Friday, March 1, 2013

A Cold Day In Chignahuapan

The two Pueblo Magicos of Chignahuapan and Zacatlan are both recommended in all the travel guides as a day trip from Puebla. They are about 100 and 110 KM north of Puebla and on the same road. What the books (or even Benjamin from Cummins who also recommended it) didn’t tell us is that it has it’s own micro climate and is very cold. Both pueblos remind me of photos of the Swiss Alps, narrow streets, lots of people, outdoor restaurants (but way too cold to eat at them) and a light fog in the air as if you are in a cloud. The altitude however, is not much different from that of Puebla. As soon as we got near the villages, it started getting cool in the car and the heavy mist closed in. We had the A/C on as it was quite hot when we left Cholula. We turned the A/C off and started seeing people walking on the streets. They were all dressed in heavy jackets, hats and scarves and it looked like they were used to it. We, on the other hand were (me) in shorts and t-shirt and (Norma) in light pants and top! I persevered but Norma went running to the nearest shawl salesman she saw.

They are both very beautiful towns and the people are obviously very proud of them. Here are some shots from Chignahuapan:



It was so cold in Chignahuapan that we did not even look for a coffee shop to sit in and people watch. This is one of our favorite pastimes in Mexico. There are little coffee shops with tables on the street where you can sip a cappuccino and snack on a pastry while watching life pass by. Most people smile, stop to talk or to practice their English. It is always an enjoyable time and you are never rushed. Once you sit down, you can stay there all day without being pestered by the staff. You get your bill only when you ask for it.

We walked around the Zocalo and quickly decided to head another ten or twelve kilometers north to Zacatlan, hoping it might be a little warmer. Well, it was not. In fact the fog got even heavier and we actually needed the windshield wipers at one point. It was just as cold!

Zacatlan is known for clock manufacturing. The Zocalo has a huge working double faced clock made of flowers. We looked in vain for a store that sold these clocks but after walking ten blocks or so, we gave up. Someday we will come back to these friendly pueblos when we are dressed for the weather.


There was a celebration going on in the Zocalo celebrating 49 (XLIX) years of Indigenous education. They were getting ready to perform something with long poles but by then my legs were beginning to freeze and the locals were looking at me as if I were crazy for dressing so lightly. We had to get back to the car with it’s heater!


On the way home we passed another pottery stand where Norma just had to stop to buy a 250 peso swan for her garden.


1 comment:

  1. Nice areas you've been describing for us of late. But it sure did look cold there.