01-Jan-2004 -- To kick off 2004 in an original way, I decided to visit this confluence, which wasn't too far from Mexico City. Eva, Mr. Potatohead and myself left in the late morning with my "Guia Roji" map in my Beetle and took the toll highway to Querétaro. About 30 km before entering the State of Querétaro, we left the highway and drove to Aculco, a very nice small city which I hope to visit again in a near future. The countryside in this part of the State of México is beautiful and with the fine weather, it was an enjoyable day trip.
After Aculco, we reached México Highway 55 and drove south for a while. A bit passed El Jazmín, we turned left and drove for about half an hour, trying to avoid countless pot holes, until we reached Santa María de la Loma in the Acambay Municipality. The confluence was just two kilometres from there, and we found a dirt road behind the village that went in the right direction.
The road was quite bad. Rocks kept scratching the bottom of the car and I feared that I would puncture all four tires. After a while, we realized that we weren't getting closer to the confluence anymore and tried to turn back. Murphy's Law helping, the Beetle got stuck in the loose dirt on the side of the road and I thought for a while that we'd have to leave it there and walk back to the village. Fortunately, a man and his family were passing by on their horse and they stopped to help us push the car. The spinning wheels covered us and the poor Beetle with dust, but at least we got out of there. We then went back a few hundred metres, where a trail seemed to go up the mountain toward the confluence, and we parked the car there. Distance left: about 700 m.
The trail almost seemed made on purpose to get to the confluence and it was quite a pleasant walk among the pine trees and in the fresh mountain air. A nice change from Mexico City. Near the summit, we had to walk through fields for about 300 metres, just to discover that there was another dirt road a few metres away from the confluence. In any case the walk was worth it.
The panorama at the confluence was fabulous, since we overlooked the fields down the mountain and could see the hills of Michoacán in the far distance. Right by it was a magüey, so the landscape couldn't be more Mexican. We took the required pictures, enjoyed a bit the moment, and walked back to the car. I was a bit worried about it, but it worked fine and just had a scratch near a wheel, no big deal. I badly need to wash it though...
So all in all we were quite lucky, since this was our first attempt to reach a confluence and we could find a road and a trail to get us straight there. Looking forward to visiting the next one...
Thanks to Michael Grant for his GPS!