Real de Catorce
The road before entering the town
The road to the town is 24 km path made of cobblestones. Imagine all the work to do it.
It's a nice road, but it is a bit bumpy. Fortunately with a motorbike, the bumps are not felt too much.
Here I am in the mountains, a few kilometres before entering the town.
The town of Real de Catorce
When I reached Real de Catorce, it was a bit disappointed. There were too many vendors in the streets and I thought it broke the town's charm that was a ghost town not so long ago. But, in the morning the town has a good ambience; there is nobody in the street. Also, hiking opportunities around the town are spectacular.
Located at an altitude of 2730 metres, the town once housed nearly 40,000 people, and its wealth came from silver mines. Almost completely abandoned, it experiences a revival mainly because of tourism and also due to the recent opening of a new mine.
Real de Catorce means 'Royal of 14' and could come from the legend about 14 Spanish soldiers that were killed here around 1700. It was founded in the middle of the 18th century, and the church was built between 1790 and 1817. Towards the end of the 19th century, its wealth was close to that of Guanajuato. Thirty years later, Real had become a ghost town. The reason remains a mystery.
The Chapel of Guadalupe is one of the oldest buildings in the town. It houses some old paintings from the 19th century.
During a small festival in town, there were some pony races right in the middle of the place.
Hiking around the town
After being disappointed when I arrived in Real de Catorce, my appreciation of the town quickly changed during a superb hike in the neighbouring mountains.
The ghost towns
Around the area, there are several ghost town. They offer a really nice show. Within a few kilometres, one can enjoy three or four villages completely abandoned and almost totally destroyed.
View of Real de Catorce from one of the ghost towns.