Salamanca, Mexico

Having hitchiked through 4 of the 32 Mexican states and stopped in towns large and small, I find that Mexico does not live up to the US news hype about how dangerous it is. Mostly, it feels less dangerous and more family-friendly than the US. However, patches of Mexico are indeed more dangerous. Unfortunately, Salamanca is in one of those patches, at least temporarily. Visitors and residents themselves take extra safety precautions. However, I hope the pictures below show that beneath the present danger, Salamanca is a city full of beautiful people, excellent food, and stunning bits of art and architecture, all just waiting to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

     

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16 thoughts on “Salamanca, Mexico

  1. It is indeed beautiful, Gary. Thank you for the photos. Can you shed more light on why you say it’s especially dangerous (I’m assuming drug lords) at least temporarily? The latter point is what made me wonder.

    Do take care and continue following those “extra protections…”

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    • As a vagabond gringo passing through, Annie, my knowledge is very limited. I get the sense that when things went down about 5 years ago, the driver wasn’t drugs but the big business of tapping into the petroleum lines and stealing all the gas to sell to gas stations. Add to that the extortion of local businesses for protection, drugs, and as part of the spiral a more general delinquency outside the scope of the gang stuff. I want to emphasize, though, that this is local and hopefully temporarily. Throughout most of Mexico, hitchhiking feels safer and friendlier here than in the US.

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    • Many things, usfman. There’s the connection to the landscape, the connection to the “on the road” feeling that’s deep in our ancestral consciousness. But most of all, hitchhiking reminds me of all that’s good about human nature. E.g., hitchhiking Europe, I’d be picked up every day by Algerians, Germans, Russians, Iranians, etc., etc. – people of all countries, including our ludicrously so-called “enemies” – all for no reason other than to help out a stranger from another land. It makes you feel about humankind the exact opposite you feel after watching the news. That to me is beyond refreshing. It’s restorative.

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        • Call me crazy, but that’s one of the attractions — the complete surrender to the generosity of strangers is enlightening on some visceral level. A paradox of surrender and liberation. Or maybe surrender and connection. Your fate depends on strangers, not on family or tribe, but on human connection in general. In a way, this is true for all of us all the time, but on the shoulder that truth becomes concrete and immediate. Someone must pick you up. And someone always comes through, reminding you that shared humanness is deeper than tribe or nationality (at least, they’ve always come through for me so far — in over 60,000 miles of hitchhiking across several decades and 16 total countries 🙂 )

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  2. As a former hitch-hiker (much too old for it now, can just about travel with the help of a stick) I agree with you. There’s nothing like it. I spent virtually every weekend hitching somewhere – even 3 weekends in Paris from my base in London – to the freight plane down in Kent, them from Le Touquet to Paris, back the same way after a weekend listening to the likes of Sidney Bechet. The open road – there’s nothing like it.

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