Pintar and Pastes –Pachuca

(January 31 – written by Dave)

Pintar and Pastes – two goals for the day.

First about Pintar (which means Paint in English) – we learned from other travellers of something called the Macromural de Pachuca.  The macromural is basically a hillside of houses painted so that they make a rainbow swirl when seen from the right distant vantage point.  The macromural is the brainchild of artist Germen Crew and was completed in 2015.  It was so successful, that they created a second one a neighbouring hill in 2017.

Time has created a number of historical interpretations of the success of the projects.  Both neighbourhoods were poor and not overly welcoming when the projects stated.  Afterwords, there are reports that crime is down and civic, neighbourhood pride is up.  There were some financial questions about the projects as money and paint were donated, along with labour, but a full financial accounting never really completed.  No one knows where all the money went.

Regardless of the controversy, the resulting affect is quite interesting.  Light and time of day dramatically change the visual appearance of the houses, as does the vantage point where you take your pictures from.  We found a somewhat distant bridge that gave us the best overall view, but bright sun made the colours less than perfect.  Up closer, you lose perspective of the big picture swirling rainbows, but the colour and geometric patterns are still quite dramatic.

Never being satisfied with my photographic results, I’m tempted to make a run out for more photos at dusk when the sun would be behind me.  But it’s a rest day after all and certainly more talented photographers with better cameras have filled the internet with images that I’d never capture anyway.  If you want to read more, have a look at:


From a distance – you can see the swirls here


Closer, swirls don’t line up – and what’s the guy with the red tarp thinking?  Has he not read the CCRs?


Random patterns this close


Everything is painted, even the stairs


“Stop by for a coffee, we live in the pink, blue, yellow, purple and orange house, you can’t miss it…”


No, not the blue/green house


This is the backside – even here it is colorful


Door of the day – we actually saw an old women exit through this door.

The second goal of the day was Pastes.  Pastes are famous “turnovers” made in the state north east of Mexico City called Hidalgo (where we are currently travelling).  We had one of these the other day but it was only ok, but not great.  So today we set our sights on finding better samples to try out.

We found a shop called Pastes el Billar that’s been making Pastes since 1940.  We sort of hit them between brekkie and lunch and they didn’t have their full array of pastes but we were to pick what we wanted right out of the oven.  We shared apple and pineapple pastes straight from the oven – warm, crunchy crust and piping hot filling.  They were fantastic.  We’d need a few more rest days in Pachuca if we wanted to work through the full menu at Pastes el Billar – and then we’d need a few weeks riding to get back in shape.  I think that there might be just a wee bit of butter in the crusts.


Almost famous…


Hot in the oven


Colorful and mighty tasty!


Even a Pastes shop needs a mission statement – we could read 90% of this without google, how exciting

Maybe if I run out for photos of the macromural, I could stop at Billar, using running out as an excuse for eating more pastes…  It’s an idea…


Sign for the bakery in Pachuca – we like it


100% jello and 100% edible – at the bakery  


View “behind” the city – the not as colorful neighborhoods – nice feel to this city


We started seeing this in the trees here in Hidalgo, we saw it in Baja but only on power lines.  It is a parasitic “plant” that gets water without roots.  This branch was on the ground.

Tomorrow we are off to San Juan Teotihuacan where we plan another day off to visit the Teotihuacan pyramids.  The Teotihuacan pyramids and surrounding city were formed in about 100 AD and in existence for about 800 years.  The population was thought to have peaked at about 150,000 people.  The Aztec knew of the sites but never really occupied them.  By the time the Spaniards arrived in the New World, the city was long abandoned, though it never really was “lost” like some other famous sites in Latin America.

Or at least that’s what we know now – we’ll see if this squares up with what we learn in a few days time.  Meanwhile, I’ve found that there is a pastes shop just around the corner from our hotel – maybe I can sneak out there while Nancy has a nap…

Oh yeah, and a quick update on the weather.  They got the forecast right.  We were way over dressed for our walking about this morning.  It was a perfect day for a bike ride, or just hanging out resting.  Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer – we’re ready.

8 thoughts on “Pintar and Pastes –Pachuca

  1. These are amazing and beautiful pictures Dave and Nancy. I hope it has created some positive feelings for those living in the community.
    Thanks so much for sharing these unique views and bringing artistry from there to here. Enjoy!

  2. Wow. Loved the pictures today! Great door of the day, beautiful colorful city, food pics, and a bicycle sign. Thanks for sharing with all your readers!

  3. Hi David… Past ies      that is the way we pronounce it   past  e…  Floyd’s Mother used to make them  only her’s was  made with beef and potato’s and oniona receipe from Scotland…   I have made them for years  only not as good as she made them….. Now in Mexico  they do the same thing only with fruit,  I guess… didn’t know that before… thank you for this new past  e      pronounced   just like your pictures  and daily blog.. keep it coming… be careful  and enjoy the ride…love you  AP

    • Good for hear from you AP. Thanks for the tips on Past e’s. However you say it, they are pretty good. Too bad we’ve left Hidalgo now, I fear that they will be fewer and farther between…

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