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12.31.2018

To the Waterfall

We did a day trip up to a stunning waterfall.

We stopped at a small town to do some sightseeing and shopping 




Beautiful bread loafs


Spectacular mountain views along the way


This is a beautiful  state park with cobble stone walkways, picnic tables and a play area for the kids. Parque El Salto is located near the town for Ixtapan del Oro.  19.280132   -100.252362


There were many families enjoying a family outing.




What an idyllic spot


Another snake found me. I don't know what kind it is.



The water plunges down 200 feet

12.30.2018

Monarch Butterflies

Today we are headed for the wintering site of the Monarch Butterflies. This one has been on my bucket list for years.
On the way there we made a detour to a nearby Buddhist Stupa.  "A Stupa or Chorten is a symbolic representation of the mind of Buddha or enlightened mind and also represents the stages of the path to enlightenment. It is also a source of blessings since it contains relics which to radiate its blessings, favor the achievements in practitioners. In short, it represents the spiritual path to enlightenment Dharma practitioners."


I climbed up behind the Stupa and discovered a Coral Snake. They are poisonous, but not aggressive.


According to Tibetan Buddhism you can intensify its power by walking around the Stupa 3 7, 11, 21 or 108. Some of my fellow adventures are doing so below.


There are two ways to reach the butterflies, walk or horse back. Susie and Roy along with other members of our group chose wisely, the horse. I decided to walk. 19.174007  -99.958302 


Starting at 9,000 feet the gentle slope of the paved trail "says no problem, you can do this". 


It is a 3 km hike to the butterflies. The horses take you up 2.5km. The last 0.5km is a steep "goat trail" up through the forest to an oxygen deprived altitude of 10,442 ft.


Clumps of thousands of butterflies huddled together for warmth. This is one of Earth's great migrations. Monarchs leave their summer home in Eastern North America commencing a multigenerational flight to central Mexico and back. Genetic imprinting directs them back to the same trees that their ancestors left the year before.



A few that are warm enough to fly around



Photo by Kevin Read


Photo by Kevin Read


Heading back down. I survived the Monarch death march.

12.27.2018

Party On

Chago and his lovely wife Carmen invited us to their Christmas Eve dinner.  Carmen prepared an awesome turkey dinner with all the trimmings.



Having a wonderful time around the fire. 
Ruth, Chago's daughter Mariel, Chago, Denise and Susie.


Christmas day we had a pot luck for Chago's family and friends. Ruth and Kevin bought several chickens and we all prepared sides. No one went away hungry.




The other end of the table


Brian dancing with Fatima. She has some really great moves.


Paco leading yet another viva Mexico toast.

Sailing

 Chago, the marina's owner, is an avid sailer and gave us a great tour of the waterfront.


Paul, Ruth and Kevin in the foreground 



One can climb to the top of this rock.


The down town water front


I assume the yacht club


There is a westerly wind across the lake every evening. This predictable wind make Valle de Bravo a world class parasailing spot.


They land on a very small patch of grass by the lake.


There are some really nice water front homes 



Kevin and Ruth



Jeannie, Susie and Wendy


Chago, captain extraordinaire. 


Susie, Lynnette and Barry



Denise


What a great day on the water.