For several months, Sergio, threatened that his time to rest was approaching and he would finally rest! The true expedition would start in Mexico and end in Argentina. In contrast to Canada and United States, which were largely planned by Marzena, a Polish woman, this meant that we had to see EVERYTHING that we could within the visa time we had! No time to rest. No time to sleep. Setting camp at 21 hundred, lifting camp at 7 hundred and have breakfast on the way. Mexico, all of it, is organized by Sergio. The new pace was set to lento mode (slowly), the proper mode.
And what is the best scenario to lick the wounds from the hardships of our intense visit to Canada and the United States? Water falls, beaches with coconut trees and hammocks. So Sergio set course for the Tolantongo Caves, not knowing exactly what it was. We planned to arrive on a Sunday evening to begin, slowly, exploring on Monday morning. The last 5 km of the road was a descent to the bottom of the canyon. On the way, we passed the parking lot, all packed with big buses. They can’t go all the way down. People are then transported by smaller buses. Just by looking at them we could imagine the crowds down below. Going down we crossed with many of this smaller buses taking people back up. So we had no problem with crowds. With the weather was another story. Cloudy, drizzling, cold but we risked entering getting in and payed the 300 pesos for it. The road down looked like this.
Down the road a sign appeared informing that the paved road was about to finish, but it was not true – the all road disappeared, giving place to a brown gunge, a perfect mud mask for the car but not with the same benefits as those for people! The drizzling did not stop, heavy clouds hung from the sky, covering the banks of the canyon, but it wasn’t cold. It was even warm. We parked in one of the parking lots, and as there was no living soul around, opened the tent and slept for free.
In the morning, after drying the tent, we stood at the gates of paradise. See for yourselves.
We spent a full day splashing around. We visited the whole available area. Marzena knew what to look for because of a friend who tosses pictures of places that are a must to visit, and this was one of them. Thanks Iwonka !!!!! Around noon the clouds disappeared and the sun appeared. We had only 50 km to go to the next place. Navigation strangely showed 2.5 hours. After leaving the canyon and turning into the road through the mountains, we understood why.
We passed a herd of goats along the way, not for the first time anyway. But this time it was not without an incident. Letting the goats and Mr. shepherd pass, Sergio moved forward – and in the back we heard a great meeeeeeh! Neither we nor Mr. shepherd (his name is Perez) noticed that the goat was under UMM. We had run over one goat! And didn’t even felt it! We took the goat to its home, the goat on Marzena’s lap (Marzena says it was of no effort for the goat was light as a feather), and waited for Perez arrival. Upon his arrival the negotiation began. Perez told Marzena, not knowing that making such a claim to her, he was putting his own life at risk, announced that now the goat was ours and we had to buy it for 3,000 pesos. Marzena, fluent in the Spanish language, shouted no way Jose, not even think about it! Somehow Perez understood her. Amazing! Fearing for Perez life, I had to step in to the negotiation. We ended up agreeing on 700 pesos for goat medicines. We do not know if the goat recovered or not. The injuries did not look that bad and appeared to have nothing broken. In fact, I’m convinced that the goat is a very well trained animal and an excellent actress. A concealed gesture from its shepherd and down she goes, bleating like there was no tomorrow. Deceitful goat!
We decided to go to the nearest town for the night, 20 km away on a road that didn’t look like a road. The initial plan was to set camp about one km from the accident, but we didn’t want to risk meeting with Perez in the next day claiming that the goat had died. It got dark, very dark, and the road condition did not improve. We arrived to Metztitlán around 9:00 pm, we found accommodation in a guesthouse on the plaza mayor, under the arcades.
In the morning the town turned out to be very friendly and safe. We found a SPA for UMM and local street food for us. We decided to stay for another night and enjoyed the good vibes of this place.