Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Road Less Traveled: Agua Azul

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

Memo and I headed to Villahermosa after work on Friday in preparation for his away rugby game that Saturday. We thought it'd be fun to make a weekend out of it and stay at the Hilton in Villahermosa. Living in Carmen, we take advantage of any chance for comfort and luxury. Upon arrival, we changed into our swimsuits, headed to the pool with a view, and ordered two margaritas. Everything was going according to plan; life was good. 

Chillaxin' with my margarita and handsome husband, I decided to check Facebook, as any compulsive social networker would do. I had one new notification "Caimanes (rugby team), the game tomorrow is cancelled." :| Whatttttt?!!!! What do the Landreneau's do when life hands us lemons? We turn it into a vacation, duh! We added vodka to the lemons and made a freakin' lemon drop martini. 

Saturday morning, we smuggled some hotel towels into our bag and headed to Agua Azul, cascades in the nearby state of Chiapas. I loaded the directions from Google Maps, and we were on our way. About 30 minutes into our trip, Google insisted that we take a right turn. I warned Billy that based on the squiggly lines on the map, sh*t was about to get real. I have learned throughout our time in Mexico, that if Google Maps has squiggly lines, we will likely be in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road… proven true, yet again.  I later learned that their was a much easier way to get there, but what fun would that have been?

Why take this road? 
When you can take this road?

We ventured through pot holes, mountainous terrain with straight drop offs at your side, and little towns where we received looks like that said "What the heck are you doing way out here rubita?" Two hours into our road trip in the mountains, poor Billy says, "We are close right?" ….. mmmm define close. Ha. Right when we were getting restless and wondering if we were even headed in the right direction, we saw a beautiful view of a muddy river down below. It was gorgeous. We took the road less travelled, but it was an adventure. We saw a place that we will NEVER see again. It was a beautiful journey.

 One confession I have to make is how nervous I was the entire drive. You see, Billy and I had been putting this trip to Agua Azul off for a year. A few different friends who had made the trip shared that there are men who throw metal spikes in front of your car and ask for money. This TERRIFIED me. I was assured that you just pay them, and you're on your way. I still didn't like the idea.  So, we are driving through the mountains for about 3 hours through the smallest towns on dirt roads with pot holes, and I'm imagining every man is going to jump in front of the car with spikes and harass us for money. :p I can laugh at my nervous thoughts looking back. 

Once we made it back to the main road and something that looked a little more like civilization, we were getting really close to Agua Azul. We did not encounter any men with spikes, luckily. However, there were sets of women that would hold a string of flags in front of your car and not let you pass until you paid. Thankfully, women and children with flags are a lot less intimidating than men with spikes. I paid the first little old lady, and she smiled graciously. We passed. Not 15 yards later, the SAME thing with another group of ladies. We were trying to figure out what to do as two local cars sped through the flags. Cars trump string of flags, noted. We followed suit. Fool me once. ;) 

As we approached Agua Azul, it began to rain. We were warned by several friends that this is "rainy season" and the water wouldn't be blue. Although I do wish I could have seen the blue waterfalls, the muddy rushing water was pretty cool. We hopped out of the car, in the rain, and mucked through the mud in our slippery flip flops (poor planning.) We ventured out into the rain for a few photo-ops. Agua Azul is truly a hidden gem in Chiapas. After touring the waterfalls and eating some freshly made empanadas and milanesa, we decided it was time to head back to luxury. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Hilton and reminisced about spontaneous adventures that turn out to be great memories, just like Agua Azul. 

Billy is not amused by the rain, but he still looks handsome! :p

No swimming today!

I took my weekly photo challenge picture at the waterfalls. The theme was "jewelry".

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