Don Karp

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AN OPPORTUNITY:  Become a member of my team to help me promote my new memoir and ebook. Send me an email and I'll put you on my list: don@donkarp. More details at the end of this article.

Letters from Mexico

Don Karp

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ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

February 6, 2023

Tepoztlán Hiking Club

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Cero de La Luz, San Juan. Photo by author

Introduction

Our hiking group began as a mushroom expedition led by a professional mycologist on September 24, 2022. Our guide was Professor Daniel, retired from a university in Cuernavaca. He led a second hike a week later, but did not show up for the third hike. M, the organizer of the hikes reminded me that I know a lot of trails and asked me to guide. I was delighted!

Mushroom Hikes

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Prof. Daniel relaxing at a cafe after guiding us on a mushroom hike. Photo by author

The Professor took us off the highway from Tepoztlán to San Juan, past Calle de Conejos, to a commercial mushroom growing barn near a woods trail where we hiked. He showed us several species, varying in size and color, and hikers took photos. Unfortunately, it all went so fast that the names and uses of these mushrooms were not recorded. During the peak of the rainy season here (July-September) I see many varieties of mushrooms for sale in the central outdoor market in town.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Varieties of mushrooms observed on the woods trail near San Juan. Photos by author

Our second week mushroom hike was delayed by a herd of cows on the road.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Cows on the highway to San Juan. Professor leads the way from the trail head. Photos by author

Then we saw some interesting mushrooms and other noteworthy plants.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Top left: pesistas; top right: boletus; middle row: unidentified; bottom: gonoderm. Photo by author

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Psychoactive plants--top: morning glory; bottom: salvia divinorum. Photos by author

Sample Hikes

I can't cover all of the weekly hikes we have done since September, but I'll give you a sample here of a couple of highlights. Check in the archives for the many trail adventures I've covered.

The Kissing Rocks are very beautiful, nestled high in the pines, and with an incredible view.

La Posa is the birthplace of the god, Quetzalcoatl. It's a long hike to get there, with the last part difficult, but worth it, as it has a pond fed by a waterfall that runs year 'round--rare in this dry region.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Kissing Rocks. Photos by author

Here's a sampling of some glorious views from our trail hikes:

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Three outstanding views from different hikes. Photos by author

Socializing

Before each hike, we meet in a local cafe nearest to the trail. I leave an extra half hour for stragglers to arrive. During this time we socialize. And after every hike, we enjoy a lunch together at different local restaurants. We also have enjoyed other non-hiking activities as a group: a work day at Eli Pig Sanctuary, a baby shower there, and a set of group bonding activities led by Nick, one of our regular hikers, who does this professionally. Contact Nick via Telegram: Kruser777. In the near future, we plan to visit archeological sites in the area. And we will do other volunteer work locally.

Each week the group composition differs. The numbers range from 12 to 25. Here are photos of two of the groups:

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Two different groups- left: hike to San Andreas de la Cal; right: bonding exercises with Nick in Amatlán. Photos by author

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Nick leading group bonding exercises in Amatlán. Photo by author

Here is a birthday party in my honor after the hike to La Poza at Kua Restaurant in Amatlán:

A few of us had a little party after a lunch gathering to continue the good vibes:

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.  A small party after lunch.  Photo by author

As a group, we enjoyed two events at Eli Pig Sanctuary. One was a volunteer work day:

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The Tepoz Hiking Club does a volunteer workday at Eli Pig Sanctuary. Photos by author

We had an on site baby shower for Janis, one of the caretakers of Eli Pig Sanctuary. This included music and dancing, a nice vegan pot-luck, and silly games. The baby, Leah, was born two days later, encouraged by the excitement of the party to come out and enjoy life.

To end this article about the Tepoztlán Hiking Club, I am sharing a photo one of our members took on a very clear day of the volcano, Popo:

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The volcano, Popocatépetl. Photo by author

I Still Need Your Help!

My two newly self-published books need some love. If you've not yet read them, or written a review, here is where to find them. And please tell your social peeps, family, and whoever you think might enjoy them. Are you a member of a book club? Why not introduce these as part of your group reading, please?

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Looks like you are having a great time there with good friends.

--Alice Hesselrode

Yes, indeed!

--Don