Me and Taco in front of the Nochistlán sign and the aqueduct

Road trip: Calvillo to Nochistlán to Teúl to Home

posted in: Zacatecas Road Trip 2021 | 1

I’m home now, but I last left off in Calvillo, so I have to fill in the last two days in Nochistlán and Teúl.

There’s a lot to unpack here, including beautiful scenery, a town that exceeded expectations, and one that fell short. Plus my last night puking in my cabin. But we’ll get to that.

Calvillo

On Monday evening I went out again to find some dinner. There was a burger joint close to my apartment, but I’d just had a burger the night before. And there was a pizza place, so I thought I’d get a pizza to go. I went in and there were a few people eating, but I didn’t see anyone working there, so I left. And I ended up walking back to the center, where I found another pizza place, and I ordered a pizza to go and brought it back to the apartment. It was actually pretty good. I ate half and stuck the rest in the fridge.

One nice bonus was that I was able to join my family for our weekly Monday-night Zoom get-together. When I signed on, my sister Troy said she didn’t remember ever being so happy to see me. That was sweet.

The next morning I had leftover pizza for breakfast, and I took Taco back to the center and we got our selfie in front of the sign. 

And we found what’s said to be the nicest neighborhood in Calvillo. 

I found this article in the The Mazatlán Post with such an amusing description, I’m sharing it here.

Known as Las Graditas Street, the Andador Matamoros is the most colorful corner of Calvillo.

And it is that the 22 facades of their houses are painted in various yellow, orange, and green tones, coloring the landscape and motivating travelers to take photos.

Along the walkway, uphill, there are some squares and benches that invite you to relax.

In addition, it has several balconies, ideal for admiring the panoramic view of the town. Many say that it is the best view of Calvillo, but to verify this statement you will have to climb its steps.

The Mazatlán Post, December 15, 2020

I did climb the steps. And took this picture. you decide.

Take a look at my album with all my pictures from Calvillo and the rest of the state of Aguascalientes.

Nochistlán de Mejia

The drive from Calvillo to Nochistlán took less than two hours. Even with my morning outing, I got an early start so I would have time to visit Nochistlán before the day’s heat kicked in. I arrived at about 10:30.

Nochistlán might be the prettiest of the Pueblos Mágicos I visited on this trip. Not only that, but it felt alive and vibrant. Either it was market day or every day is market day. People filled the streets and shops and clustered around stands selling all kinds of food, leather goods, and more. And its Jardin Morelos might be the most pleasant central park or plaza in any of the towns I visited.

Jardin Morelos
El Parián and the Templo de San José
The aqueduct in Nochistlán (called “Los Arcos” by locals) was built by order of the government of New Galicia at the end of the 17th century to carry water from the slopes of the Mesa de Agua hill to the town’s basins.

I wish I had more time to spend in Nochistlán. But I had to move on to my next stop:

Teúl de González Ortega

I spent the final night of my road trip in Teúl. The description I read at VisitMexico.com makes it sound like a delightful town full of interesting sites.

I found it dreary and depressing.

While Nochistlán was bustling with activity, there was almost no one out and about in Teúl. A few random people sat on benches around Plaza de Armas. Three kids walked over to an ice cream shop to get a treat. And a few people were waiting for buses at the bus station. The town’s architecture was mostly unvaryingly bland. I found one church, and it wasn’t particularly attractive.

Templo de San Juan Bautista

So maybe I was hot. And I was a little tired from the long day of driving. And this was the very end of my trip. But I didn’t find any pleasure from exploring this town.

No, it wasn’t the worst of the Pueblos Mágicos I visited. That was without a doubt San José de Gracia. But at least in that ugly town people were out enjoying themselves in bars and restaurants and shops and on the lakefront. Here in Teúl was a town that looked and felt sad.

So I went back to the cabin where I was staying, heated up the last two slices of pizza, and ate a piece of cake from the bakery in Calvillo.

As I was getting ready for bed, I started to feel sick. I don’t like to go into graphic detail about this sort of thing, but let’s just say that cake, which wasn’t especially tasty, was eager to escape my body from any available exit.

I kept trying to sleep and kept having to run back to the bathroom. Finally I did sleep.

This morning I threw out all the bakery items and I went to visit the lake near town. That too was depressing. Lack of rain had clearly lowered the water level. And it just wasn’t especially pretty.

So I headed home.

Scenery

And that drive, together with the drive yesterday from Calvillo to Nochistlán to Teúl, were true visual treats. Jaw-dropping scenery came around every turn. I wish I could have stopped more often to take pictures and to just take it all in.

At this time of year the landscapes were uniformly brown, and in some places that detracted from the beauty. But so much of it was just spectacular.

On the drive from Nochistlán to Teúl
Driving from Nochistlán to Teúl
On the drive home from Teúl

Check out all my photos from this last stretch of my road trip.

I hope to do a retrospective post in a week or so. The ups and downs of this trip, things I learned, things I discovered, thoughts on road-tripping in Mexico and with a dog.

I know she’s glad to be home. I enjoyed this trip. But I am glad to be home too.

  1. Joy Sherman

    Great fun reading your blog, Lane, and very interesting!

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