May 10, 2021

Last night, after mid-night, I were waken up by a group of kids riding in the back of a truck. They stopped on the road and started signing. After a while they continued up the road and I could hear the singing echoing through the valley. Eva only woke up when a second truck with a loud speaker followed the first. The second truck was campaigning for a local politician. The next morning we learned that they were singing to celebrate Mother’s Day, which in Mexico is May 10th, regardless of what day of the week it was.

Speaking of politicians, it is campaign season in Mexico. The election is not until June 6th, but every town we have passed through is covered with posters and signs for all the different politicians. Even the villages of only 10-15 houses have signs. Many vehicles have large stickers, signs and flags on them for the political party of their choice. In the evenings, there will be small parades of cruising around the town square. It seems that without the TV coverage that the US has, the campaigning in Mexico is more grass-roots and local.

We left the campground at 9 am and drove 7 km up the river to Guadalupe Coronado to visit the mission. This mission was more colorful that others we had visited.

We parked next to the school and the head teacher came out and opened the mission door for us. We were able to give him more school supplies and treats for him to distribute to the kids. This school is larger, with 180 kids total. The teacher was very grateful for the supplies.

We drove back through Urique and started another climb up the mountain. This was not the longest climb, but it felt the steepest. We went from 1800 ft elevation to over 6500 ft in only a few miles. The road was narrow and had many switchbacks. Near mountaintop there was a nice rest area with overlooks and tables.

We ate lunch before continuing over the top of the mountain, driving to Cerocahui, a nice colonial town that was still high enough in the mountains that it was not too hot.

We stopped at the local mission, near the town square. This mission was different than any other’s that we had seen. It was in active use and had beautiful stained glass windows. The outside was also different, and looked similar to the churches in Russian that we had seen. 

After leaving town we stayed at Hotel Paraiso del Oso, just outside of town in the forest. This is also known as the Yogi Bear Hotel, named after the rock formation above the property.

This is a pretty nice hotel, but has been hit hard by the pandemic. The owner said in March 2021, he did not have a single guest for the entire month. Like everyone else, he was glad to see us. He is a American that moved to Mexico 31 years ago to build the hotel and run a travel service. The rooms were nice and they served a good dinner for the group.

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