Two hours, to do 80 kms (50 miles). Yes, more road construction.
We had a really quiet night in Canutillo. It's just a little farming town, and it's a couple of kms off the main highway. The hacienda where we parked for the night is on the outskirts of the town itself, and what a quiet place it is! In the morning, we went for a stroll before we left.
Looking back at Sherman.
The place is almost a ghost town. We did say good morning to a few people though, and everybody seemed friendly enough.
Do we trust this bridge?
Yup. No problem!
Getting through the town of Las Nieves, the road was in really bad shape. Then, just after the town, we come to this...
On the bright side, at least they're fixing it!
We did get the odd patch of new stuff to drive on.
Crossing the border from Durango to Chihuahua.
We arrived at Parral at about 11:20am, but we went through a one hour time zone change at the border, so we gained an hour. So it became 10:40am.
There are no RV parks as such, but we wanted to explore the city. I had scoped out the situation on Google maps and Google streetview and I had found a big hotel on a hill overlooking the city and it looked like it had a large parking area. So that's where we headed. It was a bit of a steep hill, but Sherman managed it no problem. Sure enough, the area looked great for an overnight stop. The entrance to the hotel is at GPS coordinates 26.921314 -105.646561. It's called the Hotel Hacienda del Villa.
I went to the front desk and explained that there was no campground in Parral, and asked if we could spend the night in their parking lot. He went and checked with a superior, and came back with a positive response. Nice!
Parral is a small city of around 100,000 people. It's fairly well to do, because of a silver mine that pumped money into the local economy for many years. In fact, the mine was one of the longest continually operating mines in the world, producing silver, gold, copper, and lead for 345 years, from 1629 to 1974!
Yesterday's drive, 80 kms (50 miles).
Just to give you a better idea, here's where we are right now at the city of Parral.
We figured out that it was only about 3.5 kms (2 miles) to downtown, so we walked there. No better way to see a city than walking it.
The first church we came across was built in 1639.
The second church also in the mid 1600's.
It had amazing stonework, but the interior was closed.
Isn't it amazing how they built these structures back then??
There are two main plazas in town.
This courtyard had tortoises living in it!
This church was also closed! Many churches do close their doors from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
We were trying to find a tourist office to get a map. We were told the tourist office was located at the mine, since that is the main tourist attraction in town. So we walked up to the mine. We weren't actually planning on doing the mine tour because we've been in a couple before. But it turns out that the mirador (lookout) is on the mine property and we wanted to go up there for the view. So we decided to pay the 25 pesos ($2.05) each to do the tour as well.
The Mina la Prieta was a working mine up until 1974.
These carts are heavy to push up hill!
(They are actually stationary. No way that you could move one!)
Ruth, with her brain bucket on.
There were about 14 people in our group. The guide asked where everybody was from. They were all from Mexico except one older couple who were Spanish, but live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The tour was entirely in Spanish, but the guide spoke quite quickly and we only got bits and pieces. He had a lot of information though, and it would have been interesting had we been able to understand it all! Still, we did understand some, so when we think back to the first tour we did in Spanish a few years ago, we have improved!
This tunnel was dug by hand in 1820.
A depiction of an indigenous miner in the 1700's.
And another that is a little more modern day.
From the mirador, looking at the city of Parral.
Montreal, 4,104 kms away!
Zoomed in on the cathedral. That's our next stop.
The interior was fantastic.
Lots of tiny stones decorating the walls.
Nice city. Friendly people, and apparently a very low crime rate. Our guide said that it's a nice place to live. If we were ever to live in Mexico and had to stay in one spot, this is the type of place we would choose.
We ended up walking back to Sherman. We stopped at the Walmart on the way, and I bought some socks. There is also a Sam's Club here. Yes, we could have parked there, but it would have been busy and beside a busy road. Walmarts are truly a last resort for us!
Woke up to overcast and drizzle this morning. Not the best for driving further into the mountains towards Copper Canyon. We'll see if it clears up at all before deciding what to do.
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