The RV Parking area at Hotel Villa Monarca Inn near Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Mexico.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Touring Parral, Chihuahua

On Wednesday, with clear sunny skies and a forecast high of 25C (77F), we walked from the hotel parking lot to the center of Parral, a distance of about 4 kms (2.7 miles) one way. Mostly downhill.

The city of Parral is known best for two things... a silver mine that was discovered in 1630, and the famous Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.

And so at the traffic circle near the hotel is a statue of Pancho himself...

Pancho and his horse.

Pancho Villa retired near here at a hacienda near the village of Canutillo. We will be visiting the hacienda at our next stop! It's only about 80 kms (50 miles) south, so he was a frequent visitor to Parral. In fact, he was shot and killed here in the city of Parral in 1923.

The theater.

Floral clock.


The original mine site is on the left of this hill.

The cathedral.


Parral.

At the central plaza, we saw a tour bus and asked the price. For 30 pesos ($2.05 CAD, $1.55 USD) per person we figured that was pretty good value! So all 14 of us hopped on the bus.


Ready for our tour!

Of course it was all in Spanish, but Mona and Ruth sat up at the front with the guide and the driver and did a great job of translating as best they could.

Strange monument.


Views of the city.

This rock is called "La Muela" (The Molar) because from a distance it looks like a tooth.

They say you can see several faces in the rocks, perhaps depending on how much tequila you have had!

Our group with a huge statue of Pancho Villa.

The statue in the photo above is to be mounted on that concrete structure in the background. However, the whole project is on hold because of two government departments who weren't communicating very well. Apparently the local area around the statue has historical status and the group running that don't want the statue there.

A local plaza.

Our tour bus.

Another view of the mine hill.

Next stop was lunch! We found a popular taco stand and I think we were all pretty happy with our meals!



It's a pretty safe bet that a busy taco stand has good food. And it was a good choice. However there was another guy right beside who did tacos barbacoa but there was nobody there. Ruth and a few others went over there, and it turned out the tacos barbacoa were delicious! So you can't always judge based on the number of people at the stand.

With full stomachs, we split the group up. Some wanted to get haircuts and look around on their own. We took the rest up to the mine site tour.

Stained glass balcony. This building now houses a bank.

The cathedral.

This church looks old, but it was only built in 1953.

The La Prieta Silver Mine in Parral operated for 345 years until closed in 1974. There are 25 levels to the mine, with some tunnels going underneath the center of the city. 

And while the mine itself is no longer in operation, a few years ago a Canadian mining company decided that the old tailings field still contained silver, and that efficiencies in processing meant that a lot of silver could still be recovered from the tailings. They built a plant about a year and a half ago, and they say that there is still 35 million ounces of silver to be had just mining the tailings field!

Again, for 30 pesos ($2.05 CAD, $1.55 USD) per person, it's hard not to see the value!

We've got our brain buckets on and we're ready to go underground.


The elevator shaft.

Here we go, off into the tunnels.

Old mining tools.


The indigenous slave miners had a life expectancy of about 3 months while working in the mines. Holding candles between their toes for light, and putting the rock into a bag being held by their head to keep their hands free. Yikes.

How the indigenous slaves mined for the Spanish.

Ruth, helping a more modern miner!

Once again, it was all in Spanish, and Ruth and I translated as best we could. But the guide spoke quickly, and used a lot of technical mining terms that we didn't understand. Still, the group enjoyed the tour. 

The elevator cable.

Run by an old diesel engine.

Mexican electricity.
Fortunately, this is on some machinery that is no longer used!

In the gift shop, they had a photo of Pancho Villa himself.
He has a striking resemblance to Bob! 

View of the city.

The main plaza.

Then we walked back to the hotel parking lot in time for happy hour where we had a couple of rousing games of LCR. How can such a simple dice game be so much fun? Lots of laughter with the group and we look forward to the next time we play. Bob won one game and Roger won the second.

Our parking area at GPS 26.918042, -105.645804
Not ideal, but it served it's purpose to visit the city.

Today, we drive to Canutillo, about 80 kms (50 miles) south.

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6 comments:

  1. A perfect fun-filled day! And the weather ain't bad either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great day for everyone and yes, the weather was perfect. :-)

      Delete
  2. Interesting now a Mexican revolutionary ended up a wealthy man.

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  3. Mine tour, way cool!...I've been in a few in Idaho and Montana...They closed when the cost of the water pumps were more than the intake of good materiel..$$$
    Did Ruth make any extra $$ for her labor?

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    Replies
    1. The tour was very interesting and we wished that we could have understood more of what the guide was saying but at least we understood enough to make the tour worthwhile. They had to close a number of tunnels a long time ago because there was too much water in the tunnels here as well.

      No unfortunately, I didn't make money for the "extra" labor that I put in, lol!

      Delete

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