We had gone for a walk yesterday morning near the water park. Saw at least eight snakes, but didn't bring the camera on our walk! Some of them were at least four feet long, and fairly thick! Then, we went for one last linger in the hot water before heading back to Sherman and getting ready to leave.
In researching which route to take, I found out about a little known park called Piedres Bolas. (Clicking the link will lead you to a story that explains why we wanted to go here). It was located on a twisty windy mountain road, but I found a picture of the road that looked like it was in good shape, so I decided on that route. It was a kind of a last minute decision to take this route, and we didn't leave the water park until just after 12 noon, which is a very late start for us. But, it was only 92 kms (57 miles) so still shouldn't be a problem.
Our day started out on a beautiful four lane highway.
But the problem with taking backroads is that some of them go right through the center of the little towns and that can mean some tight maneuvering. One thing we try and avoid is the "el centro" area because the roads were originally made for horses, not motorhomes! So we were following a road through the town of San Martin Hidalgo, when we missed a turn. I saw us heading directly to the center square, and it is so congested, there is no way to turn around, you just have to hope that you can get out of it by driving forward.
Heading straight for the town square!
Then we find out that it's market day in this particular town! Fortunately, when we got to the square there was a transito police directing traffic and he pointed us in the direction to go and gave me the thumbs up sign. Still, it was a little nerve wracking and there were some spots where the trees were brushing one side of Sherman, with less than six inches to spare from hitting vehicles on the other side. Not fun, but we made it through. Sure did get some strange looks though!
After that the road was pretty rough in spots and it was slow going. But eventually we saw the mountain range we had to cross through and the road began to rise.
The mountain range we have to cross through.
We stopped here for a break and some lunch.
The road was very twisty windy, and fairly steep. But the road surface was in good shape. Sherman did fine with it, and there were actually quite a few areas where you could pull over and admire the view. We made it to the parking area for the Piedras Bolas, and there was an old pickup truck there. As we were getting ready to go for a hike, three guys were coming down the trail. They had all the same gear with them that we had when we went hunting for wild potatoes, and when they arrived at their truck we went out to talk to them and ask how far away the boulders were. They said it was an hour and a half walk to get to them which kind of disappointed us because we were already nearly 2:15pm. And yes, they were out getting the wild potatoes, and they had two big baskets full! They were surprised that we knew the Spanish term for them, "camotes".
They went to leave, but their truck wouldn't turn over!
I tried helping them with my battery pack, but I think they have a wiring problem!
Turned out they have a standard, so I helped give them a push start!
Even though we saw the sign that said it was 5 kms (3 miles) to the actual boulders, we decided to go for a hike anyhow. We took off on the hiking trail, which is actually a narrow dirt road. The gate was locked, so you couldn't drive in even if you had a vehicle to do so. We decided to hike as fast as we could to try and make it to the boulders. Beautiful views along the way...
In the shadowed section, you can see the road we will be going down when we leave.
Ruth, sitting at their funny "picnic tables" along the way!
So way out here in the middle of nowhere, there is a zip line!
We made it as far as the zip line, but decided to turn around. We were getting tired from hiking so fast, and we could see from there that it was a ways to go yet. Sherman was parked by himself at the side of the road, and even though it was not a busy road I was a little nervous leaving him alone. Disappointed that we didn't make it to the boulders, but we did have a nice hike with some beautiful views.
The last stretch of road to the RV park was under construction and in very rough shape. But, we made it and pulled in around 4:30 pm. We were greeted by Bonnie and her two daughters and negotiated a deal just for dry camping at 100 pesos ($7.80) per night. We'll probably stay three nights, so we'll tell you about the RV park in tomorrows post.
Yesterday's drive, 92 kms (57 miles)