The winding forms of the road led us to the Valley of Enigmas. The sky opened its bluish-white pomp.
The flat profile of its gaze fanned us tenderly, in an icy breeze on our skin and reddened faces. A town located 132 kilometers from the capital of the state of Jalisco, opened the doors from the bottom of its bowels.
The climate and vegetation
We walked in a semi-dry climate in the month of October. The average annual temperature is 16.7C.
The sun illuminating tourists faces and their long hair with an icy breeze, which gives the impression of being on a trip all the time.
We had a hunch that when we returned home things would be better for everyone and the inundated sense of novelty and culture that we carried back between the folds of our memory, would be priceless.
“to be surrounded by stones, is to whisper to the Gods” – María José Liñán-
We continue with tangled hands, like two branches that grow together and form into a single thick arm of the trunk.
We witness pines, oaks, oaks, ash, oyamel, willow, strawberry tree and the nopal that is so characteristic of our beloved Mexico.
Also, we saw sweet stick and farmer. The oxygen that is breathed here is truly a green lung of nature. It is pure, and it serves to cleanse our organism of the smog of the big city.
We can contemplate the beauty and wisdom of the deer, the fearlessness of the hare, the feat of the rabbit, the armadillo, the intrigue of the snake, the adventure of the squirrel and in the sky, the unmissable flight of the hawk.
One of the villagers in a red scarf stumbles through the cozy cobblestone streets. He rejoins, looking up at the large houses with wooden canopies and balconies.
Milan and I continue straight ahead, holding hands and with eyes that intertwine the same landscape, heading towards the two main temples.
The oldest temple in Tapalpa, dates from the seventeenth century. It is more than 350 years old. Its name is San Antonio, in honor of this Saint.
Currently it is a sacred art museum, where different works and articles from the Cristero battle are exhibited.
The second, is the temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, it was completed in 1970.
It is distinguished by its brick construction without beams or enjarres.
Looking at it for seconds is an appreciation of the unequivocal transfer of the time tunnel.
Thirty minutes from Tapalpa, we explore the ex-hacienda in the delegation of “Lagunillas” -. Milan and I, we read about this place, which was the inspiration of the writer Juan Rulfo, for his work, “Pedro Páramo”. Standing in front of this ancient beauty envelops us in a cycle of undeniable bristling and perpetuity.
On the way back to the center of Tapalpa, we went on the adventure of having a snack in a restaurant in the porticoes.
Milan ordered an American coffee and I ordered a red chilaquiles, which are served with two pieces of breast on top and a separate portion of typical cream of the region.
The red sauce has a particular flavour of the little town, it is like mixing the morning dew, with the aroma of wood from the forest, which, brought to the palate of tourists, is an explosion of Culture and Time.
The big stones
At noon, the restlessness of heading towards Las Piedrotas, also known as, “The Valley of the Enigmas”, was overcome. It is the most visited natural attraction in Tapalpa. It is located 15 minutes from the municipal seat, taking the highway towards Chiquilistlán.
These monolithic figures have different hypotheses. One of them says that they are meteorites that fell thousands of years ago. Another of the theories indicates that the rocks were found under the ground, thanks to the running of the water that they were discovered. Milan advanced with the camera in his hands and his head turned to the sky.
My steps soon reached inches from it. We merge in the embrace, guarded by the huge stones, perceiving a powerful energy, which is used during the equinoxes and astronomical events for many visitors.
And secretly, I asked the souls of the huge stones, to form the same bond of fate to Milan and me; Minutes later, with the sharp point of a pebble on the road, I scratched our names on the belly of one of the rocks.
The Paper Factory and handicrafts
It is an old hacienda that dates back to the history of Tapalpa among its ruins. It is nestled in the undergrowth of the forest.
The main hull is built of stone and red brick in the mid-19th century, in 1840.
It was the first paper mill in Latin America and, therefore, in the West of the Republic.
They are made of clay, ocochal and leather and wool articles. We enter several small shops where the walls are full of guitars, board games such as Chinese checkers, chess, feathers with special engravings, shots to drink tequila, ceramic and clay coffee cups, reptile-shaped key rings, micro humanitos, etc.
They also offer a wide range of typical milk-based sweets.
Milan bought me a wooden lunch box, vintage style and a black shirt with the Tapalpa lettering. And you cannot miss the traditional notebooks in two sizes with the engraved letters of the Pueblo Mágico, we chose one to take away.
The return home …
At the entrance of the Las Piedrotas reserve, they have several stalls with folkloric drinks for tourism.
Milan and I bought a small jug with tequila and seasoned with a cocktail of sauces such as Magui, English, grapefruit juice and mineral water. He ordered a dark beer.
We sat on a piece of log with a panorama that encompassed the belly of Las Piedrotas, on a ceiling, which was stamped in my mind with the nostalgia of ever returning. In that magic of nature, we pour out our hearts for years to come.