El pueblo fantasma
The next day in the light of day we discover the city with another look. In the alleyways away from many ruined houses and flapping shutters still testify to the not-so-distant time when the city was a ghost town.
We go climbing a hill and again we meet buildings from another time.
First, an abandoned old mine whose rusty machines mark the entrance and then at the top an entire village of which all that remains are old stones and the church not yet completely collapsed. In places we go around huge square wells which we do not see the bottom. They lead directly to the heart of the old mines. Rocks are thrown to the bottom to probe the depth and we expect to wake the goblins who must live indoors in the dark.
Real de Catorze, a city of pilgrimage
Back to Real de Catorze we head towards the church which attracts thousands of pilgrims each year in the hope that Saint Francis of Assisi will answer their prayers. As elsewhere in Mexico, the churches are full of ugly kitschy statues painted with real wig hair and glass eyes.
To request the realization of a miracle to Saint Francis or thank you we hang a golden pin with the photo of a loved one on the support provided or we made a beautiful drawing accompanied by a beautiful letter of thanks. An entire wall is lined with these letters. Reading them, I learned that Saint-François is really very strong. He saves car accidents, gives birth to children, heals almost all diseases, etc.
Meet a funny shaman
While strolling we crossed a very smiling guy quietly sitting on a low wall that stopped us. The guy, a young man of no more than thirty, was almost as badly dressed as me, dressed in poncho and wore a guitar of the kind well customized and patched with big tape:
“Hi guys, you’re going to the desert not true ? Can I help you? ”
The guy tells us that when we talk to him it is under the effect of peyotes and it seems to make him really happy. He tells us that he is called “Gusano” (earth green), that he is a shaman, that he lives in the desert and comes back to Real de Catorze every weekend to earn a living by playing the game. guitar in the streets for tourists.
He guessed that we intended to go to the desert and certainly eat peyotes. So they propose to take us. It sounds interesting but it’s not exactly how we imagined our trip in the desert and we decided to leave without him. Not resentful, he teaches us a little more about the desert, the peyotes and how to go where we planned.