Robert Louis Stevenson said: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never, Never Land.” Peter Pan
Last Thursday’s trip to Guadalajara started out so promising. I mean, we travel to Guad at least once and often several times a month. We’d found a route we both enjoy and have stuck to it because of its comfortable nature, having a sense of where we are going even though, in reality, we often have no clue.
That being said, nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool. The journey from our little village of Ajijic began on its usual lovely note….it was a gorgeous day filled with sunshine, gentle breezes, comfortable climate, etc. Little did I know my karma would soon run over my dogma and in short order, so to speak.
The sign on the side of the road said “Guadalajara Right”. We’d seen road crews cutting the new road into the mountain above Jocotepec over the months since we’d moved here. This seemed like a “no brainer”, lets take this new route. And the adventure began.
You will notice, once you view David’s photographs below, how nice the road looked. Why, then, did the thought – if at first you don’t succeed, try not to look astonished – keep running through my mind?
The road was wide, beautifully paved yet blending into the mountain as much as a cement ribbon can, in fact, blend. The thought of reaching Guadalajara in a timely manner was pushed aside by the wonderful vistas opening up to us from the height of this mountain pass. Lake Chapala gleaming diamond-like in the distance. The town of Jocotepec lay before us with its ornate church as its center and archway that leads into the town luminous in the distance.
Tiny houses scattered on the mountain side painted in tropical colors that glowed in the sunlight. Cars sharing the cobblestone streets with horseback riders, all heading in various directions. From this distance, from the top of this mountain, the simple Mexican life took on a brilliance one usually only sees in photographs enhanced to make one want to travel to various locations.
Lost in the splendor of the moment and caught up in the quietness of the mountain side, we didn’t notice there weren’t many others on this lovely road. A good thing for you, dear reader, as bad decisions make for wonderful stories. Not that this was necessarily a bad decision, per se, if we’d have thought about it we’d have realized cutting through an entire mountain simply isn’t that easy, particularly if you are using antiquated machinery and shovels.
Any who, we came upon some people who were finishing up on part of the road. They smiled, waved and continued on with their work….as we continued on with our journey. Marveling at this, stopping to look at that, climbing to the top of a small hill that jutted out over the valley below to try to capture the true beauty of the moment.
And then it happened, just a tiny inkling that things might not be as they should be…the road began to narrow. We noticed more large rock formations precariously situated in the middle of the road…not a good thing.
Here’s where you remember, while driving in the states, construction signs tell you about road closures immediately after you pass the exit (or in this case the point of no return) but before the traffic begins to back up. Since there were NO construction signs and there was NO traffic, except for a few dump trucks, we figured, go for it.
Heck, we’d already started heading down the mountain and could see the traffic on the road below. With my usual grasp of odd situations firmly in hand, out of my mouth popped: “I wonder if its possible for two people to stop to think…and then both of them forget to start again?!” David, stoic as always, merely looked at me, looked at the dirt road that was now covered with gullies of mud placed there by the aforementioned dump trucks, and began a slow crawl forward.
A young road crew member took pity on us and attempted a rescue. Making wild hand gyrations he directed us to take a strong left, followed by a strong right, gun the motor (don’t ask how David figured this out) and shoot for the highway.
It was then I noticed David’s eyes. What is it with guys when given the opportunity to create their own demolition derby? In an effort to in some way curb his enthusiasm for the race ahead I reminded him we were in a Camry – not an Indy car. His response was something like…in the vernacular of the year, day, hour and moment VIVA MEXICO!! Petal to the metal he did just as the young crew member gyrated. The car made it. Thus ended our August adventure. At least we FOUND the highway. Stay tuned for our next travelogue as we attempt, yet again, to find the pyramids we lost in June!! At the risk of being redundant….Viva Mexico!
And so it began....
Lake Chapala in the distance.
We climb a bit higher...
The mountains and valley below.
On the right side of the picture you can just make out the church. To the left is the orange colored archway welcoming everyone to Jocotopec.
The decent. Are you beginning to see the change in our surroundings?
This was the last of the pictures of our decent. We were quite busy “white knuckling” our way to the highway!
I leave you, as always, with yet another beautiful picture David captured of a flower in the plaza.
Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in photographs.