By Ken Waldie on the November 2020 Edition
Having lived most of her life in various parts of Mexico, Dana, our fearless editor and my lovely wife, has undertaken to show me the Mexico she knows. As a result, every year we travel to new areas and often we bring family and friends along for the ride.
In January, we stayed close to home base, Manzanillo, with a tour to the Archaeological Zone La Campana, in Colima, a prehispanic townsite, as well as El Chanal and, the highlight: a tour to the Colima volcano (Volcán de Fuego) that sits above Coma-la, which included a coffee plantation tour, a trip to an avocado farm, and a stop to see the famous, majestic tree, El Guardian.
I like Comala. The streets are buttered like chunky peanut butter with cobblestone, high curbed sidewalks, many coffee shops. It’s a country town with a homey feeling to it.
Enter Jupiter, our tour guide; an unassuming fellow, who loaded us into his tour van. I thought this would be a quiet (yawn) day…but then he started to explain why the buildings are painted white and from then the day became fascinating. Every de-tail of the journey was filled with anecdotes, stories and history.
This entrepreneur has a degree in marketing and also an MBA and a specialty diploma in managing tourism organizations. He lived in the US for some time but came back home. He owns a coffee shop, Casa Volcán, and his wife runs Casa Alvarada, a lovely boutique hotel. In between all this, he offers unique tours including kayak, hiking, mountain trekking, visits to ruins, viewing of the chocolate-making process, a craft beer tour as well as our volcano-coffee tour.
We drove up into the mountains, creeping the van through a river crossing, to an avocado plantation at the base of the volcano for a look while Jupiter explained about the birds and wildlife as we passed by. He has a knack for bringing that which seems subtle alive and interesting.
We started down again, stopping at a coffee shop and pro-cessing farm where we began to understand how labor intensive coffee is to produce. Over a cup of very fresh coffee, Jupiter gave us a short lecture on vulcanology. He explained how this volcano worked. We even got to see a laughing falcon (Herpettheres cachinnans), with its white body and black wings and eye bands, at the end of our journey!
Admire Mexico Tours DMC, under the care of Jupiter, is still doing trekking and kayaking tours as well as sightseeing tours, following all safety guidelines in place. Summit tours are on the roster from now till the end of May, 2021 for the brave and ad-venturous.
PS: Don’t miss a chance to see the beautiful hummingbird on the main page of their web site!