I open my OSM maps and see that great winding road going through the mountains in a rather direct fashion from Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende. It says it will take me about 2 hours to get there. I ask Marcelo if that’s that the mountain road he was talking about. He says “well, actually not. You can take that road but you will meet a lot of mining trucks”.
Never mind, we don’t like trucks really, but it’s been easy enough to pass them so far so I take off to take that road. I am just getting out of town and it turns out it is actually a dirt road. “Even better” I think and continue. It’s really nice being back on gravel after many miles on tar, the backcountry is stunning and I always like to pass those small villages where life has its own pace and rules.
After not quite an hour I have to stop, there is a crossroads that my maps don’t know anything about. I toss a coin and follow the road into a dead end. Back to the other road it’s not long until I hit more crossroads, I decide by feel which one could possibly take me back to the road through the mountains. But I always end up in some dirt pits from a mining company. I ask a truck driver if that road goes to san miguel and he just says “si, si…”. But more crossroads and dead ends are to be found there. I stop some workers in a car, show them my map and ask them how I can get to San Miguel. His answer is more distinct than the truck driver’s and he tells me to go back and head up to the main road.
But I once learned that in latin america you always ask three people for directions (because often they don’t want to be rude having to say “I don’t know”). When I enter another huge dirt pit there’s a bunch of mining workers looking at me as if I just landed on earth. Never mind, I ask them the same question. One of them says there is a road going into the mountains, but it’s a dead end as well. Basically four people tell me now, I have to head back and hit the main road…
Shame I cant’t follow the road my map presented so nicely to me but seeing some of the backcountry was still worth the try, and of course some dirt riding too. Also the dirt road that takes me back on tar has even more great views and some of those tiny cute villages to offer.
By the way, Guanajuato used to be known for all it’s silver mining. Nowadays those mines are left as tourist attractions and the active mines I explored certailny didn’t yield any silver :)