Home Headlines Ride through the historic Central Highlands of Mexico

Ride through the historic Central Highlands of Mexico

by sanmigueltimes
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Danni Mann, who has been a Unicorn Trails travel advisor for eight years and experienced equestrian traveler worldwide, visited Central México in order to ride the old “Camino Real de Tierra Adentro”, also known as the “Silver Route”, don’t miss Mann’s advices, and start planning your own adventure throughout the plains and sierras of Central México.

My friend and I joined Angel to ride the old Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the “Silver Route”, a conduit between the mines of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, both World Heritage Sites. The trail would also pass through Dolores Hidalgo, where Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gave the cry called “El Grito” which began the War of Independence. From the bustle of the city to the mountain villages, this trail encompasses all things Mexican.

On the first day we were joined by a number of local Mexican riders. With horses and riders immaculately turned out they made the departure from Guanajuato rather an exciting spectacle! Our journey began with an incredible climb in the crisp air and sunshine as our horses danced along the old royal road. The mountainside resonated with the staccato beat of many hooves; you could just imagine the Spanish doing the same in colonial times as they transported gold and silver from the mines!


Ride the old Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the “Silver Route”, a conduit between the mines of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, both World Heritage Sites. (Photo: Unicorn Trails)

We stopped at a small village where the locals prepared a feast for us. The beer flowed and there was the chance to relax before continuing to our overnight accommodation in Santa Rosa. At 2,850 m this had been a significant hike for our horses but they never tired. That evening we enjoyed delicious Margarita cocktails before a sumptuous dinner in a local restaurant.

Day two of the trail was the longest; 37 km through unspoiled mountains, wooded valleys and pine forests. The mountains are so peaceful; the only sounds you hear are birdsong and the breeze through the trees…and, in the case of our group, Chu and Ulisis, our fantastic back-up ‘charros’, singing old Mexican ballads with gusto! As we neared Dolores Hidalgo, having traversed part of the Sierra Madre, the landscape began to soften and open out. Suddenly, the lunch-stop was in sight! A tasty hot stew, peppers stuffed with cheese and quesadillas alongside a generous helping of beer and wine, followed by a siesta spread out on the grass.


(Photo: Unicorn Trails)

After another short ride the team picked us up and drove us to our accommodation. Driving along a cobbled lane lined with trees, we looked in awe at the building and at its beautiful architecture. This was a rare treat; we were staying at this private hacienda thanks to Angel and his good friend Juan Ramon. It’s not open to the public and we were welcomed like family by the owners. Ornate and sympathetically restored it’s a perfect example of the colonial style with original features and a vast, magical garden of tall trees, dense foliage and hidden fountains.

The following morning our horses were raring to go, ears pricked and eyes on the horizon. We left the fertile pastures to cross Cactus Valley and reach our overnight destination of Atotonilco. Along the way we passed Hacienda la Erre, one of the oldest haciendas in the country and the first headquarters of the Insurgent Army. After a quick stop we picked up the pace with canters along the sandy desert tracks and gallops where possible. Angel’s horses are amazing; not only much-loved and in beautiful condition but also extremely fit. Angel treats his horses like royalty; after all, they may be working animals but he wants to see them enjoy their work…and they do.

I don’t know what I was expecting in Mexico, but I was surprised by the warmth and generosity of the people. One example is a ‘beer stop’ we made in a tiny village on a riverside. A gentleman offered us shade in his garage/workshop and we all sat together, drank, chatted and relaxed. Suddenly we realized there were tears in his eyes. Angel explained that he had been very lonely as few people now pass through these villages, and he was so happy to now have friends from all over the world. I was quite overwhelmed.


(Photo: Unicorn Trails)

On reaching San Miguel de Allende we had to cross a major highway. High vis was donned and, to my amazement, Angel and the boys waved flags by the side of the road and the traffic, all six lanes of it, stopped to let us pass. I was taken aback by this as I could not imagine anybody stopping for riders crossing the M1!

Angel has worked hard to make sure that as well as plenty of excellent riding, there is also genuine historical merit in the route he has planned. The ride meanders through mountains, forests, desert, rolling hills, cities and villages, all the time interacting with the locals. Angel and his team made us feel so welcome in Mexico; it is a vibrant and colorful country with such wonderful people and nobody could possibly showcase this as well as they do.

Source: http://www.nj.com/

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