El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle


El Fuerte and the Fuerte Oasis
Misty Launch
The Fox
El Fuerte das Alturas
Quinceñera Nallely at Forte
El Fuerte of all Colors
Colonial Deco II
The Musical Core
El Fuerte tucked away in the Oasis
Christian Vaqueros
Palace vs Church
The Palace and Garden
El Zorro, Miguel Ángel León
Young Catholics
Faithful in the Church of Las Dolores
Long live Mexico
Blessed Journey
Quinceñera Nallely and Friend
solitary walk
El Fuerte Walls
El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.

We had finished a railway journey that we had dreamed of for a long time, aboard the train El Chepe (Chihuauha to Pacific Railway), between Creel and Los Mochis, through the Barrancas del Cobre, the flat, semi-desert lands of Sinaloa.

Awakened in Los Mochis, we found ourselves faced with the uncertainty of what we would do next. It lasts beyond the one hour check out time that we stretched.

We returned from a lunch burritos, having lunch a short distance from the house where the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, El Chapo, was captured.

When we re-entered the Hotel Balderrama in Los Mochis, we came across Bernardo Balderrama, the owner of the chain, who we remembered having approached us, days before, at a tourist fair. “Wait a minute… we know each other, right?” question us.

We thought a little to be sure and confirmed it. “Ah, yes, I remember. So they liked our hotel there Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon)? And what about the train journey? It’s incredible, isn’t it?”

Conversation leads to conversation, when we explain the impasse we were in, he invites us to spend a few nights at another Balderrama hotel, the one in El Fuerte.

We had passed there, almost at the end of the route on the railway tracks. El Chepe train.

We knew that many passengers chose to start or end their trip there, to get to know the city, colonial, elegant and with a prolific history.

We accept immediately.

At half past four, we got into a van. An employee named Salvador was guiding her.

We covered most of the route at night, accompanied by two traffic police officers who Salvador was forced to give a ride to.

The Hacienda del Hidalgo Inn, Historic Gateway to El Fuerte

We check into El Fuerte and Posada Hacienda del Hidalgo after six in the afternoon. We had dinner, investigated the historic center, which we found darker than we expected.

In a Mexican state of cartels and countless incidents outside the law, we quickly returned to the safety of the Posada and dedicated ourselves to office tasks.

New day. At 10 am, Miguel Ángel León, manager of the inn, rings us at the door. Miguel welcomes us.

I had to leave soon. In the time he had left, he made a point of showing us what was special about Posada Hacienda del Hidalgo, in addition to its surreal colonial beauty.

As we passed through the garden to which the room opened, we immediately noticed a bronze statue, with a hat covering almost all of its face and a sword at the ready. “Zorro? Why do they have a statue of him here?”

Oh, you still don't know? I'll explain everything to you.

And, at dinner, take your cameras to take photos and film.

From that surprise and disbelief, little by little, we surrendered to the increasingly strange reality.

"Follow me! I will show you our most important room, 46.” Moments later, we examined some rooms that Miguel claimed were where Diego de la Vega, “Zorro” not disguised as Zorro, was born.

Already late, Miguel leaves us in the care of a maid.

We continue to circle the hacienda, marveled at its combination of architecture and decoration, a kind of colonial chimera converted, adjusted and improved since the property's military genesis, dating back to the 17th century.

One of many others haciendas exuberant landscapes that continue to beautify Mexico.

The Foundation of the City's Predecessor, almost half a millennium ago

The pioneering colonial settlement appeared a long time ago, in 1563.

Francisco Ibarra, a Basque conqueror, founded it, named Villa de San Juan Bautista de Carapoa, the first European to venture into the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Also founder of Durango and governor of Chihuahua.

Around 1610, the town remained vulnerable to constant attacks by the Zuaque and Tehueco indigenous people who for centuries dominated those lands, leaving countless rock records.

Which are present, in genetic terms, in a large part of the region's mestizo inhabitants

Ibarra ordered the construction of a fort on the banks of the Fuerte River.

This fort – El Fuerte de Montesclaros – brought the settlers together around its protection and the sustenance that the Fuerte River guaranteed.

Over the years, it became the most important agricultural and commercial warehouse in the immense Mexican Northwest.

And, in 1824, capital of the state of Sonora y Sinaloa.

The simplified term El Fuerte is now used, instead of the longer previous ones.

Diego de La Vega. Son of Alejandro de La Vega. And from El Fuerte

Diego de La Vega appears in this context. His father, Alejandro de La Vega, son of Spaniards, already born in Mexico, was married to a mixed race woman (half Spanish, half indigenous).

From this relationship, in 1795, their son Diego was born. Alejandro de La Vega had transformed an old garrison on the Garapoa hill that the Spanish authorities had abandoned into his family mansion.

The birth supposedly took place in room 46 that Miguel Ángel showed us.

Nine years of Diego de La Vega's life flow in El Fuerte. His mother passes away. The mining in which their father Alejandro had invested leaves them both in trouble.

Disillusioned with what fate had in store for him in the town, Alejandro moved to Los Angeles, a city in the then Mexican province of Alta California.

El Fuerte no longer has any news about the De La Vega. Decades later, reports arrived. So amazing that they justified the statue in the garden in front of the room. And much more.

Discovering El Fuerte

We leave for the historic heart of the town.

We find the central square that Mexicans call Zócalo, arranged around an open garden, in good Mexican colonial style, equipped with a bandstand.

Portentous imperial palm trees appear, with verdant canopies that contrast with the ocher of the bricks of the immense Municipal Palace, where the city is managed.

El Fuerte serves one train tourist attraction that takes families and lovers to discover the city.

We watch it pass by and sound its infectious melody, as we climb the slope of Pousada Hidalgo, on the way to the old military fort.

The Old Fort that Inspired Baptism

This was the structure that inspired the name of the town.

Today, it houses a well-kept historical museum, arranged under walls with open views.

From the top, we admire the Fuerte River, right in front, meandering through an immense oasis.

Towards the Pacific coast, beyond the green patch, we still see the flat desert.

In the opposite direction, we get a glimpse of the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental.

As photogenic as it is historic, the fort serves as a backdrop for the most diverse purposes.

It features an intense photo session by Nallely, a quinceñera beautiful and proud.

Her friends make her purple dress, the bouquet of flowers and the tiara that crowns her.

They photograph her in front of the walls, of a large cactus saguaros, and in cowgirl outfits, on a restless horse.

As we wandered around, we passed through the Zócalo again.

Dolores' church hosts any Catholic ceremony.

Family members and guests arrive in their best attire.

They line up in front of the door.

In the opposite arcades, a few foreigners, Mexicans and foreigners, chat, massaged by the winter sun.

Soon, it gets dark. We return to Posada Hacienda del Hidalgo.

The Theatrical Reappearance of El Zorro in the Hacienda that saw him born

At the appointed time, we sat at a table around the pool, having dinner. Halfway through the meal, without warning, a figure dressed and masked in black bursts in.

As Miguel Ángel had predicted, El Zorro bursts in, sword in hand, armed with a lot of jokes and a flirtatious charm that he dedicates to the women present, to the point of kidnapping two single guests for the scene.

Hacienda del Hidalgo thus celebrated its relevance in a character who achieved worldwide notoriety. It is up to us to explain how.

Now, in his adult life spent in Alta California, Diego de La Vega became an anonymous vigilante.

When the Spanish and, later, Mexican authorities oppressed and abused their poor and defenseless subjects, they attacked and robbed those responsible, restoring justice and their dignity.

El Zorro: from Alta California to Books, Screens and the World

Over time, the character of El Zorro became legendary. It gave rise to literary works. The first appearance of the masked Z was in the novel “The Sign of Zorro” by the American Johnston McCulley, from 1919.

The following year, the success of the silent film that adapted the story led the director to convince McCulley to write more and more adventures. McCulley extended El Zorro's life for more than forty years, spread across five main series and fifty-seven short stories and episodes.

From 1919 onwards, several other literary works appeared, including comics, plays and radio series. One of the most eloquent novels to which the legend gave rise was “Zorro: the legend begins” by Isabel Allende.

40 films were also released around El Zorro.

Stars such as Alain Delon, Anthony Hopkins and António Banderas, the last two, in “The Mask of Zorro”, from 1998.

Night after night, Miguel Ángel León, also manager, worked to captivate guests and keep Posada Hacienda del Hidalgo's role in the legend alive.

We are certain of one thing: conquered, grabbed and kissed pretend by the enigmatic son of the house, the women present will never forget it.

Neither El Fuerte nor Zorro returned home.

chihuahua, Mexico

¡Ay Chihuahua !

Mexicans have adapted this expression as one of their favorite manifestations of surprise. While we wander through the capital of the homonymous state of the Northwest, we often exclaim it.
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

From New Spain Lode to Mexican Pueblo Mágico

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, it was one of the mining towns that guaranteed the most silver to the Spanish Crown. A century later, the silver had been devalued in such a way that Real de Catorce was abandoned. Its history and the peculiar scenarios filmed by Hollywood have made it one of the most precious villages in Mexico.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

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Guanajuato, Mexico

The City that Shines in All Colors

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Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Yucatan, Mexico

Among Haciendas and Cenotes, through the History of Yucatan

Around the capital Merida, for every old hacienda henequenera there's at least one cenote. As happened with the semi-recovered Hacienda Mucuyché, together, they form some of the most sublime places in southeastern Mexico.

Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

The Depreciation of Silver that Led to that of the Pueblo (Part II)

With the turn of the XNUMXth century, the value of the precious metal hit bottom. From a prodigious town, Real de Catorce became a ghost. Still discovering, we explore the ruins of the mines at their origin and the charm of the Pueblo resurrected.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Campeche, Mexico

Campeche Upon Can Pech

As was the case throughout Mexico, the conquerors arrived, saw and won. Can Pech, the Mayan village, had almost 40 inhabitants, palaces, pyramids and an exuberant urban architecture, but in 1540 there were less than 6 natives. Over the ruins, the Spaniards built Campeche, one of the most imposing colonial cities in the Americas.
Izamal, Mexico

The Holy, Yellow and Beautiful Mexican City

Until the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, Izamal was a center of worship for the supreme Mayan god Itzamná and Kinich Kakmó, the one of the sun. Gradually, the invaders razed the various pyramids of the natives. In its place, they built a large Franciscan convent and a prolific colonial houses, with the same solar tone in which the now Catholic city shines.
Tulum, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

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Mérida, Mexico

The Most Exuberant of Meridas

In 25 BC, the Romans founded Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania. The Spanish expansion generated three other Méridas in the world. Of the four, the Yucatan capital is the most colorful and lively, resplendent with Hispanic colonial heritage and multi-ethnic life.
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

On the Yucatan Peninsula, the history of the second largest indigenous Mexican people is intertwined with their daily lives and merges with modernity. In Cobá, we went from the top of one of its ancient pyramids to the heart of a village of our times.
Campeche, Mexico

A Bingo so playful that you play with puppets

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Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

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Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

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A Relay of Faith

The Catholic equivalent of Our Lady of Fátima, Our Lady of Guadalupe moves and moves Mexico. Its faithful cross the country's roads, determined to bring the proof of their faith to the patroness of the Americas.
Campeche, Mexico

200 Years of Playing with Luck

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Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

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Safari
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

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Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
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A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

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Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Adventure
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Indigenous Crowned
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

Behind the Venezuela Andes. Fiesta Time.

In 1619, the authorities of Mérida dictated the settlement of the surrounding territory. The order resulted in 19 remote villages that we found dedicated to commemorations with caretos and local pauliteiros.
Sydney, Australia's exemplary criminal city, Harbor Bridge
Cities
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
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Meal
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

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Maiko during cultural show in Nara, Geisha, Nara, Japan
Culture
Kyoto, Japan

Survival: The Last Geisha Art

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Sport
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

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Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Traveling
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Tatooine on Earth
Ethnic
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Moai, Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Chile
History
Rapa Nui - Easter Island, Chile

Under the Moais Watchful Eye

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Brava Cape Verde Island, Macaronesia
Islands
Brava, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Brave Island

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Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
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Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

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Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Literature
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

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Nature
Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Gem-stone Bahia

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

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UNESCO World Heritage
glaciers

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Correspondence verification
Characters
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Beaches
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Religion
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

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Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

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Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
Society
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Wildlife
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.