Gathering my legs under me, I grab an excellent lunch of tachitos from Lucieno’s mother. Delicious! 30 minutes later Mariano emerges from the hole. I thank him, and the 5 (yes 5!) guys it took to haul my butt out of that hole. (See previous story, Descent into Hell)
Now I’m off to visit Las Pozas, the Gardens of Edward James, an eccentric millionaire who built a fantasy world in plants and concrete in the middle of the jungle near Xihitla – except the bike won’t start. Something is up with the battery. Fortunately there is a long downhill away from the Cave of the Swallows. I kick the bike into 3rd gear, pull in the clutch, and start rolling. Dropping the clutch the engine stutters, but no. I shift to 4th and try again. It catches and off I go.
Nearing Las Pozas the road turns to gravel and stones; again testing my off-roading skills. At the entrance I meet Miguel, who’s English is excellent. He is not only a guide to the gardens, but grew up here as a child. His father was Edward Jones’ chauffeur, and his mother was his cook. What a magical childhood that would have been!?
We step into the gardens and it is a place of my dreams. Surrealistic sculptures, random pathways and steps, a complete labyrinth built right into the jungle, where plants are allowed to be themselves, inter-spaced with cultivated additions. I’ll let the pictures describe the place as words don’t do it justice. I will say that the natural spring waterfall and pools, which lead into manmade pools, are stunning. This property is a jungle paradise. This has to be one of the most amazing garden experiences I’ve ever had. Beyond that, Miguel is so knowledgeable about the plants, the animals, the architecture, and the history, his guided tour brought the place to life.
I think what was most impressive to me was that the entire space was one man’s unedited, unrestrained creativity run wild. If I had that kind of money, I think I’d have done something similar. Not necessarily in the same aesthetic sense, but certainly in it’s eccentricities.
So now I’m at a campsite just down the road from the gardens, and may go back in the morning for a swim in the waterfall. We’ll see if its warm enough.
Mysteriously, the battery seems to be working fine now. I’ll have to keep my eye on it.