Etzatlan was the start to a wonderful week. We spent a few days camping at Delia’s RV Camp which is run by a mother and daughter team. They have 4 dogs and 7 horses, and I couldn’t have been happier spending time with Sam (the daughter) and helping out on the farm. One day, Jakob and I took a quick walk up one of the local hills to a view of the city. The next day we drove to the town of Tequila to hike the namesake volcano. Of course, after the hike, we made a quick stop at the Jose Cuervo factory for a drink and bought some Herradura Tequila. Definitely getting into it.
Recently, the Sprinter has been making a subtle, but distinct ‘thud’ noise while driving over bumps and we were planning to take the van to the Mercedes dealer in Guadalajara. One night while at Delia’s a couple that lived nearby came over to the van to introduce themselves. After chatting for a little and when the husband heard that we planned on taking the van into the dealer, he quickly recommended that we first bring it to the local mechanic and that he’d be happy to come with us to translate (he’s Mexican). The next morning, Jakob and the husband took off to visit the mechanic while I helped out on the farm. After only an hour and $300 Pesos (~$25usd), the van was fixed! We are curious how much it would have cost at the dealer, but are happy we didn’t find out. Most importantly, however, It was Jakob’s birthday so we took off to Guadalajara to celebrate.
For dinner we went to La Fonda de la Noche, a low key restaurant that we can HIGHLY recommend. The restaurant was in the middle of what felt like a neighborhood and when we seated ourselves on the roof, the neighbors two puppy’s and their mom kept looking at us through a fence. We had the roof all to ourselves and were ordering directly from the chef/owner. When Jakob asked for a menu, his response was: “I am the menu!” The food was fantastic and when I snuck downstairs to tell them it was Jakob’s birthday and ask for a surprise cake, he was very excited and said no problem!! He brought out two pieces of cake with a candle in Jakob’s and then sat down with us and for the next few hours as we spoke in broken spanish about philosophy and drank beers. We had such a great time and were sad to leave, but at 1am, it was time to go to bed.
The next morning wasn’t as fun. We woke up to the hotel staff informing us that our rear window had been broken over night. Nothing was stolen thankfully, however it kicked off a headache that lasted for about a week. The hotel covered the damages…two times. The first time the hotel tried to fix it and it looks like it was taken to a kindergartener where the kid chose a random piece of glass and then using elmers glue, tried to stick it into the car. Not joking, the glass was a completely different color and there was glue seeping out from under the glass. We insisted it needs to be fixed and took the van ourselves to the Mercedes dealer. Needless to say, it’s now fixed and for the most part, we felt that people wanted to help and fix the situation as quickly as possible.
While the window was on order, we drove down to Colima and Ciudad Guzman to spend a few days. We camped at 11,000 feet elevation on the slope of Nevado de Colima in the national park (for 28 pesos a person = US$2) and hiked the volcano the next day. It was hard to find information on the hike and it seemed as if most people took guides, which we learned is not actually necessary at all. We’ll post the information we found and the sources we used. The hike was beautiful and fun!
We started at 7:30am and by 11:30am we were back at the van. After lunch and a little relaxing, we took off to Angahuan to hike another volcano, Paricutin. The story is actually quite interesting as the volcano erupted only 70 years ago.
Because of the slow driving on rural roads, we arrived in Angahuan pretty late and went straight to the campground. Similarly to Nevado de Colima, most people took guides to the volcano, most on horseback, with some people writing that you’re ‘required’ to have a guide. After asking around in the morning, we decided to again do the hike ourselves. Again, we’ll make a separate post with details on the hike. The hike was a blast – you first walk by a church that was partially buried by the erupting volcano in the 1940s. We then continued past a few cows, one false charged us while I was taking a photo of them. After a short walk up a forested hill, you then cross more than a mile on a lava field, where there were pockets of steam being released closer to the base of the volcano! Once at the base of the volcano, you need to scrambled up pretty steep sand and scree. The view from the top was very rewarding and again, we were really happy that we were able to make it on our own.
We’re now en route to Guanajuato to explore what we hear is an amazing city and some mountain biking and trail running .