02-Aug-2008 -- The trip to Mexico city was confirmed a while back and this would be my first visit to central Mexico. In this region, there are about 50 confluence points and only 4-5 of them yet to be visited. This is the only one within striking distance from Mexico City – 200 km of GPS distance. I set my eye on this point, but couldn’t help to wonder why it has not been visited. Is it a difficult one to get to?
Satellite photos revealed that terrain between Mexico City and this confluence point is very hilly. Google map shown a major highway came within 6-7 km from this point. I learned through a friend living in Mexico City that it would be a reach to get to this point within a day. Also, he recommended using a 4 wheel drive car because this was the rainy season with a good chance of encountering bad and muddy road.
On the morning of the hunt, I met up with Roberto, the driver, at 7 am and happy to see he has a Chevy Suburban – a perfect hunting vehicle. Roberto spend a number years in Milwaukee with a pretty good command of English such I was able to learn quite a bit about life in Mexico. He also gasped the idea of hunting for the crossing point of longitude and latitude, and seemed eager to be the first one to claim this point.
The trip pretty much went according to what I have mapped out. The delay always took place when we were trying to leave the cities or larger towns. Somehow, outside of Mexico City road signs were a rare commodity.
The first major town we passed through was Toluca about 80 km from Mexico City. After which, we followed National Highway No. 15 headed west for 110 km to Zitacuaro. From than on, we headed south and west on Highway No. 6 for over 130 km. This was a spetacular drive through hills and valleys. We found the highway going north which brought us within 7 km from the point. Amazingly, near the closest location to the point on this highway, there was a newly paved road branching toward the confluence point. This new road brought us to a little village about 2.5 km south to our objective. On the second try, we found the right dirt road heading north which brought us only 330 meters left to go on foot. Considering how remote this area is, about a village every 10-20 km, we were pretty lucky to get this close by car.
From where we parked the Suburban, this confluence point located on a downward slope, right in a grove of trees. The hike to it was not difficult but I did worked up a major sweat from the hot sun. We reached the point almost 3 pm – 7 and half hours since we started even after skipping lunch. Even though this was a very charming area, we did not dwell much and started on the long way back.
The return trip was uneventful and we did not get lost going through towns. We reached my hotel at 10 pm. The total mileage was a little over 700 km! Long day and long drive, but a memorable hunt.
Rating of this Hunt:
Degree of Challenge:
2– A rather long drive from Mexico City but able to reach within 330 meter by car even though the confluence point located in a rather remote area (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
4 – Very pleasant and lush hills in a very rural setting (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 4 – Very rural and old style communities. The main regret is not having enough time to visit the villages and small towns in nearby area (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)