

This city of 95,000 people, like Guanajuato, and the other Toledano cities (towns similar to Toledo, Spain) in Mexico, there is no place to park. If you brought your own car, park it at the hotel and leave it there until you’re ready to leave. The downtown area is very small and everything else is straight up and down, a warren of narrow alleys. The city is, don’t forget, 6,000 feet above sea level so take it slow. To see the nearby sights, however, a car is a good idea, whether it be your own or a hired taxi (hired for the day). There are busses that go everywhere for those of us on a budget.

The city itself sits directly over ancient mine tunnels that criss-cross all through the mountain that supports it. The center of town is the tree shaded Plaza Borda with the imposing twin-towered Santa Prisca Church on one side and silver shops and restaurants on all the others. Beside the church, deep in a crevice of the mountain is the market (where you can find the most inexpensive places to eat in town).

Taxco is the oldest mining region on the American continent, and one of México’s oldest population centers. A city nestled in the heart of a mountain.

Atachi, Lord of the Waters, is the name of the mountain where Taxco perches. A mountain that sits 5,758 feet above the tropical lowlands, which periodically attracts heavy rainfall. How apropos that Santa Prisca (Priscilla) is the traditional patron saint for protection against storms: guardian in the face of lightning and flood.

Taxco’s original Indian occupants were specialist in the art of stone carving. Nowhere else in México has such a variety of pre-Classical sculpture been found.

Three ancient mines, with wooden shoring still intact, have recently been discovered near Taxco at a place called Chichila. This proves that there was a far more advanced Indian mining industry here than had previously been thought. The most prized mineral by the Indians of Mesoamerica was cinnabar (vermilion) or ferrous oxide, the best, longest lasting red dye on the planet. This dye was an essential paint for religious ceremonies by all the various Indian groups throughout México.

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