Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our Grand Un-Adventure

Yesterday we'd decided that we'd leave at 7:00.  We'd seen signs about Sima de las Cotorras near the Hogar.  The signs said 10 kilometers.  Lesson number one: don't believe Mexican road signs for distances. We put our sunscreen on and ate and were ready to go.  It was cool, so we each took a hoodie and set off.  We walked the directions the signs said to go and got to a point that said to turn left.  6 km to go.  About the time that we turn off the paved road onto a packed dirt road, Stefanie says "This adventure?  Best idea of our lives."  We plod along walking and talking, getting to know one another, talking about CPE and orientation.

We come to a point where there's a fork in the road three ways.  The packed road veers right, there's a road to the left, and a grassy trail continuing on.  I realize as we approach it that the road to the left is where we run.  Stefanie didn't believe me at first but then the angles clicked.  We'd spent all that time walking only to come upon a road that we know.  When we turned onto the packed dirt road I wondered if we were going to be walking on the road that we turn around at and behold, we were.  A little bit past that there was a sign that said 4 more kilometers.  We started to get suspicious then because we felt pretty sure we'd gone more than two, but we soldiered on.

As we walked we encountered what we think is a local airport (a grassy field) and a sign where we thought we'd missed a turn.  It turned out not to be a sign, but was at one point.  We kept walking and were alone on the road a lot.  We encountered a man who asked if we were going to Sima de las Cotorras and we said we were.  Stefanie asked if it was close and he said about another 4 kilometers.  We were sure he was wrong since we'd already passed that sign.  We finally came to the El Borego Lider, which was a restaurant.  It had had signs by all the signs for the tourist destination, too.

We had to turn left at El Borego Lider and I don't know if there was another distance marker, but we we walked.  After we'd been walking for an hour we said we'd turn around if we hadn't seen it at the two hour mark since that was how much time we'd given ourselves to get there, and we wanted to be back by the time the children were.  As we walked along we saw dried corn between rows of baby orange trees and walked by a dead cow in a field that smelled and had vultures on it.  The road we were on was headed straight to a mountain.  Stefanie asked, "Are we about to climb that mountain?"  I didn't know.

Answer?  Yes, we were.  We rounded a turn and there was a crazy steep hill for us to climb.  It has cement and tracks so that cars can get up it.  And then it was just all uphill.  Not all as steep or cemented, but all, all, all uphill.  And we'd been walking two hours at this point.  We went past our timeline because we were sure we were close.  And then our adventure became an unadventure.

When we came to the next sign it said three more kilometers.  And by that point we'd pretty much decided that that was just to the gate and it'd be two more for things that we actually wanted to see, so we decided to turn around.  We should've known something was up when the water bottle at the Hogar was empty (it's the drinking water).  We were going to fill our Gatorade bottles from it but couldn't.  We also should've taken the clouds and wind and then rain as a sign that it wasn't going to work out.

We turned around and couldn't believe that it wasn't where we thought it was.  We'd walked for almost 2.5 hours and were tired and thirsty and warming up.  It was our great unadventure.  We walked 13 or so miles yesterday round trip, we think.  When we got back to El Borego Lider we bought cokes from someone who sells them out of her house.  We walked back and took our running road back so that we could go to the little roadside stand.  We bought another coke each and got candy bars.  I'd had one the night before, but I didn't care.  After that exercise and let down (and I was sore!) I wanted it, so I got it.

As we walked back we had all kinds of ideas about what we'd do with our each recountings of the story.  And we went out on a lark to try it.  I wasn't ever scared or worried about what was happening.  Just frustrated that we'd walked up the mountain to turn around.  I think we've decided that we're not going back later in a car, that we've seen enough.  We'll see if we stick to that?  I did get some great pictures of the country, though.

I did not get to see the green birds that were advertised on the sign.  :(

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