PUEBLA to MINERAL DE POZOS – Tuesday 20th March

The group divided into two the following morning with half following the roadbook and taking the beautiful but narrow and twisty road through the Malinche National Park forest which surrounds the Malinche volcano and the other half taking the faster and less taxing motorway route.  Our routes merged after 165km and the day was then divided between spells on the motorway and trips up in to the hills.

We had however left Roger and Maggie in Puebla as they had to take their 2005 Land Rover Discovery to a dealership so that they could diagnose the problem.  Sadly the diagnostics showed that there were lots of issues so they decided to leave the car there for repairs, to be shipped later, and fly to Mexico City for a few days before flying to New Orleans to join us.

The hills were very dry with yellow grass and tall cactuses dotted around small trees and scrub.  We saw a long train with 92 carriages slowly crawl its way through the landscape and we passed through small but neat villages selling all the usual things but also saddles, cowboy hats and cowboy boots!  They have very small feet there (they are quite small people) and there was no way they had anything so huge as size 39!!  We found ‘Al Museo de Arte Ecologico’, full of stuffed animals!  It was the peacock and calf which caught our eye as we passed in the car but once inside it was the huge Great Dane and large white pelican which stole the show!

We arrived in Mineral de Pozos at 5pm and found all the shops closed after the exhausting weekend and Monday holiday of fiesta’s and celebration.  There was one particular shop which sold beautiful Mexican clothes, bags, cushion covers and shoes but it was closed.  I found Victor in a nearby restaurant whose mother in law owned the shop and he kindly offered to collect the key and let us in at 6pm.  There were some lovely things in the shop, all of superb quality and a happy hour of retail therapy followed!  Dinner was at our hotel, La Casona Hotel, which has its own bar and dining room.