After rubbing shoulders with sombrero-toting cowboys for the last few weeks, the boys have invested in new headwear for the sunny days ahead, as we near the plains of Central Mexico…
Where to start? Sombreros range from sixty to a thousand pesos.
They may look the same... In fact, we’d entered a new world full of millinery subtleties. Tight weaves, open weaves. High fronts, low fronts. Wide brims, curled brims. Apparently those with particularly rolled sides are called ‘cinco en trocas’ – as that’s what happens when five cowboys sit in a truck.
I was lucky enough to find ‘my’ hat on the first try. Wide, a feather detail, high at the front and a nice weave. As they might say in Mexico: if the hat fits, wear it.
An hour later, we emerged… We felt a million pesos.
There was also an enviable display of cowboy boots – cow, ostrich, crocodile, turtle skin… I wasn't quite ready to invest in my own pair quite yet.
A crazy assortment of colours, decorative finishes and textures.
Not sure if I have anything that would quite work with these particular ones.
And yes, a lot of people really do wear these dangerously pointy cowboy boots around and about. This pair belongs to Abrahim, Tepehuanes’ lone mountain biker. He’d heard about us and tracked us down while we were sampling sombreros.
Sombreros make for much shadow fun. They also proved popular with the local girls, who waved and called out from passing pickups, or even asked us to pose with them in photos. We must have cut quite a scene, three gringos riding through an off-the-gringo-trail town in our sombreros. Que padre! uttered one elderly lady as we pedalled past. How cool!
Sombreros in action. We procured thin lengths of leather from the local hardware store – barbiquejos – to tether them under our chins and stop them floating away.
And parked up on a branch, while we were camping in a dry orillo, under a rising full moon…
The dirtbag posse, with Abrahim.
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Cost of my sombrero: 85 pesos, about 7 dollars.