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January 20, 2008 - Chilpancingo, Mexico

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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The Running of the Bulls, Taxco style. Years ago, Alice and I had gone to the Running of the Bulls during the Festival of San Fermin, in Pomplona, Spain. Because of the huge influx of young foreigners, this was a festival fueled, in part, by large amounts of cheap vino tinto. The festival of Sta. Prisca here in Taxco, is more local, more multi-generational, and fueled, in part, by large amounts of corn on the cob, churros, and faith.

After the evening mass, they brought out the "bulls", paper mache armed with spinners, Roman Candles, and fire crackers. One bull at a time, carried aloft by a fast runner, would get lit, and then chase anyone brave enough to jump into the fray. Each bull would end up in a big bang. Some of the bulls got mixed in with the general crowd, sparks were flying, girls were screaming, I was laughing like an idiot. I just don´t have enough superlatives for Taxco, just one caveat - bring sensible walking shoes, it´s all up and down.

I got into Chilpancingo yesterday afternoon, its the capital of Guerrero, a nice enough city, big downtown park, big central market, and nothing here for me except as a jumping off point to Chilapa. Refreshingly, I haven´t seen a single US chain store or restaurant, just an OXXO on every corner, like the 7-11´s on every corner in Bangkok. I did make the early morning bus trip to Chilapa for the weekly market. It was good, in that it was lots of regional clothing on the women, a real turkey and goat market, but nothing that would work in the store. The handicrafts were very original,and authentic, like handmade wooden burro saddles, wooden tortilla presses, nice tortilla baskets, handthrown clay comales, or grills, but nothing that would really work outside of ranchos in Guerrero.

It was a white knuckled ride getting there, the combi driver was really whipping around the mountain roads, I didn´t know if I was just not used to mountain driving anymore, or because I was in the back, it was the crack the whip effect. The lady next to me, tho, did comment on how the driver seemed in a big hurry, and the ride back wasn´t like that at all.

I´m at an internet cafe downtown Chilpancingo, I had a real expresso, and I´m waiting for a free Lucha Libre set up in the park, it starts at 5 pm. Lucha Libre is wrestling, these are the guys that wear the hoods, and take roles, or whatever, I´ve never seen a live one, nor, for that matter, I guess I´ve never actually seen a Lucha Libre on TV either. ?? its a must do once in your life?? I´m soon to find out.