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Aug 27, 2002, 7:18 AM

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Good Stuff....nmsg

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: These guys in Germany are part of a group of aficionados of the Mexican Revolution – and things Mexican in general. They dress in authentic costumes and use period weapons to play Mexican Revolution games. I know this because the guy on the left, Mike Siegel, posted a query on a couple of these forums last week seeking information about the ruins of La Hacienda Ciénaga del Carmen located on the desert east of Torreón. Since I regard that as my bailiwick. I e-mailed him for details.<p>: Turns out he is a film maker who is working on a documentary about the life and work of movie director Sam Peckinpah who directed the 1968 film “The Wild Bunch.” The movie was shot at the ruins of the hacienda and in the near-by town of Parras, Coahuila. Now Mike wants to shoot some footage at the hacienda for his documentary. His question was “Is it still there.” Since no one around here seemed to know anything about it, I told Mike I would go find out. I did, and it is still there. So much so that I have made a web page of what I found. Click below, it is interesting.<p>: Getting there was also interesting – well maybe “interesting’ isn’t quite the right word – more like bone jarring. The grossly inadequate map we had showed the village of Nueva Ciénaga del Carmen out in the desert near Parras (which translates as grapevines). Parras is a very nice town in a beautiful setting at the foot of the mountains surrounded by pecan groves and vineyards. There are several wineries in the area. But I digress. <p>: The map showed my target village out in a big blank area with no roads. I have explored enough of my desert to know that means primitive dirt roads with many branches and no signs. My bilingual buddy, Enrique, and his brother Coco came as translators/chaperons. Thanks goodness, because we had to ask directions five times along the 34 miles of single lane desert road. We bounced and dragged over those 34 miles for three hours. What a ride! We passed six tinny villages along the way. All had electricity; none had telephones; but one or more houses in each had a satellite dish. We passed 2 goat herders, four men on burros and one pickup truck on the road. The road was awful, but the traffic was great.<p>: After the second hour of the rocky ride, I decided that there must be another way into this area. I morbidly guessed that we probably would discover our destination was really only a half hour from the toll road. Well, I was almost right – turned out to be 40 minutes!<p>: I guess it was just as well that we came this way because we never would have found the “exit” off the toll road. It is one of those nameless places were you pull off the road, cross the bar ditch, drive through a home-made gap in the fence, and follow a couple of ruts out into the desert.<p>: The out-bound trip was 144 miles and took five hours. The return was 110 miles in 2:20 hours.<p>: When I return with Mike in the late fall to shoot his film, we’ll go via the “short cut.”<p>: Now, go look at the pictures.<p>

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