Any town that I have to in Latin America has something in common. No matter Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia or all part in between. At the highest point in the surrounding mountains or the highest natural area there is always a huge cross. These being dominant Roman Catholic regions of the world can lead credence as to why a huge and usually brightly lit cross looks down upon the local town and Tehucan is no different.
|Tom, Freddie, Jess (kneeling), Ken, Eric, Ashlynn, Daniel|
With an alarm ringing in my ears at 6:30 I dragged myself out of the warmth of my cocoon, put the coffee on an prepared to get going. Our intrepid crew all managed to meet at 7:30 a bit bleary eyed but ready to go. Although the forecast called for thunderstorms the sky was clear (Mexican weather forecasts are as accurate as North American) we needed an early start because the heat of the Mexican day intensifies as the day wears on.
I can not explain why but I feel "at total peace" when I am on the trail. I am in my element and happy place. Any attempt to explain would be futile but I will say I am enveloped by a total calmness, a huge warm hug by mother nature if you will.
|Carlos our guide, Daniel, Freddy, Ashlynn, Ken, Tom, Jess|
Skip ahead to 500 years ago and the Aztec and Mayan peoples used this area to live and worship. There are temples and ruins at the top near the cross and that was our secondary destination. We would not be awed in the beauty when were arrived but looked around solemnly at the mounds of dirt covering the historical artifacts. These ruins have not yet been uncovered and it makes you wonder how many more unearthed testaments to the past exist in Mexico and beyond. True to form Carlos our guide, who has been hiking this trail for 50 years, told us that we would find shards of pottery near the top to which we all thought "sure old man, keep telling stories to the gringos". Well to my surprise there they were scattered all over the trail and around the covered temple zone. Pottery shards and pieces dating back 500 years. I put a few larger ones in my pocket then thought "these, although special right now" will end up being tossed somewhere down the road" so I put them back where they belonged. I was not even thinking to take a photo to share and I do not know why but it just felt wrong too. Dam ancient and scary Mayan gods!
|Another summit reached, another cross visited|
The hike itself was not a huge challenge at 1800 metres. There were a few steep rocky areas but I have developed great Billy Goats skills in the last few years, bounding up them without issue. Passing some who were 25 to 30 years younger who were complaining, sweating and panting their Facebook addicted lives with every step. I am exaggerating a bit...but not a whole bunch.
|At the end of another great hike|