By John Chalmers on the May 2020 Edition
A group hike is a great way to explore México and enjoy the camaraderie of meeting new friends in a shared experi-ence. With the Canoas hike, like other treks we have taken, we started with a group photo!
Exploring México by driving to cities and towns, historic sites, beaches, markets, interesting shops and restaurants to try out something different on the menu is a fine way to enjoy the country. However, discovering it all by foot on trails through rural areas and the jungle is a fine way to see something new that you can’t reach by driving! Even an urban hike on roads and pathways is more rewarding than driving as it allows more time to see the sights and take in the views.
For many of us who spend the winter as snowbirds in the Manzanillo area, group hikes have provided a great experience to see places we would otherwise never encounter.
Our hikes have taken us up mountains, out to unpopulated beaches, and through farmland and agricultural areas of crops and plantations.
A new hike this year was in coffee country near the small town of Canoas. Less than an hour from Manzanillo, after a drive on the highway to the town of fewer than 400 people, we arrived on cobblestone roads to a place for parking our cars. Then, with our hiking poles, water bottles and appropriate footwear and headgear, we began a trek that took us on country roads and jungle trails.
Off the beaten track, and not found in tourist literature or internet travel sites, are places to be discovered only by adventuring on foot. Our hike in the Canoas area followed a circuitous path on dirt roads, through open areas, past cattle in unexpected places, by cornfields carved out of the jungle, and across unexpected streams of fresh mountain water. As well, we encountered areas where coffee was grown, which was one of the reasons for this particular outing.
A special reward on the hike led us through untrammeled jungle to a beautiful and hidden waterfall. It flowed down a rocky spillway to a pool at the foot of the cascade, then formed astream rippling over another rocky outcrop and continued on through another pool to become a busy mountain stream. Discovering this precious location was one of the main rewards of the hike.
At the conclusion of this journey, we were hosted at a private country home where a splendid Mexican lunch included a barbecue, frijoles, freshly made tortillas, enchiladas, other dishes and fresh fruits. Of course, a fine way to end a hike is to enjoy soft drinks or cold cerveza, which went perfectly with the meal and is much appreciated by hikers who have finished a vigorous trek!
Our final stop for the day before returning to our winter vacation homes was to go back to Canoas and visit a shop where most of us bought coffee grown in the area. Each of our group hikes has its own special rewards. This time we had a reminder of a wonderful and truly 100% Mexican experience every time we enjoyed a cup of Canoas coffee!