Naolinco, where everything is leather

In this part of Mexico, the small town of Naolinco, nestled in the mountains northwest of here, is famous for its leather products. Apparently more than 200 shoe stores and cobblers line its narrow cobblestone streets.

This morning, we took the bus into Xalapa and then a taxi the rest of the way. The landscape was rugged and beautiful.

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From Xalapa, the drive to Naolinco is only about 33 km, but it took close to an hour as the road winds its way higher and higher into the mountains and passes through a couple of tiny towns. Even though it was a cool, cloudy day, the views were spectacular and our driver, realizing that Colleen and I were snapping pictures out both sides of the vehicle, began to stop along the way to allow us better opportunities to photograph the panoramas spread out below us.

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As the taxi drove up what appeared to be the main street lined with shop after shop selling shoes, boots, leather jackets, belts and handbags at a small fraction of the price that we would spend for similar products in Canada, we could actually smell the new leather all around us!

img_3789img_3791img_3800Once again, we felt as though we’d stepped back in time as we wandered the narrow streets. We also discovered a much more modern looking mini mall with three storeys of tiny shops all selling leather goods.

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Amazingly, though there were many very tempting boots and handbags, all we bought was a harness for our new Mexican friend, Layla, the 7-month-old boxer pup that shares Richard M and Colleen’s home and hearts.

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