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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Rocks, canyons, and hot pools

MEXICO | Saturday, 13 October 2012 | Views [765]

Greeted by a gorgeous hint of red glistening off the mountains just above the canyon, the sun wasn't even over the hill. Slowly, I watched as the hills changed colour. I had about the worst headache I've ever had, perhaps from a little too much rum last night, and I strolled in my underwear to the spicket to brush my teeth. Remarkably there's a shower, and a couple of donkeys who seemed to follow me. A cool morning it was and we were all up slowly. There are remarkably few insects buzzing around during the night; I could leave the door of my tent open. Once the sun is up over the hill there are flies buzzing everywhere! And as breakfast was being made we had to cover the hot dogs, avocado, tomatoes, etc. with paper towels. The plan today was a hike into the canyon to some waterfalls but I had a headache so bad I wasn't sure I could do anything. I nearly puked but then Stacey advised me to drink some water whilst Delia brought me some Advil. Almost instantaneously I felt better when only minutes earlier I had difficulty swallowing a bit of avocado. As everyone else ate we all listened to the sound of an insect that I find very familiar: the cicada. As you know, it's "kihikihi" in Maori but in Spanish it's "cigarra." Their sound is so distinct that it sounds like an engine of sorts. One thing I forgot to bring with me was my reusable water bottle which would have been useful on today's hike but a Dasani water bottle worked just as well. With several other members of the group, we began making our way over rocks and I was wondering how there could be waterfalls anywhere out here! The landscape is very sun-parched and dry. Breanna is a gorgeous blonde girl whom I've gotten to know a bit during the bus ride yesterday and during the hike today. She's lived in a few different places in Europe and has her B.A. in international relations (which she colloquialy calls "sex with foreigners"). In her passport she has stamps from Checkpoint Charlie and a number of other interesting ones. Just around a rock bend, several of us hear and then stumble upon a waterfall roughly 25 feet high! Whilst I jumped on in from only a few feet up, several people climbed to the top of the waterfall and jumped. Mitchell and Jeremy both leaped, and I got a great photo of each of them in midair.

The free fall lasts at least two or three seconds (which is a long time in the air). Mia jumped from there and hurt her tailbone doing so; the key is to jump feet first and straight like a pencil. If you jump in a seated position from that high you're likely to have a bit of pain. Whilst I was showed the way up and I got to the edge, I contemplated it for several minutes but ultimately chickened out and didn't jump. Wow! It's one of the few times on my travels that I've chickened out like that, and that's after skydiving, bungy-jumping, leaping off tall buildings (Auckland SkyTower), and so forth. I've jumped off many waterfalls before. All of us soaked, we headed further into the canyon as the sun dried us. There wasn't a cloud in the sky today! Breanna and I were hiking together much of the time and whilst she was really scraping herself up I got by without a scratch. She has these pricky things that were stuck in her leg and painful to just pull out. Stacey has had her share of scrapes and cuts; yesterday she sustained a huge gash in her leg when she landed on a sharp rock and today she scraped up her other leg. Her dog, Ruby is her constant companion and she carries her in a special outer compartment in her backpack.

Getting slightly lost searching for the next waterfall, Breanna and I made our way up some tough, loose rock only to find it was the wrong way. After a short dip we headed further up. I was already out of water but it wasn't too hot, and I was really enjoying some of the most surreal landscape I've ever seen! At the top of our hike we encountered what appears to be a very elaborate makeshift grave. There's literally nobody living out here so I wonder who could have died. Someone could have easily died falling off a rock but who? On our way back I spotted a huge boulder (at least 3 or 4 tons) supported by a couple of much smaller boulders, and there was enough room for me to go beneath as though I'm taking a nap beneath.

If I were roughing it, it would make the perfect place to crash for the evening. It was pretty late in the afternoon and the sun was very slightly behind the mountain. A bush at the top of the mountain looked absolutely splendid with white light glistening off it. As we began our trek back we picked up rubbish we spotted on the way. A number of people had several cans and bottles and I found the lid to an ice chest. It used to be that everyone thought the Moon was made of swiss cheese until we came to reality, but even rocks have swiss cheese characteristics; we saw such a rock not far from the campsite.

When we split up I got slightly lost and ended up at the other half of the campground. A local pointed me in the right direction back to our site, and into the hot pool I went! What an amazing hike today! Various others went and took a mud bath but I wasn't up for that. Soaking in an "onsen" (hot pool) did wonders for me. Before yesterday, Mexico was the only country I'd visited in which I hadn't written a story or taken a photo but now I've filled in that gap. And I can now say I've been to every country from the USA to Panama with no spaces in between. Nico and Kally were prepping up dinner whilst I chatted with the group, soaked in the hot pools, read my book, or just did whatever. As I walked to a hot pool a sharp branch poked me right in the side of the head. That didn't feel good though! Whilst slightly hotter than yesterday it was a nice afternoon, and for dinner tonight we had hamburgers and pasta salad. It all came out really good! Tonight we built a campfire and we all sat around, and I hung out with Ayako sharing stories. A Cuba Libre was my drink of choice tonight but I didn't want to drink like I did last night and I still feel really bad about that outburst yesterday. Tomorrow we are leaving but I feel coming out here merits at least three nights. I could see myself being out here even longer. Ayako and I chatted for awhile longer before I called it an early night. Most everyone else was enjoying themselves around the campfire yet I was in for a deep snooze. Nico really likes my tent because it's very small and you can pitch it just about anywhere without it being seen. Furthermore, it weighs only about a pound. Rather morbidly it's shaped like a coffin.

With my tent door open and a soft breeze a-blowin' I let the glorious stars and my dreams take over...


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