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Showing posts with label Las Pozas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Las Pozas. Show all posts

Xilitla and Las Pozas

Friday morning, Henry and I left Querétaro for Xilitla via the 07:00AM Flecha Amarilla bus. Xilitla is about 7 hours north of Querétaro in southern San Luis Potosí. It is most famous for Las Pozas, the formerly private garden of the wacky Edward James, full of surrealistic architecture, labyrinthian trails, and swimming holes. The area also has a lot of caves and some great coffee.

Road to Las Pozas
Canon FTb, 50mm/f1.8, Kodak print film

This bus ride was easily the most exciting I have taken in México. The road twisted through the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro mountains, yielding spectacular views of the countryside.

 Every few minutes the bus careened around a gravel covered corner, and I swear we were on two wheels a couple times. There were a lot of interesting characters on the bus too, including old man selling herbs and strange vegetables from a burlap sack.

We arrived in Xilitla around 14:00 and secured a hotel room for the night (just behind the municipal market building) for 50 pesos each. The room was ok, but stinky from mildew. Xilitla is very tropical, so this didn't surprise me.

Friday night we bought some tequila, explored the town, and hung out playing cards. It was an early night after a long travel day.

El Castillo
El Castillo in Xilitla
Canon FTb, 50mm/f1.8, Kodak print film
Saturday I tried to reserve a room at El Castillo, a really cool resort-like renovated castle-ish place, but they were full for the weekend. We went back to the area behind the market and got a room in a neighboring hotel for $40P each, it was slightly nicer than the first room (less stinky and shower head was firmly attached).

We then went down to Las Pozas to explore. On the way, we walked by banana and coffee trees. I didn't realize the climate could support that sort of thing. Las Pozas (the pools) is about 45 minutes walk from the municipal market.

The locals were very happy to point us the right way. At Las Pozas, we paid the $8P admission fee, and began exploring. After about an hour, we discovered a waterfall cascading into a beautiful swimming hole.

Las Pozas
We then continued exploring, and I remember clinging to trees and vines staring over the edge into what seemed like an eternal dropoff. The trail was incredibly steep and muddy.

Eventually we got to the river above the swimming hole, and walked around above the waterfall, until we found some steps. We followed those up for a long ways, but never reached the top. Later we spoke with a local who said that at the top of the stairs could be found a pair of boa constrictors. I'm not sure what he meant. Live snakes? Something that looks like a snake? A sculpture of a snake? I don't know - I never found it.

Las Pozas
Strange Sculpture
Canon FTb, 50mm/f1.8, Kodak print film