We arrived in Chihuahua pretty late. Luckily Dale had left Creel earlier than us by coach and had got us a nice room in a brothel. There was a lot of noise, and at about 2am this escalated to high volume Mariachi music after Dale shouted "Silencio por favor" at the top of his lungs. Pretty sleepness night but better than the next night when the prostitutes actually had some business! Chihuahua was pretty cool, a fairly wealthy city with the (dis)honour of being the location that a man called Hidalgo, the first leader of the Mexican independance army and heralded as the Father of Mexico, was tried and executed along with three of his Generals. Their heads were then taken and hung on the four corners of a building in the city of Guanajato to the south, which was where the greatest victory of the war of independance occured. I'm going to stop myself right their - I can hear yawns and imagine monitors being switched off already. The city was great and the National Palace, a feature of just about every city, had fantastic murals painted on the walls (a feature of every national palace) depicting the history of Mexico, pre-hispanic colonialisation, Independance, invasion by the froggies, invasion by the US, revolution and all that. Photos posted already, check them out if you havn't already. There was also a fantastic statue of the cities founder, a camp spanish man simply pointing at the ground as if to say "right lads, we'll have it here". Oh and I can't leave Chihuahua without mentioning the dogs. Yes they do originate from here and no I didn't see any. Presumably the Mexican lifestyle is just a little too difficult for you average Chihuahua and they have all been eaten either by the huge packs of strays that run around or the hungry natives. My money is on the Natives. Oh, and I almost forgot, Chihuahua was the home of one Poncho Villa, a Revolutionary General with a slighty dubiase reputation. A film has just been released with Antonio Banderas starring as the man him self and using footage of the real guy. Poncho (I feel we are on first name turns now) allowed Hollywood studios to film his battles and actually went as far as choosing the locations and time of day to best suite the camera. One of his more notorious actions was the murder of several hundred Chinese after they had his only child poisoned in retaliation for something or other. He then had a mock chinese mans head mounted on the front of his saddle as a threat to every one else. I went on a tour around his house which included the car he was assinated in, riddled with bullet holes, and also his death mask, a bronze statue of his head actually cast from his dead face. Cool. We left Chihuahua and headed on down to Zacatecas, which is a fantastic little city and a World heritage site. The geography (mountains) has prevented expansion of the city so it has remained unchanged for, erm, years and a very wise city council has prevented fast food chains from ruining the center. It was very great looking and was hosting several free shows for the international festivals including a 100 piece band playing in the center which we stumbled on just after arriving, a war re-anactment which was very lively but, I'm guessing from the number of cuts and bruises I witnessed, not very well re-hearsed. The high light of Zacatecas was being invited to a pre-wedding celebration by the manager of the hostel. Basically they load up an old Donkey (the oldest they could find looking at the poor fella) with Tequilla and Mescal and lead it around town following a Mariachi Band. People just join on the end of the crowd, dancing, drinking and having a good time. It was a good night had by all. Whilst in Zacatecas we also took a day trip out to some Pre-hispanic, pre Aztec ruins called Chicomoztoc (pictured above). It was a very old city which apparently burned down. It was never resettled and pretty much avoided by every one following the fire due to old wives tales and myths. There was a small shop on site and the glass counter countained several fairly big snakes (live) that had been captured aroung the site and displayed as a warning to tourists. I hate snakes. There isn't really anything more interesting to put about Chicomoztoc as nobody really knows anything about the place. Same with most of the Aztec ruins. The spanish destroyed pretty much anything they came across so not much left for historians to work with. They have decided, with all the evidence provided, and through a lengthy process of excavation and discussion, that the place is VERY old. I concur.