We spent the fall of 2019 backpacking through the colonial heartland of Central Mexico. Part of our adventure included a trip to Norma’s hometown of Tepechitlán, Zacatecas. It is located about 2/3 hours north of Guadalajara along a winding highway that eventually arrives in Zacatecas City. This is where off the beaten track would go when it wants to get off the beaten track. We can almost guarantee this is the first travel blog written about this little corner of the world.
For Norma, coming home is not a tourist experience. For myself – Rob – it is a taste of the real Mexico. Tepechitlán is not a place that tourists visit. The nearest hotel is located in the neighbouring town of Tlaltenango. Being allowed the opportunity to live a more authentic Mexican experience is something few will have the chance to enjoy. You’re more likely to see Charro’s (Mexican Cowboys) riding a horse down the main street than you are to see tourists here. In fact, most people that see me walking down the street turn their heads and do a double take. They must ask themselves; did I just see a tall white guy?
Of course, we were staying with family, so there were countless amazing home-cooked Mexican meals for us to enjoy. We spent a lot of time sitting around the dining room table conversing with family.
Far from the beaches
Mexico is home to 126 million people and most of them don’t live on the beach. The middle of the country is where the culture comes from. Central Mexico has especially beautiful landscapes that are quite surreal. Unexplored wilderness, mountains and hills in all directions. The locals were beyond friendly, and it very quickly began to feel like home.
Once and a while, we would sneak away and try to capture some pictures of the area. The local dam – a former hydro project south of town – was a great spot to go take pictures, especially at sunset. The region has a history that pre-dates the arrival of the Spanish in the mid 1500s. The Caxcan peoples once lived off the fertile lands. There are some archaeological zones nearby that we would like to visit next time.
We are happy to share a few moments we captured during our stay. We’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “home” lately. So it seems like the perfect time to show off Tepechitlán. We’re not sure where our travels will take us next, but we’re keeping our plans fluid. One thing is for sure; we will be back to Tepechitlán soon!