I will not let anyone walk through
My mind with their dirty feet.
My mind with their dirty feet.
We headed to the south side of Banderas Bay to hike, and see the waterfalls near Quimixto, a small village nestled at the foot of the Western Sierra Madre Mountains. For those who watch TV and movies, this general area is where Night of the Iguana (Richard Burton) and Predator (much more recent) were filmed.
Past Puerto Vallarta heading SW, once you leave the main road out of town the only way you can reach any of these villages is by going back in time. You can only contact any of the communities along this coast by ‘pangas’ (fishing boats), by horses, mules or donkeys, or by hiking.
|From cliff to rocky beach to sea|
|Unknown beautiful flower|
|Panga attempting to cross from river to ocean|
|Tables, chairs, and umbrellas awaiting low tide to be spread out for customers|
We are soon entering Indigenous Land, land held in common by the whole Chacala Indian community. Of course this is Mexico and some people take advantage of this, having homes for rent on the beach for which they keep all of the proceeds instead of working with the community. No one seems to be able to (or is willing to) do anything about it.
As we meander along the narrow path we sometimes have to run between large waves so we are not soaked or have to climb steeply up or down around various rock formations and small dips created by temporary cascades coming down the mountain on rainy days.
|Rock path curving around the shoreline|
|More rocks of beautiful formation|
We see termite’s nests where branches join in large trees. These nests are somewhat like icebergs for only 1/10 is on the surface (usually in a tree but sometimes on a log or on the ground) and 9/10 is below the surface with connecting tunnels between the two. The queen can live up to 25 years – now that’s a lot of eggs! They are quite industrious and fascinating to observe.
In these termite mounds are often found parrot nests, making the parrots easy targets for poachers to find them and sell them – which is illegal but still occurs widely. We are surrounded by the creaky shrills of the parrots as they move around in colonies from tree to tree. Unless it is mating season at which point they will pair up until the babies are raised and independent.
Also of interest are the numerous holes dotting the dark dirt along the cliff. Although we are at least 75 feet above the waterline on a very steep incline, land-crabs reach this high to hibernate in the ground during the dry season. It makes the hillside look like Swiss cheese – not giving it the sturdy look one would prefer when hiking it.
|Medium size strangling fig tree|
|Strangling tree moving up palm tree|
We quickly stop for lunch under the shade of a palapa and from our seats witness life in the back alleys and around us. It is Sunday so there is no school and many children, in the little bit of sunshine we have today, are playing with the local dogs. Others are selling to tourists local pies, shawls, flowers, etc. A couple of kids carry iguanas around. A small girl has a greenish blue one that is only 2’ long and tethered to a thin bailing twine, a slightly older boy carries a yellowish green one that is about 4.5’ long and he asks if Mike (Hey Meeesterrr) wants to pet his iguana… A woman with two kids in tow carries a large bright green plastic container on her head, probably filled with tortillas in the making. She gracefully and without missing a beat walks around the low palapa roofing not hitting anything. Although the waves are quite large today, it doesn’t seem to stop tourists from visiting. Three large party boats are waiting to be unloaded and come for lunch – thankfully we arrived before the crowd.
|We enjoyed watching someone else petting the iguana|
The waterfalls were not as spectacular as hoped but the other set of waterfalls up above is supposed to be 3 times higher and would’ve entailed another 2 hour hike and the day was just too short to accommodate – maybe another time. The water was very cold, clear, and refreshing. The whole hike was definitely worth it.
The sun comes out in time to beckon us goodbye but it was just as well it was a cloudy day or the hike might have been too hot under its beaming rays.
We are quickly reminded of society’s needs as we drive around the large potholes the last two days of rains have helped create and there are people with dirt and shovels begging for money in white five gallon pails to help fix the road. Many in the tourist trades are eager to help pay so the tourists can be comfortable on their way to this little paradise.
We had a great day reuniting with the jungle and its many treasures. Hope you enjoyed the trip as well.