The terrain in Mexico is extremely varied. In a matter of a few kilometers it can change from remote desert to lush jungle, soaring mountains to vast flat land. Rasta has been having a hard time with the extreme heat and not getting along very well, so we decided to slowly veer the ship back north. Ready for some wilderness after our time in the city, we rolled away from civilization and into Paraiso Canon.
Miles down the canyon, on what should be considered a jeep trail, we were surprised with a bustling mountain village. After rolling through the sweet little village, with a feeling that we had stepped back in time, it appeared the road ended at a rushing creek. Now what? But no, upon further inspection we found the trail picked up again after about 50m of fording up the creek.
We crossed the river once more, finding a mother bathing her baby boy, while overlooking her young daughters washing each other’s hair. As we passed by another cluster of homesteads scattered along the hills, we began to notice a group of children running and laughing behind us. Slowly rolling towards the end of the road, the group of kids running along beside of us grew to a small mob.
The road came to a dead end in a small trailhead parking area. A single track from here forged deeper into the canyon. Backing into the corner to get level and out of the way, I shut off the truck. The group of kids stood back, staring in a kind of semicircle around us. I hopped out, “Hola, como estan?” They answered, “hola, bien”, all looking at the ground. “Podemos acampar aqui por una noche?” They responded with a “si”, letting the oldest boy handle the negotiations.
I tried to make small talk as we set up camp, with them following me around at a more than safe distance, barely answering me. It turns out that these village kids will eagerly carry your camp gear into the canyon in hopes of a few pesos. While I was wondering why they were hovering, they were wondering what the silly gringos were doing in the parking lot. After these facts were out of the way the awkwardness immediately melted.
A couple of hours passed, them playing with the dogs, my ukelele, and quizzing us with their curiosities. When ten o’clock hit, assuming their curfew, they were off in a dash……