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Archive for the ‘Xalapa’ Category

Touring With Roy: Day 2

Roy was leaving for Mexico City in a few days and wouldn’t be back until after I had left Xalapa on my way home, so we arranged for another tour with him. We didn’t really have anyplace in mind, so when Roy suggested he take us to a few small villages that were hard to get to by bus, we thought that sounded great.

On our way out of Xalapa, however, our first stop was at a hacienda. Even though the house had seen better days, it was impressive. Slowly being restored, it is now used as artists’ workshops.

Our first encounter was with a batik artist. He was working on something really stunning on a huge piece of cloth.

These artist spaces were truly workshops and not salons for the display of finished works.

Pasta tiles served as hardscape rugs in most of the rooms.

Tool of the trade…

…for reproducing your work.

Perhaps one day this bathroom in the hacienda will be restored.

Tile detail near the tub.

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The Texolo Waterfall

High on Steve’s wish list for today was to visit the Texolo waterfall, which was filmed in the movie Romancing the Stone. Leaving Xico, we headed in that direction.

Roy took us down another heavily touristed road, and we almost immediately ran into a traffic jam.

Finally, the traffic cleared and we were able to move along. 🙂

The waterfall was not far away, and soon we were parked and walking to the overlook to get our first glance.

Hey! I thought photographers walked slowly! Steve and Roy forge ahead to the overlook while I lollygag behind taking photos. Pat most often slowed down to my speed and made sure I didn’t get left behind.

The Texolo Waterfall

Roy mentioned there was another waterfall about a 20 minute hike away, so after Steve satisfied his waterfall photo quotient, off we went.

We crossed a suspension bridge to get to the trail that led to the second waterfall.

It was a beautiful trail.

As usual, I’m lagging behind.

No telling what this structure was. It seemed far too remote and small to have been a house. Whatever it was, I liked the way it looked and that its final destiny was to become a graffiti love wall in the jungle.

A short way from the second waterfall, there was a restaurant with a bougainvillea arbor at the entrance.

The second waterfall was not as high or dramatic as the Texolo waterfall. But it was more accessible, and there were many young people having loads of fun jumping off the rocks and swimming in the natural pool at the base.

After making our way back to the car, there was time to make a stop at a shop where three generations of family members sold sarsaparilla concentrate as part of their family business. This was the same sarsaparilla concentrate as we had had in our drinks at lunch. Roy and Steve stocked up, as this place was a bit out of the way and Roy doesn’t go by there often.

From Coatepec to the Texolo waterfall, that was all in one pretty terrific day, touring with Roy. We’re planning to take another tour with Roy tomorrow to Jalcomulco.

But for now, we’re resting our feet briefly before going out to dinner where there’s going to be live African music.

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Xico

Leaving Zimpizahua, we headed for Xico. On the way, we crossed a bridge that Roy mentioned was at least a hundred years old. There was no traffic in either direction, so as we crossed I asked Roy if we could stop briefly so I could snap a photo out the window.

Steve did some quick calculations as to the weight of the vehicle plus passengers and made a funny comment about the wisdom of our stopping in the middle of this ancient span. Since we neither caused an accident nor plunged to an early demise, I am dedicating this photo to Steve.

Wending our way through the streets of Xico, we happened upon this young man selling hand carved wooden horses.

Next stop was a little museum where the lady pictured above had a number of displays depicting elaborate scenes with people and animals made from corn husks. These are a few figures that were for sale.

By now we were all ready for lunch. Roy brought us to one of his favorite restaurants in the area, La Molienda, so named because it was once a mill.

Tortillas and salsa were being prepared as we arrived. Everything looked good!

The restaurant was wonderful. Our table overlooked a creek.

Appetizers.

Steve, Pat and Roy ordered trout, which they said was wonderful. Those of you who know me know that I don’t eat anything that lives in the water. I chose the chicken mole. It was good, though perhaps a bit too sweet. The serving was so generous that I was only able to finish about half of what’s on the plate. In the shot glass is a lemon flavored liqueur, and on the left is sarsaparilla. Sarsaparilla is one of the main ingredients of root beer. Locally the drink is made using about a dozen ingredients, then diluted with water. It was very refreshing.

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A Road Less Traveled

Leaving Coatepec, Roy took us down a back road to Xico. We saw a bird man bringing some live birds to market.

One of the many advantages of taking a tour with Roy is that in his SUV, we were able to take roads like this.

As we were in the heart of a coffee growing region, we came across coffee plants loaded with berries. Coffee bushes don’t do well in full sun.

The berries have a surprisingly sweetish pulp. At the center of the pulp is the bean, which is roasted for your favorite morning beverage.

After winding our way through coffee and banana farms, Roy brought us to the Hacienda Zimpizahua, where another tin man awaited. Formerly a private plantation, it is now a luxury inn.

The grounds were beautifully tended and very lush.

A beautiful place, one that’s beyond my budget.

A point of interest was that a several hundred year old aqueduct was still in use.

While I was taking the foregoing pictures, Steve and Pat climbed up the steep aqueduct stairs. I passed.

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Touring With Roy

Today was action packed. In addition to sore feet, I’m suffering from stimulation overload. (That’s a joke.)
I wanted to see Coatepec and Xico. Steve and Pat knew how to get to Coatepec by bus, but we also wanted to see some nearby villages that were hard to get to. So we took a tour with Roy Dudley.

Roy has lived in Xalapa for over 30 years. He knows everyone, and everyone knows him. Being a professional photographer himself, Roy took us to a lot of places that were not only picturesque but off the beaten track. Roy speaks Spanish like a native and was able to talk to people and introduce us. He’s also a lot of fun. If you’re going to visit Xalapa, I’d highly recommend a tour with Roy. It was one of the highlights of my time in Xalapa.

Hooking up with Steve and Pat has been great because Steve is an avid photographer, and Pat is used to him stopping and taking pictures. I must be even worse than him because I was always last to catch up. Roy is also a professional photographer, so he knew where to show us beautiful buildings, gardens, doorways and much more that we would want to capture.

Roy wanted to show us a historic inn called Posada Coatepec, but I had to catch up because several things caught my eye on the way there.

Coatepec, being much smaller than Xalapa, has a much more tranquil atmosphere. I found it charming.

A street in Coatepec.

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The Totonac Caritas Sonrientes (smiling faces) were wonderful. You couldn’t look at them without smiling yourself!

There are still many more really interesting artifacts images I’d like to share, but tomorrow I’ll move on to the rest of my week in Xalapa. I’ll post more artifacts images on some pages which will be linked to a tab at the top of this page.

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This series of figures were the smallest of all, only about eight inches or less in height.

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