December 2004 — We made this photo-collage as a Christmas thank-you for the folks at El Bañito.
This is a fascinating historial spot. For many decades, the road that runs out front (Highway 85) was the main highway from the U.S, Texas to Mexico City. It was a larger trailer park then, with many caravans coming through. Now it’s pretty quiet as a campground (which we like fine), and the restaurant bar is a pleasant spot mostly enjoyed by people from Ciudad Valles, just 3 or 4 miles from here. The pool you see is a sulpher hot spring, very lightly sulpherours, and warm rather than hot — an easy temperature to get in and swim a bit. El Banito is managed by Chayo Cespedes, a friendly man who’s been very helpful to us. Noe Santos Velazco (in the white shirt) is the waiter. And the iguana lives near our RV.
One evening, we had a long visit with Tony, the owner, and his family. He grew up here, as his father was adding to the trailer park and other features. Tony’s English is excellent, which he credits partly to learning it here from the many Americans who came through. The next day, another man who remembers El Bañito from his childhood came by. He’s an American from Texas who married a woman from Ciudad Valles.
We’re getting quite a sense of what this place was like in its heyday!
Someone later asked me how to get there. t’s just beyond Ciudad Valles, on the main highway south. I think that’s hwy 85. Going through Ciudad Valles from the north, after you have gone through town you’ll see a Soriana store (like a much smaller WalMart) on the right and just a couple of blocks or so past that is the periferico or ring road with a traffic light. Stay on your same road and youl will pass a hospital on the left. When you see a golf course on the right, you are getting close. El Banito is on the left, just before the road curves to the left. There is a sign but I don’t remember how prominent it is. All this is maybe 15 or 20 minutes from the ring road traffic light.