Sunday, November 18, 2007

Desert Snow? Not Quite

As soon as we got off the bus in the northern Mexico city of Monclova, Coahuila, it felt like home. Northern Mexico accents, pickup trucks, dusty roads, cowboy hats and boots---I definitely wasn’t in Mexico City anymore. It was strange being here and not being on a family trip or something, after all my home Home is only about 150 miles north on the Texas/Mexico border. Before we get there for Thanksgiving, we have decided to stop and write about one of the 13 wonders of Mexico—the Coahuila desert city of Cuatro CiĆ©negas.

The Valley of Cuatro CiĆ©negas, which has about 12,000 residents, began organizing tourism of its protected flora and fauna reserve about five years ago. It’s an amazing place full of turquoise waters and endemic species. One of the most impresionante lugares in the valley is the gypsum dunes.

(Raindrops from the previous night left this print on the gypsum dunes)

When the nearby salty lagoon dries out, it leaves behind a residue called gypsum, which then gets blown by the wind to create sand-like dunes. Gypsum is used in everything from drywall to figurines.

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