Whew! It had been a long week since we left Morelia. We are currently in Taxco staying with a couchsurfing host, Efrain. It has been a very comfortable 3 day stay in another fine silver mining city.
Most of the days we had HUGE mountain ranges to climb, including the national park of Mexico. Our kilometer count dropped after each day. Higher in the mountains, temperatures were low- down to freezing points, overnight.
Some days and nights we had heavy rain, distant lightning storms), and caught in a hail storm!
On our way out of Angangueo village, I experienced my first fall! I was riding downhill and did not see the UNMRKED speed bump on the road- a wet road. I tried to break, but instead I hit the bump, hydroplaned and fallen with the bike. My quick reflexes saved me- I covered my face from the ground. Besides, the knees scratched and couple bruises- fortunately, nothing was broken.
In Angangueo, we toured the butterfly reserve of Chincua. It was a bus ride, 2 kilometers uphill dirt-road bike ride, and a 1 hour hike, to arrive at the monarch butterfly sanctuary at 3300 meters. Unfortunately, it was a cold and overcast day, so the butterflies were not active. Instead, they were in the trees packed in tight colonies to protect themselves from the cold.
We hoped it would have been a sunny day to see them fly about. It was still impressive to witness the million monarch sanctuary.
But we did have another chance to see the butterflies! Days later, on the highway in the mountains, thousands of butterflies were migrating across the road into another sanctuary. Our mission to witness the collective monarch magic in action, was complete.
Chris wanted to ride to the top of the volcano (not active), Nevado de Toluca, at 4600 meters in the Mexico national park. At the gate entry to the volcano, we found out that we could not go further due to snow on the roads. Oh well. For myself, at the gate entry, the level at 3600 meters has been the highest elevation I have reached on my bike!
The evening we experienced a hail storm, we were invited by Hector to camp on his property. We stayed in a room under his neighbors home. From Hectors property, we had views of the volcano and national park to Guerrero state (until the black cloud storm and lightning arrived) Hector invited us to meet his parents and dinner of pork soup. Homemade corn tortillas were made by his mother over an impressive wood burning stove.
A day before arriving in Taxco- I lost Chris! At the junction that led me towards Taxco, I waited for Chris, but I did not see him. A cop mislead me when he said he saw Chris continue on the highway. Instead, Chris was behind me, caught in a conversation with an interested local. Luckily, an hour later, Chris found me at a gas station. At the end of that day, we arrived at the Cacahuamilpa Caves National Park. We reserved a camp spot at the park and did a 2 hour tour of one of the world’s largest caves.
In Taxco, we have had a pleasant time with our host, Efrain, and his family. Efrain is a wonderful and hilarious guy. A great cook too! He treated us to dinner at his cafe. We ate on the terrace that hada panoramic view of Taxco. The following night he hosted a dinner party for us and his friends. There was an attendance of Mexicans, South Americans, and a couple who are Swiss and a San Franciscan (Chris and I were pleased to talk with them). The best feature of dinner was a Tamarind con Chile shrimp dish and an apple cream salad for dessert- YUM! Efrain also took us to see a movie. It’s been wonderful and comfortable to stay with Efrain- Thank you, Efrain!!!