This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!

Letters from Mexico

Don Karp

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Trails in Tepoztlán, Mexico

March 2, 2019

The most used trail in Tepoztlán is the one to its pyramid, Tepozteco. Parts of the trail are paved and there are stairs. It takes more than an hour to reach the summit. The pyramid is small. The view is good, but there are better ones on other trails with shorter climbs and fewer people.

Most of these trails, other than the one to Tepozteco, are narrow. In some places they narrow down to goat trails with huge drop offs. Many mountain trails are easily found from the center of town.

To broaden one’s hiking experience, it’s best to take a commuter van, taxi, or drive to one of the outlying districts in the Tepoztlán municipality. These trips take twenty minutes. Besides the trails, there are different subcultures to explore in each of these small villages. 

My favorite trail is a one hour loop in San Juan that has the mountain “Cero de la Luz.” Unlike other trails in and around Tepoztlán, it’s wide, with some landscaping, and very well maintained. There are many different breathtaking views.

Before going hiking, it’s a good idea to consult with the natives, or one of the long time expat residents that hang out in the many cafes. One trail, for example, is known for its robberies. I’d suggest staying away from that one. You might hire a local guide at a very reasonable price. Just ask around.

Wear long pants with sturdy shoes and socks, and a long sleeve shirt. Poison ivy and poison oak are common on many trails. Wear a cap and sunglasses. If you are hiking during the rainy season (June-Sept.) carry rain gear. It’s a good idea to bring along a water bottle and some snacks.

Most people hike in pairs or groups, but I often go alone. A friend advised me to carry a space blanket and a loud whistle in case I get lost. Cell phone signals are not strong everywhere. Here's a blog entry about me getting lost.

"There seems to be an effort to discourage hiking, climbing, camping, almost any use of the national park and surrounding areas.  This is not surprising in view of the many fires, climbing falls, destruction of natural habitat, and other factors that have increased over the past 40 years - particularly the past 15.

Individuals and communal user groups are already clashing over local use patterns.  Given the national park status, governmental agency oversight on matters of flora, fauna, habitat, and landscape ecology, also discourages increased human traffic."

In my opinion, the way to eliminate these types of problems is by education, not restrictions. What do you think?

My Favorite Trail

A Caveat From An Anonymous Friend

Be Prepared!

About This Blog's Future

This is the twenty-first blog in this series. Perhaps it's time to move on to other things and end it? What do you think? Your opinion in the comments below, or to me by email, will make a difference about the future of this blog.

As you know, I'd like some commentary about my conversion of the blog to an ebook. I did a search in Amazon for "Letters From Mexico," and the only item that came up was something Cortez wrote. That was long ago!

My idea for a cover is an envelope with the postage stamp bearing the same image I use at the top of each blog.

 

Please tell me what you think of these ideas for a title and cover art.

Trail to the Tepozteco pyramid in Tepoztlan, Mexico. Photo by Don Karp

La Posa, the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, is a year round water fall and pond in this very dry region. It's outside Tepoztlan, Mexico, near a small village, Amatlan. Photo by Don Karp

Top three photos: San Juan trail. Bottom photo: Atop the mountain, Cero de La Luz (mountain of light). Photo by Ixchel Tucker.

Travel in Mexico-- Some Important Information

A fellow blogger, Dr. James Horn, lives in Cuernavaca, a half hour from Tepoztlan. James retired from a the US. He was a history professor. He coordinated the SUNY Study-Abroad program in Cuernavaca Mexico  for 25 semesters as resident director, and 80 Elder Hostel programs.

Here is his excellent blog refuting the US State Dept. travel warning in Morelos, the Mexican state where Cuernavaca and Tepotzlan are.

You'll find his ebook, Cuernavaca, a Guide For Students and Tourists, here.