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Published: March 16th 2010
El Salto is a 105 meter high waterfall located about 15 km south of Tapalpa in the Sierra Tapalpa mountains. The Lonely planet guide gave a price for the taxi ride there, so we thought we would go. The roads are so badly rutted, twisting and winding through mountainous pasture land, and washed out by streams in some areas, that it took us over half an hour to get to our destination. It turned out that our destination was not the waterfall, but the start of a difficult mountain trail that would take another half hour of walking (so they said…) and a guide who was waiting for us, and of course who also needed to be paid. But OK, we thought how hard can it be? REALLY HARD!! The trail was uneven and rocky, and went down at a really steep angle for a really long way. We stopped to rest a few times, and even considered giving up and going back. But our guide assured us that it was not much farther. And besides, he wanted to wash himself in the water there. I am not kidding. And he did too. Luckily, he waded upstream, so I didn’t have
to watch. I stepped down onto a ledge to take some video, and almost gave Steve a heart attack, because from his viewpoint, I was almost over the edge. He took a picture, and yes, it does look like that. Anyway, we got some nice pictures and video that we will post to UTube when we get a chance.
Rather than the half hour they told us it would take, it took us almost a full hour to get there. And even longer to get back. Our guide was a toothless old fellow that Steve called a mountain goat, which was a good description because he could scramble up and down the trail almost at a run, where we trudged along puffing and panting like the fat old people that we are. We tried to converse with him for half the way there until we discovered that he spoke English - and much better than my Spanish! He kept us entertained with stories of places he had lived and people he had met. We suspected that maybe he might be exaggerating a bit, but when he got to the part when he said he had known Barak Obama in
Los Angeles when they were younger, then we knew for sure. He also said that he had met the Pope who had come to bless some caves on the way to the waterfall, and we should take a picture of the caves to Rome and show the Pope and mention his name. Right. Anyway, he was entertaining. We had to rest even more often coming back up, and while we did, the guide picked up bottles and other trash from the sides of the trail, going way down the mountain farther than I would have thought safe. But he was fine and it was really good to see that he cared enough to do that. And then we would go a little ways farther until we had to stop and rest again. We didn’t know if we would make it - we were that tired. But once we got back, and found our cab driver still waiting for us, we decided that it had been worth it.
Beware though - the guy who writes the lonely planet guide for this area must be a young, fit fellow, because there was no mention of a killer hike to go see
this waterfall. Now we know - ask lots of questions when planning a side trip somewhere!
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