We left the U.S. in early November, headed south across the border to a warmer climate in Mexico, returning to one of our favorite places on the Pacific Coast north of Puerto Vallarta. We traveled in our RV and camped at La Parota in the village of Lo de Marcos, in the state of Nayarit, one of 31 large states in Mexico. It is north of the border of Jalisco where PV is located.
On our way there we stopped for several weeks in San Miguel, Allende, a favorite of many American and Canadian ex-pats and also stopped to see a friend in Ajijic near Jocotopec at the eastern end of Lake Chapala, a rather sad, dead lake in many ways. However, Ajijic has also become an ex-pat favorite due to its village charm.
A few days ago, we set out, sans RV, in our car, headed for Oaxaca (wa-haka) in southern Mexico with stops in Talaquepaque, Morelia and one unplanned stop in Orizaba because we did not find an exit off the new elevated highway in Puebla. That’s another story, details of which you can find elsewhere on my wife’s posting. Mas niebla!
Another migration of greater interest is the annual trek of the Monarch Butterflies and we were privileged to see them in a preserve at El Rosario, the largest sanctuary in Michoacán, where the butterflies cover about 1,500 trees. If the monarch lives in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, it will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oak and oyamel trees. If they live west of the Rockies, then they will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees. Monarch butterflies use the very same trees each and every year when they migrate, which is interesting because they aren’t the same butterflies that were there last year.
We and they migrate for the same and different reasons. The same is the cold winter and the difference is that their food that they live on up north is not available in the south, hence their return north, and it’s their fifth generation. How all that information gets programmed into those butterflies via their DNA, GPS or whatever is so far beyond me that I leave it in the ream of mystical magic.
What I know is that it is an annual event nothing short of spectacular, to be alive in the midst of millions of monarchs and marvel at one of the many mysteries of Mother herself. You can find out much more on numerous sites including this one: http://roadslesstraveled.us/morelia-monarch-butterflies-mexico-cruising-blog/ And there are some fabulous pictures here too.
We rode the horses up the final trail, highly recommended! Our guide whom we picked up at the hotel in the village below also spoke no English but he was nonetheless engaging and delightful. Our Mexican hosts are all so friendly, kind, generous and helpful. MUCHAS GRACIAS, MI AMIGOS! There are no walls that can separate us.