There are only a few things that can make traveling suck for us and the two most common ones are getting sick while on the road and rain. I love rain when I am at home, cuddled up by a fire watching movies, but not so much when I am in a campground or on a beach. In Melaque we got serious rain and it looked like it was going to last a while so we decided to scrap our plan to drive down the coast and instead headed inland into the little state of Colima.
This was the first time since we were on the mainland in Mexico that we just drove not really knowing where we were going to end up. We started out fairly early and first tried to head to the city of Colima, however, there was zero camping options and it was still raining. Outside of Colima on the side of the road Sam and I had one of our “what the hell are we going to do now conversations” where neither of us had any idea and neither of us wanted to make a call about what to do. Next to us on the road was a large tourist map of the state and I saw areas with pictures of tents near some lakes. We took a picture of the map with our Iphone and decided to follow it into the mountains. It was a better plan then getting into a fight on the side of the freeway in Mexico.
Within twenty minutes we were driving up a stunning road that reminded us of the road to the Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica (but this one was pathed!). There were cow pastures in the valleys that looked like they were right out of Switzerland, active volcanos shrouded in fog, beautiful homes of wealthy Mexicans and tropical vines wrapped around the pine trees. Our mood shifted from cranky to thrilled.
We ended up finding a REAL campground at Laguna la Maria that was full of wild peacocks next to a lake where we had a huge area to ourselves and we settled in for a few days of hiking and reading. It was still overcast, but it really only rained at night here and it was very tropical, so even at elevation, we were comfortably warm. Our plan B ended up working out. Sometimes you just get lucky……..
While we were here we took one of the stranger hikes of our trip. We like to call it the creepy cave hike. Next to the lake there are established hiking trails that lead up into the tropical hills. Who ever created these hikes cut out small caves into the hillside so that you could keep following the trail around the mountains. These caves were short (for us), and full of VERY large moths. So Sam and I had to duck walk through them as large bugs were hitting our heads. There were also spiders and it was super humid. I am not going to pretend it was one of my favorite hikes, but it was certainly an experience.
One of my favorite parts of the hike was a Doberman latched on two us at the trail head and escorted us through the entire hike. He would run through the caves and then wait for us on the other side. As soon as we were done with the hike he left and we never saw him again. I am not sure I would have felt as comfortable going through all the caves without him “clearing the way”. He was a good dog.
After three days in the mountains, we had a difficult decision to make. Do we just keep heading inland towards Guadalajara and skip the rest of the Pacific coast (I was leaning in that direction because of the weather) or do we drive back down to the coast and drive the “lost coast” of Michoacan (Sam’s preference)?