Day 7, October 27, 2012

Photos by Tracy Turner and Leslie Easterwood

Glorious volcanos and sweeping vistas made our day. We left Tlaxcala after a lazy breakfast and headed back towards Mexico City in two vans. We continued di

scussing our experiences and future Equitarian dreams as we drove through the bright sunshine. Our path then left the highway and took us through the village of Amecameca, with its picturesque town square and Spanish arch. Soon we were on a small rural road and began winding up the slopes towards Popocatepetl, the active volcano, We drove through several different vegetation zones, and gazed wistfully at the horses for hire along the roadside, as the trails looked so inviting. After about 40 minutes of winding road, we reached the visitors center where we bought our passes to go higher up the slopes of the adjacent dormant volcano, Ixtaccihuatl. This snow capped mountain is legendary as its top ridges form the shape of a sleeping woman. The ancient story tells of a warrior (Popocatepetl) who fell in love with a princess (Ixctaccihuatl), whom he was not allowed to marry. Instead, the king sent him off to war and told his daughter that the warrior had perished. The princess, upon hearing the news, falls into perpetual sleep. Popocateptl, finds her thus upon his return, and presumes she is dead, buy tadalafil online slumping to the ground with his head bowed by her side.

(TT photo)

After getting our park admission armbands, we walked around the center enjoying the spectacular views, but were saddened to see a very thin dog, who gratefully lapped up an entire bottle of water.

Tarren Turner helps a very thirsty dog (TT photo)

We piled back into the vans and then wound and bounced our way across the pass on the dirt road that led to La Joya, the start point for serious climbs of the Ixtaccihuatl summit. Now up over 13,000 feet, we ventured up the first part of the path. Many of us soon found ourselves dizzy and out of breath. The need for acclimation time at the Mt. Everest base camp suddenly made a lot of sense. About half of our group continued up the path for about 45 minutes before reaching a ridge saddle where we could look back across the pass to Popocatepetl.

Popocatepetl blowing ash as seen from the Paso de Cortez (TT photo)

Coming down was a lot easier on the cardiopulmonary system, as well as wonderful for the eyes as the views were so spectacular.

Ixtaccihuatl peeks through the clouds

A variety of mountain wildflowers and flowering cacti added to our delight.

Mountain lupines (TT photo)

Once back at La Joya, all of us had at least a beverage and snack, with the more adventurous eaters going for blue corn tortillas and quesadillas with chicken, cheese or cactus.

Blue corn tortillas made a great afternoon snack (LE photo)

The nearby outhouses were interesting as they were on wheels that could be pushed from one septic tank opening to another.

Rolling outhouse at La Joya (LE photo)

Regretfully, we left the mountains and headed to the Ramada hotel by the airport. Good byes to our Mexican teammates and mountain guides, Avril Rivero Moreno and Mauro Madariaga Najera, as well as Dr. Joao Rodrigues and Dr. Stephen Blakeway were hard, as we had learned so much from them. We enjoyed a delicious dinner in the hotel restaurant followed by fabulous desserts. As the meal ended, we all became a little teary, thinking back on all of the week’s experiences and the fun of new friendships. Many in the group vowed to

start learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone’s programs as soon as they got home. Those of us that are going to the AAEP Convention in Anaheim in December are already looking forward to our reunion. It has indeed been a very special and rewarding week. Come hear more about it at the Equitarian booth in the AAEP Trade Show.

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