We got ourselves ready to go for about 10:00am this morning, but we weren’t surprised to find that things don’t happen exactly on time. Santiago had been out working on his dock with another guy earlier this morning, but we weren’t sure if we were going with him or if someone else was going to come and collect us for our hike.
10:00am came and went, so we figured maybe it wasn’t going to happen. So we read our books and relaxed. It was almost noon when Santiago came over and said “okay, let’s go!”.
He took us for a drive through the town of Valle de Bravo. Stopped for gas, and I volunteered a 200 peso ($16.50) bill to put towards gas and the use of his car. He put in 150 pesos worth of fuel and handed me back the change. Then, he pointed up to a lookout tower up a mountain, and we understood that was where we were going for a hike.
We drove around the mountain and to a Mexican State park road. State Parks in Mexico are not maintained to the standards they are in the U.S…. and the road going up wasn’t much more than a track. Would have been suitable for a small four wheel drive. And that was where we thought we were going to hike. We were in a small Nissan Sentra car, and Satiago insisted that we drive up this track. The higher we got, the more we said “stop and park Santiago, we want to walk”, (in our broken Spanish!) but he kept driving, crawling up this hill. Eventually, we made it to a park ranger who charged us 10 pesos (82 cents) each for entry. He lowered a rope, and we continued up this path.
But at the top, it was a fantastic view.
After 5 minutes or so, Santiago sat down…5 minutes later, he was lying down on the mountain top, having a siesta!
We hadn’t got our hike, so we went for a walk on the trails while Santiago had a snooze. An hour or so later, we headed back down the hill. As we were leaving, some trucks were entering. Turns out these were hang glider people, and if we had stayed another half hour we could have seen them take off. Oh well.
We asked if we could stop at a fruit and vegetable store on the way back, and he brought us to the main market in the center of town. We bought 10 potatoes, a big bag of carrots, a canteloupe, 5 tomatoes, a head of lettuce, and 2 grapefruits…for 72 pesos ($6.10).
Then, we drove up another steep hill near town that had another view point.
By the time we made our way back to his property it was about 4:00pm. I asked what we owed him for his time, and he said a bunch of stuff that I didn’t quite get, but at the end we understood “100 pesos” ($8.25). Plus, we had put some gas in his car earlier on. It was a really enjoyable day, and Santiago does everything he can and more to help out…except we would really have rather hiked up the mountain!
This weekend is the Dec 12 “Our Lady of Guadaloupe” festivities. This is one of the most important dates on the Mexican calendar and we think it’s going to be pretty busy around here. Today we noticed parades and bands playing, and that will continue through the weekend. Lots of noise making fireworks too, and Whiskey doesn’t like that!