This story was written in the early 1990's and is meant for entertainment, not edification. In no way does it resemble the Centro Vacacionál Gogorrón of today. It is not a travel article. Its publication may have something to do with the rather cool receptions I've gotten at Gogorrón in the past few decades. When I identify myself as the famous "Mexico" Mike, the clerks say, Sí, we know who you are. The rooms are 50 pesos higher for you." Fame has its price.
To get to Gogorrón Hot Springs (Balneario) in San Luis Potosi state, drive Mexican highway #57 towards San Luis Potosí city. Turn east off Mexican highway #57 at Villa de Reyes. Continue ahead for nineteen miles. The first balneario will be on your right a few miles before Gogorrón. Do not stop at this balneario. It is much smaller, only a little less expensive than Gogorrón and the water is not quite as hot. Continue for about another mile. You'll see a large sign for "Balneario Gogorrón or Centro Vacacionál Gogorrón" on the left. Turn left. The pools are drained on Monday.
The water temperature at Gogorrón hot springs is 40.5 degrees centigrade or 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The waters are effective for treating arthritis, rheumatism, and psoriasis. The chemical analysis is expressed in milligrams per liter: calcium 1.92, magnesium 6.4, sodium 67.2, chloride 10.5, sulfates 17.0, carbonates 17.0, potassium 3.0, ph 7.6, radioactivity is 0.004 curies.
Santa Maria del Rio del Oro is twelve miles south on Hwy. #57. It is known as the birthplace of the rebozos or shawls worn by women throughout Mexico. There’s a good hotel there, the Puesta del Sol that also has good food.
On one visit to Gogorrón, I was on one of my periodic attempts to grab the brass ring of fame, if not fortune. John Morthland, a friend and writer for American Way magazine, had convinced the magazine that they needed a story about me. Fame comes in cycles. First Texas Monthly amused its readers with a profile of me wandering around central Mexico. The the Wall Street Journal found my occupation and lifestyle amusing enough for their front page. The the New York Times thought I was worth a go. On that trip, my traveling companion was A. She and I had a falling out, which the reporter mercifully did not think newsworthy. History was to repeat itself. I was doomed to keep repeating it. Some would say that is the definition of insanity.
The trip had started out well enough, although we left McAllen before first light, violating one of my rules about driving at night, I was anxious to show him Real de Catorce, and old ghost town on the other side of the state of San Luis Potosí.
In Real, I got sick, probably from a combination of the altitude (9,000 feet), exhaustion and tension. I drove us down the mountain and reasoned that a soak in the hot springs of Gogorrón would revive me. My companion was L, who was a great traveler and she let me have my head, even when I was out of it.
At Gogorrón, I had developed chills and fever and had become delirious. Since L. didn’t speak Spanish, I had to try to communicate to the staff that I wanted a doctor. They admitted that there was one in the village twenty minutes away and they would try to find him, if only they had a car. I was in no shape to drive and they didn’t want to drive my truck. My memories that night were of some very solicitous Indians who came into my room with a variety of herbal remedies. Of course, they may not have existed, since I also had a conversation with Moses and Jesus that evening. Nevertheless, when dawn broke, so had my fever and I was weak, but able to walk. The writer was kind enough to omit my lack of iron constitution from the story. Somehow it didn’t fit the image of my persona. It was also the last time that L. and I traveled together, but that is another story.
Morals were never my strong suit. Years later, I ran into L. on the streets of New York. I looked at her and immediately, images of Gogorrón came back. She smiled, with that Mona Lisa wisp of a smile she had and walked away. Then it dawned on me that she had probably put the evil eye on me. The moral of the story is that if you are traveling with someone who might have psychic powers, make sure they are on your side before you go to Gogorrón. Or at least be a nice guy.
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