Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Well, that was an adventure!

"Why don't we walk from the RV Park to Guanajuato".

Said nobody. Ever.

That is, until we arrived here.

We were in the mood for a hike, and we saw a mountain in the distance, in the direction of the city of Guanajuato. I don't think we originally planned to walk all the way to the city, but somewhere along the line, Ruth said "Instead of returning the way we came, we could hike all the way to the city, and then take the bus home".

And this is exactly what we did...but it wasn't one of our better ideas.

Walking to the city along the highway would have been about 13 kms (8 miles). So I figured going cross country would be about the same.

How wrong I was!

It turns out that we did 25 kms (15 miles)  and it took us over 7 hours to get back home!

Kevin, on the trail.

There were a lot of trails through these hills, and it wasn't really that easy to be sure you were on the right trail to get in the direction that we wanted to go. We made several wrong turns where we had to backtrack a bit to try a different trail.

Looking back at where we came from.

Some nice scenery.

Starting to get a view as we climbed higher.

We came to one area where there had been an obvious settlement at some point in time. We think there was a mine in this area, but none of the buildings are left standing. Quite a few foundations and leftovers, but it had to have been at least fifty years ago...probably more.

Remnants of a community.

An old statue in a cactus.

That's the mountain we're going to climb!

A pretty little cactus with a flower.

Some suburbs of the city.

You can clearly see the trail in this photo.

Yes, we could see the trail. But do you think we could find a way to get to it? We had to find a way down into the gulley and get crossed over. So we had to go down before we could go back up, and it was fairly steep so we had to criss cross our way down. After that, it was easy to follow the trail, but it was now quite steep going up!

We had left Sherman at about 11:00am. About 3/4 of the way up the mountain, we stopped and had lunch. By that point, it was already almost 1:30pm and we had done about 8 kms (4.8 miles).

Ruth...nearing the top!

And, here we are at the top...I took a little video for you...



It took us 3 hours and 22 minutes to get to the top. 

We were now at 2,380 meters (7,800 ft) altitude and it was now 2:30pm. And the battery in the iPhone is down to 29%. I didn't think it was going to take that long, so I hadn't brought the spare battery pack. Fortunately, we had sufficient water and food. But now we were getting worried about getting back before dark. The choice was, do we return the way we came, or do we carry on to Guanajuato?

But we still took some time to enjoy the view!

We decided to carry on to Guanajuato. We thought that it was just on the other side of that next mountain, and the path you see heading right went around the mountain instead of over it.

Looking back at where we had been.

Again, there was no easy way. There were several ravines that you couldn't go through so the trail wound around them. Again, we could see where we wanted to go, but we couldn't get there!

Eventually, the battery wore down so we couldn't even use the mapping system. By the time it shut off (Note to self: the iPhone shuts right down at 15% battery!), we had done just over 17 kms (10.5 miles).

Eventually, we came to Guanajuto. Or at least, we came to overlook the city itself. But we couldnt find a path down the mountain! It was so frustrating...but at least we had a beautiful view of the city that very few people get to see.

The central part of Guanajuato.

From our view point, I spotted an RV boondocking. What a great spot he had overlooking the city. This is zoomed in 42x! He was just a speck from where we were located. Looks like a European rig. I zoomed in digitally, and we think there is a New Zealand flag on the side.

We figured out that we were going to have to walk to the village of Calderones, which I guessed was probaby another 3 kms (1.8 miles). We arrived there, and asked about taking a bus from there to Guanajuato...but they said there wasn't another bus until 5:45pm. So what did we do? We walked. After all, it was only another 5 kms (3 miles) or so!

Ruth, in the village of Calderones.

Now we're getting closer!

We made it to the center and headed straight for the bus. We were never so happy to sit down! We had done the hike from the top of the mountain without taking a break! And good thing we didn't take a break, because it was 6:20pm and the sun was starting to set when we made it back to the motorhome. 

We had done 25 kms (15.5 miles) and it took us about 7 hours. Until we made it to the village, we had only seen one other person along the way...a guy in the distance with his goats!

Wow...what an adventure. Today will be a day of rest as we wait for the caravan to arrive this afternoon. There's a group dinner this evening, and we're looking forward to meeting everyone.

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47 comments:

  1. Good grief, what an amazing hike. Good thing you're both in excellent shape. Our mummified remains would have been found a few years from now!

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    1. It was an amazing hike but a little more than what we had excepted to do! The views were sure worth it though. No you wouldn't have had a problem because you would have been smart enough not to have gone that far in the first place! ;-)

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  2. What a great test of love, endurance, companionship and emotional maturity!

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    1. Good thing we both like to hike and can manage the distance otherwise we may not be speaking to each other by this point! ;-)

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  3. That was some hike. Glad you two are in good shape or it may have been an all-nighter. It was beautiful and worth it now that you are safely at home.

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    1. If we weren't in good enough shape we would have turned back way before it got too much. We were never concerned about it being an all-nighter. Worst case scenario would have been arriving in town at dusk and even then we were confident that wouldn't have been have happened either.

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  4. The people in the caravan are getting a little worried about what kind of adventure you'll be taking them on! Just curious, do you ever wonder/worry about land ownership? Or is it fair game to go just about anywhere if there is not a 'no trespassing' or 'private property' sign posted?

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    1. Ha! No doubt...lol.

      If there is a sign that specifically says, then we abide by it. Fortunately, Mexicans are not nearly as fussy about private property as people in the U.S. or Canada are. So yes, if there are no signs, it's pretty much fair game to go as you please. When we left, we had asked a few guys in the village at the beginning if we could walk in the hills, and they said it was no problem at all.

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  5. Yep that sure was an adventure !
    Rest up now.

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    1. We really enjoyed our quiet day yesterday!

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  6. I enlarged the pictures of Guanajuato. WOW, that is a lot of buildings close together. What a long day you had.

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    1. Yes, they are very close together and no highrise appartments either. Yes, it was long but we enjoyed it except for the very end when we both were getting a little tired.

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  7. That was a great adventure to read about from the comfort of my sofa....... How are the feet and legs today?

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    1. Ha, I bet, after having done it, sitting on the sofa sound nice! ;-) surprisingly our legs and feet felt fine but we both still felt a little tired physically yesterday.

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  8. That was some hike. You definitely aren't in need of a gym with excursions like that. Glad to hear you made it in one piece and before dark. Desert - reptiles, darkness hmmm.

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    1. Hiking is great exercise for our heart and legs but it doesn't help with our upper body strength. We really could use a gym to help with that. :-)

      We knew that we could make it to civilization before dark but we did have a headlamp with us.

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  9. Haven't hiked near Guanajuato but we have hiked in northern Oaxaca in the area of Coixtlahuaca to all the surrounding communities as well as all over the municipio of Santa Maria Ixcatlan. My husband does research in historical geography so likes to visit the locations found on historic maps and colonial documents. It's pretty fun traveling with him.

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    1. That northern part of Oaxaca looks like a great place for hiking. One day we will make it there. I bet it is fun traveling with him on those kinds of outings and you would learn so much more about the area too.

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  10. Wow - that is quite the adventure! Some great views of the city though as a reward for those tired legs.

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    1. Yes, the views sure made it all worthwhile!

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  11. Oh my gosh....15 miles is an eternity for us.
    Gorgeous view from the top. I didn't know there was always a cross at the top. Pretty.

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    1. Almost every town or community will put a cross up on the highest hill in the area, if they can reach the highest point. Often on certain religious holidays they then will make a pilgrimage up to it.

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  12. That sounds like one of our adventures. We start out with simple plans and end up going to some cool places. It seems we always want to see what is around the next corner. I also hate to backtrack.
    Shawn
    ktmissouri.blogspot.com

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    1. Ha, we are always saying that to each other "I wonder whats around the corner" or "what kind of view is over that hill". We prefer to no backtrack either.

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  13. Replies
    1. No...this is Mexico. The trails we were on are used by goat herders and cattle. Although one section of the trail appeared to be used by dirt bikes.

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    2. Keep that hiking up and you could start selling maps of the trails! LOL

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    3. It isn't national or state park land so there wouldn't be a map with trails on it. Up to 70% of some Mexican states is privately owned. Guanajuato runs above 50% and is the top 25% of the Mexican states that hold the most privately owned land.

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    4. I doubt we would sell many Karyn Lee, not enough people hike there, we know this for a fact because there wasn't any litter! :-)

      Yes, I expect that most of that land is private in that area but it seems like it is fair game for hiking as there weren't any private property signs or fences stopping us.

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  14. what a hike. great pics as usual.you deserve a day of rest

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    1. And, we did enjoy our day of rest! :-)

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  15. Quite the adventure but you may not want your tour group to read this. ;)

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    1. We won't be taking anyone in the group on a hike like that! I think if we mention hike to them, they may start to run into their RV's. ;-)

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  16. You two are sure adventuresome! Good thing you are in such good shape - 15 miles is a lot!

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    1. I think that adventuresome is what keeps us young and in shape! I believe that is the second or third hike this winter that has been around 15 miles and yes, that is a lot.

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  17. Good things it's February and not summertime! That would have been brutal! Glad you had a good time and made it back in time.

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    1. There is no way we would have done it if the weather had been any hotter, we actually picked a good day to do it on because the day before and day after were both hotter days.

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  18. Replies
    1. Kevin did, I didn't though. I would have thought so but for some reason it took forever to get to sleep.

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  19. This is a site that shows the best hiking and mountain biking trails around the city of Guanajuato including satellite maps http://es.wikiloc.com/rutas/outdoor/mexico/estado-de-guanajuato/guanajuato

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    1. Thanks Chris, we will have to remember that for the next time we are in this area. I doubt we will do anymore hiking here on this trip, looks like we will be busy with other activities with the caravan.

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  20. Heck of an adventure! Glad you got home safely. About the 15% shutdown on the iPhone 6. I have one and it doesn't shut down till it's zero. You might find a power setting to help out.

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    1. We have it set on a low power setting already but we also have our Jackery but we forgot to bring it with us.

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    2. Not that this would help you out and about, but a quicker recharge is putting the phone on "airplane mode". I didn't discover this until last month. Really works if you're begging for power from a shop or restaurant.

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    3. If we have the battery pack with us, then yes this would help us out recharging the phone faster. Actually, I think Lindsey or Alex had told us about this in the summertime. It is a nice little hint to know about.

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  21. Quite the hike, you guys are tough!
    Frank (bbqboy)

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    1. That was our third hike this winter that was over 20km. We can do it with no problem but but prefer to keep them a little shorter. Have to admit that this was longer than we were anticipating but the views were definitely worth it.

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