Mexico 50, 24th June 2004

So I climbed the hill in the morning, all on foot, and here's a picture of the boatyard where I stayed last night.

Valle de Bravo is certainly a nice place and different to everywhere else I've been. Around this hill I climbed, and in the neighbouring town of Avandaro, are 100's of expensive and beautiful houses, such as you might find around the French Riviera. No peasants shacks with earthen floors to be seen, no pickups full of people either, not even the collective minibuses, just taxis to ferry people about. There are town houses of course, and the regular market. There are nice streets, some of them steeply twisting and causing a touch of difficulty with my motor home. This one was OK.

It came on to rain so I went to look at waterfalls. Here's one.

and here's another.

Same waterfall, different viewpoint.

Beautiful waterfall but interestingly not 100% natural! The river on it's original course has cut a valley and drops down this valley in a series of small cascades with a moderate waterfall at the bottom. The cunning locals have cut a channel along the rim of this small valley so the main part of the water now tumbles down the side of the valley in this spectacular waterfall. That's fine with me!

I wandered off around the lake and parked for the night by the plaza of a small town. In the morning I stopped on a spot overlooking the lake for about an hour then climbed out of the Valle de Bravo area with spectacular views looking back.

I stopped to check my map and a newish pickup stopped with smoke and fumes coming out all around the engine. He had some water and started pouring it into the radiator. I managed to stop him and took cover. In a few seconds all the water he had just put in erupted out of the radiator in a boiling plume of water! After a couple more fast starts like that I refilled his water container from the van and dribbled the water myself into his radiator. Eventually all seemed OK and he departed.

I found a stream with a grassy flat area so took a slow lunch in the sun. I passed close by the Monarch Butterfly sanctuary I had visited may back in March, then noticed a sign to an archeological site, I had not noticed it mentioned in my guide books. It was pouring with rain but I toured the site, umbrella up. Each site is different in some way. This pyramid was constructed between 800 and 1200 AD in only two stages, but has been built with natural rocks, only the steps and the corner blocks were preshaped.

Even in the rain it's a good view.

I asked the guardian if it was OK to stay on the car park for the night, he thought a moment and said yes. Here I won't be bothered by noisy early morning vehicles, I am up a hill right at the end of a small dirt road.

Best regards

David Barker

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