(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: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macromural_de_Pachuca
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.
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…
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.