Today’s road trip agenda: a visit to Pinos and arrival in Zacatecas, where I am spending the next five nights.
I left Lagos de Moreno this morning around 9:30 after a very disappointing breakfast. The place had a sign out front offering desayuno. It turned out to be a breakfast room of a hostel. I got a plate of scrambled eggs with ham and a side of cold refried beans, along with a plate of three slices of plain untoasted bread. And lukewarm coffee.
The drive to Pinos was all on two-lane highways through stunning desert landscapes dotted with Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia, or as they’re known in Mexico, izote de desierto, dagger of the desert) and agave. I’d never seen agave in bloom before, and I had no idea what these tall skinny “trees” were.
I arrived in Pinos a little after 11:00 and did what I anticipated doing: wandered. Pinos is a pretty town with its fair share of colonial-era architecture, such as the Parroquia de San Matias (at the top of this post).
I always enjoy a good tianguis, and while it wasn’t a particularly good one, I did appreciate the opportunity to stroll through the marketplace. And I stopped for a lunch of tacos de carnitas at one stand.
The drive to Zacatecas started out on more two-lane highways, but then shifted to four-lane high-speed freeways. At least there were no tolls. But long stints on the freeway wear me down, especially in the afternoon when the sun is beating down and making the air conditioning work hard.
Both Pinos and Zacatecas City are in the state of Zacatecas, but the highway passed through a corner of San Luis Potosi. When we reentered Zacatecas, we had to drive through a security checkpoint. I have no idea what they were checking for. Just a few guards standing there not paying much attention to the cars going through as we slowed to a crawl and drove right on.
Google maps got me right to where my Airbnb was — approximately. The apartment where I’m staying is located in a privada, or a dead-end street. This particular privada is like an alley, and while the directions got me there, it was hard to tell exactly where to enter the street. So I pulled into a parking area, which it turned out was not in the privada but adjacent to it. A guard tried to be helpful, and I showed him pictures (kindly provided by the owner of the apartment), but he didn’t know where it was. I had to back down out of the parking area and ended up driving around the block until I found parking by the entrance to the privada.
I walked up the alley (a nice little uphill climb) and finally found the apartment at the very end. And there is a cochera where I’m able to park my car, so I didn’t have to bring my stuff up the hill.
Adventures like these make travel fun. Or not so much.
Tonight is a night in. I didn’t even go out for dinner. I packed some bagels and peanut butter. That sufficed.
Tomorrow I’ll begin my explorations of the city of Zacatecas.