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Primavera Forest and the Boiling River

Tochi at the boiling waterfallsTochi at the boiling waterfalls

Primavera Forest and the Boiling River

Hot springs are cool (so to speak), but have you ever heard of a boiling hot river?  We got one!  Sunday, October 8 was Tochi’s birthday, and we took her  to the hot river in the Primavera Forest near Guadalajara.  Tochi (who’s name, Tochimani, means “rabbit’s foot” in Nahuatl) is a city girl, but as you can see she really loved the Primavera.  Omar and I promised to take her back again real soon.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Our place is just a few miles from an active geothermal area known as la Primavera (the Springtime).  It is one of the neatest things about living here, as long as it doesn’t blow up.

Historically, the Primavera has erupted in a massive explosion every 10,000 years—an eye blink in geologic time, to be sure, but comforting for people living nearby.  Ten thousand years is such a long time.  Except that the last blast was about 13,000 years ago.

What to do?   Go somewhere else until the explosion is over and we can count on a restful 10,000 years more?

Nah—we’re Mexicans, by birth or by adoption.  And good Mexicans, when confronted by such a dilemma, use that time-honored phrase “No pasa nada!”  (“Nothing will happen!)

“No pasa nada” still gives me chills from my years as a junior high teacher.  Every time one of my angel-faced students said it, it meant green smoke was about to billow from the chemistry lab or that the scorpions were missing from their terrarium.

Aside from its explosive character, the Primavera is a wonderful neighbor.  A huge, mountainous forest just to the left of Guadalajara, the park acts as a “lung,” sending its clean, fresh air to flush out the poisonous fumes of the city.  It is also the perfect spot for a picnic, hiking, and taking photos of rare and beautiful plants.

Stenorhynchus orchid in the Primavera forest

Stenorhynchus orchid in the Primavera forest

The most amazing feature of the Primavera is the Rio Caliente—a boiling hot river.  Streams gush forth from several springs in the mountains, steaming away.  In the hottest pools float green and black and amber algae, adapted to live in extreme heat and nowhere else.

Fresh from deep within the earth, the mineral-laden, salty water is hot enough to cook lobsters.  But by walking downstream, comfortable bath-water-warm pools can be found, and there is nothing more sensual than stretching out in the pebbly shallows and letting the healing waters stream endlessly over your body.

We have followed the river for several miles as it winds south, then west through the forest.  It stays warm for a surprising distance, and there are several small waterfalls and beaches to enjoy along the way.

We often go to the Primavera to photograph orchids, bromeliads, and pinguiculas.  It seems something new is in flower ever month.

Much more on the amazing Primavera forest in subsequent posts.

Dan and Omar

Very hot water pours from vents in the hills

You can see steam from the Rio Caliente at some distance

Very hot water pours from vents in the hills

Very hot water pours from vents in the hills

Scalding waters mingle with warm....

Scalding waters mingle with warm....

You have to be careful not to par-boil your feet!

You have to be careful not to par-boil your feet!

We found a boiling waterfall

We found a boiling waterfall

Dark green algae lives in water too hot to touch

Dark green algae lives in water too hot to touch

Tochi wades bravely across

Tochi wades bravely across

Coco is an expert adventurer. We make sure her feet don't get too hot!

Coco is an expert adventurer. We make sure her feet don't get too hot!

Omar and Coco.  Coco is thinking "Someone forgot to turn off the boiler!"

Omar and Coco. Coco is thinking "Someone forgot to turn off the boiler!"

The hearty travelers pose for photos.  Tochimani and Omar...

The hearty travelers pose for photos. Tochimani and Omar...

Dan and Tochi

Dan and Tochi

Tochi, Dan, and Coco

Tochi, Dan, and Coco

Tochimani

Tochimani

Tochimani

Tochimani

But he's OK

But he's OK

"As long as they don't bring out the flea soap, I'm fine."

"As long as they don't bring out the flea soap, I'm fine."

"The country's not so bad!"

"The country's not so bad!"

Some trees have a flowering parasite

Some trees have a flowering parasite

This parasitic plant is very common in Guadalajara

This parasitic plant is very common in Guadalajara

There are no monkeys in the Primavera, but we found the next best thing

There are no monkeys in the Primavera, but we found the next best thing

Tochi in tree

Tochi in tree

It is great to have wonderful friends...

It is great to have wonderful friends...

...and family!

...and family!

Come with us the the Rio Caliente and see the boiling waterfalls!  We often see road runners and orchids, bromeliads and wild begonias–you’ll love it!

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.