The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Only one problem...

Only 7 kms (4 miles) away from the historical central area of the city of Queretaro is a 2,000 year old pyramid. With the remains of a 140 year old house sitting on top of it!

We figured out which local bus would drop us off nearby, and paid the 8 pesos (65 cents CAD) each for the bus fare. We got off, still on the main road, and walked the rest of the way.

Considering this pyramid is not very well known, it's a fairly impressive sight!

Walking along the main road of this suburb of Queretaro, it's right in front of you...

The El Cerrito pyramid.

The pyramid is actually located near the town of El Pueblito, but the town of El Pueblito is now a suburb of the rapidly growing city of Queretaro.

The site itself was unprotected until 1995, and ongoing restoration didn't begin until 2000. Up until then, it simply looked like a big hill, overgrown with greenery and trees. With one exception...the ruins of a house that had been built by the landowners in 1876. I have read that the state  of Queretaro has a law that states that any structure over 100 years old cannot be demolished...so the ruins of the house will remain sitting on top of the ancient pyramid!

Zoomed in on the ruins sitting on top of the pyramid.

Only one problem.

The gates were locked!

We know that Mexico's archeological sites are often closed one day per week, but I had checked the official website, and it said it wuld be open yesterday. The sign on the gate says otherwise, so we were out of luck.

But, we still got some pictures from outside the gate.

Also, there is a huge parking lot that the buses use at GPS 20.550439, -100.440352 that any size RV would be able to fit into, and we asked a local who said that we would be fine to park there for the night.

We walked into the town of El Pueblito and saw the church/sanctuary. It dates back to the late 1600's.

One of the upstairs hallways.

The courtyard at the church in El Pueblito.

Just a pretty alleyway.

From there, we walked back to another hill that said there was a mirador (lookout). Didn't seem like the nicest part of town, but the people we bumped into all seemed friendly. We got to the top and there was a lot of garbage around, but the views were nice.

Looking back at the El Cerrito pyramid.

And looking in the other direction back at the city of Queretaro.

We walked back to the main road, and caught a bus back to the Walmart where we picked up a few items that we could carry back to the motorhome.

In the evening, we walked down to a restaurant that we had seen advertising pozole...a thick corn and chicken soup that is popular in the state of Jalisco. We aren't in the state of Jalisco, but we wanted some soup!

A little pricey, but it was good. Total including tip was 165 pesos ($13.70 CAD). We were stuffed.

We're out of here today! But we're not going far...there's another RV park located at another hotel only 15 kms (9 miles) north of here so we're going to check that out for a night or two.

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18 comments:

  1. Love seeing those old pyramids, really amazes me at how they were constructed way back when.

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    1. We always say the same thing, it is incredible how they did it way back then with none of the high tech equipment and only manual labour.

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  2. Also have not heard of this site. Great view from town. Interesting story about the house being protected while sitting on top of a 2000 year old site.

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    1. This is not a well known site and there are many other archeological sites in Mexico that you have probably never heard of either. They are scattered all over the country. I am sure there are still others out there that they haven't even been found yet.

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  3. Nice pyramid, . But they know where it is.for some reason I did not know about it. Did you ever find the dump station at the Flamingo? The staff was confused about it when we were there. I think it is there for the buses to use and they just do it themselves without aid of the staff

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    1. I haven't seen a blog or heard of anyone that we know that's been to Queretaro that has even mentioned this. It isn't a well known site that is for sure, but it is pretty cool. Unfortunately we weren't making another side trip to go see it as it was not on our travel route out of the city, so I guess it will have to wait for another time.

      Yes, we found the dump station, thanks!

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    2. Nice job interpreting my comment. Proof read, Croft! The second sentence should be at the end of the post.

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    3. No problem, we have all done that!

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  4. Too bad on the park being closed! But the town looks interesting and the church looked like it had some charm.
    Dinner looked good too - haven't heard of pozole but looks very similar to posole (which we eat a lot of in NM)which is soup with green chile, hominy and pulled pork.

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    1. It was a shame because we weren't making the side trip in Sherman as it was in a different direction from where we were headed on our way out of town. We will have to visit it some other time.

      Your posole is the same thing as the pozole here. The only difference with the one we had was it had chicken not pork, but pork a common meat to have with it here as well.

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  5. Never heard of this pyramid. Fascinating info.

    Safe travels on down the road.

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    1. Nope you probably haven't, it isn't a popular tourist site like Chichen Itza is. There are tons of small ruins sites all over Mexico. We have visited lots but there are still way more out there and probably some that still haven't been discovered.

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  6. This official-looking website does say it's closed on Mondays http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/zonas/122-zona-arqueologica-el-cerrito

    Of course the prob is, how do you know which website is the authoritative one regarding hours etc, and which are just anecdotal?

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    1. Trust you to find the right site Doug. Kevin is pretty good searching the web but even he is wrong sometimes. I was quite surprised to find out that the site he had found said it was open on Monday's because most archeological sites and museums are closed on Monday's but this is Mexico and they can do things just to mess you up. ;-)

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  7. I need to look up El Cerrito ... amazing to see it "at the end of the street." Wonder if it's intact (and what's inside) or looted ... and whoever would build a house atop a pyramid? Boggles the mind. Interesting post, great photos.

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    1. It was amazing to see as you walk around an corner and all of a sudden there it is at the end of a busy road in the middle of a community. It seems to be in good condition but they have lots of clearing to do and probably a fair bit of restoration which they are slowly starting to do. And yes, it has been looted but of course nobody would know what and how much might have been taken.

      The Spanish did things like that, there is a ruins site outside of Puebla where the Spanish built a church at the top of a big pyramid. Just because they could, I guess!

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  8. Replies
    1. Dinner was delicious and very filling. Glad we only order chico and not grande!

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