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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas in Taxco, Mexico

My daughter and I just returned from a fantastic Xmas Eve spent with our extended Mexican Family.  Taxco is a short one hour drive south from Cuernavaca, and is in the state of Guerrero.  It is located high in the mountains, and we decided a few months ago to book our Christmas celebration there this year.  Taxco is built on the side of a mountain, and our hotel was at the top of the mountain.  A resort/hotel called Montetaxco.

The drive was uneventful, although it rained most of the way, and we only got lost once.  I did fine when we turned off the highway (the cuota or pay highway), but when we hit a tiny section of road that was being repaired, we took a detour onto the freeway (or more dangerous highway - but free), and immediately started slowly crossing the numerous topes (speedbumps) in the road.  This was my first trip driving solo in Mexico, well solo being that there was no experienced Mexican passenger in my vehicle.  BTW, all of the tolls were 1/2 price because it was Xmas I believe.

We drove through a tiny community, and were supposed to take a right turn to re-enter the highway, but unfortunately I decided to go straight ahead, and we remained on the freeway.  This, I explained to my daughter was the scenic route up the mountains.  We passed through about three or four communities (and about a hundred topes), and after passing numerous accidents and federal police on the road, we made it to the final entrance to the toll highway before Taxco.  It was sad that people were wrecking their cars on Xmas Eve, but Mexicans don't seem to slow down much when the highways get wet and slippery.

We finally arrived at the entrance to Taxco just before dark, and our friends were waiting at the bottom of the steep hill leading up to the resort.  We asked if they had tried to drive up, and they said yes, but the couldn't make it.  Now this road up to the resort was made of cobblestones, and when they get wet, the are like driving on ice.  My new tires on my car are great for dry streets, but not great in the rain.  Anyway, my friend Raul decided to try one more time, and after watching many cars go up the hill he drove across the street to get a good run at it.

Off he went, and once he made it around the first corner and out of sight, I knew he had a good chance of making it all the way.  Now what about us?  As we sat at the bottom of the hill contemplating our next move, a man approached our car and asked if we would give him 40 pesos to drive us up the hill.  I immediately said yes, and gave him the wheel.  He drove across the highway and got a run just like Raul had done.  This guy had obviously done this many times before, so we headed for the far left of the roadway as we climbed, and basically stayed right near that side of the roadway the entire way up - which was about a mile.  The road contained one switchback after another, and we had to be careful of cars coming down and running into us because we were driving on their side of the road most of the way up.

The reason our driver did this was to stay on the side of the road nearest the uphill bank because it was drier on that side.  Once we finally reached the top (only having to back up and try one of the last hills for a second time because a car coming down made us stop in the middle of the hill), I gladly paid the driver 50 pesos.  It was worth it to make it up safely.  I wouldn't worry about getting down until we left the resort in two days.

After our driver left us to our own at the front of the hotel, we only had to drive about 1000 yards down another steep hill to the Villa's that we had all rented.  Thank god we had visited this resort a few months ago because we discovered the villa's adjoining the hotel, and their cost was about 1/2 the cost of a room in the hotel.  We not only got our own separate condo, we received all the benefits of staying in the hotel itself.  Swimming, sauna, restaurants, etc.

After checking in, it was time to have a couple of drinks and relax before changing for the Xmas Celebration.  Next - The Party.