Page:Appleton's Guide to Mexico.djvu/195

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Blue limestone covers the country from Orizaba westward, and the region is adapted to grazing to some extent. The next station is Boca del Monte, or "mouth of the mountain” (107½ miles), where the elevation is 7,924 feet.

The tourist has now attained the level of the great table-land of Mexico. This point, however, is not the highest AGTM D195 Vegetation zones of the Mexican geography.pngThis cut shows the zones of vegetation in going from the seal-level to the summit of the snow clad peaks. on the line, the summit being near Guadalupe, about eighty miles distant. The traveler crosses a flat plain for several miles, and arrives at Esperanza (111¼ miles).

The train stops thirty minutes for dinner. The eastward and westward passenger-trains meet here. The respective escorts of soldiers change cars, and are carried back to the termini of the road. A high wall surrounds the station, and a guard stands at each entrance. A small but well-kept hotel lies within the inclosure. It belongs to the railway company, and a French restaurateur is employed as manager. The nights and early mornings are very cool on the table-land, the thermometer usually falling to 40° Fahr., and occasionally below the freezing-point. The plain of Esperanza, which has an area of about forty-five square miles, is quite fertile. Wheat, barley, and Indian corn are grown in abundance. If the tourist will stop over for a day, he may visit a fine hacienda, or farm, at San Antonio de Abajo, about two miles distant. It belongs to Don Andres Gutierrez, and is valued at $200,000. The hacienda contains houses for the peons, or