A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

March 15, 2005 — This morning, our landlord and friend Francisco drove us from Bernal to another town nearby, Colon, to see a pilgrimage that is going on this week. He told us that people were walking from 8PM to about 8AM, all night without sleeping. They come from all over Mexico to do this particular pilgrimage, to Nuestra SeƱora deo Los Dolores de Soriano. It goes on for several days, and Francisco said that over a million people do it each year.

I asked him how people decided to do a pilgrimage, and he said it was often to keep a promise that they had made to the Virgin, giving thanks for a miracle. Other times it could be a request for help.

We left Bernal at 7:30 this morning, and once we got on the road to Colon, we saw lots of people — mostly young, but plenty who were not — walking along. Some looked quite tired, many others didn’t. A few were carrying small children. There were food stalls set up here and there along the road.

We went through Colon, a town quite a bit larger than Bernal, and continued out on a cobblestone road that Francisco guessed was more than a hundred years old. The road wound up into the mountains, with every now and then a village. It was a great look at an extremely rural Mexico, not that far from where things are more built up. Ancient rock walls lined the road in places, and the whole scene had a timeless feel. It got colder as we climbed. We came to a forest that had been planted some decades ago. Francisco had expected that we would be seeing pilgrims on this cobblestone road, but we didn’t. So we stopped at a magnificent overlook and he asked some people there, who said the pilgrims had already passed for the morning.

So we went back down the mountains to Colon, which was full of pilgrims relaxing everywhere. Kelly got some nice photos:

Here, pilgrims are relaxing on the church steps. Below is one of many tents that people had set up to use, with the newer and older parts of the church behind it:

Here’s the statue of the Virgin de los Dolores:

There were stalls and stores along the streets near the church, and Kelly got this telling shot:

We had a snack of gorditas and bought a loaf of a sweet bread made on special occasions:

As we drove home, I asked Francisco if people from Bernal were doing the pilgrimage. He said yes, they had done it last weekend, and that the church bells had rung around 3AM to call those who were going. That cleared up a mystery. Normally the church bells ring around 6:30AM, and we often use them to get up. When the bells had rung in the middle of the night, Kelly got up and got dressed, but somehow it didn’t seem quite right, so he went back to bed!

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