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Diamond Mountain – Patzcuaro ~ 2750 km 2011/02/25

Posted by altsport in Hitchhiking.

I’ve spent about a month and a half volunteering in Diamond Mountain buddhist community. Most of the time I was behind my laptop or helping a bit with building and packing provisions for buddhist retreatants behind the mountain. Apart from that I did a few hikes in the surrounding hills and mountains. Went to Fort Bowie Historical Park just nearby and to Chiricahua mountains National Park. One other hike I will remember for some time was to this abandoned marble mine with Joshua, Sierra and Dennis from the buddhist campground. Had a lot of fun out there that time. By the middle of February I was getting ready to leave. Although there was something that was holding me back for a little while. Like me oversleeping an early ride out of that desolate place our campground was in. Night before that had a halo around the moon by the way. But eventually I had to leave. And it really felt like a second home leave to me. Noone else with I had a chance to asociate as much as I did here on my trip.

On the first day of my leave I managed to get all the way to border town of Nogales on US side and spent a night beside a road in a tent. Been a long while now since the last time. The way I got there was through supposedly scenic route across Patagonia town. But I sincerely didn’t think of it as being scenic. Nothing compared to the one from Flagstaff to Sedona anyway. On the next day I got some food and a couple of gas canisters in a Walmart, not knowing if I’d have a chance to do that in Mexico. Crossing border was quite simple. But now I know I made a mistake while blindly listening to US officer who pointed me to go straight to Mexican customs. That is because I wasn’t checked out as leaving USA. That might really sour my return there later after my trip all the way down to Argentina in South America. On the Mexican customs side they didn’t even tell anything about the necessary to purchase entry permit. Good thing I had that researched beforehand and got it for 262 pesos or something close to 23 US dollars. Now I was in Mexico.

First thing I had to do is get out of Mexican Nogales, which took me long enough. Now I carry not one, but two backpacks (another’s a little one I have in front of me). First ride got me to a toll gate before Hermosillo, where driver asked the officer if I could camp beside the toll gate, which was allowed and so I did that very thing exactly on the side of a toll gate. Gave some laugh for all the drivers passing by through that gate I guess. Next ride got me to Oregon, which I left in a truck riding through the night all the way to Chapalilla town, where I was turning off to visit Puerto Vallarta beach city. That was a looong ride and good thing I got to sleep on the couch in the back of driver’s cabin. With a few rides I ended up in Puerto Vallarta and had some rest on the beach. City center was definitely interesting, and definitely too touristic for me. There was a nice boardwalk along the beach though. Lots of bizarre statues along it, sand sculptures as well. There were also some whales jumping out of the water in the bay. In the evening I tried findin South exit out of the city but could only see one way roads to the hills with all the hotels on them. Camped through the night beside one of the roads. Spent another half a day wandering and looking for that exit, but didn’t find. Bad luck not having any city maps on hands. Had a rest at the beach and did a looong walk back to the North exit. Not just through P.Vallarta but all the other ‘little’ towns of that unending urban area.

Got to hitchhike out of here only on the next day’s morning. After that I managed to get to Guadalajara with several rides. During last one I had to wait until driver did his buisiness with some folks in different places of that huge city. Luckily I ended up being  dropped off closer to the edge of metrapolitan Guadalajara. Next came a couple truck rides, that got me to Morelia. I was heading now to Patzcuaro. Had a 4 hour walk across that city. Took a look finally into one of the Mexican supermarkets. Found it awesome how cheap their oranges and pastry is. Got a load of both. In the morning got a lift to Patzcuaro. And it so happened that I got to the center of the town exaclty as they were celebrating their Flag Day on February 24th, which happens to be when Mexico got independent in 1821. So I got to see some festivities around this nice old town, which I like the best so far of what I’ve seen in Mexico. Many thanks to Nick from Diamond Mountain for pointers on travel in Mexico. As I wandered around the center after the end of the ceremony I found this awesome library, the kind I’ve never seen before. I totally feel like in a church in it. Having some wireless here I used this chance to write some stuff on my blog which I also didn’t do in a long while. Oh and by the way, even it’s still 3 days short – it’s been a year since the start of my hitchhiking adventure – YAY! Greetings to all the friends and people who helped me to go on through all this time 😉

Photo: click