17-Feb-2002 -- THE JOURNEY
We left Guadalajara on Sunday, Feb 17th 2002, towards confluence site 21N-104W. It was about 11:00 am when our journey started.
We drove over interstate 15 in a north-west direction for about an hour to reached Tequila... It is there were the most important "tequila" factories in the region (and even the whole country) are seated and the largest "blue agave" cultivation territories can be found... If you ever drank a good Mexican tequila it was probably produced right there !.
Continuing over HWY 15 and about 20 kms beyond Tequila is Magdalena, another famous place in Jalisco... Magdalena is widely know by its mineral extraction mines, and very specially for being the main opal producer in Mexico. For many years, people in the region made this activity a lifestyle, extracting and exporting opals to places all over the world. Stories tell us about people that were lucky enough on their seeking and became reach !.
Another ten kms beyond Magdalena our GPS indicated the confluence point to be 8.5 kms towards the east, it was time to leave the main road behind us.. Right there we found a detour to the right and signs indicating that "El Tequesquite" Jal. was ahead so we turned towards it... El Tequesquite is such a small town that we passed in front of it without noticeing. After a 15 mins drive we reached "Hostotipaquillo", right at the end of the road.
Following the locals directions we drove back to a point right in between this two towns and found a dust road going into the mountain right to the east, straight to the confluence point... It was a very tortuous path across country and mountain and our vehicle was not exactly an "all terrain", so we had to drive carefully !. Three kms ahead, into the woods, we found "the mines", an area where rock (and probably opal) are extracted. There were signs all around the place indicating "Danger, explosives area !" so we didn't stay for long.
One km beyond that point we started to go down the hill and reached a very small town named "San Simon", which by the way doesn't appear on any of the maps we had. It was nice to finally get there, specially because by that time we were already running out of fuel and supplies... From there the confluence was still 1.5 kms North-East, we left town and continued advancing into the mountain. Half an hour later we finally reached the end of the way. Left our vehicle to a side and started walking, the promised land was only 450 mts away !... Unfortunately, due to the abrupt nature of the terrain the ladies had to stay, bad luck !.
CONFLUENCE 21N - 104 W
We reached the confluence point (my father and myself) about 2:30 pm, at an altitude of 1469 mts... The exact location was not easy to reach, it resulted to be right in the middle of a 45 degree precipice, about 100 mts deep, at the edge of an abandoned rock exploitation open mine (pic -1). The terrain there was totally lose, mainly composed of medium size rocks and red sand that rolled down the hill on every of our steps (pic-2).
Towards the east an impressive human made slot crossing the mountain peak from side to side showed the path followed during the mineral extraction process (pic-3), imagine the volume of rocks removed from there !.. That was the most spectacular thing on the place !..
Vegetation and wild life was widely diverse and abundant even though no evidence of water could be found in the sourandings. See those nice cactus wildly growing on the rocks (pic-4). Unfortunately I couldn't picture any of those speedy lizards crossing to our path.. next time.
Environmentally, a great place to camp, with a wonderful sight of the hills, fresh air blowing and a sun that burns your skin !....
Need to get back there some time !...