The desert of San Luis Potosi is a magical world covered with cacti and thorn bushes on a yellow and arid land. I went there as much to discover this fantastic landscape as to eat the peyote, this mysterious cactus with mystical powers found only there.
THE DESERT WAY
First mysterious step
On the recommendations of the friends met on the way we head to a small town with the mysterious name “Real de Catorze”, “Royale de Fourteen” in French.
This city was a mining town (gold and silver mines) until the end of the 19th century. Little by little the city has turned into a ghost town with the abandonment of mines. What to thicken the mystery.
We arrive at night and the bus leaves us at the entrance of a tunnel too narrow to continue our route. It was dug more than 150 years ago, entirely built in old stones, and especially it is the only passage towards the city. I watch the lights get lost inside by raising an eyebrow! Are we going to have to walk the three kilometers that separates us on the other side?
A funny little bus almost the width of the tunnel then arrives and makes us cross. The passengers sit on a long bench that runs along the walls. Already there are two or three travelers with unusual style including a bearded fifty years with a felt hat, feathers at the end of the hair …
Real de Catorze the ghost town
On the other side of the tunnel we are in Real de Catorze. It is said that this name is a tribute to fourteen Spaniards who were killed by the natives during the construction of the city. The city is enclosed by arid hills covered with yellow soil on which cacti and thorn bushes grow. All houses are in large stones.
At first sight the city does not have much ghost anymore. It has repopulated as tourists attracted by the magical atmosphere of the place or on pilgrimage to St. Francis of Assisi have arrived more and more numerous.
At its peak tens of thousands of people lived there, today there are almost two miles who live entirely tourism directly or indirectly. At the turn of an alley, teenagers are dressed in traditional costumes or monsters and dance to the rhythm of the drums. We are given a hot fruit drink with a drop of mescal and tamales, rolls of corn pastry stuffed with meat. Welcoming !