Locations > Cuernavaca > Street scenes > Calle Humboldt
The Consul was guiltily climbing the Calle Nicaragua. / It was as if he were toiling up some endless staircase between houses. ... Never had it seemed such a long way to the top of this hill. The road with its tossing broken stones stretched on forever into the distance like a life of agonyUTV, 77.

Though there is a distinct hill at this place on the Calle Humboldt in Cuernavaca, Lowry has exaggerated its steepness so as to suggest the symbolic qualities of Christ's walk to Calvary and his death. The name 'Nicaragua' may have been suggested by a celebrated postage stamp, which, because it depicted a volcano, was used to promote Panama rather than Nicaragua as the best place for the Canal.

...the little church that had been turned into a schoolUTV, 64.

There is a small church on the Calle Humboldt in Cuernavaca right where the Consul indicates, but it still functions as a church. There is a school for small children behind the church. Lowry seems to have given the facts a twist to suggest the tension between Church and State, in turn underlining that between Yvonne and the Consul.

Never had it seemed such a long way to the top of this hillUTV, 77.

This image (1960) gives a better impression of the steepness of the Calle Humboldt, of the point at which is rises towards Laruelle's house, and where the Consul finds himself face downward on the deserted street. Photo courtesy of Bob Schalijkwijk and Raul Ortiz y Ortiz.