Adventures In Mexico #22- Zorro’s Town

EL FUERTE MEXICO – ZORRO’S TOWN

By Malcolm Callister

Four Yellow Inflatables

Late one March afternoon, under grey skies, that still threatened rain Linda, and I rafted on an inflatable boat, drifting down the El Fuerte River. A flotilla of four yellow inflatables, floating downstream with the current, a relaxing experience. Miguel, our boatman, provided the only source of power, his oars. As we drifted, Miguel used his paddles to steer keeping us near the far bank so that he could identify birds and points of interest as we coasted past.

A Shamans Knowledge

Thirty-five minutes later Miguel steered us into the bank at a well-worn trailhead. We pulled the yellow inflatables out of the water onto the beach. Four boatloads of people followed our new group guide, Jose. Jose, using a portable speaker held above his head and mic gave us a running commentary of the various healthcare plants of the area. The trail had been cleared through thick forest with certain trees clearly marked and protected from animals with a wire mesh fence. He claimed to have been instructed by a shaman in the understanding of the medical uses of the various plants as we walked the two kilometers to the Petroglyphs.

The Petroglyphs

After 20 minutes’ walk, we reached the petroglyphs. These petroglyphs found in a thirty meter by twenty-meter area of farmland at the foot of a cliff have been fenced off to protect them. Jose described the probable meanings behind each of the petroglyphs stating that “they were most likely prayers to their gods for success in war, facility or harvest.”

Fortifications at El Fuerte

We returned to the inflatables and continue to drift downstream until we arrived below the fortifications at El Fuerte. The original fort was built to provide the Spanish population protection from Indian raids. It also provided security for the vast amount of silver coming from the rich mines in the area. The silver from here was on route to Span and Rome.

A Town Where Zorro Lived

That evening as we sat in the restaurant, we discussed the hotel theme, Zorro. For many of us in or 60/70's, Zorro had been a childhood superhero. When I had told my eleven-year-old grandson that we would be staying in a town were Zorro lived, he said with no offense, "who is Zorro?" I had taken a photograph of the bronze statue in the courtyard. If the hotel had made a statue of my superhero, the Mexican Robin Hood, then he must be real. Right?
We were about halfway through the meal here the commotion happened in the hallway. Suddenly walking between tables, Zorro was there. The Robin Hood of Mexico, Zorro, mingling with the dinners, romancing the ladies, singing. I don't remember my Zoboy-hood hero singing? At least he had a real sword, he could if he wished, carve a “Z” on the back of any bad guys shirt.

M&L RV Tip of the Week.

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