The Hongos and Haciendas of Hidalgo Foray 2008
In August 2008, our foray location was in central Mexico, in a new, exciting region for Mexican Mushroom Tours - the green, ecologically aware state of Hidalgo.
Our group of 15 plus staff met in the easy-to-travel-to state capital, Pachuca, which is just over an hour northeast of Mexico City but light years away in environment.
Hidalgo's heritage is, of all things, partly British, due to the many overseas miners who came in the 1800s to reap the rich silver and other metals in the nearby hills. They left a legacy that includes charming towns in the mountains and a version of the Cornish Pasties food staple - an empanada style here called "pastes" (pahs-tehs).
But what for us was most important was the abundant forest habitat that remains, with a semi-temperate climate that generates a wide variety of fungi, which have been extensively studied by top mycologist Dr. Arturo Estrada, our technical leader for this important foray.
We stayed in comfortable lodgings in the woods as well as a recently renovated ex-hacienda, with good regional cuisine.
We saw local geological wonders, colonial treasures and much of the indigenous Huasteca culture in this corner of Mexico that has so far been spared "the beaten path."
We had wanted to plan a foray in Hidalgo for a long time and were delighted that it turned out to be such a success. Among all the other sites, activities, good camaraderie and fun, about 350 species of fungi were collected. All who were there felt that it was an exceptional mycological/travel experience.