Spanish Adventurer Miquel Silvestre Retraces Conquistador's Steps in Mexico

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Spanish adventurer Miquel Silvestre, an admirer of his country's explorers, is ready for a new motorcycle trek after retracing the route blazed by conquistador Juan de Oñate in 1598.

Silvestre told Efe in an interview that he traveled "along historic roads or (followed) historical itineraries opened by Spanish explorers of all times," producing documentaries about his trips.

The most recent lap of his worldwide bike ride covered the old Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Inland Road) from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Mexico City, a road included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The itinerary, he said, follows the 1598 trek of De Oñate, born in Zacatecas, then part of the colony of New Spain.

"Oñate is considered the last conquistador because the land he explored, now New Mexico, was the last territory Spain grabbed, the empire's northern border, the region most distant from the metropolis," Silvestre said.

The conquest "of such an arid, vast and hostile territory, far from any supply base, was a complicated endeavor, one of history's epic undertakings across 2,500 kilometers (1,555 miles), most of it very difficult and more so in those times," the adventurer said.

De Oñate's trail remained an important trade route for centuries and is considered the oldest in North America or, according to Silvestre, "the true mother of all highways."

Silvestre said he started retracing De Oñate's road in November from its ending point, departing from Santa Fe, "the oldest state capital in the United States," a city founded in 1610 that still has a colonial look with adobe buildings, no skyscrapers and an abundance of churches.

His next stop was the city of Las Cruces and after that El Paso, Texas, where an 11-meter (36-foot) statue weighing 16 tons in memory of De Oñate is the biggest equestrian monument in the United States and one of the largest in the world.

"Crossing the border, we were in Ciudad Juarez, where the ride across Mexico begins," Silvestre said. "The problem is that the historic road disappears and then you have to continue over new highways heading south."

From Juarez, the route leads to the city of Chihuahua and from there to Durango across some of the most inhospitable terrain in the Chihuahuan desert, the region that caravans had to trek through once a year in the past to take supplies from Mexico to New Mexico [readon1 url="http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2014/12/16/spanish-adventurer-miquel-silvestre-retraces-conquistador-steps-in-mexico/"]Source:latino.foxnews.com[/readon1]