Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Misión: Impossible

One of Querétaro's biggest local attractions (by local I mean a couple hundred miles to the north of here), the Franciscan Missions of the Sierra Gorda, just got its UNESCO World Heritage designation certified, which means - well, we're not sure what it means, exactly. The town center here has it as well, and what it means for us is that about once a year or so the city offers to paint our house. I think the whole anti-UN crowd back home would change their tune if Ban Ki Moon offered them free aluminum siding every couple of years.

The Missions really do look spectacular, and the UNESCO designation makes it that much more frustrating to us that we'll never actually see them, because my absolute lust for travel is matched only by my paralytic fear of most modes of transportation - in this case, driving on winding mountain roads. If anyone out there is looking to get in on the ground floor of an up-and-coming industry, the Mexican guardrail market is wiiide open. Driving down here for the first time over a year ago, we took what looked like a major highway but which in reality turned into an endless switchback road up the side of a mountain. It took us about four hours to move 30 miles. You can still see the fingernail marks on the steering wheel. When we finally got back down to flat ground I pulled over, hands still shaking, and said, "this car will never leave Mexico."

So here's a map of the Missions. As you can see - and maybe you can't see it, but an obsessive coward like me can spot it instantly - those wiggly little lines mean "Deathcoaster from Hell." Specifically, we'd be driving up from the lower left corner, where the road bears an uncanny resemblance to an electrocardiogram of my heart taken while driving on it.

The worst case scenario, of course, would be that I convince myself it wouldn't be so bad, make the drive out there, chicken out of driving back, and then have to spend the rest of my life in the middle of nowhere surrounded by churches. For now, we're content with pictures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frank, I have an easy solution to your problem. While we are visiting, you father can drive all of us up to see the missions!!

M