I left Tolantongo after a great couple of nights, leaving at 9 am after a decent breakfast and packing up.
GPS again giving me false readings telling me 4 hours to destination. Keep in mind the drive was just under 300km but through various mountain passes. Up and down various times and the temperature gradually increasing and increasing to the point where I was suffering.
At one given point about 6 hours in (no stops) I miscalculated a bend as slipped into the oncoming lane, I’d say 6 hours, no break, baking heat didn’t help. I recovered from a head-on crash with a police car. I pulled over shaking with an overwhelming feeling of stupidity, also the heat was having its toll. Soon enough the police car I almost crashed into came speeding after me, arrived at a skid asking me what I had just done in the typical police rhetoric. I greeted the police with a handshake. Clearly, with the heat, the fright and now the implied accusation, I was now feeling pretty much defeated. I explained my situation that I was weary and made a miscalculation and that is why I had pulled over for precisely that reason.
I was feeling a bribe was on… The police driver went on about how to “[…]make both our lives easier and not go to court[…]” and here I was expecting the bribe. Instead, he told me to rest up and take it easy, and reassured me Xilitla would wait and I should take it easy. He shook my hand again and wished me well. I still was left wondering what the bribe amount was going to be…. As he and his colleague returned to the car and left with tyres spinning on the hot tar. And that was that, I sat in the shade of a shed on the side of the road, sipped water got a while and then got back on the bike. I drove very cautiously the remaining distance to my destination.
Eventually, 7 hours later, I arrived at Casa Caracol (snail house), a hostel almost facing the Edward James gardens.
With low blood sugar and dehydration under way, I went to grab a few fizzy drinks and a meal. Totally unlike the time I was here before, it was hot and (of course) humid!
That evening I met, Andrew and Anna two USA’ians backpacking around Mexico independently, that made their acquaintance the day before, we spent the following day hanging out in Xilitla together in town and at the pool of the hostel. Like I say, it was hot and humid.
Followed by another rest day and more sun and more swimming pool time. Given it was Sunday, and the Edward James gardens were packed, I thought I’d wait for Monday for it to be more empty.
The Monday after, I went early to the Edward James gardens. To take some more photos and experience the space once more. Funny how the change in climate can change a space. It was everything as much as fun, if not more than it was at Christmas!
As the day got on, the place filled up with school kids and it was time to leave. I went that afternoon to visit the Cueva Salitre a cave under Xilitla
That was very impressive!
The following day I went to see the the Sotano de las Golondrinas, a large cave that homes thousands upon thousands of birds that perform a display every dawn and sunset, which unfortunately due to weather and it being mating season we totally missed it.
Following that I went to the waterfall of Tamul which was fantastic.