The second in a series of posts about my recent canyoneering trip to Mexico. If you only come here for the Clippers stuff and you're not interested, then don't read it.
Our first day of canyoneering was pretty tame. The canyons were completely dry so there was no swimming involved. I don't think we did more than 5 rappels, in two different locations. I certainly would have opted for a more aggressive day one agenda, but by the same token I can understand the reasoning behind the schedule. For one thing, we were getting to know our Mexican guides, Paolo and Edgar, and they us. For another, the group was of course not of a uniform experience level. Cheryl had done significantly less rappelling than me, for instance, and no doubt there were others in the group who were thankful for an opportunity to refresh their skill set in a relatively benign and leisurely couple of canyons. And the scenery was certainly spectacular (though nothing compared to what awaited us).
On the second rappel of the day, Barbara and I were among the first to the bottom. Being that it was a pretty large group, and that Paolo and Edgar were taking things slow on the first day, we had some time to kill. So Barbara found a boulder and decided to do a little free climbing and invited me along. Now, I've done some climbing in my day, but not for about 20 years. And there's a reason I canyoneer as opposed to climbing - climbing is just a lot more dangerous. Still, it's fun. So we scrambled up the boulder a little, getting way more exposed than we should have, as Edgar kept one wary eye on us from his position belaying the others. As we headed for the third rappel, Barbara and I both knew that we had found a trouble-making buddy for the rest of the trip. Little did we know how much trouble we'd get into.
The highlight of the first day was dinner. Leaving the second canyon, we stopped in the nearest "town" at a "restaurant". Only, in this case "town" refers to a slightly wider place in the road with a couple of ramshackle houses, and "restaurant" refers to one of those houses, with some tables and plastic chairs in front. Paulo stopped the van, spoke to the señora and we sat down at the tables in front of her house. A few minutes later, she emerged with 4 large pots filled with rice, beans, potatoes, and a stew of pork. And of course stacks and stacks of tortillas. I don't usually eat pork, but I made an exception. By the time we were finished, I think there were a couple of beans left, and maybe some rice.
Tomorrow - the trouble-makers get in trouble.