this completely non-fabricated tall tale, along the with this quick mention of the finding of one certain treasure, la mascara del aldeano muerto, can be concluded with 4 of my trip advisor reviews. any further inquiry can be placed in the suggestion box at the bottom of the page. thank you, grande gracias.
"the secret life of WTF." edward james surrealist garden, reviewed 22/02/2017
while reading 'M Train" by Patti Smith, my girlfriend was turned on to this place called Xilitla, in Mexico and we started planning our trip.
i would recommend driving/renting a car for your expedition to "Las Pozas". start from somewhere low on route 100. we actually drove from San Miguel de Allende, which is another review in itself (including food poisoning due to duck enchiladas and a james bondesque car chase through the stone streets and hills to a wrong address, no thanks to google, but i did get a new hat!), we had plans to reach Jalpan by mid afternoon, having left our stay in San Miguel around 11am. avoid Santiago de Queretaro during any possible highway closers and protests if you don't like freestyle driving and getting lost.
the drive from the junction at 57D/45 heading northeast on the 100 is where the beauty really begins, you get to see a how very diverse mexico can be in so little time (being from canada 5 hours is a short drive) Bernal to Jalpan was a difficult drive due to the careening of the neck every 5 minutes. stunning landscape with a very fun very curvy road. we ended up driving this route just before sundown because of our delay in Queretaro, and i would recommend doing so if the time suits you. as you leave the beautiful dessert/cactus strewn landscape and climb the Sierra Gorda your heart lightens and your eyes water. soon you are driving through a mountainous tropical paradise with never ending vistas.
stay a night in Jalpan if you have time, it makes the drive more manageable and is a quaint town with great people and food (typical mexico). we arrived the next day in Xilitla around 1 pm and went straight to Las Pozas to get a feeling for the crowds. it was the end of a long weekend and there were many tour buses and loads of humans everywhere, we sat near the entrance and people watched for a bit and looked around at the few visible structures and went back into town to locate our hotel and planned to return the next morning, early.
note: we did not stay at the hotel Dolores, but after seeing the rooms and prices i would recommend it.
we arrived at 8pm the next day and had coffee and breakfast at one of the restaurants with the cabanas below, overlooking the valley. great price, as per, and great coffee, we had so much food that we wrapped the remaining in the tortillas provided and saved them for lunch.
we were the first of four people in the gates, at 9 am. the other two being a couple bulky selfie stick handlers. i would recommend finding your way to the higher pools right off the bat, and swimming in the one overlooking the lower falls then slowly making your way throughout the rest of the gardens, THIS PLACE NEEDS TIME. find vantage points, swim in all the pools, take a book and read in the sunlight atop an uneasy feeling staircase, take pictures but do not live this experience through your camera/phone. stop in the places that feel cool (i mean temperately, jive turkey) and look at the light around you, have a coffee at the cafe, think about what you have seen and go back and look at it again, look at the plants, look at the other visitors, find the sarcophagus, spend the whole day there and BRING A SWIM SUIT. when you do leave you will wish you hadn't, so stay a while.
the things i forgot to mention, you'll find on your own, ARRIBA Y A ELLOS!
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"45 minutes of envy" the cave of the swallows, reviewed 16/02/2017
we arrived in the black intrigue of the morning, having left our hotel outside of aquismon at 5 am. without headlamps or flashlights, we had hoped the dawn would have cracked upon our arrival at the village entrance to the long stairway to the cave. to our relief there were two or three guides waiting there, i believe they were residents of the local village. one of them handed me a head lamp and we followed him down the stone steps. arriving at the hole, we perched on the rocks and waited for the daybreak. you could hear the birds chirping in anticipation of their daily ritual. as the blue light of dawn warmed the sky, the swallows slowly started to take flight, circling the cave counterclockwise. it was like watching a washing machine on spin cycle, firing birds into the sky. as the sun rose over the eastern mountains, we witnessed falcons flying amongst the flurry, snatching themselves a quick breakfast. after about 45 minutes, when it seemed all the swallows had vacated, about six green parrots came squawking out after them, as if they had missed their wake up call, late, once again, for the days work. we then enjoyed a well earned cafe de olla at the small place across the road at the top of the stairs. i enjoyed this experience far more than i enjoyed nearly drowning at puente de dios, though that is another review in itself.
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"i enjoyed the shallow bits" puente de dios, tamasopo, reviewed 16/02/2017
everyone was wearing lifejackets, i was not, i should have been, but for some reason, i was not. my girlfriend would tell you "i was fine" but i will tell you differently. i was very excited to swim in this scene from the movie "blue lagoon". we sat on the railings of the viewing decks and watched all the floaters muscle about on the ropes which crisscross the steady moving water at the basin of the waterfall. "where is this little guppy going?" my partner remarked, as we watched a life-jacketed tourist flounder into the middle of the pools. i took out a cigarette to try and cool my nerves, as i imagined myself as that hapless buoy. soon i was convinced to enter the water on the back side of what is a cave filled in indigo blue light, that shines from below, illuminating my fate in the depths. i pulled myself along the ropes, inching closer to the cave and its bats clinging from the ceiling, i saw one lick its lips as i passed under. soon i was hyperventilating and clambering back to shore, though i could not pull myself up when i arrived there, i was out of breath and it seemed i would not be making it home from this journey. well worth the visit, i recommend renting a life jacket if you are a smoker.
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"something touched my foot" laguna de la media luna, reviewed 17/02/2017
i was standing in the warm water, terrified, and then without warning, something really touched my foot, with its claws.
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the end/ el fin.
if you would like to read more trip advisor reviews like these, feel free to send an envelope full of money and or plane tickets to any destination of your choice.
honestly abraham c/o d.rose
3091 agira road, duncan bc