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MEXICO STORIES - HACIENDA SAN FRANCISCO
 
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Too many years ago to mention, I began thinking of a life in Mexico. On one of my many visits to Taxco I spoke to my friend Lucy in broken Spanish telling her of my idea of buying a small property and opening a guest house. It seemed the perfect solution to limited finances as I would have a ready income and could afford amenities on the property that otherwise I couldn't. She took readily to the idea and said she had a place in mind; a place that would be perfect. The next day we set off to see it.

Loaded in the back seat of a VW bug taxi we headed out of town on theIron Doorknocker At The Hacienda main road. After about five minutes we turned off onto a dirt road. The road meandered up and down past a few simple adobe country homes and then led by open fields. After a very bumpy twenty minute ride we arrived at the entrance gates to Hacienda San Francisco de la Cuadra. We drove in and parked by a beautiful old stone wall. We got out and asked the driver to wait. Lucy whistled shrilly a few times and within minutes a very old man carrying an antique shot gun approached the wooden gate. Lucy spoke briefly with him and he opened the gate for us.

 

We walked past a beautiful centuries old chapel The Hacienda Chapeland continued on the moss covered stone walkway up toward the main buildings. Most of the structures were built in colonial times and those that were newer blended in perfectly with their clay tile roofs, white washed walls, iron balconies, and their heavy wooden doors and windows with hand wrought iron closures. The grass covered courtyard was silent, but Stone Pathways for the sound of birds and a running brook.


We walked on upwards on the gradually sloped stone pathway towards the rear of the property.  I was mesmerized with its stunning beauty and its solitude.

Within minutes we discovered the huge stone pool; its water coming from a stone step way leading down from an aqueduct that led off into the hills above.

 

Hacienda Pool  &  Aqueduct in Background With Arches
Yes, Lucy, this would be perfect. Costing three or four million dollars and needing a few million for repairs Hacienda San Francisco would be perfect. I'm not sure whether at the time I was more astonished by the place or by Lucy's concept of a small guest house.

 

 

Over the years I have been to the hacienda several times and am always moved by its graceful beauty. Some years back I heard that a group of investors from Mexico City had bought the place and today it is used for weddings and other special festivities. The old dirt road has never improved, but is now lined with homes. The hills above the hacienda are dotted with new homes encroaching on its privacy. Yet, still, Hacienda San Francisco de la Cuadra is a magical place.

Hacienda Main Building On The Courtyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos & Text © copyright K O'Donnell 2003

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